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Web site for Non-GPL creations

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Web site for Non-GPL creations

Postby Flying toaster » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:28 am

I know the subject I am alluding to is sensitive matter... If the moderators feel this is degenerating into a flame war I would fully endorse them closing the thread...

That being said, there seems to be a recurrent issue regarding licensing. I think most of us content creators are willing to donate for free our work in order to make flightgear even better (after all MSFS mainly survives due to the 3rd party contribution).

The subject gets itchy though when it comes to what we call "freedom".

While most of us agree on the right to distribute as much as possible, and to allow modification and enhancements, some other would like to retain some rights. The one most often quoted is to deny the right for commercial benefit on something that was done without any profit for the creator other than the pleasure to make it and get some recognition from the community (we all have our infatuations after all).

While this may sound utterly shocking to some of the contributors, I think everybody around share the same will to donate their time for a better sim for everybody to enjoy. And when it comes to freedom, we can all agree that the right to dissent is the first one to respect.

In this spirit the decision to put only GPL's licensed contributions on the CVS server is quite alright in that it prevents any confusion in terms of license for people downloading the whole package.

Nevertheless, due to the restriction to only a single license, some individual efforts have begun to provide access to freely available add-ons that are not GNU licensed in order to suit the creators own moral stance...
Such hangar websites have started developping and are a valuable help to the community.

Yet one can readily see that this is going to make life harder for the end user that is going to need to fetch his/her preferred add-on among a myriad of sites developping.

Sure enough there could be links in the main flightgear page to those sites. There could even be a list of links to individual packages within the main site.

Yet I would like to suggest that maybe it would be profitable for the end-user community (and content creator altogether) if we could create a single site, actually a twin site to FG main site, that would host all freely available yet non-GPL creations and that would share the look and feel of the main site (albeit with a HUGE banner pointing out differences in licensing).

By suggesting that I do not mean individual efforts are in vain. It's just that I feel it would be an improvement for the newbie looking for just that airplane or scenery.

In this respect, I do not think an AVSIM based repository (no matter how much I appreciate the outstanding support provided by AVSIM) would do the trick. As a Fly! series supporter, I have found looking for something in the file library somewhat hard.

All this discussion is triggered by the fear I have that some quality content will get lost if we do not provide a visible outlet for it on the internet.

Again I insist that the first freedom is the right to dissent.

Yet I would like people sharing this approach to express themselves.

What I would really really like is endorsement by FG website and original developpers for such an effort. I would also like people who have starting building virtual hangars to join this community effort to gain more visibility.

With the kindest regards to this community

Enrique
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Postby Kugelfang » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:48 pm

I made models for Virtual Sailor for many years. When I started, there were a few fan-sites that hosted their own work and once I started creating work I was proud of I, too started my own site to distribute it. I liked the small sites. They provided visible clues as to the personalities of the people who were making the add-ons. As the years went by, a few "mega-sites" arose which began freely distributing almost everything available. Virtual Sailor folk are pretty unconcerned as to licensing issues as long as nobody is seen to be selling or claiming work that is not their own. While there were some heated debates regarding copyright, there was no such thing as a GPL vs. Creative Commons clash. Perhaps a bit naive, but very pragmatic.

As people released new versions of old models, the mega-sites never really got updated. The owners of the mega-sites found other things to occupy their time, or it was just too much work to keep things up to date, or were just too slow to satisfy the needs of some content creators for instant gratification . Personally, I find it hard to find things in the big distribution sites. Personality conflicts resulted in creators demanding that their work be removed from such and such a site usually for petty reasons. The owners of the smaller, individual sites began to take their sites down because nobody used them any more. And, while I have no statistics to support it, I think the web presence of the sim actually when down. While the community around the mega-sites and 'official forum' did grow, the content being submitted, and more importantly (at least to me ;-) ), my personal experiences in that community, degraded. All in all, my opinion is that the Virtual Sailor community was actually done more harm than good by centalizing the distrubution of 3rd party add ons.

In retrospect, I think Virtual Sailor would have been much better served by the continuance of a network of smaller communities where people gathered around their specific interests, rather than a larger community which only had the sim itself as the common element.

While I personally have no substantive objections to your suggestions, it is probably not something in which I'd participate. I'll continue to post my own work at my own site. I'm willing to pay the price to march to the tune of my own drummer.

The above is just my own opinion. It carries no more, nor no less, weight than anybody else's.

--jeff
www.static-lift.net
We were set in our ways. We believed in a good God, a bad Devil and a hot Hell, and more than anything else we believed that the same good God did not intend man should ever fly.
--Bill Tate (Crouch, The Bishop's Boys)
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Postby RatOmeter » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:49 am

I agree in general with the opinions above and offer a compromise. The main site hosts a wiki which every registered user can edit (let's keep those edits relevent and useful, please ;). Fairly recently, I've made minor edits that point to a torrent for the "whole world" scenery set and an archive of all available aircraft (the latter of which I host and will be updated with an archive of the latest-from-cvs a/c soon).

My point is, I think there is already a central mechanism in place from where 3rd party contributions can be found. All we need is for people to use that mechanism. We also could do well by having more user involvement in the wiki in general. I'd love to see some more "mini-HOWTOs" and such at the wiki.
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Postby Flying toaster » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:46 pm

RatOmeter wrote:I agree in general with the opinions above and offer a compromise. The main site hosts a wiki which every registered user can edit (let's keep those edits relevent and useful, please ;). Fairly recently, I've made minor edits that point to a torrent for the "whole world" scenery set and an archive of all available aircraft (the latter of which I host and will be updated with an archive of the latest-from-cvs a/c soon).

My point is, I think there is already a central mechanism in place from where 3rd party contributions can be found. All we need is for people to use that mechanism. We also could do well by having more user involvement in the wiki in general. I'd love to see some more "mini-HOWTOs" and such at the wiki.


Sounds indeed like a very good compromise, since wiki supports external links. The only thing is that the main mechanism on the main site to download contribution refers to aircraft in the CVS repository... Maybe wiki could be quoted there as a means to get to other contents...
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Postby Kugelfang » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:34 pm

I agree. That, I think, is an excellent idea.

I'm off to the wiki.

--jeff
We were set in our ways. We believed in a good God, a bad Devil and a hot Hell, and more than anything else we believed that the same good God did not intend man should ever fly.
--Bill Tate (Crouch, The Bishop's Boys)
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