Journalist seeks flight sim info

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

Hello again. I pop in with a question from time to time. Here's my
latest.

I've recently heard that concerns about copyright are preventing
software designers from including certain military aircraft in their
flight sims. People who make those add-on packs for Microsoft Flight
Simulator, I'm told, have been scared off the idea of doing models of
well-known fighters, bombers, transport planes and the like. They're
afraid of having to pay hefty royalties to the makers of these planes.

Has anybody here ever heard of such a thing? If so, please contact me
ASAP with details. Thanks much.

Hiawatha Bray
Technology Reporter
Boston Globe
135 Morrissey Blvd.
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819 USA
617-929-3119 voice
617-929-3183 fax
bray@globe.com
watha@monitortan.com
Blog: www.monitortan.com
Recent writings: www.boston.com/business/technology/bray
10 answers Last reply
More about journalist seeks flight info
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    This and the attached link should answer most of your questions.

    The problem is genuine, but not with MSFS as far as I know, rather with
    UbiSoft, or more particularly the developer 1C - a russian company which
    developed IL2 Sturmovik and Pacific Fighters. Although UbiSoft (the
    publisher) came to their rescue and paid the licensing fees for them, Oleg
    Maddox (the CEO of 1C) is now gunshy and reluctant to include any more US
    planes. To ad insult to injury, the game shipped with many promised US
    planes not included, particularly the TBF Avenger, a torpedo / tactical
    bomber flown by George H. Bush, although the game documentation did advise
    that space and time considerations meant that many planes were not included,
    but would be provided later in an update CD.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Jay Williams" <Voodoo141@buggeroffspammercox.net>
    Newsgroups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim
    Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2004 4:56 AM
    Subject: Re: 1C not allowed to add US planes?


    > This seems to have the most information
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/43hbr
    >
    > "Jay Williams" <Voodoo141@buggeroffspammercox.net> wrote in message
    > news:WVcxd.52605$Jk5.10686@lakeread01...
    >> Well, since the purchasers of Lockheed and Grumman products are
    >> governments, then I don't think the advertising is much of an option for
    >> them. On the otherhand, this is a way to get revenue.
    >>
    >> One point made in the pacific fighters forum was that presumably,
    >> licensing costs would reflect demand for the software. Therefore, a
    >> massive email campaign might be counter-productive, indicating massive
    >> demand and driving the licensing price up.
    >>
    >> Apparently Lockheed has demanded payment for use of not just it's
    >> copyrighted name, but also the image of all aircraft it produced, as well
    >> as that of any company ever purchased by them (which seems to include
    >> damn
    >> near every US WWII warbird manufacturer, including grumman, etc.)
    >> Apparently the publisher paid it (so the licensing problems should be
    >> solved) but 1C is apparently balking and threatening to release updates
    >> (which would include the fabled "missing 3rd Disk patch") only in non-US
    >> markets. It's a real Charlie Foxtrot, made worse by all the speculation
    >> and the fact that Oleg's english skills (while certainly better than my
    >> russian) leave his messages open to varying interpretations. I'd suggest
    >> everyone just calm down and see how all the parties (including UbiSoft)
    >> work it out.
    >>
    >> There's also some speculation (none of the parties are talking much at
    >> the
    >> moment, so speculation is rampant) that the fuss is actually over no
    >> copyright / use notices on the PF box where the names of the
    >> manufacturers
    >> (all now owned by Lockheed) were mentioned but without the usual
    >> "Grumman,
    >> Lockheed, Republic-Fairchild, Chance-Voight, etc. are all trademarks of
    >> their respective, blah blah")
    >>
    >> There's even a Microsoft conspiracy theory, since some grand high muckety
    >> muck at Lockheed is on the board of directors at MS.
    >>
    >> It's got something for everyone...
    >> "Gonzo" <r_murphree@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:7AHwd.53442$2e.41380@fe2.texas.rr.com...
    >>> "FatKat" <robynari@juno.com> wrote in message
    >>> news:1103311471.648566.104510@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
    >>>> Specific to this thread, who's death are we talking about? Who's
    >>>> claiming copyright or trademark or any legal claim?
    >>>
    >>> Yeah, that's what I would like to know.
    >>> Maybe an email campaign might wake somebody up.
    >>> You would think that any airplane company in question would actually
    >>> WANT
    >>> their WWII products in any and every sim possible. Hell, they should be
    >>> paying 1C for that honor.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    "Hiawatha Bray" <watha@monitortan.com> wrote in message
    news:1109102253.073474.250600@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > Hello again. I pop in with a question from time to time. Here's my
    > latest.
    >
    > I've recently heard that concerns about copyright are preventing
    > software designers from including certain military aircraft in their
    > flight sims. People who make those add-on packs for Microsoft Flight
    > Simulator, I'm told, have been scared off the idea of doing models of
    > well-known fighters, bombers, transport planes and the like. They're
    > afraid of having to pay hefty royalties to the makers of these planes.
    >
    > Has anybody here ever heard of such a thing? If so, please contact me
    > ASAP with details. Thanks much.
    >
    > Hiawatha Bray
    > Technology Reporter
    > Boston Globe
    > 135 Morrissey Blvd.
    > P.O. Box 55819
    > Boston, MA 02205-5819 USA
    > 617-929-3119 voice
    > 617-929-3183 fax
    > bray@globe.com
    > watha@monitortan.com
    > Blog: www.monitortan.com
    > Recent writings: www.boston.com/business/technology/bray
    >
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    The release of Pacific Fighters in its original state was rushed and
    stupid. The "oh yeah well we didn't have enough monies for 3CDs so we
    only shipped with 2 CDs and you get the rest later" was retarded. The
    way that Oleg pretty much washed his hands of the sim three months
    after it was released was shameful. As for the whole licensing issue,
    well, I think it's a smoke-screen for a developer who really doesn't
    have any interest about anything that didn't happen over Momma Russia.
    I'm looking WAY more forward to the BDG/Shockwave's remake of Rowan's
    BoB than anything Oleg is putting out in the future.

    --scharmers
    --thread derail, thank you
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 17:19:03 -0600, "Jay Williams"
    <Voodoo141@buggeroffspammercox.net> wrote:

    >This and the attached link should answer most of your questions.
    >
    >The problem is genuine, but not with MSFS as far as I know, rather with
    >UbiSoft, or more particularly the developer 1C - a russian company which
    >developed IL2 Sturmovik and Pacific Fighters. Although UbiSoft (the
    >publisher) came to their rescue and paid the licensing fees for them, Oleg
    >Maddox (the CEO of 1C) is now gunshy and reluctant to include any more US
    >planes. To ad insult to injury, the game shipped with many promised US
    >planes not included, particularly the TBF Avenger, a torpedo / tactical
    >bomber flown by George H. Bush, although the game documentation did advise
    >that space and time considerations meant that many planes were not included,
    >but would be provided later in an update CD.

    Well, if Ubi paid the licensing fee then WTF is Olegs problem? Give us
    the damned promised planes - pronto.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    H iHiawatha:

    On 22 Feb 2005 11:57:33 -0800, "Hiawatha Bray" <watha@monitortan.com>
    wrote:

    >Hello again. I pop in with a question from time to time. Here's my
    >latest.
    >
    >I've recently heard that concerns about copyright are preventing
    >software designers from including certain military aircraft in their
    >flight sims. People who make those add-on packs for Microsoft Flight
    >Simulator, I'm told, have been scared off the idea of doing models of
    >well-known fighters, bombers, transport planes and the like. They're
    >afraid of having to pay hefty royalties to the makers of these planes.
    >
    >Has anybody here ever heard of such a thing? If so, please contact me
    >ASAP with details. Thanks much.

    That's not quite right... the issue is not with flight-sim, but with
    scale models of the actual aircraft in question.

    Here's the article in question:

    Posted on Sun, Feb. 20, 2005

    Model-making firms object to defense royalties

    TONY GNOFFO

    Associated Press

    PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Michael Bass fought this battle before -
    and lost.

    In 1990, Bass, who imports and distributes products for hobby shops,
    took on the Big Three U.S. automakers.

    Now the South Jersey businessman is taking on a chunk of the
    military-industrial complex - including Lockheed Martin Corp. and
    Boeing Co.

    The issue is similar: Should companies that make models of military
    aircraft pay royalties to defense contractors for the use of their
    creations?

    Or, should the model aircraft be exempt from such royalties because
    U.S. taxpayers funded the development of the real things?

    Bass' 1990 effort to stop automakers from claiming such royalties
    fizzled, largely by default. Fearing lawsuits from the likes of
    General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the model-makers gave in, and
    started coughing up fees of 5 percent to 10 percent of their wholesale
    prices.

    That opened a floodgate of successful royalty claims, according to
    Bass and other members of the International Model Manufacturers
    Association. Now, makers of almost all model trains, planes and
    automobiles pay royalties to the makers of the actual vehicles.

    But the model-makers still did not pay royalties on their replicas of
    U.S. military aircraft. Those models were not specifically excluded;
    the aircraft manufacturers just did not ask for the royalties.

    Now, they are asking.

    Bass' company, Stevens International in the Magnolia section of
    Pemberton Township, is not a manufacturer, so it would not pay the
    royalties directly. But manufacturers would likely pass the costs on
    to Bass, and he would pass them on to his customers. And the retailers
    would pass them on to consumers.

    That is an ugly chain of events for an industry that has suffered from
    an abundance of competition for Americans' leisure-time activities.

    "The industry is under a lot of pressure," said Ed Sexton, vice
    president of product development at model manufacturer Revell-Monogram
    of Northbrook, Ill. "We compete ... with video games, TV, the Internet
    - however people can spend their leisure time."

    With each new generation, he said, there is less interest among young
    people in activities that require sustained attention. The average
    model builder these days is a 45-year-old male, said Bob Hayden,
    executive director of the model manufacturers association.

    "There are very few kids I know out there who ... can really do
    intricate detail work," Hayden said. "It doesn't come naturally; it
    takes practice, and it takes time."

    The royalty demands do not always come from defense manufacturers, he
    said. Often, the claims are pressed by third-party licensing agencies
    that take a cut of the fees they collect on the behalf of trademark
    owners.

    Among the more aggressive of them, people in the model business said,
    is a San Diego firm called Equity Management Inc. Company executives
    declined to be interviewed. Inside his jam-packed, 40,000-square-foot
    warehouse on the White Horse Pike last week, Bass said the model
    industry had been on the wrong end of a power shift.

    "When my father started in this business 40 years ago, these companies
    were saying, 'Please, make a model of my airplane.' Now things are a
    little tougher for them, and they're going after these little
    companies."

    A Boeing spokesman said the firm was merely trying to protect its
    interests, and consumers.

    "We want to ensure that accurate, high-quality representations are
    provided to the public so that Boeing's reputation for precision and
    quality are maintained," said spokesman David J. Phillips. "While we
    do charge a small royalty fee, it is only to offset the administrative
    costs of these licensing activities, not to make a profit."

    No lawsuits have been filed, but the model-makers fear that if they do
    not pay, they will be crushed by the defense contractors' legal
    horsepower.

    So instead of going to court, Bass, a member of the manufacturers
    association's board, has taken the case to the public and to his
    congressman, Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J.

    "We hope to get Congress to make a law or regulation, or that by
    letting the sunshine in ... the Department of Defense and the
    manufacturers would see the light," Hayden said.

    A spokesman said Andrews promised to ask Secretary of Defense Donald
    Rumsfeld for a clarification on the question of who owns the rights to
    the images of the planes - the manufacturers or the government. But
    according to several legal scholars and Boeing, it will not be
    necessary to distract Rumsfeld from more pressing matters to answer
    that question. Courts and statutes clearly establish that contractors
    can retain intellectual-property rights to the ideas and products they
    develop for the government, said Doris Long, professor of intellectual
    property and Internet law at John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

    Still, said Long and other legal scholars, the claims must adhere to
    trademark laws that apply to everyone else. And while anything can
    happen in a court of law, they said, the model manufacturers might
    have a stronger argument at their disposal than the one they are
    using.

    Claims of trademark protection on product design come under an area of
    law called "trade dress," Long explained.

    To prove it had trade-dress protection, a manufacturer such as Boeing
    would have to show that there is some distinctive and nonfunctional
    element of the aircraft design that makes it clear it is Boeing's
    product.

    "A good example of that is the grille of a Rolls-Royce," said Roger
    Schechter, a law professor at George Washington University.

    Because there is no Boeing grille on military aircraft, it would be
    hard for the firm to establish trade-dress rights, the professors
    said. Model-makers generally do not put aircraft manufacturer's names
    or logos on their products, or on the packaging, Bass said. It's
    largely because those names and logos are not present or prominent on
    the real aircraft, he said.

    Long said Boeing would be in an awkward position if it had to prove
    trade dress, because the aircraft are supposed to be purely
    functional. The company would have to "prove that the design has some
    nonfunctional element that says, 'This is my brand.'"

    Even then, Schechter said, aircraft manufacturers might have their
    work cut out for them.

    "Assuming I have trade-dress protection," he said, "I'd have to prove
    .... that people who buy the models think that they are buying models
    made by Boeing or Lockheed.

    "I don't think people are likely to think that a big company like that
    is branching out into the model-making business."

    ***

    "If you find this information useful... please consider making a
    donation to our website operating fund"?

    Tom G, Sr.

    >Hiawatha Bray
    >Technology Reporter
    >Boston Globe
    >135 Morrissey Blvd.
    >P.O. Box 55819
    >Boston, MA 02205-5819 USA
    >617-929-3119 voice
    >617-929-3183 fax
    >bray@globe.com
    >watha@monitortan.com
    >Blog: www.monitortan.com
    >Recent writings: www.boston.com/business/technology/bray
    >

    _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    Actually, it's with flight sims too. There has been a great deal of talk on
    the Il2 forums that they will not be able to do new flight models of most US
    aircraft due to copyright or patent law, because Lockheed Martin owns the
    copyrights on the designs of most of these planes (Lockheed having bought up
    most of the relevant rival aircraft companies over the years) and is
    demanding some kind of payment.

    Ubisoft has been saying they may not be putting out any more new flight
    models because of this problem.

    DB
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    scharmers@hotmail.com wrote:
    > The release of Pacific Fighters in its original state was rushed and
    > stupid. The "oh yeah well we didn't have enough monies for 3CDs so we
    > only shipped with 2 CDs and you get the rest later" was retarded. The
    > way that Oleg pretty much washed his hands of the sim three months
    > after it was released was shameful. As for the whole licensing issue,
    > well, I think it's a smoke-screen for a developer who really doesn't
    > have any interest about anything that didn't happen over Momma Russia.
    > I'm looking WAY more forward to the BDG/Shockwave's remake of Rowan's
    > BoB than anything Oleg is putting out in the future.
    >
    > --scharmers
    > --thread derail, thank you


    Sharmers,

    How do you see Oleg washing his hand of the sim? Just curious, it appears to
    me he is still working on making it better, through patches and some add ons
    anyway. I think he is also working on a large patch to include more.
    Granted, most of the team is focusing on BOB now.

    Well, gotta fly to Mexico tomorrow for business the rest of the week, don't
    get back till late Saturday evening.

    Have a good rest of the week all,


    --
    Don Burnette

    "When you decide something is impossible to do, try to stay out of the
    way of the man that's doing it."
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    I remember a huge bruhaha between I-magic, Novalogic, and the government
    back in the mid 90's too, when both companies were trying to release F-22
    branded sims at or near the same time. Novalogic won the F-22 rights I
    believe, and I-magic had to call theirs somethign like iF-22....


    "Hiawatha Bray" <watha@monitortan.com> wrote in message
    news:1109102253.073474.250600@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > Hello again. I pop in with a question from time to time. Here's my
    > latest.
    >
    > I've recently heard that concerns about copyright are preventing
    > software designers from including certain military aircraft in their
    > flight sims. People who make those add-on packs for Microsoft Flight
    > Simulator, I'm told, have been scared off the idea of doing models of
    > well-known fighters, bombers, transport planes and the like. They're
    > afraid of having to pay hefty royalties to the makers of these planes.
    >
    > Has anybody here ever heard of such a thing? If so, please contact me
    > ASAP with details. Thanks much.
    >
    > Hiawatha Bray
    > Technology Reporter
    > Boston Globe
    > 135 Morrissey Blvd.
    > P.O. Box 55819
    > Boston, MA 02205-5819 USA
    > 617-929-3119 voice
    > 617-929-3183 fax
    > bray@globe.com
    > watha@monitortan.com
    > Blog: www.monitortan.com
    > Recent writings: www.boston.com/business/technology/bray
    >
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    This is a really complex topic, both factually and legally. There is
    enormous discussion along the lines of what you have heard. Just Google
    groups for copyright and Northrup to get started with the chatter. For
    real facts, you'll have to contact game developers and intellectual
    property attorneys; the rest is pretty much speculation.

    My own take on it is that it is a successful bluff by the manufacturers
    of items for which they seek royalties, and that they have not even a
    dream of a legal leg to stand on. The beauty of copyright law is that it
    is limited to protecting actual copies, or things so closely identical
    to the original that they seem in the eyes of consumers to be copies.
    Drawings in a computer program don't come anywhere near that standard,
    since drawings don't really fly, but check it out for yourself with the
    actual principals, who are the only reliable sources with factual
    information and first-hand knowledge.

    -Seadog

    Hiawatha Bray wrote:
    > Hello again. I pop in with a question from time to time. Here's my
    > latest.
    >
    > I've recently heard that concerns about copyright are preventing
    > software designers from including certain military aircraft in their
    > flight sims. People who make those add-on packs for Microsoft Flight
    > Simulator, I'm told, have been scared off the idea of doing models of
    > well-known fighters, bombers, transport planes and the like. They're
    > afraid of having to pay hefty royalties to the makers of these planes.
    >
    > Has anybody here ever heard of such a thing? If so, please contact me
    > ASAP with details. Thanks much.
    >
    > Hiawatha Bray
    > Technology Reporter
    > Boston Globe
    > 135 Morrissey Blvd.
    > P.O. Box 55819
    > Boston, MA 02205-5819 USA
    > 617-929-3119 voice
    > 617-929-3183 fax
    > bray@globe.com
    > watha@monitortan.com
    > Blog: www.monitortan.com
    > Recent writings: www.boston.com/business/technology/bray
    >
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    Hiawatha Bray wrote:

    > Hello again. I pop in with a question from time to time. Here's my
    > latest.
    >
    > I've recently heard that concerns about copyright are preventing
    > software designers from including certain military aircraft in their
    > flight sims. People who make those add-on packs for Microsoft Flight
    > Simulator, I'm told, have been scared off the idea of doing models of
    > well-known fighters, bombers, transport planes and the like. They're
    > afraid of having to pay hefty royalties to the makers of these planes.
    >
    > Has anybody here ever heard of such a thing? If so, please contact me
    > ASAP with details. Thanks much.
    >
    > Hiawatha Bray
    > Technology Reporter
    > Boston Globe
    > 135 Morrissey Blvd.
    > P.O. Box 55819
    > Boston, MA 02205-5819 USA
    > 617-929-3119 voice
    > 617-929-3183 fax
    > bray@globe.com
    > watha@monitortan.com
    > Blog: www.monitortan.com
    > Recent writings: www.boston.com/business/technology/bray

    I have a suggestion for a future article if youre interested.

    Immersion Corp and its patents on Force Feedback (on all FF devices that
    connect to a PC) and its impact on avg joe PC gamer. It always seemed so
    odd to me why FF has remained so stagnant of a technology for so long. Is
    this why we've been stuck with the same i-force2 technology for so long and
    nothing notable in the near future? MS isnt the only vulture in town ;)

    Mitch
    --
    Remove "nospam." to reply.
    SuSE 9.2 Pro KDE 3.3.2a
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim (More info?)

    On 22 Feb 2005 11:57:33 -0800, Hiawatha Bray <watha@monitortan.com> wrote:
    : Has anybody here ever heard of such a thing? If so, please contact me
    : ASAP with details. Thanks much.

    The posts responding to this question over the last few days jibe
    really well with the earlier discussions about it. If you write the
    story don't forget to come back and share the URL. From where I sit
    it seems to be fear mongering horseshit.
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