On Sunday, August 28, 2011 07:43:47 AM Paul Guhl wrote:

> Hello all,


> i see the intention behind protecting models has been misunderstood.

> Lets clarify the issues: the modellers asked me to provide secured file

> format to prevent model theft and resell for benefit. They are willing

> to contribute to FG and don't plan to sell add-ons. Instead they would

> like to see their copyright enforced and not abused by others. AFAIK

> open source licenses in generall are about the programs and their code,

> not the conent people create with this software. I bet noone would ask

> companies using open office to disclose their documents or excel sheets

> ;). I also notice that MSFS enjoys greater attention by add-on creators.

> As for the protection realization: i think of an OSG format plugin

> supporting common OSG plugin conventions. The code won't be disclosed

> and only shipped in compiled form for dynamic linking against.


> Best Regards

> Paul

If you don't want your stuff to be open source then don't use an open source license. But that means that you will have to maintain your own repository(s) and download facilities. It is also possible to dual license things such as having an open source license for non-commerical uses and a restriced fee based license for commercial uses. Again I think this would prevent it from bing hosted by FlightGear. Also if you could use an obscured file format then your stuff is NOT open source no matter what else you do.

Security through obscurity never works and it surprises me that anyone thinks that it will but it appears that many do believe this. On the other hand if you license your stuff so that only certain uses are allowed any use outside of those that are allowed gives you the right to take legal action to prevent the missuse of your content. This has nothing to do with the format of the content (IE. readable or obscured).

The reason that MSFS has an active commerical addon community is because of the profit motive. IE. these folks are doing it because they expect to make money and I don't think this has much if anything to do with the model file format. On the other hand no one is expecting to make a profit doing FG add ons.

In addition, in FG much of the "model" are things beyond the 3D model. Althought the 3D model is important and a lot of work the bigger picture is that there is a huge amount of work involved in creating high quality FDMs and in doing things like animating the model and creating realistic systems (for example havng a realistic startup procedure). These non-3D parts of a model are at least as much work as doing the comparible quality 3D model part if not more. Of course this depends on the complexity of the aircraft being modeled and in some very simple aircraft the 3D model may be the single largest part of the effort but in complex aircraft it is not. All of the non-3D parts are in plain text (XML) and there is no way to obscure these without rewriting significant parts of FlightGear.

On the other hand I would like to see some additional 3D formats supported. But not because I want to hide my content but because of the extra functionality. For example with the OSG or Blender formats we would have the potential to use "bones" in our models and this would allow for additional animation flexibility. This would be very useful for animating things like pilots or wing warping (Wright flier).