Thanks Chris,

Your letter seems pretty fairly written.  What's emerging as my biggest concern with this guy is the number of people we are hearing from who haven't been able to get a refund without filing a complaint with their credit card company and going to extreme measures.  That makes the prosim 100% moneyback guarantee sound pretty flimsy ... not that a new person would know that.

So from my point of view:

- rebranding and selling flightgear: ok and within the terms of the GPL
- doing everything possible to hide the fact that it's flightgear: slimy
- proflightsim marketing tactics: extreme sliminess, pushing ethical boundaries
- not honoring your 100% money back guarantee and taking care of your customers: that could be downright illegal.

If this guy would take care of his customers, he wouldn't have to work so hard to find new ones. :-)

Thanks,

Curt.




On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 8:43 PM, Chris Wilkinson wrote:
To whom it may concern,
 
I note that you are hosting articles created by author Dan H Freeman. Please be aware that Mr Freeman appears to be running a scam. He says he is behind ProFlightSimulator, or software with variations on that name. The software can be purchased over the internet, and various claims are made as to it be being the most realistic simulator ever. In reality this software is nothing but a copy of open-source flight simulator FlightGear (fgfs), and an out-of-date verison of that at best. That fact is barely conceded or alluded to on his website.
 
Please also be aware that "Dan H Freeman" may be an alias. Previously the name "Charlie Taylor" was used on his website, but was recently removed after I linked that name back to a historical figure in aviation history, Charles E Taylor, the "3rd Wright Brother", whose work ensured the Wright Flyer was able to take to the air. It is my belief that other opensource softwares are being scammed by this same person or organization. A software named Celestia (an opensource astronomy software) has also been "copied", and the person mentioned on the website for that copy ("John Bayer") also relates to a historical figure in astronomy, Johann Bayer, who created the first complete celestial atlas hundreds of years ago. It is obvious that the names put forward for each software are taken from historical data related to each software, in an attempt to hide who the scammer really is.
 
FlightGear is released under the GPL v2, which allows some concessions to selling the software. However it is my belief, and the belief of a number of people within the FlightGear opensource community, that the conditions of the GPL v2 licence are not being followed completely with the sale and distribution of this software.
 
Hence I would like to request that you consider removing Mr Freemans articles from your website until such time as the validity of his enterprise is determined. However legal Mr Freemans enterprise may or may not be, his ethical and moral standing is without doubt very poor. There are a number of people who recently have attested to being ripped off by this man, so to prevent more people losing money to this scam please consider this request seriously.
 
Best regards,
 
Chris Wilkinson, Brisbane, Australia.
FlightGear community member.

 

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--
Curtis Olson:
http://www.atiak.com - http://aem.umn.edu/~uav/
http://www.flightgear.org - http://www.flightgear.org/blogs/category/curt/