View Full Version : Materials submitted to Knife Edge Software

03-03-2008, 12:56 PM
I’m not a model creator. But, in my profession I do create things that I get credit for and that I am paid for. So, I understand that when things are taken without permission and/or payment it can be frustrating. The creators that we have here are very appreciated (with maybe a few immature exceptions). I don't think it's asking too much to recieve credit for those creations, or to recieve payment if those creations are used for commercial purposes.

I recently posted a reply to BladeScrapers “Keep it Clean” post in the General Discussion Forum for G4. In that reply I pointed out one of the changes to the “new” Terms Of Use. A change that I am (to say the least) surprised that no one else, especially the model creators here, haven’t been complaining about.

It says: "Aircraft, flying sites, trim schemes, images, video, audio, etc., that are provided by users for the benefit of RealFlight owners are not endorsed or created by, or the responsibility of, Knife Edge Software or any of its affiliates. You download such materials at your own risk. All such materials submitted to Knife Edge Software, any affiliate or any Knife Edge Software web site, including, custom models, flying sites, trim schemes, images, video and audio, may be used in promotions or future versions of RealFlight software at the discretion of Knife Edge Software and its affiliates."

I have enjoyed many of the free models, color schemes and flying sites from the Swap Pages. I don’t want to see that end because KnifeEdge has decided to change their Terms of Use for this site .

But, that statement says that KnifeEdge and/or RealFlight (or Great Planes, Hobbico, etc.) can use anything that is uploaded to this website at their discretion. As I’ve said, I’m not a modeler. I know that it takes a lot to create those models, flying sites, color schemes ... it just seems a little unfair to me that KE can take all of your hard work and “at their discretion” decide to use it in the next Version, or Expansion Pack or ...

It only seems fair to ask KnifeEdge to remove what I've highlighted in their statement. Or, at least add that any user created material used by KE (or it's affiliates) will be compensated for.

03-03-2008, 01:16 PM
I find myself agreeing with you on this ( yet another ) "negative" item...

Permission should always be asked when something is used for promotion.

03-03-2008, 01:22 PM
At first, I was almost inclined to agree with you.

Then I thought more carefully about what the agreement actually says.

When you upload anything to this web site, you're already effectively giving people permission to use it. The only possible way you have of revoking this permission is to remove the file from the web site, and that won't stop the copies already in the wild from being used.

Anyone on the planet (isn't that amazing?) can log in here and download the models. In effect, every model on this web site is already included with the software by virtue of its being hosted here.

I'm not against authors receiving compensation. In fact, I'd hope that KE offers to pay anyone whose work they include in the product. If that's the case, then this clause is an escape hatch: it allows them to re-distribute a file even if the original author has disappeared.

All too often, I find a brilliant bit of work on the Internet that I can't re-use because I can't find the author. Sometimes it's a 3D model, a piece of artwork, or some program code. If the author can't be located, it can be impossible to use that component, and so I end up having to re-invent the wheel - for something that I'm giving away. If this escape hatch weren't in the ToS, then KE couldn't easily re-distribute works where they can't source the original author.

Having said that, I believe it's important to specify the use rights of anything that you create. By enumerating the next person's rights, you can at least give permission without someone having to track you down. I try to include these in anything I create:

1. Re-distribution: Yes/No/NC (giving away. NC means non-commercial, not for money.)
2. Derivatives: Yes/No/NC (Can you modify the work and give THAT away?)
3. Reciprocal: Yes/No (for source code. This means that if I give you source code, you have to give away any source code that you create while modifying it. GPL is Reciprocal, where BSD is not.)

I encourage everyone to list these 3 things in their files - especially if they include source (such as bundling the 3DS, PSD, or PSP or in the RFX file).

Regardless, What needs to be mandatory is that KE should e-mail all forum users if the ToS changes. It's not fair to change the TOS (and maybe not even legal) without notifying the end users in advance so that they can decide what license their products are released under. I don't remember receiving a ToS change notice, but it's possible I just forgot about it.

03-03-2008, 01:24 PM
I find myself agreeing with you on this ( yet another ) "negative" item...

Permission should always be asked when something is used for promotion.

At one point, I was tempted to call Law a forum troll, since 90% of what he says is negative. But I've changed my mind. Even when I don't agree with him, which is most of the time, I do think he has valid, intelligent opinions. It's not what he says, but how he says it, that makes me grind my teeth. :)

You, on the other hand, are both intelligent AND nice, so that even when you say something that I don't agree with, it's still palatable.

03-03-2008, 01:51 PM
are both intelligent AND nice,

Not on Monday morning! :D


Your point about including a usage warning is interesting.

It moves the onus to the web site maintainer, to either accept or reject submissions, as there is no guarantee that the uploaded item is in turn owned by the uploader.

RF could inadvertently use something, then disclaim any obligations.

In the grand scheme of things, I somewhat doubt any of this will ever be an issue.

KE usually asks whenever it is looking for a good image, etc. to be used in a promo or other item... e.g. the photo contest recently... and they typically require that only "stock" ( or items originating from KE ) be included...

From an enforcablity standpoint, if something was used without over permission, any company would be walking on thin ice and unlikely to expose themselves to this.

Law (?) raises a valid point in that permission should be asked though, and not implied by the upload. Leave it to him to find this stuff. :D

03-03-2008, 01:59 PM
The Terms of Use have stated this since the swap pages were released.

If that means you don't want to use the site then that is your option, but if you make the choice to visit the site and want to take advantage of the distribution and community we've facilitated then the terms of use apply.