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Thread: The file library

  1. #81
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    Look at it this way... Microsoft has had 20 years to be a bully about the included content and any abuse. I hear crickets...
    http://www.railsimstuff.com
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    formerly The Keystone Works (All Permissions Granted)
    In IRC at freenode #msts

  2. #82
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    I agree with Paul and Pete. Microsoft moved on long ago, particularly after ACES studio was disbanded and all attempts at MSTS 2 ended.

    In the early days, "installme.bat" files were scrupulously used in routes to copy MSTS assets into freeware routes, and cab aliasing was a thing to map MSTS cabs into freeware locomotives. But over the years, MSTS assets have crept in as included files in freeware because often it just works. The MSTS stuff is old and subpar by today's standards anyway. Most content creators, even in freeware, have moved on to better objects and textures wherever possible.

    If Microsoft ever cares about trainsim content again, it will only happen if they decide to build something on top of the new MS Flight Simulator.

    Also, licensing and ownership of MSTS is probably now so convoluted due to multiple overlapping licenses and distribution agreements of the old software that it's probably gotten to the point that no one wants to bother sorting it any longer. Not for software that's essentially so obsolete it won't run on modern Windows without very specific configurations and graphics hardware.

    Better not to worry about old MSTS assets and concentrate on supporting the community's newer, better output by treating today's creators with respect.

    Everybody has to start somewhere. Somebody copy-pasting a few MSTS assets into a so-so freeware item today may be learning and on their way to building better original things tomorrow. In particular, the Indian community is still getting off the ground compared to what's come and gone in the rest of the MSTS world. We'll keep seeing better and more interesting things in good time.


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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by muskokaandtahoe View Post
    I suspect I do not agree but on the chance I am misunderstanding your meaning, could you elaborate / provide some evidence?
    People vote with their feet. The level of trainsim.com discussions and file library activity is the evidence, clear to see. ORTS has a loyal but much smaller following than MSTS had in pre-ORTS days.
    - FTLDave

    "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." - Wernher von Braun


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  4. #84
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    This was probably discussed way back when trainsim was started, but a little historical reference might be useful for newer members. I suspect relevant language in the MSTS EULA files might include:

    From the MSTS EULA:
    4.COPYRIGHT. All title and copyrights in and to the SOFTWARE PRODUCT (including but not limited to any images, photographs, animations, video, audio, music, text, and “applets” incorporated into the SOFTWARE PRODUCT), the accompanying printed materials, and any copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT are owned by Microsoft or its suppliers. All title and intellectual property rights in and to the content which may be accessed through use of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT is the property of the respective content owner and may be protected by applicable copyright or other intellectual property laws and treaties. This EULA grants you no rights to use such content. If this SOFTWARE PRODUCT contains documentation which is provided only in electronic form, you may print one copy of such electronic documentation. You may not copy the printed materials accompanying the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
    From the Editors and Tools EULA:
    1. GRANT OF LICENSE. This EULA grants you the following rights:
    • Installation and Use. You may install and use a copy of the Editor Software.
    • Personal Use: Subject to the following, you may use the Editors to modify the Train Simulator Content provided that your use of the Train Simulator Content is limited to personal, non-commercial use on your home computer. You may share the modified Train Simulator Content with family or friends but you may not sell or otherwise distribute the modified Train Simulator Content in exchange for monetary or other value or in any commercial manner.
    • Commercial Use. You may use the Editors to modify and add functionality to Original Content, provided the Original Content is not derivative of the Train Simulator Content or other materials found in the Editor Software or Train Simulator. You may use and/or distribute the Original Content for both personal and/or commercial purposes.
    • Whether for Personal Use or Commercial Use, you are not granted any rights to distribute the trademarks, logos or train designs found in the Editor Software or Train Simulator, even in a modified form.
    "Suppliers" obviously would include Kuju, which wrote MSTS for Microsoft.

    Which explains some things, such as:

    • installme.bat files: where the route builder used MSTS route assets, the route could not include them in the distribution file. The route required that MSTS be owned and installed so the assets would be available, and copied them entirely after installation on the user's computer to avoid redistribution issues.
    • use of default trains for basic activities: since the user of a free route with an installme.bat file (using MSTS objects) presumably had MSTS installed, the route builder could count on at least the default trains existing. So no other downloads would be needed to run something on the route and look at it.
    • commercial routes: had to be independent of MSTS object and shape libraries.
    • sharing items: it's expressly allowed to share modified content "with family and friends" as long as it's all done for free.

    That last is the key that allows sharing FOR FREE in places like trainsim.

    The requirement that commercial products be entirely Original Content (not derivative of MSTS-supplied content), coincidentally, is why commercial routes all work (more or less) in Open Rails whether or not MSTS is installed, even very old ones.

    Finally, yes, MSTS licensing is muddled, due to it having been acquired by several different redistributors over the years. I expect that most of them refer back to the original MSTS EULAs in some way, though.

    PS: I claim fair use exemption for the short quotes above that are meant to provide basic information supporting my points.

    PPS: The copyright claim above is the reason why this is all still relevant. Copyright in the US (and in most other parts of the world that have signed on to various treaties on the subject) lasts for practical purposes forever (70 years is the shortest period I know of). Whether or not MS has made any effort to enforce it so far, they could at any time. Abandonware does not imply abandonment of ownership, just support. If train simulation were to become popular enough, MS could move back into the field, and people who didn't follow the (really quite permissive) rules could have problems. That's hardly likely, but if they're developing a new version of Flight Sim at this point in time anything's possible.
    Last edited by mikeebb; 10-31-2019 at 12:06 PM. Reason: PS's added.

  5. #85
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    MS did relent on shapes so far as track was concerned having realised the architecture was so complex that certainly in the early days without someone updating standardised t-sections, it would have been a complete nightmare. However payware still had to supply its own third party track texture. Of course even back in the day, one or two commercial producers played a bit fast and loose with the EULA...

    In the unlikely event I produced a route for MSTS in the future, I would have no qualms about just zipping up everything required, default content included, within the installer. Kuju/MS own fault for their cumbersome file system, duplicating the same objects over several routes - instead of a common folder!
    Vern.

  6. #86
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    If I ever made a route, personally, I'd stick with the installme.bat method wrapped inside of a proper scriptable installer like NSIS. (I've used that for some cool deployment tricks at work.) It's possible to make it foolproof unless the user's own install is messed up.


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