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  • September 2019 Email Exchanges

    All respective parties were always CCed on every email so anything said was guaranteed to be seen by both Almik and myself.

    Here is the email I sent that started this whole relationship:

    Quote

    Name:  Andrew Heath
    Email:  [REDACTED EMAIL ADDRESS]

    Message:
    Hello,

    I am the owner and founder of a new online network called POSCON. We are interested in supporting the X-CSL model package on our network. My understanding is that you are only available for the IVAO network, is this correct? If so, is this by design, or are you also okay supporting other online networks? If you are okay with us using the package, are you also okay with us distributing it via our launcher/loader software?

    More information can be found out about us at
    https://www.poscon.net

    Our X-Plane client is fully functional at this time; however, it currently is only using BlueBell, but we would like to expand the model package as I have mentioned.

    Thanks for your time and consideration,
    Andrew Heath

    I received the following response from Aleksandr Mikitas, founder of X-CSL:

    Quote

    Hello Andrew,
    Sorry for reply delay.
    I'm not opposed to using the X-CSL to other software or network. But I'm not sure is possible for technical issues.
    X-CSL Team are software contributors for current IVAO's multiplayer client. And we created our X-CSL library for this software. The current IVAO's client is not a standard multiplayer software for XP. When creating, we had to solving of compatibility issue for a similar multiplayer traffic library for MSFS, FSX, P3D in IVAO and some other tasks. So there are some other plugin's functions and other CSL worked algorithm.
    At Bluebell and similar: for each livery have a one object of model. At X-CSL: one object - many liveries. A new object for online traffic is created on the fly as a copy of the base object, but with a changed command for liveries. After the end of the work, the created object is killed.
    Yes, this has become incompatible with standard multiplayer software. But we got a solutions to our tasks for our network. And we got several advantage parameters for high-quality service and predictable uniform behavior of multiplayer traffic for all users in IVAO on any simulator.
    At the same time, you probably know, that the X-CSL has its own Updater for easy installation and,  as most importantly, for regular maintenance and updates. I don’t know how to distribute a static set for our сonstantly changing packages of models and liveries. Although, I know that the author of LiveTraffic are converting our models into a compatible own library for his plugin. You can read it here -https://twinfan.gitbook.io/livetraffic/setup/installation/csl2xsb

    So, if you have any question or opinions, I'm ready for discussion )

    Regards,
    Aleksandr Mikitas

    My response to that:

    Quote

    Hi Almik,

    Sorry for the delay in my response, your email didn't come through initially. [X-CSL DEVELOPER] was nice enough to forward me your email so I could respond.
     
    We are willing to adapt your format for our plugin, but we need some sort of authoring guide so we know exactly what is happening with your models. I have included [POSCON DEVELOPER] in this email chain so he can discuss development specifics with you. He is the person responsible for our multiplayer plugin.
     
    In regards to the updater - if there is a way we can download static a copy of your model set every so often and then serve the models through our CDN, that would be ideal I think.
     
    Let me know what you think and [X-CSL DEVELOPER], feel free to join the conversation with any questions you need to be answered here.
     
    Andrew J. Heath
    Owner & Founder
    Positive Control LLC

    Here is a response from POSCON's developer:

    Quote

    Almik,

    When I created the POSCON X-Plane client I also did not use the multiplayer library directly as we needed to add some enhancements that were not currently supported. It is fairly easy for us to adopt your format which is much more maintainable with a master OBJ per aircraft type with multiple textures for the airlines / liveries . That said, I would like to see any documentation / authoring guides. I think I can reverse engineer it by simply looking at the xsb_aircraft.txt files and the OBJ files but a guide would make sure I did not miss anything.

    POSCON will also have an installer that maintains the client and models automatically. I retrieved a copy of the current model set by installing the IVAO X-Plane plugin and running the X-CSL updater. We could just do this periodically and maintain our own copy but if you were open to the idea our installer could possibly retrieve the set from your server. I also think we will have a community of people that may help create models in this common format. The degree of joint collaboration on a common model set is something possibly you and Andrew can discuss.

    For now, any documentation you can provide on guidelines for the authoring the packages would be very helpful.

    Thanks
    [POSCON DEVELOPER]

    Response from an X-CSL senior developer (this is the email that POSCON assumed permission was granted):

    Quote

    Hi Friends.

    My name is [X-CSL DEVELOPER] and I'm a guy who programmed the X-CSL-Updater. Alexander (ALMIK) asked me to answer your questions, sorry for the delay, I'm very busy recent time.
    First of all thank you for your interest for our X-CSL-Package!

    About documentation and how our package work.

    I don't think we will have time to create any docs in the near feature, but I believe that the existing info and info I will try to give you in this letter will help you.

    [UNRELATED TECHNICAL TEXT DELETED]

    About retrieving the package from our server. It is not a problem. The package is just accessible through http from our site.

    The only thing we ask at the moment, please make sure that your users will know about the models are provided and maintained by our X-CSL-Package Project.

    So, I hope I've give you enough info and you will be able to use our package. If you have any addition questions during your work, please ask, can't say I will answer fast, but I will try.

    My response:

    Quote

    [X-CSL DEVELOPER],

    Thank you very much for your very detailed email! We very much appreciate your help on this!
     
    We will give the X-CSL-Package Project the proper credit, I assure you of that.
     
    Thanks again!
     
    Andrew J. Heath
    Owner & Founder
    Positive Control LLC

     

    January 2022 Email Exchanges

    Fast forward to present day. I received the following email from Aleksandr Mikitas:

    Quote

    Hello Dear Andrew and POSCON team,
    I'm Almik, the auhtor of the X-CSL library. You once contacted me some years ago at the beginning development of POSCON. First, I congratulations POSCON team to start of public operational. I wish you success and prosperity.

    Perhaps you have information about the X-CSL, but let me say a bit about. We have a website with list of our packages, liveries, and where users can download our the X-CSL-Updater (Installer). We do our best to make installation, updating of models will simple action by few clicks. X-CSL have more than 200 models and more than 5000 liveries. All models included in library with permission of authors, or sent for us by authors themselves, or this is our own models (this is 95% of all models). We have give library absolutely freely to everyone for many years.
    You can read on our website that X-CSL is for IVAO. Yes, it is our public notice about limits and compatible. IVAO is our network, our long-term cooperation (since 2008), our joint development of pilot clients. At the same time, we NEVER did not sets any limits to use X-CSL outside IVAO. For this freedom will always have "Menu->Set Custom Path" in our X-CSL-Updater, and we also don't plan use files encrypt. We know where and how users are using X-CSL in other projects and networks. I want to note that no one project or network has ever asked permission to use X-CSL. But we never weren't expecting these requests, because the X-CSL is library for each X-Plane user, but not for a specific project or network. Unfortunately, sometimes I see cases of thoughtless, and even destructive mixing X-CSL with other libraries in various custom packs.
    In fact, quality and optimization of X-CSL models is higher than in other libraries. Each our model is a our free time, effort and even money to give the best results for all XP users as free. This is the main point of my responsibility to users. And this is my main concern when I see that our models mixing with others libraries/packages/builds.

    I can see the POSCON pilot client for X-Plane have installs the some CSL pack. After investigating I found many X-CSL files or it renamed copies there. So I request POSCON to remove all X-CSL files from your installation since POSCON have not permission to distribute X-CSL's  files. List of these files I attached.

    Andrew, I'm sure that you did not want do it. I think this pack may was taken from somewhere third source. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to track all cases of misuse of X-CSL models in custom builds.  But any case POSCON distributing X-CSL files without permission.  BTW even looks somewhat strange that POSCON members will use B748 livery that released for the IVAO 20th Anniversary -)).

    In my opinion, due POSCON client for XP natively incompatible with X-CSL library and do not have own models libraries I think is more correct to give X-Plane users the ability themself to install any (or recommended by POSCON) libraries.

    Please give me feedback when my request is done. Thanks!

    Wish you all the best in 2022!

    Regards,
    Almik

    My response to Almik:

    Quote
    Almik,
     
    I received your email and I immediately reached out to [X-CSL DEVELOPER] regarding this issue. If you recall, you referred us to [X-CSL DEVELOPER] two years ago (see attached email thread) and POSCON went back and forth with him regarding the use of the X-CSL models. [X-CSL DEVELOPER] told us to give X-CSL acknowledgement (https://forums.poscon.net/docs/support/manuals/acknowledgements/) and then POSCON could move forward with including these models in our software. POSCON does not charge money for our software, we provide the software and the service free of charge to all users. If we remove these models now, it only hurts the user by making it more challenging to get set up. I feel like this happens too often within the flight simulation community (AIG and FLAi) - we should be working towards the betterment of the hobby for the users. I feel like because POSCON is a new network and we are out of beta, IVAO is now taking issue with the use of these models. If we were charging for our software, I could understand your concern, but we are not.
     
    Let me reiterate that POSCON was operating under the impression that we had permission to use these models from [X-CSL DEVELOPER]. I have asked [X-CSL DEVELOPER] to consult with you regarding the issue and hopefully we can come to a suitable resolution. I would like to find a way that POSCON can keep these models in our library and continue to distribute. Is there any agreement we can reach so that POSCON can distribute these models to our users? Do you want us to make it clearer that X-CSL and IVAO have contributed to our model set? We can do that without issue.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Andrew J. Heath
    President, POSCON Inc.
    Managing Member, Positive Control LLC

    Almik's response:

    Quote

    Hello Andrew! Thanks for reply. I've talked with our team, so they in copy.

    English is not my native language, but it seems to me that I understood our correspondence with you, [DEVELOPERS] correctly. Let me explain my understanding.
    You, as the founder of the POSCON project, contacted me, as the founder of the X-CSL-Package, with questions regarding interested in supporting X-CSL models in your project. Remark: at that time, for me POSCON was not a fully completed project and did not public operation. So, in my reply, I said that I'm "not opposed to using the X-CSL in other software or network, but I'm not sure is possible for technical issues". In the same reply, I explained a few technical details why this is not possible from my point of view.
    Then you connected to the correspondence [POSCON DEVELOPER] as a technical staff responsible for the multiplayer client in your project. He gave some information regarding technical limitations described in my reply. Then I asked [X-CSL DEVELOPER], as a technical staff from our side, to give some information to [POSCON DEVELOPER], so that could have knowledge of how our models work with our multiplayer client. And here let me note important stuff.

    Quote:

    My name is [X-CSL DEVELOPER] and I'm a guy who programmed the X-CSL-Updater.

    It is quite obvious that [X-CSL DEVELOPER] is a technical specialist, the same as [POSCON DEVELOPER] in your project. [X-CSL DEVELOPER] provided [POSCON DEVELOPER] a lot of additional technical information at my request.  Please note that we had connected two technical member for discuss about technical aspects. But these two members are not the ones who can approve final permission. Also, in my opinion, you misinterpreted [X-CSL DEVELOPER]'s phrase:

    Quote:

    So, I hope I've given you enough info and you will be able to use our package.

    I don't see here direct permission for POSCON to use X-CSL models. Only expressed the hope that now when you have a lot of information, "you will be able to use" (but not "you can to use"). Otherwise, if I had seen in [X-CSL DEVELOPER]'s words any permission, I would immediately joined the discussion. It is also obvious that [X-CSL DEVELOPER] (as well as [POSCON DEVELOPER] probably) could not personally, on behalf of the X-CSL team, provided any permissions. I think you can't disagree.

    So Andrew, You and Me ended our correspondence only at the stage of consultations between our technical staff and no more. I sincerely hoped that POSCON at next steps would resolve all technical issues regarding X-CSL and you with me will continue to discuss about final conditions for use X-CSL. But unfortunately, you went silent for the next 2 years. After years of silence, I get information that POSCON have started public operation and discover there are distributing X-CSL files, some unknown for me copies of X-CSL files, and these files are mixed in one set with models of other libraries. But let me note, we have not defined the terms of use X-CSL. In the correspondence, you did not talk about distribute copies of X-CSL files unknown to me, and not about you would mix X-CSL files with files from other libraries. Maybe for you these questions  did not seem important for discussion two years ago, but for me it has always been important. Especially now. You know that our network is IVAO. The X-CSL is project for IVAO. We are still working for IVAO in our main goals. And in 2 years there have been a lot of changes.

    Quote:

    I feel like because POSCON is a new network and we are out of beta, IVAO is now taking issue with the use of these models.

    These are just your feelings, and have no basis. In fact, the IVAO does not even know yet that you are distributing the X-CSL. Otherwise, you would have received an official request from IVAO and not from me.

    The X-CSL now has more amount of copyrighted files. IVAO is a legally registered NPO has officially received the rights and permissions to these files. Thus, the IVAO have legal responsibility under European law for the use of copyrighted materials. I'm staff of IVAO and have signed official agreements with this NPO. So I can't transfer rights and permissions of copyrighted materials outside of IVAO. So when you distribute X-CSL files outside of IVAO, a situation is created where I violate signed agreements and can be law responsible for these violations. For this reason, I can't give you any permissions or rights to use X-CSL files for distribution in your software.

    Quote:

    If we remove these models now, it only hurts the user by making it more challenging to get set up. I feel like this happens too often within the flight simulation community (AIG and FLAi) - we should be working towards the betterment of the hobby for the users.

    Seems to me, here you have reduce community to the boundaries of your network. The flightsim community is bigger than these borders. Tens of thousands of IVAO members (this is also a flightsim community) have no challenging installing and updating libraries of online models for all sims. Other thousands of members of the other community don't do much more to use the X-CSL. I'm sad that AIG or FLAi projects died and it disappointment for you. You can agree with me that initially you can't hope on a long life stuff that you do not control yourself. AIG and FLAi is ones of many diesd projects and is not an argument for me. Because X-CSL has been working for the flight simulation community for more than 12 years and not die yet. We does everything in our modest capabilities and resources to give the best to tens thousands of community members. Excuse me, aren't you given the same opportunity to do the same for your members? Are there any obstacles to creating your own (new and modern) model library, instead of using outdated, not always working correctly models. In any case, you are not in the desert now. More others packages live on flightsim community. You can even take control of the BB library into your own hands. Gather all contributors of this library into the community and use their forces and increase the library with new models and liveries. (p.s. But you have to be ready, there is a may chance, that your software will be use by Vatsim members just to get the BB library only).

    Perhaps your point of view does not coincide with mine by correspondence two years ago. I explained why and how I feel it and explained the reasons for my request. I'm sure that two years ago we could have found some joint ways and given your members a little more convenience.

    To summarize: my request remains valid. You have a list of X-CSL files does exclude for distributing. I have described all the reasons above. Please let me know when my request are done so that I can't worry about my obligations.

    Good luck to you, to your team and all POSCON members!

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