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PMDG Releases Statement Regarding EULAs for P3D

pmdg eula p3d? lockheed

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#1 Tom Allensworth

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:52 PM

As reported on the front page this morning:

[imgleft]http://static.avsim....e6687a84c6e.gif[/imgleft]Rob Randazzo of PMDG, in response to AVSIM's query regarding their position on their End User License Agreements (EULAs) for their products and use within Lockheed's P3D, provided AVSIM the following statement; "PMDG’s position is that the EULA is an industry established process designed to clearly define any limitations of a customer’s rights to use the license that they have purchased. The limitations placed inside PMDG’s EULAs are reached after careful review with our corporate counsel and take into consideration such things as:
  • Microsoft’s EULA for FSX and/or FS2002.
  • Lockheed Martin’s EULA for Prepar3d.
  • Limitations as required by PMDG’s contract with Boeing.
  • Limitations as required by PMDG’s contracts with other licensors.
  • Limitations as required by PMDG’s agreements with contributing airlines, MROs and support centers.
  • Limitations as required by PMDG’s corporate liability insurer.
  • Limitations as required by PMDG’s business model.
Given the subtext of the discussion, I think your broader question is: “Why does PMDG specifically disallow use of our products on the Prepar3d platform?”

The decision to limit the EULA on PMDG’s products to prevent their use in Prepar3d has everything to do with our contract with Boeing, our insurance carrier and our business model. In the context of the first two items, the decision involves the process of limiting PMDG’s liability in the face of legal action related to an accident outcome, or a violation of our contracts with the described parties who support the development of our products.

Those things can be changed however and I suspect that they will change once we have had a chance to adequately evaluate that outcome.

The third item is of larger concern to PMDG however as it relates to our basic concern to protect the investment our customers make in our products. We have not seen a commitment by Lockheed Martin to support the “casual simmer” beyond providing methods for users to obtain a license for Prepar3d through “wink and nudge” means. Lockheed Martin has been very careful not to enter the retail entertainment market with Prepar3d and has some very good reasons for not doing so. Without taking a step to enter the retail entertainment simulator market, Lockheed Martin has (in the opinion of PMDG and our counsel) left the door open so that they could, at any time change direction and enforce the terms of the EULA on Prepar3d thus requiring all Prepar3d users to prove compliance with their EULA. When this happens, the vast majority of simmers currently exploring Prepar3d as an alternative platform will be left without a valid license or usage rights because they do not meet the very limited band of allowable users as defined by the Lockheed Martin EULA. We prefer that our customers not be left having made an investment in a PMDG product only to lose the ability to use that product because they are using it on a platform for which they don’t have clear usage rights for Prepar3d.

This is a mess that we are hoping to see sorted out, but when we pointed this topic out, Lockheed Martin made it very clear that they were not interested in having a discussion with us regarding customer rights. If we are to market our products to the entertainment simulation community as being compatible with Prepar3d, I feel that PMDG has a responsibility to make sure users are not asked to compromise their integrity in order to use the product we sell them. Again, in the opinion of PMDG and our counsel’s office, we still see a number of avenues in which Lockheed Martin has itself painted into a corner from which it cannot clearly support the non-commercial/non-education consumer. When these very important questions are cleared up, we will be happy to provide our customers with the flexibility to use Prepar3d as a simming platform."

You can also see the comparision table of vendors and EULA's here.

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#2 kannwar

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:59 AM

I think this is a very good and honest statement from an awesome developer and I support their position, even if it is a pity that there is no immediate allowance for their products use in P3D. One of my reservations/concerns about adopting P3D is an about face by LM such as described above (after Flight I don't put any faith in the infalibility of any product's direction) and I would hate to be left in that position. I fervently hope as do they that we can see this little issue resolved in the future and P3D reach it's full potential as a next-generation sim.

#3 kannwar

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:00 AM

I use all my addons for entertainment in p3d as they are not certified for training, i don't own the ngx btw.

As long as you have the intent to learn to fly in the real world like me, ( i dont have the funds at the moment for my ppl ) then you should not run in to any issues with LM if you have the Academic version.

The funny thing is that people use fsx/fs9 and fsx/fs9 addons for flight training and no one cares.


Yea but sadly the law in this area is designed to impede progress with good intention, stifle creativity and generally hold back the human race from fulfilling it's potential so it won't necessarily be rational to the likes of you and I.

#4 alepro

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:01 AM

My feelings on the matter is that this is a catch 22 situation. As far as I understand matters MS has sold LM a license that prohibits LM selling P3D as an "entertainment" product. I'm guessing here, but I think it's not too much of a leap to say that MS was happy to get some cash from LM, while preventing them from competing with Flight! in said entertainment market.

Problem is MS is gone from flight simulation and I don't think their coming back. Now if MS were considerate of the user community that has developed around the FS series, or simply a little business savvy, they would either sell LM or someone else the codebase without a restrictive licence (such as the one LM holds now). I know for fact that Aerosoft has approached MS some time ago and offered to buy the FSX code base, but MS simply wasn't interested. Now this was pre-Flight! so maybe things have changed now, but I wouldn't be surprised if MS simply let FSX and Flight! die rather then selling.

So now PMDG say "no support without a different licence" and neither P3D or anyone else is likely to get such a license from MS.

That leaves us simmers at a bit of a cross roads. Without the likes on PMDG, but with the likes of ORBX some of us will head towards P3D while others will go the X-Plane route, but most might sit on FSX or even FS9 for years to come. This will fracture the scene in 2, maybe 3 camps (depending on how long P3D can evolve while being backward compatibale) and I fear that is not a good thing. I think we as a community are too small to sustain 3 or more platforms, and neither platform will be as attractive as what we are enjoying now with FSX, since the add-on market will be split between these simulators. Of course one can take the view that competition is good, and I agree to some extend, but the one possibility is that the scene will simply shrink or fracture, and with that the market for add-ons which will will in turn decrease the quantity/quality of add-ons and so on. Which would be bad for everyone, PMDG and their business model included.

A bit bleak maybe, but that is what I'm worried about. I'm glad to be proven wrong down the track, make no mistake.

My personal wish is that PMDG just let the users decide to take a risk, rather then making the decision for me. All I ask for is that PMDG test their product on P3D as well as on FSX and make them compatible if issues exist, so that I can decide which sim I use their product with. I understand that is extra work for them, but I also think it is in their interest to keep the scene as unified as it is today. I'm more then happy for PMDG to make me agree to their licence agreement that I may not use their product for training purposes, and I don't even need an installer for P3D, but I want to be able to use my NGX/777 747 v2 and so on on both sims please.
Cheers,
Alex

#5 mgh

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:37 AM

As long as you have the intent to learn to fly in the real world like me, ( i dont have the funds at the moment for my ppl ) then you should not run in to any issues with LM if you have the Academic version.


I suspect Lockheed Martin doesn't really care what private individuals do with P3D in the privacy of their own homes even though the individual EULAs are worth understanding properly.

The real problem, as PMDG point out, is that the current EULAs prohibit commercial development of add-ons for personal/consumer entertainment. This surely means that P3D add-ons won't develop in the same way as for FSX, so we are unlikely to see the breadth and width of add-ons now available for FSX.

Gerry Howard


#6 Fabo

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:39 AM

My personal wish is that PMDG just let the users decide to take a risk, rather then making the decision for me.


I understand that the current PMDG stance (well the unofficial one) is not dissimilar to the "nudge nudge wink wink" stance of Lockheed Martin - which in practice means that you might install the NGX in P3D if you know how, but dont expect us to help you if something breaks.

In regard of testing the products for P3D, I would not say that is financially feasible, unless a different, P3D based market exists for PMDG (commercial, certified and/or uncertified simulators perhaps?). Testing for P3D alongside FSX will bring cost, without any likely benefit, since PMDG can not sell P3D licenses as a way to support this endeavour, and is it extremely unlikely that sales of FSX version would rise.

BRGDS Peter

 

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#7 SpiritFlyer

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:43 PM

I understand that the current PMDG stance (well the unofficial one) is not dissimilar to the "nudge nudge wink wink" stance of Lockheed Martin - which in practice means that you might install the NGX in P3D if you know how, but dont expect us to help you if something breaks.


That "understanding" is a huge assumption that does not seem to be supported by either the facts or the EULA agreements for either product.

Kind regards,

Stephen


#8 Tom Allensworth

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:15 PM

As a result of the article and conversations that have taken place since, Rob Randazzo issued the following statement:

"As a result of AVSim’s interest in this story, Lockheed Martin and PMDG have re-engaged in a discussion that we hope will ultimately lead to some changes to benefit Prepar3d customers who wish to use PMDG’s products on the Prepar3d platform. Our goal is to be certain that PMDG customers are protected when they invest in a PMDG product, and from our conversation with Lockheed Martin today, it is clear that they share this concern as well. We hope to have more news on this topic late next week…"

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#9 Kosta

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:26 PM

I will only say that I find very interesting how things started to roll since one-two weeks...

#10 Tom Allensworth

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:30 PM

I will only say that I find very interesting how things started to roll since one-two weeks...


No Srdan. Things have been "rolling" for quite a while before that. You were told that things were happening. Too bad you weren't paying too much attention.

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#11 Kosta

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:40 PM

Too bad you weren't paying too much attention.


Tom, I was honestly trying to follow. Just after 1.4 I saw couple of things - quite more users jumping in, a license allowance list on AVSIM, now the official statement from PMDG they will try, even more products now that support P3D (officially), the migrator... ORBX was one of the first companies who were there from the beginning, FSDT following not much later.

To me, it sure looks like the 1.4 brought things well more together.

I'm just very sad that we got up on such a wrong foot over this, that it brought us where we are now (me). If this thing waited for like 2 weeks, it would have probably played out quite differently.

#12 Tom Allensworth

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:45 PM

If this thing waited for like 2 weeks, it would have probably played out quite differently.


If you had waited two weeks, it certainly would have.

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#13 Kosta

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:06 PM

If you had waited two weeks, it certainly would have.

Well, I for one am sorry that it played out like that.

#14 Ben Cap

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:09 PM

I will only say that I find very interesting how things started to roll since one-two weeks...


I totally agree...

#15 Swofford

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:11 PM

I don't know what all the above is but hearing PMDG is trying to work something out with LM is exciting. I'm waiting to see what happens I guess before jumping over.
Randy Swofford





   
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