• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

Gulfstream product licensing

First off, happy new year to all. Hopefully 2017 brings joy and prosperity to all of us around the world.

I was browsing through TurboSquid's model catalog the other day and stumbled across several Gulfstream jet models...modeled in full detail (from what I could tell) and without any name changes to protect copyrights. I've heard many stories over the years about amateur developers being threatened with legal action by Gulfstream for recreating their aircraft without official licensing and all that jazz. I even read one claim where General Dynamics ordered a cease and desist to someone's freeware G5 that had screenshots posted on this forum, and even threatened to pursue a patent violation case for modeling their "patented oval windows".

My question is, what aspect of Gulfstream's aircraft is so sensitive that they don't want some guy at his computer doodling up their airplanes in 3D? If none else, I would have thought that just their avionics were protected under layers of patents like some other corporations do.

It just makes me wonder how GD puts up with people actually SELLING full-accuracy models of theirs, while going after people who just want to create something and share it with the community. Thoughts?
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
"My father flew your simulated jet under the Golden Gate Bridge and then tried to do it in real life and died so I am suing you for false representation." Just like the railroad putting up no trespassing signs, just in case, it is cheaper to disavow any possible relationship to any questionable representation or remediation, rather than to have to go to the trouble to prove it in court.
 
It just makes me wonder how GD puts up with people actually SELLING full-accuracy models of theirs, while going after people who just want to create something and share it with the community. Thoughts?
It could be that the (non-flight sim) modelers you mentioned have paid a licensing fee to the manufacturers, and that they may be limited as to which versions of their products can be produced.

Many of the Flight Sim modelers nowadays are not modeling for freeware, so right off the bat the manufacturers don't want anyone making money off of the aircraft which cost them millions if not billions to develop over the years. My goodness, I wonder how many different aircraft designations there are for the Cessna Citation line by now? I lost track sometime in the 90's when I cancelled my subscription to Aviation Week.

It's really the same as someone modeling an aircraft of their own design for flight sim, you can't copy it without permission or license.

I like Rick's answer, zero tolerance is a good insurance policy for many issues.

Happy New Year
Gary
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
In the case of PMDG, they go to great lengths to satisfy Boeing's requirements as relates representation. Overall, the arrangement seems to have worked out quite well for both companies. I think in most cases, in regard to modeling and other replications, it is sufficient to posture a zero tolerance policy, which is easy enough to substantiate should any real legal issues emerge.
 
Oval windows are even patented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are nuts... They must be owned by lawyers, lolol..

All I can tell you is why bother. Let them go drift off into the darkness as they apparently want. They will sue you for looking at their planes.

Patented oval windows?????? that is hilarious. Thats like patenting doors that are rectangle. My goodness. My goodness.........
 
It's the convergence of murky legal waters and their ability to outspend you. Saying you can't make a model of their airplane is as ridiculous as saying that you can't photograph or paint a picture of it. They can't actually forbid you from doing it, because it's an artistic depiction of their object and any judge smart enough to know that CGI is just another artistic medium (there's probably about 3 of them in the known universe) would tell them to take a hike. The problem is that they have the money to play a game of attrition without the case ever going to trial. Once someone with enough money sets the proper precedent - it's game over for them.

I wish I had enough money to be that person, but I doubt I ever will.

FYI, the railroads are generally awesome about licensing (probably because models of railroads are as old as the railroads themselves). They only expect you to pay for a license if you produce content that makes money. I think I still technically have a UP license, and, if memory serves, the materials they give you to do their logos and lettering right are top-notch.
 
Oval windows are even patented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are nuts... They must be owned by lawyers, lolol..

All I can tell you is why bother. Let them go drift off into the darkness as they apparently want. They will sue you for looking at their planes.

Patented oval windows?????? that is hilarious. Thats like patenting doors that are rectangle. My goodness. My goodness.........
I used to know why oval windows were a big deal because I followed their development in my weekly copy of Aviation Week and Space Technology over the years, there was a lot of structural science involved which I have long since forgotten.
The simple answers:
Less wind resistance.
No corners=less stress. Less stress=fewer or no structural cracks.
Same concept as an egg... structural strength.

The thought about being sued, or even arrested for looking at an aircraft is a reality.
I was once waiting for a helicopter charter at the Executive Air Terminal at KLAS, and rather than sit in the lounge, I chose to walk around the parking lot fence where I was parked and check out the impressive collection of bizjets on the ramp.
Within five minutes security was on me like white on rice, telling me in no uncertain terms that I should not only refrain from taking photos, but that I should return to the terminal immediately. I told him I had a valid reason to be there, was simply taking a walk enjoying a cup of coffee and a cigarette, and that I would return to the terminal shortly.
Far from giving me any feeling that he accepted my reasoning, he told me he was certain he could have the Las Vegas Metro Police there before I could finish either the coffee or the cigarette....my choice.
Seeing that I was having trouble understanding his reasoning for why the innocent act of admiring beautiful aircraft should be a problem, he offered the standard slogan of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" and that "the people who owned the handsome corporate jets were heavy hitters who paid big bucks to park there, and enjoyed their privacy which he was by God there to enforce".
About that time, my helicopter circled into view for its approach, and I agreed that it was time I moved along.

I mentioned the conversation to the agent at the Helicopter Charter service and he laughed it off as standard security procedures, and then told me that I would be riding a van out to my chopper in about ten minutes, and that we would be driving right down the line of bizjets up close and personal.

A few minutes later while walking out to the van, as a Janet Airlines 737 taxied by on its way to Area 51, I started to snap a couple of photos and decided to save myself a possible federal case and wait till I was safely in the van.

Bottom line?
Corporate jet manufacturers and their customers usually get their way. You buy or charter a jet, you can take all the closeup photos you want.
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
My question is, what aspect of Gulfstream's aircraft is so sensitive that they don't want some guy at his computer doodling up their airplanes in 3D?
If you want to know for sure, I suggest to contact Gulfstream directly yourself over here: http://www.gulfstream.com/contacts, Tell them about your idea, and simply ASK THEM the legal and/or licensing questions you have.
 
Oval windows are even patented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are nuts... They must be owned by lawyers, lolol..

All I can tell you is why bother. Let them go drift off into the darkness as they apparently want. They will sue you for looking at their planes.

Patented oval windows?????? that is hilarious. Thats like patenting doors that are rectangle. My goodness. My goodness.........
That would be an easy one to overcome Leone. Your modelled oval windows would have a very slightly different ratio. And there's nothing they could do as you could prove that your oval windows were different. In fact you could patent you oval windows! The US legal system is awash with ridiculous patents. They have even tried to patent words already part of the English language!
 

F747fly

Resource contributor
Oval windows are even patented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are nuts... They must be owned by lawyers, lolol..

All I can tell you is why bother. Let them go drift off into the darkness as they apparently want. They will sue you for looking at their planes.

Patented oval windows?????? that is hilarious. Thats like patenting doors that are rectangle. My goodness. My goodness.........
Oh believe me there are patents for more specific and quite simply more ridiculous things than oval windows. The simple reasoning behind the oval windows being patented probably is that without oval windows one can never represent the aircraft accurately, or at least not without a thousand people complaining about the windows not being correct. In that particular case I'd even think that it's not as much to protect the technological advantages Gulfstream might have on their windows, after all any other manufacturer could develop oval shaped windows themselves "by accident" and they'd probably never get into trouble for it, but rather just as a specific protection against copying in anyway (including a virtual way). And yes I agree that is absolutely ridiculous but in the end, does it add some mystique to the whole Gulfstream brand? Does it make you just that bit more curious what's so special about those windows? I think it does, or at least it's meant to. The whole patent industry is nuts and people make way too much money on arguing if something if patent infringement or not, but we can't help that I'm afraid.

So does Gulfstream have the right to do this? Yes. Is it insanity that they do? Absolutely. Should it bother you? Maybe. But in the end you should see it the way Gulfstream probably sees it. Their goal is sales of aircraft, as much as possible. The potential customer wants something that is "unique" and Gulfstream is a bit afraid that if anyone can have a Gulfstream and fly it on their own PC, it loses exclusivity. Now you may all argue that that's insane (it is, I'm not questioning that) but it is how the market of those kinds of products works...

It's sad never the less, but there ain't nothing we can do about it...
 

Heretic

Resource contributor
Unless shown proof - as in the patent itself (will accept copies) - I regard the window shape patent as a fluke.

If you want to know for sure, I suggest to contact Gulfstream directly yourself over here: http://www.gulfstream.com/contacts, Tell them about your idea, and simply ASK THEM the legal and/or licensing questions you have.
Might be sensible, albeit chances are that the answer will be a huge "NO."
 
Oh believe me there are patents for more specific and quite simply more ridiculous things than oval windows. The simple reasoning behind the oval windows being patented probably is that without oval windows one can never represent the aircraft accurately, or at least not without a thousand people complaining about the windows not being correct. In that particular case I'd even think that it's not as much to protect the technological advantages Gulfstream might have on their windows, after all any other manufacturer could develop oval shaped windows themselves "by accident" and they'd probably never get into trouble for it, but rather just as a specific protection against copying in anyway (including a virtual way). And yes I agree that is absolutely ridiculous but in the end, does it add some mystique to the whole Gulfstream brand? Does it make you just that bit more curious what's so special about those windows? I think it does, or at least it's meant to. The whole patent industry is nuts and people make way too much money on arguing if something if patent infringement or not, but we can't help that I'm afraid.

So does Gulfstream have the right to do this? Yes. Is it insanity that they do? Absolutely. Should it bother you? Maybe. But in the end you should see it the way Gulfstream probably sees it. Their goal is sales of aircraft, as much as possible. The potential customer wants something that is "unique" and Gulfstream is a bit afraid that if anyone can have a Gulfstream and fly it on their own PC, it loses exclusivity. Now you may all argue that that's insane (it is, I'm not questioning that) but it is how the market of those kinds of products works...

It's sad never the less, but there ain't nothing we can do about it...
However, if one of their most wealthiest of clients is also a simmer.........................................??
 
Sad, if you ask me. There are probably 300 good student pilots that are in jet training schools around the world that 'need' a very good, realistic flight simulator version of their plane. They could be training on it now and be extremely sharp on the plane when they graduate and lock down a job as pilot aboard one of these birds.

Maybe they would be interested in doing their planes 'in house' to insure the birds are to spec. I know in my past, I have worked with manufacturers such as Quest and Aerospool. They had me change things, retune things, until they were 110% happy with how the planes worked on the sim. Epic Aircraft really went all out to ensure my models were 'exactly' like what they had. They were really happy with the plane and hoped it would work to their favor in bringing in interest and sales to their firm.
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
Might be sensible, albeit chances are that the answer will be a huge "NO."
Only then ou got a straight answer from the source, the horse mouth.. and that is - to my opinion:
- a better place to start then continue to keep guessing "what /if scenarios" without any legal basis underneath it.
- a CHANGE to ask Gulfstream nicely if they are willing to support you and in which way? (simply turn it around and talk win-win-win)

.... since - business wise - the Gulfstream corporation should be very proud that other persons / 3rd parties are willing to donate their own time and energy
starting a project to their advertising for them, and creating digital 3D replicas of their own beautiful shaped aircraft.
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
This may be why Iris state their models are artistic impressions of XYZ and entirely unsupported by whichever manufacturer in question.
 
Sad, if you ask me. There are probably 300 good student pilots that are in jet training schools around the world that 'need' a very good, realistic flight simulator version of their plane. They could be training on it now and be extremely sharp on the plane when they graduate and lock down a job as pilot aboard one of these birds.
Perhaps. Or maybe they already have their own full-motion, in-house sims that replicate the real aircraft 100% and are perfectly happy with that.

And Ronald, the only reason I posted this was to see if anyone else had dealt with the company and had experiences they wanted to share. If I was serious about doing a full-fledged payware Gulfstream jet for FS, I would have tried contacting them directly. However, seeing as General Dynamics is a multi-billion dollar corporation with military contracts, I doubt that any kind of monetary deal would even be close to the realm of possibility.

This may be why Iris state their models are artistic impressions of XYZ and entirely unsupported by whichever manufacturer in question.
You'd think a disclaimer like that would be sufficient to ward off the legal hawks of most companies...Although I think that a lot of FS aircraft with the "[XYZ] officially licensed product" stamp are tuned and refined with assistance from the actual aerospace company for greater accuracy in the product, in exchange for a portion of the product's market share. At least that's what makes sense to me. I know that Ron from Eaglesoft has talked about owing relatively large monthly payments to Textron, which is Cessna's parent company (as GD is to Gulfstream.) I don't know if Cessna/Textron have any part in their quality assurance or not.
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
You'd think a disclaimer like that would be sufficient to ward off the legal hawks of most companies
It is not so much about warding off legal hawks as it is reducing exposure. Think of them as ambulance chasers that look for any perceived vulnerability - and the meter is always running. You don't just want to win in court, you want to do so so convincingly that he idea of a cash settlement represents a very low risk to the shareholders' investment.
Now if you want to get at GD, don't offer them money, offer them a competitive edge. Remind them what a sweet arrangement a certain other aviation company has with the simulation community.
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
And Ronald, the only reason I posted this was to see if anyone else had dealt with the company and had experiences they wanted to share.
Check! thank for the explanation

If I was serious about doing a full-fledged payware Gulfstream jet for FS, I would have tried contacting them directly. However, seeing as General Dynamics is a multi-billion dollar corporation with military contracts, I doubt that any kind of monetary deal would even be close to the realm of possibility.
My grandfather used to say to me : "If you can dream / imagine / visualize it, you are the one that make it happen in real-life All you have to do is find a way to overcome every obstacle in your path on the way to reach that goal".
 
When I worked at Lockheed I heard of several trademark infringements that were being processed. One was for a plastic model kit maker who had a P-38 without a license (production was halted immediately), and another one close to my heart was an R/C jet model company who made a General Dynamics F-16 (I had one of those!). The resolution on that particular case was to remove any F-16, GD, Falcon, Viper, or LM name off of the product, so they eventually renamed it the "Mako" and kept selling it successfully under that generic name.
I later found out that the R/C model infringement was reported by a modeler who was mad at a company rep and decided to sell them out.

Point is, a solution to the problem could be to rename the model as something else, but it would likely take a hit at product credibility. One thing is for sure, if you contact Gulfstream legal department, you may as well kill the project now.

Good luck!
David
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
the R/C model infringement was reported by a modeler who was mad at a company rep
Classic example. All they need is someone to testify and before you know it, it's cheaper to just settle. There are entire "firms" that thrive on this sort of "litigation." Even in this example, it probably would have been much cheaper for that rep to have given this guy anything he'd wanted. Good thing it still worked out for the people just trying to sell a product, even though we all know LM didn't build those things to sell, or to win wars; but specifically as a trademark product upon which the r/c er's are detracting - why spend 40 million for a LM F-16 when you can get a Mako for $50...
:rolleyes:

Here's another example, anyone remember the CLS Bizjet?
 
Top