It has not been removed. It might be that the creator has not added a donation link or they may have disabled donations for the file. If the addon is a Google Maps import, donations will be disabled for legal reasons. The creator can also choose themselves to enable or disable donations. Your best bet is to contact the creator directly and ask them if/how you can donate to them.
You can always change the language at the top of the website (next to "Partners"), however, if the website keeps reverting to French, I'd recommend clearing your cookies.
does this responsibility of filing reports to other sites for 'stealing' content not lie with flightsim.to
We can help you out if you submit a ticket via: https://flightsim.to/support/copyright-center
I thought the whole idea of making it exclusive was that they help you with trying to take content down that has been stolen from this site?
The idea of the exclusivity is that the owner has explicitly stated that the addon cannot be uploaded elsewhere and thus takes away from any copyright issues with the addon since it has been distributed elsewhere without permission from the original creator. If you have submitted your file exclusively, you have a better chance of your file being removed from other sites (via the copyright tickets above).
what do I personally have to lose from other sites hosting my files?
Honestly, not a lot. The main thing is that you might not be able to help people out as easily when your addon is hosted on 10 different sites and updating the addon also becomes quite a hassle if you want to actively maintain the addon on 10 different sites. This of course assumes you're constantly improving your addon which is not the case for most liveries.
Doesn't flightsim.to stand to lose more in terms of missed potential traffic?
Again, it's mostly because of the fact that it makes the copyright claims easier since the author has explicitly stated the addon shouldn't be uploaded elsewhere. It's not designed to drive away traffic from other sites.
should I ask the owners/admins of this site to step in?
You would either have to include both flags, or, probably more easily, identified the (relatively few) countries that are disputed, and create another symbol (other than a flag) for them.
While this sounds like a good solution, there will always be people opposed to using an unofficial flag and would rather just use the flag of the home country (be it Ukraine or Taiwan). We will probably just keep it as is for now (meaning people can choose their own country but we will correct countries based on reports and international borders)
This being the case, does it make any sense allowing the Chinese flag, while denying the flag of Taiwan?
Currently, people are able to choose whichever flag they want and we hope they choose the "correct" one, both the flag of China and Taiwan are available to choose from. The issues comes with people labeling a scenery as being in Russia for example whereas it's in Crimea so the flag should have been Ukraine. In that case, there are often quite some comments from people saying that the country is incorrect, after we either correct the country or remove it altogether and also remove and disable any comments (to prevent any further political discussion). We will probably keep this as is although an international flag, although it would make searching more cumbersome, would be a better solution than having no country at all.
Just make sure that when anyone uploads an update to a package, that they will be forced to select the flag when they do so.
I'm not sure if this is feasible, and many authors don't come back to return their package after some time, but we'll see if this is possible.
VA's may be an exception, except they are usually "owned" by one or more people from one or more countries.
This brings up a post from earlier where people may not want to be identified by a country flag, and the same goes for VAs.
Adding a national flag to these repaints would make it much easier for those seeking liveries to find the appropriate ones for their own country / region.
I agree with this, but with the amount of liveries already on the website, it would again be hard to convince users to select a country and knowing which country to pick would pose an even greater challenge. While it might seem obvious to some, people will probably consider different repaints to be of different countries or they might not know when to pick "international". This could of course be explained but we've learned from experience that many people don't bother reading which would just result in an even more chaotic search page.
And as for everyone just selecting "international", they would be effectively minimalizing the use of their addons, especially if there were a strong take up of national flags, plus, for instance, the ability to identify nations when looking at "what's new", and developers actually LIKE people to download and praise their efforts, so there would be quite an incentive for them to use the flag system.
While this could be the case, this would also mean that people who are rightfully choosing the "international" category would have less exposure for their repaint since it's already filled with people not knowing what country to pick.
TL;DR: we will see whether we can introduce an "international" flag for sceneries and make country selection mandatory to help improve the search experience. However, for liveries, we probably won't introduce a country selection right now because it would probably cause more confusion from people not knowing how to categorize their liveries.
While it is unfortunate, we explained clearly in the post that one should "not change or delete your already existing and uploaded liveries" (not blaming you, just pointing out that we did also take this into consideration). However, not everyone may read the whole post which probably explains these broken liveries now. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do from our side. I think your best bet might just be to leave comments on these now broken liveries telling the creators that they shouldn't have replaced the livery but rather reuploaded a fixed version. Hopefully, that will catch the creator(s) attention and cause them to reupload their original A320 version. Alternatively, if you are really keen on using the default A320 livery, you could always just revert the changes proposed here which should fix the liveries for the default A320.
First, for local mods (all within one country) make it compulsory to include the country's flag, and for Global, or trans-national mods, allow the use of the UN flag to identify it as such.
Since most scenery already includes a country, it wouldn't be that hard to make a country selection compulsory to improve the search functions, and using the UN flag (or any other international flag for that matter) is a good solution for multi-country or no-country scenery. The issue comes with disputed territories (such as Taiwan or Crimea), we've had multiple instances of users uploading scenery in disputed territories marking their scenery with 1 of the flags of the countries which causes a lot of political discussion in the comments, which is something we try to avoid. While a UN flag could solve this, it does not make it easier for searching scenery in these areas. If you want to find an airport in Crimea, would you search for Ukraine, Russia or International? Also, if this were to become mandatory, either we would have to retroactively re-categorize all scenery already uploaded (which could take quite a while), or let the author do it themselves, which they might not do. We'll have to discuss this further within the team.
Second - airlines by their very nature are associated with a home country, as are helicopters, light planes, etc, so I'd suggest that the country flag become a compulsory addition to livery packs, as well. (Same runes - UN flag if a pack covers liveries from several countries)
While this would make sense for airliners (even though airlines often have multiple offices in multiple countries making it hard to identify what country to associate the airline with), it does not make sense for fictional liveries (such as VAs) or for most general aviation liveries. While you could argue that these liveries could then be marked as "International", this category would then soon be flooded with GA and VA liveries, which makes the entire category pretty useless. If we were to introduce this, we probably won't make it mandatory.
These entries are indeed ads. If you are running an adblocker, you wouldn't see them which would explain the "blank" entries.
I appreciate your post and we have also heavily discussed this within the team. In the end, we decided to allow "vanilla" FSX imports (like the PMP A321), but disallow any other FSX import without explicit permission from the original author. The amount of vanilla FSX imports are very limited (since FSX did not have that many aircraft to begin with) and we will leave them up until Microsoft decides these do not fall under the Game Content Usage Rules.
While the rules are not very clear themselves about what is and is not considered "reverse engineering", it remains vague whether these conversions are allowed under these rules. While I don't know how the models were accessed from FSX, in the case of MSFS, the models are "freely" available from your game folder without any "reverse engineering".
As for the MSFS Legacy Converter, it is again unclear whether this falls under Microsoft's rules. Since I don't know how the converter works, I can't comment on whether it is actually altering the model or just making it compatible with MSFS (which could still be seen as altering). So it again remains unclear whether the second option counts as "altering" or not.
We are averaging about 1 to 2 uploaded aircraft a day, most of which we decline because it is an FSX convert with no permission of the original author. We make sure to check every uploaded aircraft thoroughly before allowing it to be up on the website and as soon as we get a (legitimate) report or complaint about any upload, we'll take appropriate action. Just like everyone in the community, we aren't sure what is and is not allowed per Microsoft, so we tend to tread on the safe side and disallow most converted aircraft.
You mean such as
which provides a blank model, but demands that you purchase the model from xyz if you want to see liveries on it?
Then if that's the policy, this is one that needs to be pulled! Again, just my 2c.
I think the addon in question is simply a blank slate for people to create liveries with, it's more of a paintkit for others to use for a livery rather than a "demo". The addon also does not offer a "blank model" but rather a "blank texture" for the newly released Aerosoft CRJ. As such, this addon will be allowed since it is not any demo of sorts. Yes, you wouldn't be able to use the addon without purchasing the CRJ, but then no liveries would be allowed for third-party planes.
I get that it may be annoying for you to first have to download the airports and load them in-game to find out where they are (especially if they aren't starred), but most airports on the website include a "GPS Coordinates" section directly under the airport's description where you can often find the location of the airport. You can then click on the coordinates to open Google Maps and view the location on there. I hope that helps
Disclaimer: the coordinates have to be submitted by the airport creator themself which means they might not always be present or correct.
I was thinking more where it can be reported for actually not working and then being marked on the download page
This is currently still being worked on. In the meantime, your best bet would just be to leave a comment informing others the addon doesn't work properly and either ask the creator to perhaps fix it or just to let others know via your comment (if they even read it). We know it's not the most convenient way to check if an addon is working or not, but it's the best we can do for right now.
Unfortunately, sometimes creators simply delete their addons, which is beyond our control (and they have the right to do so), so it might be the case that the addons you are looking for are no longer on the site. However, in your case, might I suggest this website as a source for Australian liveries. I would like to say that we are in no way associated with this website, it's just a website where you can find some Australian liveries.
If you are logged in on the website, you can click on your profile picture in the top right and go to "My Uploads", from there you'll see a "New Upload" button in the top right. Alternatively, you can go here to upload an addon directly.
If you are trying to stop high users from impacting low users, impose a rate limit on the actual transfer.
That's exactly what we're trying to prevent, by varying the time a user has to wait, our infrastructure has more time to recover thus (hopefully) resulting in a fast(er) download. While this might negatively impact the download experience for smaller files (since you are waiting longer than the actual download), it helps with larger files.
Currently a paid membership is not planned, the download times are simply varied to ease the load on our infrastructure and try to prevent everyone from downloading at 200 KB/s.
It's a bitten hidden away, but at the bottom of any page you can find a small "Donate" button which will lead you here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/flightsimto
From there, you can support the site and you can unlock some minor, exclusive perks
Like I said, the download speed wildly varies between time of day and day of the week, Sunday evening (Europe time) is one of the busiest times on the website which probably explains the slow download speeds.
The download speeds should be a little faster now, keep in mind that your download speed may vary throughout the day as a lot of users are simultaneously downloading a lot of addons on the website, especially on Saturday and Sunday