Thanks. An interesting read.
I wonder why they shut down? Pinged for copyright infringement?https://www.racedepartment.com/threads/ac-track-reboot-site-gone.164805/
I found this post to be the most interesting, all the "dodgy rip" brigade should read it and and have a good think.
Sunday at 02:22 #50
Please pardon that initial premature posting. I've been playing racing sims since GPL was introduced. Currently I focus on AC in VR. I am also an attorney (U.S.) and law professor, with extensive copyright experience, who worked for 35 years for one of the world's largest broadcasting companies. Entering into one of these debates regarding alleged copyright infringements is rather like, as we say in New York City, "touching the third rail" on an electrified railroad system. With all due respect, many well-meaning sim racing posters exhibit insufficient knowledge of copyright law and how that law actually functions throughout the real world.
I feel compelled to weigh in here to support the rational viewpoints of Michael Hornbuckle and several others. Probably the majority of the uses of others' material about which people are concerned, certainly the non-commercial uses, fall within the concept of "fair use." So many tracks and car mods have been through so many iterations that it is literally impossible for any modder trying to work with them to gain formal copyright clearances, to the extent that any are actually necessary. Copyright law is extraordinarily complex, and the technical complexities often have limited relevance in the "real world."
Modders, generally for no commercial gain, have contributed immeasurably to our hobby over the years. Whenever I am given the opportunity, I contribute financially to their efforts. Frankly, several of the AC Track Reboot tracks are outstanding and I doubt very much that they have in any way materially diminished the ability of any of the previous authors, whoever they may be, to appropriately profit from their work (to the extent they care).
I would offer the following suggestions/observations: many theoretical "copyright violations" discussed in the sim racing community are probably not actual violations; while I am not going to get into an international legal debate regarding "fair use," "transformative uses," and de minimus non-commercial uses, it might make some people feel better about using some of the wonderful tracks and cars which have been the product of many authors and whose original "authors" have essentially abandoned them. Is it really preferable for a modder trying to improve worthwhile product, for no commercial gain, to cease to do so because he/she cannot afford tens of thousands of dollars for copyright searches and attorneys?
So my suggestion is: lighten up. Many of the sanctimonious exhortations regarding copyright violations are simply wrong, either legally or practically. When individual high school teachers taped the historical documentaries of my previous employer to show to their classes, were they violating our copyright? Yes. But were we going to take action and should they have stopped – no.
I'm writing all this because I think Race Department is a fantastic resource and I want, if possible, to help those who follow and support it. While I am prepared to be accused of being a copyright scofflaw, I think the concern over supposed copyright violations in the simracing community are dramatically (and often emotionally) overwrought and do a disservice to the wonderful modders who are simply trying to volunteer their considerable efforts and expertise to enhance enjoyment of our hobby. THE LAW is not as severe and draconian as some may believe. It is meant to foster creativity, not stifle it.