TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

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RAF74_Buzzsaw
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TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by RAF74_Buzzsaw » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:40 am

Hello All

There has been a lot of finger pointing at Team Fusion Simulations and mis-information posted suggesting we are at fault and are making false accusations against innocent people.

This post is intended to provide the facts for the community to assess and is in response to Reddog's acknowledgment on the STORM OF WAR forums that his actions over the past few years were not acceptable.

I want to thank Reddog for his post and his acknowledgment.

I am prepared to let the matter rest, and not pursue it further.

But it is important for the facts to be presented to counter the mis-information out there.

First of all, this issue is about software copyright, and the rights for a private company to have its privileged information protected. Team Fusion Simulations and 1C Online Games, just like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. depend on the security and integrity of their software and the right to have their privileged communications kept private.

Some of you may say: "Its just a game."

Yes, it is a game, but the game is the foundation of a software business.

The original IL-2 series sold over 100 million dollars. If you count all the spinoffs, like 'Birds of Prey' and the various land games which used the engine, it probably did close to 120 million.

We live in a capitalist system. If someone makes a better Widget, or a better Netcode, they have a right to benefit from the sale of their product. If someone is stealing their Widget or Netcode, they have a legal right to demand the theft stop.

What happened in the past is the past, now is now... 1C and TF are businesses, and they have a right to see the legal protections for their intellectual property enforced.

I am legally required by the contract with 1C to do what is necessary to protect the integrity and security of 1C's Source Code, our confidential documents and our communications.

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In this particular case the question was whether or not Reddog:

1) Offered proprietary software for which he did not have legal ownership.

2) Facilitated the breaching of an NDA by revealing privileged information.

I am not going to go into endless detail and post dozens of screencaps, I'll limit myself to a few... First, Reddog clearly did make the offer of the software.

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I have had an undertaking from him the offer was never followed through on... and he has assured me he won't make any similar offer in the future. I am prepared to accept that undertaking and let the matter rest.

Reddog in the post prior to his acknowledgement qualified his comments by saying he was not under NDA to TF, and suggested even if his offer was followed through with an actual transfer to a 3rd party, he would not be in breach.

I am not going to argue about his dealings with TF, and whether or not he was under an obligation to TF... although clearly, when he downloaded the software, it was from a post on the TF forums which specifically mentioned the software was confidential and not to be shared with non-TF members.

I could post a screencap of that text and the download link here, but it is not necessary since the status of his dealing with TF are irrelevant to the key fact... the software in question is not TF's... it was and is the copyright intellectual property of 1C Games. The original software in the package was 1C's and the new additions in TF 4.312 automatically became the copyright property of 1C as soon as TF passed them on and they were hosted on Steam as the TF 4.312 Beta. Which happened prior to Reddog's offer of the software. He was in breach of 1C's copyright when he made a public offer of a moddable version of the software. It was not his property, he did not have legal rights to offer or otherwise dispose of it. In fact, he doesn't even have the right to have this moddable version on his computer, which he acknowledged he did.

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The second issue is the question of whether Reddog, with the posts on his public site, facilitated the breach of 1C's and TF's Non Disclosure Agreements.

Everyone who joins TF is required to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement. In addition, anyone who was privy to the discussions prior to the signing of the contract between TFS and 1C Online Games was required to sign a 1C Non Disclosure Agreement. Finally, the Contract which all TFS Contractors sign has a NDA contained. The NDA's are quite specific about what is privileged... the TF and 1C versions are essentially the same as those seen in software companies around the world. NDA's are integral to the Software Industry, without them, business could not be conducted and exchanges or agreements between different companies would never happen. An individual who breaches his NDA is not likely to find work elsewhere. Legal recourses may include copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and other various Intellectual Property violations.

Any of the details of TF's contract with 1C are covered by the NDA, including the planning of releases, details of revenue sharing, etc. So is the contract between TF members and TFS, as well as arrangements for revenue share between members, etc.

It was quite clear from the posts he put up on his public forum and elsewhere, Reddog had access to TF's private documents and communications. I counted close to 10 posts where he revealed details of 1C/TF contracts or agreements which only those who had signed an NDA would have access to. So it was clear he was in contact with someone who was breaching their NDA... and by making this information public, was facilitating the illegal distribution of this privileged information. Without Reddog's public posts, this information would not have become public.

There is no point in posting all of the examples I screen-capped, (you won't find them on SoW as they have been removed) and I don't want to spread the information around any more than it already has been, but I will include the most recent one, which Reddog put up on the ACG forums on April 18th, (you probably saw it) and which is very simple to understand.

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The key piece of information provided here is the line "TF5 has to sell 15k copies for TF6." This refers to the fact TF 5.0 must sell 15 thousand copies for TFS to be approved to continue on with TF 6.0.

No one who did not have access to the contract with 1C would know this... and those who did have access to this contract were under NDA. So someone is clearly breaching their NDA and providing the information to Reddog. By making this information public, Reddog is clearly facilitating a breach of the NDA.

As mentioned, I had a discussion with Reddog about this issue. He agreed no more of these types of disclosures would happen. And I agreed to accept his word on this issue and let the matter rest there.

Here is his acknowledgment on both issues:

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So I have presented two examples, one of a breach of copyright and one of a breach of Confidentiality. As mentioned I could provide more examples of the NDA breaches but there is no point. Reddog has agreed to cease his actions.

I could have taken much harsher measures... My lawyer could have sent him a letter, I could have demanded the name of the person who was breaching his NDA, etc., I could have asked his ISP to shut him down... I don't see a reason to do any of that assuming he lives up to his acknowledgement.

I have tried to keep this as low key as possible, initially I tried to let Reddog know through posts on ATAG this was unacceptable, then when the community meeting was scheduled and he asked to participate I privately told him in emails he needed to take down the posts, and finally we arrived at this point. It's been more than a year since this began.

The unusual thing is for whatever reason we have seen certain members of the community try to suggest the side at fault in all these issues was TF. As I have detailed above, that is clearly not the case. Unless you personally advocate breaking of the law and/or the theft of intellectual property, what has happened is an infringement of TFS and 1C's rights.

I will direct the next comment to Dickie... as a senior member of the CLIFFS OF DOVER community.

In the e-mail exchange prior to the Community Teamspeak meeting a month ago Dickie mentioned he was a senior software developer and supervises a number of employees in a Software company. As someone in that position, he must deal with quite a bit of privileged information, he probably has access to software which is the sole property of the company, and he probably sits in many meetings where confidential details of the company operations are discussed. I will pose a couple questions for him:

1) If you caught one of the employees you supervised providing copies of the company software to outside parties how would you react? Would you congratulate him? Would you think that is appropriate behaviour?

2) And if you attended a senior management meeting where planning for the year ahead was discussed as well as strategies for advancing the company product... and then later you caught one of the other attendees of the meeting posting the details on a public website... Would you again congratulate that person on his actions and think his behaviour was appropriate?

Of course, your answer would be 'No' to both of these questions. You believe in the rule of law, you have integrity and you take your responsibilities to your company seriously.

What I'm puzzled about... why is the attitude of certain people in community the opposite when it comes to the question of TF and 1C's rights?

Thanks for your patience in reading this

For Team Fusion Simulations

RAF74 _Buzzsaw

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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by Toxic » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:47 am

this is fun.

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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by LuftAsher » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:18 am

RAF74_Buzzsaw wrote:What I'm puzzled about... why is the attitude of certain people in community the opposite when it comes to the question of TF and 1C's rights?
Speaking for myself (and maybe for a few others, who knows) I don't have an issue with the idea of protecting your rights and your intellectual property, any sane person in your position would. The issue is the frankly rotten, bullheaded way that you've gone about it. Matters of NDA, allegations of hacking and so on, none of this should have been aired publicly, and it was a big fucking mistake to do so. Whether you're right or wrong (I remain unconvinced of either eventuality), I find myself wondering if I want to be part of the group of customers who tells you that this kind of behaviour is acceptable by supporting your product with my money. I know I'm not the only one.

I'm a young man, I'm prone to snap-judgements, emotional outbursts and other fun, immature things of that nature. I am sometimes too hasty in forming the belief that someone's an asshole, it's one of those things that's refined with age and experience. Thing is, in ACG we've got a lot of very rational, intelligent, reasonable, level-headed people, well-respected pillars of this community, some of whom are old enough to be my father. A lot of them think you're a fucking twat, Buzzsaw.

At this point, whether you're right or wrong isn't of much consequence to the average consumer that the longevity of your project depends on. Maybe CountZero broke a NDA he didn't sign, maybe OD hacked your forums, maybe they didn't. Even if they did, and even if you prove it, at this point you've done so much damage to your reputation and standing within the community, and Team Fusion's reputation and standing by extension, that even if you proved yourself to be correct, it would very likely be a Pyrrhic victory.

I feel like you know this, too. If you didn't at least view it as a distinct possibility, you wouldn't have written a post asking us with puppy-dog eyes to pretty please judge TF 5.0 on its own merits, and not on the shitty way you've engaged with your community. Do yourself and TFS a favour, put down the keyboard and back away, let someone else do the talking. I'm sure there are more enjoyable things you could've done with the time you spent on this dumpster fire of a PR campaign, perhaps it's time to do that, and let the work of reputation recovery begin, hopefully under the stewardship of someone who knows how to speak to customers.
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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by philstyle » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:30 am

Well, I must say I was expecting something a little more bridge-building than this, especially given the generally contrite tone of Reddog's concise post on SoW about this matter.
The OP here seems more like an exercise in self justification more than anything else, which is odd coming from a supplier.

Unfortunately, this thread (and the other "myth busting" one) seem to indicate that much of the poor PR also reflects on 1C, with whom I have been a customer over the past year or so. This certainly resolves for me which of the competing combat flight sim companies I am most likely to retain patronage with going forward (aka, not 1C or TFS).

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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by Von Archie » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:18 am

Did I somehow miss the bridge building effort after yesterdays PR disasters, and the apologies to Count Zero for the unfounded ban at 1c? Did the retraction and apology to OD for the totally unproven allegations of hacking on the atag forum somehow get lost in editing?
Buzzsaw I believe you have either gone power mad or completely lost the plot, maybe the pressure is getting to you. This whole episode has been a total disaster for TF community relations, and at this point the chances of my $50 winging their way to 1C for TF 5 are pretty much non existant.
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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by Dickie » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:31 am

Good news though Buzzsaw because your backer and partner in despotism has turned up

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/36 ... on-cliffs/

There he is, ATAG_Bliss himself, talking all about him, I and me, and how everybody else is a cunt that deserve to be brought to account by his kind of justice. The man is cancer.
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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by 602RAF_Puff » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:39 am

I don't often post on forums..but having taken the time to read this i have to ask a question of you Buzzsaw ..were you not a member of a team that illegally hacked software belonging to another software company, thus breaking the copyright rules pertaining to software etc, then after a few years, this hacking has led to a paid position?

Pot and kettle spring to mind :)

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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by Von Archie » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am

Buzzsaw has Bliss been issued a cease and desist order by 1C for hacking their intellectual property in the first place? Have 1C shown any interest in the thousands of dollars he has taken in 'donations' since the original hacking took place?
Have you banned Bliss from the 1C forum now for not allegedly hacking 1C's property, but actually doing it?
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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by Dickie » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:57 am

Bliss took $1000 a month in 'server donations' which they said never went to TF and TF always denied separation. In the past 2-3 years it fell slowly to a mere $600 per month. But this month it has plummetted, which is probably one reason why Bliss has made an appearance at IL2 forums to tell everybody all about what a saviour he is and what he did for all of us, and how all of the bans (hundreds of them) were utterly justified and deserved.

So the question is, what did he do with the money? Only I never saw any accounts. We run servers and they don't cost all that much, and the downloads are handled by Steam systems now. What did it get spent on exactly? Does the IRS know?
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Re: TFS, 1C and Copyright Infringements and Confidentiality Breaches

Post by EAF79_OD_ » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:00 am

1) If you caught one of the employees you supervised providing copies of the company software to outside parties how would you react? Would you congratulate him? Would you think that is appropriate behaviour?

2) And if you attended a senior management meeting where planning for the year ahead was discussed as well as strategies for advancing the company product... and then later you caught one of the other attendees of the meeting posting the details on a public website... Would you again congratulate that person on his actions and think his behaviour was appropriate?

Of course, your answer would be 'No' to both of these questions. You believe in the rule of law, you have integrity and you take your responsibilities to your company seriously.

What I'm puzzled about... why is the attitude of certain people in community the opposite when it comes to the question of TF and 1C's rights?
I would hope that as a proper employer and boss there would be a proper procedure to establish fact from fiction and controls over who can say what where without libelling people and breaking the law in the process. Instead you just blurt out whatever seems to spring to mind at that particular moment, make false accusations and refuse to back down. I know I've done nothing wrong, you know I've done nothing because we've already seen that you don't know what happened. In addition, the people you are accusing are not employees and they have not signed any agreement with you. I know I certainly haven't. You've not caught anyone doing anything.

Instead here we are continuing your PR disaster and there is still no retraction or apology for any of the three cases that have happened in the last week. It turns out libel cases are no win no fee, and I have a very definite case seeing as you have put in writing false accusations in a public place instead you're just trying to distract and claim ignorance.
Last edited by EAF79_OD_ on Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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