Freeware developers have started calling for a boycott of popular add-on platform flightim.to. Calls for a boycott began after flightim.to announced both a premium and creators program for the site. The developer backlash concerns several different points ranging from the Premium and Creators programs themselves to the Flightsim.to Terms of Service.
The feedback first started when flightim.to announced its premium program. Many users saw this as the first sign that the token will put features behind a paywall or stop altogether in its current (free) form. Developers, on the other hand, fear that their content could be locked behind a paywall in the future, although they want it to be available for free. After users delved into flightim.to’s Terms of Service, many were surprised to discover that the site requires developers to license the content they create. This has led users and developers to believe that flightim.to is taking ownership of the content available through its website. It should be noted that this clause, as copied below, is a fairly common way to legally ensure that flightim.to is able to distribute the content provided by the creators.
(4.3) If you submit or post User Content to the Service, either directly or through a third-party service, you grant this Website a worldwide, nonexclusive, transferable, unrestricted, sublicensable, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use the User Content. This license includes all consents or waivers necessary to distribute, perform publicly, publicly display, transmit, host, share, make available, publicly communicate, and publicly communicate the User Content in connection with the service provided by the Website to advertise, feature or promote and through various media now known or hereafter developed (if any) only to the extent that such license grant is not governed by any third party EULA of content contained in your User Content are, is limited or restricted. You are not entitled to grant us any intellectual property rights or copyrights of any third party, and we do not claim them. In each case, you grant us a worldwide, nonexclusive, unrestricted, perpetual, irrevocable, and royalty-free license to distribute, host, make available, and publicly display your User Content. These licenses also permit us to promote and promote your User Content without further notice or permission from you or any other person and without compensation to you or any other person.
Developers have also raised concerns about flightim.to’s control over the deletion policy for content uploaded to the site. Several users have reported that flightim.to does not allow them to delete their content. Instead, content can only be removed temporarily. Flightsim.to has confirmed that their website was indeed built with the goal of keeping content available and content deletion needs to be requested and approved manually. However, the team also stated that it has not yet rejected any requests for file deletion, although some developers have claimed otherwise.
This has led to some developers retiring from flightim.to until their terms of service have changed. “KL791”, developer of the popular Global AI Ship Traffic add-on, has removed their add-on from the website and is urging other developers to do the same. Several developers, like PuffinFlight from the popular We Love VFR add-on, have indicated that they will follow suit unless flightim.to makes changes to its Terms of Service.
So far, the developers who have spoken out against flightim.to have yet to respond to the site’s clarifications. Several add-ons are not yet available via the website at the time of writing, and it’s not yet clear if other developers will follow suit as stated, or if flightim.to’s clarifications are enough to address their concerns.