Over the past few months, the flight sim community has been under the spotlight because of an abusive use of a hidden DRM measure by another developer to fight piracy. The discovery of this DRM measure lit a fire big enough for mainstream media to cover it, making it the biggest story this community has ever seen. This puts developers like us and many other in an awkward position.
Microsoft's ESP platform (platform on which FSX and P3D are based) is very limited when compared to the platforms available on the market today. To accomplish a goal, developers often have to create their own paths to get where they want to go, and it's not always straightforward. For example, in order to do something as simple as moving a camera across the globe in ChasePlane, it requires us to create new techniques that involve injecting data from the ChasePlane application directly into the memory of the simulator to move the camera to the right position. This process called "memory injection" will oftentimes be flagged by antiviruses as malware as it tries to modify the state of another software on the system. This can result in an issue where ChasePlane or one of its components will be slowed down, limited in its capabilities or even terminated by antiviruses to prevent the "potential malware" from spreading.
When it comes to software, transparency is not often something we see from development studios. Technologies developed in the flight simulation industry are often company secrets that enable a competitive advantage over existing or upcoming competitors. Explaining the inner workings of those techniques can be seen as a risk to most companies. This being said, we value the security of our customers more than secrecy. We are announcing a few changes with regards to how much information we disclose about our software. Over the coming months, we will update existing User Manuals to include a section describing the files we modify as well as any useful information about how ChasePlane and our other products interact with the simulator. We believe this is a necessity in order to keep our customers' trust.
Enjoy our products!
The FSFX Packages Team