Tuesday, June 7, 2011

ProFlightSimulator is now Earth Flight Sim - and still a scam

Wow, that didn't take long. Thanks to the FlightGear community's hounding of ProFlightSimulator, and its subsequent exposure as a scam and a fraud (yes, a fraud- numerous cases of them refusing to honor their 60-day money-back guarantee), ProFlightSim has gone underground ...

... and re-emerged as "Earth Flight Sim." I told you earlier that trying to eradicate a scam of this sort was like playing Whack-A-Mole, and this is a perfect example. What makes this one noteworthy is the speed with which PFS disappeared and took on a new identity.

(Actually, PFS didn't disappear at all, and neither did its previous identity, "Flight Pro Sim". They're both still out there, trawling for suckers.)

Another thing that makes this one noteworthy, and insidious, is the similarity of the name "Earth Flight Sim" to "Google Earth Flight Simulator," which could cause confusion for Web users searching for the latter and finding a mess of links to the former. In the Real World, companies sue each other when product names get too similar like this.

This next point isn't noteworthy, but it's always worth remembering: Earth Flight Sim is nothing more than Pro Flight Simulator repackaged, which is nothing more than Flight Pro Sim repackaged, which is nothing more than FlightGear repackaged. And FlightGear is free. Why would you pay a single penny for something you can get for free?

Like its slimy predecessors, the Earth Flight Sim bundle includes many add-ons and extensions to FlightGear, without the original programmers' permission. Its website includes copyrighted images and videos which were recorded using FlightGear (and in some cases, Microsoft's commercial Flight Sim products) and have been appropriated and used by EFS, without permission.

Earth Flight Sim's "Contact Us" page is empty right now, except for the notation "Coming Soon ...". I would guess that Charlie Taylor, Dan Freeman, Michael Ortiz and Eriz Cremonti is trying to decide what to call himself this time. "Whois" reports that the domain name is registered to Cody Moya, of Short Hills NJ, but most domain names nowadays are registered to a third party, not the entity that actually uses the domain name.

Once again, my recommendation is that you download FlightGear for free and enjoy it. If you want to spend money on FlightGear, then buy FlightGear's own DVDs. Don't waste your money on scams and frauds like ProFlightSimulator and Earth Flight Sim.

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