Deprecated: Function ereg_replace() is deprecated in /storage/content/62/1008362/ on line 493 FS-Shipyards - FS ain't just for flying !
FS ain't just for flying !


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Posted by: basys - Monday, 20 March 2006 15:07
FS-Shipyards - Administrator Statement - Updated 22/11/2009
This is a draft placeholder.

It is with deep regret that
following emails to flightsim community members, and posts to various forums,
by Ian Thatcher, and others, (some possibly his alter-egos),
I now find myself having to defend my actions as administrator of FS-Shipyards
and publish, what should have been an entirely inter-personal matter.

I'd refrained from doing so, in the hope we might resolve this matter,
and Ian would reinstate his DNS to point at FS-Shipyards, (still hoping he will),
Apparently he's set on opening his .org domain as a duplicate site.

Ironic really, considering -

This whole matter arose from
an alleged breach of 2 FS-Shipyards modeler's copyright,
one of whose rights, Ian had chosen to ignore, (the other was himself).

That Ian has now downloaded FS-Shipyards content,
and uploaded it to his .org domain.
modifying their information, to claim
it's been uploaded with those owner's permission specifically to his .org.

Had Ian succeeded with his attempt to delete FS-Shipyards
NONE of that content would have been available.

22/11/2009 14:00 -
At this time, despite repeated requests,
Ian has still not notified me of his alleged claims.

ATM, I will not discuss the backgound which led to the current situation,
other than to outline the events as follows.

This data has been collated to the best of my ability, (I'll amend anything found to be factually incorrect).

Ownership -

29/12/2004 - Ian registers domain, and subsequently opens FS-Shipyards.
08/03/2006 - Ian closes FS-Shipyards, and transfers databases, content, and ownership, to ourselves.
09/03/2006 - We reopen FS-Shipyards and have run and owned it ever since.

435 - Days Ian owned and ran FS-Shipyards.
1,382 - Days we've owned and run FS-Shipyards, (as of 18/12/2009).

FS-Shipyards is a unique resource base far too important to our community to lose.

From a quick check, the FS-Shipyards downloads section contains -
282 packages, (some of which are entirely unique to FS-Shipyards),
submitted by at least 61 different authors, (excluding any package collaborators),
plus 11 other unattributed packages, (I'd need to download and inspect all their readme files).

Outline -

10/11/2009 02:00 Onwards -
Ian Thatcher deleted forum content,
then attempted to access, and subsequently published a threat,
to delete the entire FS-Shipyards website,
including all member's uploaded content.

He also caused all web access to all FS-Shipyards domains
to display a notice that FS-Shipyards was closed permanently,
by redirecting the DNS for the default domain, (which he still owned),
to a holding-page on a different server on another ISP.

10/11/2009 02:00 -
On discovery of above -
I downgraded Ian's account to standard-user level to prevent any website content deletion attempts,
and attempted to resolve the matter by email.

12/12/2009 22:00 -
I locked Ian's account to prevent his continued deletion of forum posts.

Ian further attempted to co-opt other parties into -
- Deleting FS-Shipyards entirely.
- Transfering the datasets and content to an entirely seperate account.

I took the nescessary actions to keep FS-Shipyards online,
configuring the site to resolve to, (previously our secondary domain),
a domain which Ian had previously transferred to my ownership, (13/11/2006).

Solely from the perspective of my role as the FS-Shipyards administrator,
I have a responsibility to all our members,
to maintain the integrity of FS-Shipyards, (and all our websites),
and a duty to all those developers who've entrusted FS-Shipyards with their content.

Ian Thatcher has never owned the packages in the downloads section,
other than his own personal package creations.

Those packages are owned by, and copyright to, their original creators.
no matter who uploaded them, (all non-creator uploads were with written permission).

FS-Shipyards will always be a community website,
no matter who owns the resolving domain, website, hosting account, etc.
and the hosted packages will always be owned by, and copyright, to their creators.

A little background -

Ian Thatcher is an extremely prolific developer of flight-sim content,
across nearly all aspects of the platform.

To such an extent that most simmers who download,
possibly have at least one of his products installed
yet are unaware, as he'd published them under a series of assumed identities.

Over the years Ian has supplied hosting to many developers and groups,
providing an incubator environment for their projects,
and often doing so out of his own pocket.

I am, and always will be, extremely appreciative
of all the assistance Ian so generously provided -
- To me personally, specifically in configuring, hosting and supporting
- In configuring, hosting and supporting all the fs-groups domains
- And for all his contributions and advice.

Historical -

Ian Thatcher created the original FS-Shipyards website.

Over the years Ian has hosted FS-Shipyards on various ISPs and domains,
Namely -

With each of these iterations,
those other domains have all been configured
to redirect visitors to the FS-Shipyards website hosted on the default domain.

No matter whether this incident had ever happened, or not, was always eventually going to be configured as our default domain.

Timeline -

Some of the following timeline is derived from the content of-
- Ian's emails to the fs-groups team and others.
- Ian's emails to other parties.
- Ian's posts to the FS-Shipyards website.
It has been reconstructed to the best of my ability, (I'll correct anything thats factually wrong).

29/050/2005 -
I joined FS-Shipyards as a member.

Late autumn 2005 -
Due to abusive requests by 'MeWanna' members, that he create specific models,
Ian announced he was closing FS-Shipyards.
Never actioned.

??/11/2005 -
ODG Project site online to project members, hosted on a members own account, (funded by ourselves).
ISP performance was unstable and unsuitable for forum/portal useability, (crashed & trashed database).

11/11/2005 -
Another development group offered to host our ODG Project on an unrelated .edu server.
Configuration unsuitable for forum/portal use.

??/11/2005 -
Same development group, supported by Ian, later arranged with his permission,
to host our ODG Project on their ISP account, (different account from FS-Shipyards).

??/11/2005 -
ODG Project site reopens to project members, (funded by Ian).

30/01/2006 -
Ian posted to FS-Shipyards announcing that he had retired from FS-Shipyards.

Immediately prior to that
Ian had elevated my account to the FS-Shipyards admin team, (front-end access).

22/02/2006 -
I was elevated to full-admin for the entirely seperate and unrelated fs-groups hosting account, (back-end access).

0?/03/2006 -
Ian posted to FS-Shipyards announcing that
as insufficient funding to support the 3 servers had been forthcoming,
FS-Shipyards would be closing permanently on 09/03/2006 at 01:00 GMT/UTC.

0?/03/2006 -
Ian instructs his various ISP that
on expiry of his account's current hosting period,
they should delete the content of those accounts.

07/03/2006 -
At my prompting, the fs-groups team approached Ian
with the view to saving the FS-Shipyards website.
I was nominated responsible for all aspects of FS-Shipyards.

07/03/2006 -
Ian agreed to our proposal.
and would initiate transfer of all FS-Shipyards content and databases
to our fs-groups account and servers.
He reminded us that it might not be possible,
to prevent FS-Shipyards' content deletions by those ISPs.

Ian at around that time -
further stated he would release the IPSTags, (aka EPP key)
to all the fs-shipyards domains, (.com .org .net),
as and when they came up for renewal.

08/03/2006 -
Ian posted a holding page at FS-Shipyards
displaying a notice that FS-Shipyards was closed.

08/03/2006 -
Ian confirmed that his ISP had been instructed
to move the FS-Shipyards forum database
from his account to our own fs-groups account, (on that same ISP).

09/03/2006 -
In our our fs-groups account's C/P,
I created new databases on our account and servers,
imported the backups from Ian's other accounts,
and configured both FS-Shipyards .org & .com domains
to point at the relevant content folder on our account.

09/03/2006 -
I reopened FS-Shipyards, now operating from our account and on our servers.

I created a new account for Ian as "Thatch", (previously he'd used "Admin").
Despite his assertions that he no longer wished to be involved in an admin role,
I did so out of courtesy, and in the interest of openness,
feeling it was only fair, that Ian could fully see what we were doing with FS-Shipyards.
Ian initially participated, then left us to it.

22/04/2006 -
ODG site went public on our fs-groups account, (hosting funded by Ian).

??/11/2006 -
Ian contacted to release his EPP key for

13/11/2006 -
Ian forwarded's reply email
containing the EPP key for

14/11/2006 -
I registered in my name with CheapDomainsUK,
and configured the domain to point at our ISP's nameservers.

Further information will be posted later.

2 years pass
Following what was a relatively minor disagreement.
Ian grossly breaches his admin's position of trust, (see top of page).

FS-Shipyards will continue to be a community focussed website.

Had Ian succeeded with his attempt to delete FS-Shipyards
NONE of that content would have been available.

Anyone who wishes to either, comment on, or ask questions,
may do so in the forum FS-Shipyards - Administrator Statement - Comment thread

Paul Donnelly
Administrator FS-Shipyards

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