What is Dovetail Games’ policy with using licensed brands in add-ons for FSX: Steam Edition?
We recognise that the inclusion of branded content is a very important aspect of the flight simulation experience. It is important for us that we can offer users a variety of aircraft, including many specifically requested by the community. We passionately believe in offering content that is authentic, approved and licensed by respective rights holders, and in order to deliver on this, we invest a great deal time and effort into establishing relationships and securing the permissions relating to such content. By securing permission from the respective rights holders, we can ensure anything we release to users is permitted and up to standard.
How does licensing work?
The licensing process requires a lot of lengthy discussions with aircraft manufacturers and airlines in order to obtain specific approval to use their intellectual property in FSX: Steam Edition add-ons. In each case, we first have to request permission from the relevant rights holder to recreate and use their intellectual property rights – including any design rights, names, logos and liveries – in add-ons we release for FSX: Steam Edition. Such permission usually takes the form of a legally-binding license agreement, which sets out the specific things we can and can’t do. Once we have an established a licensee/licensor relationship with a rights holder, we then seek approval from the respective licensor that they are 100% happy with the respective assets and finished end product. Once that is done, the product is officially approved by the licensor, and can be released.
Licensing is not always a straightforward process. There are no guarantees that a rights holder will grant us permission to represent their intellectual property, and there can be many reasons why they may choose not to grant permission.
What happens if a license can’t be obtained?
In the past we have occasionally had to release products without the specific branding, such as liveries and logos, but that is an option we are reluctant to take, and something that is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Our users want real-world content, and that’s what we are determined to deliver. Equally, it sometimes takes longer than expected to reach agreement with a rights holder and in such a scenario, products need to be held back from release until a license is in place.