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Legalities regarding obsolete aircraft models

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Hypothetical Question..

The developer of an FSX model airplane has gone out of business, and apparently died. Extensive efforts to reach the developer have produced no results. Every attempt to contact the developer has been made. The FSX model was purchased and used in FSX before the developer disappeared. There is no avenue for asking the developer to put the model in the public domain. The owner wants to convert the model to be MSFS compatible, and make improvements to the looks and flight characteristics. After this has been completed, including much modification to the original files, can the owner make the new MSFS model public (in the public domain -- free), or is it only for the person's personal use? I understand that livery changes can be distributed legally. But how about a conversion from FSX to MSFS, if the original developer is given full credit? Do copywrite legalities die with the developer, or live on forever? I have attempted to answer these questions through web searching without success. Perhaps someone on this forum has a factual answer (not opinion or guess, but legal answer). Thanks!
 
FSDeveloper discourages discussions about EULAs and Copyrights. We are not legal counsel. Our members are not legal counsel. My advice is to contact an attorney and get a professional opinion.
 
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