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Matterport Terms of Service / Copyright Law2792

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Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

As you all know, I've been extremely interested in the Matterport Terms of Service -- specifically where it relates to US and International Copyright Law.

It has been my belief that as photograpers who own the copyright to our images, that it is our right to DOWNLOAD and USE our panoramas in ANY manner that we choose.

Today [30 September 2016], I enjoyed a brief paid consultation with a high profile law firm out of Chicago (I did not ask permission to use their name, so I will omit it).

The conversation lasted 15 minutes, although I had paid for 30 minutes and felt that is was so productive and they had prepared so well that they deserved a 15 minute coffee break.

-

The takeaway from the conversation is this:

The Matterport Terms of Service is a contractual agreement on use of their Capture App, Workshop Platform and Showcase Platform that trumps our rights as copyright owners. By Matterport's TOS stating that we own the copyright, it really makes you think that you have something that you don't have. The inclusion of these statements is quite intentional and there is no US Law that prevents them from operating under this Terms of Service.

You really don't get to enjoy the benefits of the copyright because you are not allowed to do anything with that copyright that Matterport does not explicitly state. (Download snapshots and use Showcase)

Perhaps it's a fault of advertising on their part to sell a camera with fine print; however, they are protected in doing this and persuing Matterport through the legal system on false advertising would be an expensive endeavor with very questionable chance of success.

An analogy is this:

You sign up for an art class at a studio. You and your friends create paintings that you own the intellectual rights to. The art studio owns the canvases and doesn't allow them to leave the building under their terms of service. Instead, your painting is hung on the wall where people can view it in their gallery with your name on it.

--

In conclusion, I felt that my investment in legal consult was extremely productive. The law firm were thrilled about Matterport and think that it's an incredible product.

To those who are upset with Matterport, the recourse is to simply NOT use their product as many people on the forums have suggested. I believe that if you take into account the ease-of-use, the showcase platform, workshop (measurements, snapshots), and the new VR platform, that none of us will jump ship over this issue.

I am EXTREMELY optimistic that Matterport will someday allow us to download our copyrighted photography. They could easily sell us the 2k cube faces that I have demonstrated exist at a premium price in order to create a new revenue stream. They can also introduce their own services such as Matterport to StreetView, or allowing a tour to have a Facebook 360 Export wherein they only allow 1 per model and host it themselves.

In closing, this is my final post related to copyright law, Matterport Terms of Service, and exporting panos. The only exception will be if and when Matterport choose to allow us to do this under their terms of service.

- Chris
Post 1 • IP   flag post
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Metroplex360

Thank you for sharing the result of your call with the community. (It's likely a topic we will NOT see posted to a Matterport blog.)

Here are some related We Get Around Forum thread posts on this topic:

Ownership of Matterport Models
Creative Common Rights?
Last chance to see The Howner Workshop
Stupid Terms Link
MP2SV: Matterport to Google Street View Service
Matterport Kills Services Discussion Index
Announcing: MatterXport

Dan
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Invelop private msg quote post Address this user
Chris,

Thank you very much for sharing the above. You have confirmed what many of us (operating commercially) have been struggling with from the inception our respective relationships with MP and rarely discuss in an open format.

While we understand that MP built the platform, the content must be created/generated - and that mostly comes from the efforts of entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, we as content providers do not have a choice but to agree to the TOS and forego any legitimate copyright claims.

This hearkens back to our conversation RE raising prices and respect for the businesses that produce quality content. Hopefully one day MP will find a way to exist both in the B2C and B2B markets.

-PH
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Other thoughts? Dan
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