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Class Action LawsuitDystopiaLegalMatteroport Ecosystem

Class Action Lawsuit: 3 Roads To Travel6459

immersivespaces private msg quote post Address this user
I have been speaking to an attorney over the past couple days and he just got back to me with regards to the change in Matterport's TOS and the serious implications with regard to our clients' privacy. He believes that we have 3 separate potential class action lawsuits to look at. I simply cannot, in good conscience allow my customers to be exposed to the privacy issues that the new TOS are creating. Here are the comments from my attorney:

1. Matterport retroactively claiming license to work created by a photographer in the past goes well beyond what is legally permissible under US Copyright Law. They can't simply claim that a license has changed and you are now beheld to the new terms of licensing for creative content. It doesn't work that way. Grant of usage rights is not the same a software licensing, which is the model they are attempting to use here. A class action could be filed claiming that Matterport has no ability to "self-grant" a license to a photographer's work without compensation and that retroactively claiming such licenses violate protections in Title 17 of the US Code and the Copyright Act of 1976 and numerous subsequent amendments to copyright law. At first review, we find about 9 different potential violations. Regardless of how Matterport wants to define the spaces internally, the fact that the images are captured by what they themselves refer to as "photographers" means a different set of rules apply in regard to copyright law.

2. Under US Law, a person's right to privacy is not something that is opted into. There are numerous examples in case law where customer information that was otherwise shared publicly for a specific purpose (ie. selling your home) does not become something that can be distributed after the fact, especially for profit. Matterport cannot claim that because a "space" was made public at any point in its lifetime before the new terms were in place that the "owner" at the time it was captured has automatically opted into a new service Matterport intends to provide in the future. Matterport must seek permission from both the homeowner and the photographer to retroactively claim such rights. Nothing in their previous terms of service would permit such action and it is those terms under which the homeowner's involvement would apply. They also cannot claim that a homeowner's inaction in not requesting a "takedown" is somehow a grant of permission, especially if they made no efforts to ensure that the homeowner was adequately informed of this beforehand. Their claim that making a space public is an irrevocably granted right that is out of control of the homeowner is ridiculous on its face. Additionally, Matterprt spaces capture more than just the physical structure of the building, which is the transferable asset. A homeowners personal property, copyrighted artworks, and even appliances all have intellectual property rights attached to them that go well beyond anything Matterport can claim usage of. Historically the courts have consistently sided with the homeowners in similar situations when photographs of homes were used outside their original intent. A class action can be filed on behalf of the homeowners in this case. There is a very high probability that this case would be won. A secondary action could also be pursued on behalf of any intellectual property that is captured in the scan, such as the aforementioned artworks, appliances, etc.

3. The question as to whether the new Matterport "Ecosystem" is part of Matterport as a whole or an independent feature needs to be looked at. There is some grey area there that could be used in a class action much like the one that was brought against Microsoft in the 1990's when it was found that their Internet Explorer program was, in fact, separate from their operating platform, and therefore subject to a different classification under the law. This avenue will hinge largely on what the Ecosystem looks like when it is launched.

This is all, of course, an informal review of the situation you presented based on the information on Matterport's website and in the Terms of Service you provided. Should you wish to pursue a class action, we would need to do an in-depth analysis of this situation to determine the best course of action.
Post 1 IP   flag post
OpenHouseOptics private msg quote post Address this user
An injunction on their actions needs to be filed immediately.
Post 2 IP   flag post
eggardner private msg quote post Address this user
How realistic is it to get the start of a class action going from within this community? I'm not even sure of the steps to take and what the costs might be! I'd certainly be willing to contribute financially to the cause!
Post 3 IP   flag post
aarongeis private msg quote post Address this user
How to Start a Class Action Lawsuit
Post 4 IP   flag post
eggardner private msg quote post Address this user
I think doing it within the group or under the name of the group would not only be more coordinated, but it would make the group even more important in the eyes of Matterport (and other manufacturers) who would see it as a group who are not prepared to just lie down and take what is being forced on them.
Post 5 IP   flag post
htimsabbub23 private msg quote post Address this user
Please keep us informed of the situation and what it takes to have a class action(s) filed. I would be willing to do what it takes to get this tos tossed out
Post 6 IP   flag post
Standard
Member
Chicago
rzphotoman private msg quote post Address this user
@immersivespaces All someone needs to do is start it. If your up for it I would have that attorney do his in-depth analysis and see where it leads. I'm behind you 100%
Post 7 IP   flag post
OpenHouseOptics private msg quote post Address this user
Where’s Jack? He already has a copyright lawyer for another issues he’s dealing with...what’s one more 😂
Post 8 IP   flag post
Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user
@immersivespaces And the truth but nothing but the truth and black on white facts shall set you free

So all of our complaining a year back actually was not for nothing.
Post 9 IP   flag post
Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user
@immersivespaces

1. Matterport retroactively claiming license to work created by a photographer in the past goes well beyond what is legally permissible under US Copyright Law. They can't simply claim that a license has changed and you are now beheld to the new terms of licensing for creative content. It doesn't work that way. Grant of usage rights is not the same a software licensing, which is the model they are attempting to use here. A class action could be filed claiming that Matterport has no ability to "self-grant" a license to a photographer's work without compensation and that retroactively claiming such licenses violate protections in Title 17 of the US Code and the Copyright Act of 1976 and numerous subsequent amendments to copyright law. At first review, we find about 9 different potential violations. Regardless of how Matterport wants to define the spaces internally, the fact that the images are captured by what they themselves refer to as "photographers" means a different set of rules apply in regard to copyright law.

So let me get this in English, one sentence only - The work is ours? Legally?
Post 10 IP   flag post
suncoastskyview private msg quote post Address this user
Count me in!
Post 11 IP   flag post
immersivespaces private msg quote post Address this user
For anyone interested in being part of the potential Class Action against Matterport, I have an attorney already looking into it. If you would like to be kept in the loop, Bernard has set up an email for us. There is no obligation in providing your contact info. He’s just measuring what is on the table and who the potential players are.

Bernard Velasco, PA
[PM @immersivespaces for email address]

Please provide primary contact information, the name of your business (if any), location, years in business, years providing Matterport services, number of private residences scanned, and a statement as to how the actions made by Matterport have or will negatively affect your business.

If you are a private homeowner who’s property has been involuntarily “opted-in” to the proposed Matterport “Ecospace” offering, we would love to hear from you as well.

We are not stating that a class action is viable at this time, but are seeking to discover how and if Matterport actions warrant a resolution through court action. By contacting me, you are not committed to any proposed or future class action, you are simply providing statistical data and expressing an interest in being informed of any potential future action so that you may be given the option to participate should one arise.
Post 12 IP   flag post
Lukmoorkens private msg quote post Address this user
Is Matterport dead in Europe in a few more months by the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

clickable text
Post 13 IP   flag post
Basic
Member
Buenos Aires
jfantin private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks for the info @immersivespaces This seems the logical first step towards a potential Class Action against MP.

First step: evaluate how many people, where are they, how many spaces have been created and an expression of the kind of damage we are talking about.

In principle it seems that there are many reasons to claim that Matterport's decision violates our legal rights. Even if we are in different countries and continents, there are some basic rights about copyright and privacy protection that are more or less universal, with a few exceptions (are there any MSPs in North Korea?
Post 14 IP   flag post
eggardner private msg quote post Address this user
I have written my email to Mr. Velasco. It would be nice to know and confirm that others have done the same!

Thanks to @immersivespaces
Post 15 IP   flag post
htimsabbub23 private msg quote post Address this user
I have not yet, but will be tonight or tomorrow when I get in the office.
Post 16 IP   flag post
Standard
Member
Chicago
rzphotoman private msg quote post Address this user
@immersivespaces Sent my email in...thanks for getting this started.
Post 17 IP   flag post
immersivespaces private msg quote post Address this user
UPDATE: As of right now Bernard has a list of about 80 MSPs.
Post 18 IP   flag post
isabel private msg quote post Address this user
Thank you, @immersivespaces!!
Post 19 IP   flag post
mikeb private msg quote post Address this user
looks like you have a lot of recruits from the Matterport Official user group https://www.facebook.com/groups/MatterportOfficial/

here's one story from there:
Steven Ting
How would Matterport respond to this? The way the TOS was changed essentially grounds many of our businesses. This is one casualty for an MSP.

Just received this email from a major brokerage house that I have been working with for years. I received permission from her to share this so long as I redacted her name and the brokerage name. This is a very large company that sells ultra-luxury real estate around the world, and one of my best clients:

Hi Adrian,

We were recently made aware of the changes being made to the service agreement with Matterport in regard to the virtual tours you have produced for us. As you know, our client's confidentiality is an extremely important consideration when listing homes in a closed market. We do not provide links to our virtual tours on any MLS or other public services that may expose our clients to potential violations of their privacy. It was this strict confidentiality that you have maintained with our VIP clients that permitted us to use the virtual tour services in the first place. Your company has been exemplary in upholding our confidentiality agreements and restrictions, and we thank you for it.

That being said, after some in-depth discussion with our legal department, and a long look at the impact of the new Matterport Terms of Service, we have decided that we can no longer use the 3D virtual tours created with the Matterport service. Regrettably, we will need to immediately cancel any scheduled scanning appointments while we look into our legal options to protect the privacy of our clients. We also request that you immediately remove any Matterport virtual tours that are currently active for any of our agents.

We completely understand that this is something that is out of your control and we look forward to a continued relationship with your company to provide us with photography, drone and other marketing services. Please let us know as soon as you have come up with a replacement service for the virtual tours and we will be happy to have you provide them for us. We are all a little taken back by some of the things our attorney found in the new agreement and are ourselves preparing a legal response. You will likely see an official response from XXXXXXXXXX corporate in the coming weeks. We wanted you to know that we do not hold you or your company responsible for the unethical actions of Matterport.

XXXXXXXX
Vice-President
XXXXXXXXXX Real Estate Palm Beach
Post 20 IP   flag post
OpenHouseOptics private msg quote post Address this user
So the first house I scanned was my own but according to the TOS and the MP responses to the townhall questions, if I ever switched it to public then my house is now in the eco-system. 😂😂😂 perfect!
Post 21 IP   flag post
Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user
clickable text

Have a look at this new Group. If I was clever I would set up a group like this to get all the information from the guys to be better prepared for the guano storm about to come. But again they aren't that smart, I mean they don't even use the details on the tours to contact our clients 🧐


But I think I will be kicked off it soon enough from the MOUG group becuase the truth is a mofo. And looks like they won't be able to handle it and I feel bad as there is a lot of new camera owners also on that closed facebook forum. And you can hear that they are new by the comments - hey let us just ride out this way. I am like yeah buddy maybe go and buy a surfboard and sell your camera will make more money surfing and you own the board at least and the ocean, okay wait who owns the ocean?
Post 22 IP   flag post
SailAway private msg quote post Address this user
I said this a year ago seeing where it was going and I stopped using matterport all together. I’m curious as to the contract we all signed.
Post 23 IP   flag post
SailAway private msg quote post Address this user
Ohh and I want my 4500$ plus fees refunded.
Post 24 IP   flag post
Photo
Sparc
Charleston, SC
JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
@SailAway,

Which platform did you end up using? Have you had a positive experience with the company and with your client response?

Just curious,
Jon J
Post 25 IP   flag post
SailAway private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonJ
@SailAway,

Which platform did you end up using? Have you had a positive experience with the company and with your client response?

Just curious,
Jon J



I do digital photography as main part of my business in various industries. You can use your dslr to achieve similar experience as matterport.

I was turned off by matterport after finding out I couldn’t hide their brand on my scans and lost interest pretty quickly.
Post 26 IP   flag post
Basic
Member
Buenos Aires
jfantin private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenHouseOptics
So the first house I scanned was my own but according to the TOS and the MP responses to the townhall questions, if I ever switched it to public then my house is now in the eco-system. perfect!


In my case the first scan was my son´s appartment in San Francisco right after unpacking the Matterport camera that I went to pick up directly from Matterport offices near Mountain View.

So my son´s appartment, even though I have deleted it long time ago, with all the clothes in a basket for laundry, and half pizza over the table, will show in the eco-system

Of course I will not tell him about this because he will probably sue me for breaching his privacy
Post 27 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder
Atlanta
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@immersivespaces

In light of your past discussions with an attorney about Matterport, you may find this of interest:

Matterport Service Provider Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Matterport

Dan
Post 28 IP   flag post
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