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Bill BrownEcosystemKerfuffleMatterportRJ PittmanTrust

An Open Letter to Matterport CEO Bill Brown6500

WGAN Forum
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

WGAN-TV Live at 5: Matterport Ecosystem Town Hall (27 February 2018)

[The following is an open letter to Matterport CEO Bill Brown]

27 February 2018

Dear Bill,

Thank you for calling a time-out yesterday to revisit the re-launch of the Matterport Ecosystem and Terms of Service. A lot to think about - for all of us - the past six days ...

It may surprise you that I am a huge fan of the Matterport Ecosystem. it. it. it. The scan data that Matterport Service Partners capture with the Matterport Camera will propel Matterport into Unicorn status when you eventually go public.

I could imagine, in just one use case, that Matterport will have millions of floor plans that you will be able to license an API, to,, etc. That’s huge. Or, enabling the fire department to know where the bedrooms are to help save more lives. Even mashing up with blockchain mortgage approval in three days, as I wrote about a year ago in the We Get Around Network Forum illustrates the value of the scanning data.

Here are my takeaways from the WGAN-TV Matterport Ecosystem Town Hall today on WGAN-TV (above), to help you achieve your big vision.

The Matterport Service Partner Community can help you Succeed Faster if you (truly) look at us as Partners.

1. Enables us to Opt-in. We don’t want to have to Opt-out. That’s huge. Some of us shoot $5 million pocket listings that are meant for a few potential buyers. Our clients will not engage us if there is a chance - even for a moment - that “our” content is used in unintended ways. And, Opt-in needs to be at the model-by-model level.

2. Incentivize us to Opt-in. Show us the money. Motivate us to give you a buy-out, or revenue share or monthly recurring revenue or pay per click or some other way. While it will be much harder to get us to Opt-in than Opt-out, you need to show us how we can share in the wealth creation.

3. Define Customer. We all think it is us; the one that pays Matterport for the Cloud account. If you think it is our client or the future homeowner, please let us know.

4. Define Copyright. And, please be clear helping us understand the definition in context to photographer or software.

There seems to be a big difference. And, exactly what is the copyright in? Is is the original photos that were used to create the 360ºs and that’s it? Does Matterport own the data that the camera captures and you can use the data in anyway that you wish without further compensation or permission?

Are all the derivative works owned by Matterport? Can you do anything that you want with them even though we continue to own the copyright? We’re not lawyers. We just want to understand who owns what and why and who has the right to use it without further permission or compensation. Telling Inman that the photographer owns the Copyright is a mantra of misleading the media and its audience.

5. Define Licensing. We’re confused. What have we licensed to Matterport in perpetuity and how does that differ from Copyright. We just want to understand what we are licensing to Matterport and how you might use this license. Help us understand the difference between Copyright and Licensing.

We’re photographers - not software engineers. We come from a world where we own and control the content that we create and typically license the use - per use - and retain the Copyright.

6. Define Delete. Most of us think delete means delete. For example, if we own the Copyright and do not want anyone to ever use the content, how and why can Matterport restore a digital copy for anyone else’s use, without our permission? Our Clients trust us. If they ask us to delete something, we clearly understand what that means.

7. How will you re-earn our Trust? Keep in mind that we all started as raving fans. Many of us spent $10,000 among the Camera, Cloud hosting, gear and accessories. You had our trust to make that investment.

8. Don’t Be Sneaky. Hitting the Continue button to accept the new TOS was sneaky. You should acknowledge that. Telling us that we own the Copyright, but using our content in ways that we never intended or imagined is sneaky. Acknowledge that. Creating a Catch 22 - we can not see our content unless we hit continue is sneaky. Acknowledge that. Trying to make the new TOS retroactive is sneaky.

One post in the WGAN Forum says 80 Members have expressed interest in learning more about a potential class action lawsuit against Matterport. Was the lawyer that quoted confused?

I am not a lawyer. I don’t give legal advice. Seems like you may be defining what we consider Copyright in photography differently than Copyright in software and that you may be defining what we do in software terms rather than Photography. The point is, help us understand. It seems sneaky.

And, by enabling us to Opt-in rather than having to Opt-out, this addresses any issues that anyone might have with being forced against our will to enable Matterport to use “our” content in ways that were never clearly explained.

Having a button that say Delete (and implying that once Deleted - can not be undone) is sneaky. Apparently, no models have ever been deleted since you kept a digital copy and use it in ways that we did not understand (because “We own the Copyright” and “we can Deleted the model” obviously means something different to us than it does to Matterport. That’s super-sneaky.

8. Mutual Indemnification. If you we tell you that we have the right to license content and that comes back to cost you, okay, that’s our fault. If you license our content that results in a lawsuit that you were at fault, then we need to be compensated (and you can not limit that to $500 per model).

9. Consider a Stock Photography Agency Model. All parties will likely be happier.

10. GPS data collection. How might you use the GPS data? (Don’t be sneaky) And, give us an option to Opt Out. Some of us shoot multi-million dollar single family homes that are pocket listings. GPS + Matterport was likely intended for good use cases. But, in light of the past week, give us the option to turn of the GPS. Or, perhaps, we would have the option to Opt-in to share the GPS data, if we understand why that will benefit us and our clients.

11. Don’t Make Things Retroactive by Default. If you are talking about Copyright, Licensing, Ownership - whatever we call it - we don’t have the permission for you to use our content in ways that were never intended between the photographer and our client. Again, the default set to we have the option of Opting In rather than a default that we are automatically opted in (and would need to Opt Out) would address this.

12. Treat Us Like Partners - If we are Matterport Service Provider Partners, treat us as Partners.

13. Transparency - Now more than ever, Matterport needs to be transparent in what, why, how, when, where and who related to “our” content. We feel like you have a grand plan for the use of “our” content. You need to be transparent so that we can decide if we want to Opt-in and participate in that vision.

14. Advisory Board - It seems obvious to many of us that vetting ideas - as big as the Matterport Ecosystem - would have helped prevented two Inman articles and countless We Get Around Network Forum posts from outraged Members. If you can’t step into the shoes of your Customers - we are your Customers correctly - then ask some of us for help.

We would have told you all of the above starting, “You mean delete doesn’t mean delete?” “And, you want to make that retroactive and assume that we have all the permissions for use cases that our clients have not given us permission?” “And, what is wrong with giving us the option to Opt-In if this is such a great thing for us. Growing the market is way different than show me the money. And pay your Advisory Board.

15. Private versus Public - Telling Inman that the photographer has the option of setting the model to Private falls short when a Pro needs to make a model Public for seconds to order floor plans.

Once upon a time, we got engaged. Then we got married. Today, many of us are discussing divorce. How did that happen? Marriage is about trust. Yet, many of us feel that you are trying to cheat on us. Perception is reality for us. If you want us to stay married, you not only need to earn our trust back, you need to surprise and delight us.

The Community has said from the beginning of time that we are willing to pay for a white-label and that we are willing to pay for it. Offer it AND grandfather in everyone that bought a Camera as of today for the first 12 months of white-label at no extra charge.

We get it that you changed your mind about charging for the Object file. Grandfather us in for no charge. Or pull out the OBJ and make that free again and add something else to MatterPak. At the very least, revisit MatterPak and figure-out how you take care of your early Adapters.

I know you apologized, and while that was nice (accepted), I kinda feel like you need to back it up the apology with implementing the list above and surprising and delighting us all back into raving Matterport fans. And, sharing the money - show us the money - will help the Matterport Ecosystem Succeed Faster.

While I could imagine that it is unlikely that you will participate in a WGAN-TV Live at 5 with me to address these questions, you are welcome anytime. If you would like to invite to Community on WGAN-TV Live at Five to ask you questions too, happy to do that as well.



P.S. Perception is reality. Many of us perceive that the Matterport Inside Sales Team is prospecting using MSP created scans. Who are the most likely camera buyers? Real estate agents that are already buying Matterport 3D Tours. There are too many coincidences to have many of us think otherwise.

Many of us thing that Matterport is doing retargeting marketing based on people looking at Matterport spaces. While I can not imagine that you would tolerate either scenario, seems like you need to bring in an outside law firms to do this audit/vetting. Perception is reality. It's another pain point related to Trust.

Please do something big and bold to demonstrate that this is not happening. BTW, my understanding is that if we invite a real estate agent client to Collaborate in Workshop to add Matterport Tags, they WILL get on your email list about buying Cameras.

Please tell me I am wrong. And, if I am not wrong. What are you doing to Communicate this to MSPs and when will this be leaky bucket pain point be fixed?
Post 1 IP   flag post
grmngrl private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod very well put together. Thank you Dan. I concur.
Post 2 IP   flag post
Nerdvice451 private msg quote post Address this user
Very well done Dan! I watched the entire forum that you did today. Thanks so much for putting all this together so quickly and professionally. You had a fantastic group of people together today who helped create your 14 points for this letter. I hope Matterport is listening to us.
Post 3 IP   flag post
nat_vanveen private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod Excellent summary Dan, well done and said!
Post 4 IP   flag post
Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod Thank you for all the input. I just saw some comments on the MOUG forum about the town hall discussion on here. It is very sad how the masses get influenced and hazed over. I wanted to comment but realized give a man enough rope. So I hope as a collective we can get this moving forward and business as normal. Like the one brown ringed police guy said on there can we get back to discussing Showcases and help each other and not focusing on the TOS. I agree fully with that. Because who cares if we don't own our content right.
Post 5 IP   flag post
Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user
Where did all the guys disappear too now?

Sic ( From Moug Forum) :

"I am shocked... We Get Around is broadcasting live and they seem to be totally ignoring the most recent article of Inman. Subject Matter Authority? Or is this pounding war drums?"

These comments happen if you don't have the whole story and get your news from Fox and CNN
Post 6 IP   flag post
Windsor, UK
leonvanzweel private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod Another issue that needs addressing is the Financial Position of Matterport: "Tell us if you require more funding. We will understand. We know that Technology requires Research & Development and that costs lots of money. You will be surprised how many of us will invest in Matterport if you only ask us. But, take us into your confidence and allow us to trust you."
Post 7 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Originally Posted by @rzphotoman
Thanks Dan for hosting the Matterport Town Hall last night. Many great ideas shared by concerned MSPs. Can a recording be accessed today by anyone who missed it?

Please see the video above.


Post 8 IP   flag post
imad private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod Very well said Dan, thanks for summarizing all the issues we have with Matterport, i think we'll all be surprised to see and official reply the addresses all of the above, however at least you conducted our opinion loud and clear.
Post 9 IP   flag post
Buenos Aires
jfantin private msg quote post Address this user
Great summary. I couldn´t attend but I will watch the video later tonight.

Very good points there. I am still not sure if all this has taken the right direction (from Matterport I mean).

The financial position of Matterport really concerns me. As I mentioned in another post, Bill Brown almost confessed that they were running out of money when he declared that they needed to use our material and license it to third parties to keep funding research and development.

This is a company with a great technology but without a good management team. It is sad, but if you take a look at all the missteps in the last 12 months you realize that it seems that they don´t have a clear direction businesswise.

Let's be clear on this, because I know that someone will start describing all the good things that happened lately from the technological point of view. Paraphrasing the slogan during the Bill Clinton's campaign: it is not the technology, "it is the strategy stupid!"

Matterport is great and I love to use it. The final product is fantastic and I couldn´t ask for more in this sense (well, maybe there are more things to ask, but let´say that it is OK so far). The problem is the strategy and its implications in the long term for the company and, eventually, for our models and our customers.

Hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst is my mantra, and I invite you to adopt it.
Post 10 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

Much thanks!

Hi All,

I received this email (below) following the show.




Apologies for my insuccessfull log-on on your tonight webinar.

I was not able to connect the video, only my Mic.

Even if I am not à long term follower of your daily update web site, I have been looking at your recent [activity] and was impressed by the Development of Mister Matterport himself.

I am the owner of a 1st generation Matterport camera, as well as Immoviewer account and occasionaly an UAV’s pilot for mainly technical projects... as well as being French ! Nobody is perfect !

I really wanted to thank you for your abnegation and your sense of « big brother like... » to provide us your advise and your way to accommodate Technical and common sense no [redacted] feelings.

Do not stop yours advise and your daily news, WE need you.... even in France.

Thanks and Long Life to your support

From FrogLand,....

Post 11 IP   flag post
Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user

How can we succeed as a collective if you get replies like this?
Post 12 IP   flag post
PeterMcCready private msg quote post Address this user
Wonderfully put Dan, thank you very much indeed!
Post 13 IP   flag post
Southlake, TX
Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
Hey Guys,

I watched the town hall and thought that Dan did a great job as host and that the broadcast did a very good job of raising the concerns of a large group of people. Everyone had a chance to speak their mind, share their feelings, and offer suggestions.

I do hope that someone at Matterport takes the time to watch the video and that the concerns will be taken as helpful feedback.

Good job, Dan! I think you guys handled it well!
Post 14 IP   flag post
agradoville private msg quote post Address this user
Great layout of the issues and I for one would definitely join that class action if it comes to that. Hopefully it won't but I'm not holding my breath that Matterport will do the right thing. That comes from looking at their past behavior when it comes to valuing the customer.
Post 15 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

Thank you.

Our suggested next steps for Matterport - as outlined in the open letter above - seem reasonable, practical and realistic.

I'd like to think that Matterport thinks so too.

Let's all take a time-out, breath deep and look towards a future that is win-win-win for all of us.


Post 16 IP   flag post
mori private msg quote post Address this user
Great work.

Don´t forget the Europeans. For us and Matterport it´s essential, that everything also aligns to 100% with the EU "The General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR)( and local adaptions like e.g. "DVSGO" (german only: for Germany.

From may 25th 2018 these rule will be strict and also companies from outside europe need to deliver their services according to these rules if they want to offer their services in europe.
Post 17 IP   flag post
Nodal Ninja
Bill private msg quote post Address this user
you have a way with words - well spoken
Post 18 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

Much thanks.

Hi All,

A WGAN Member sent me this email (below).



"Most appreciative Dan……and continue that “Watch Dog” position….having you and that… one that a lot of hard working and excited people who dug deep into their wallets to explore something that is CUTTING EDGE…….only to be marginalized by MP… and what you are doing supports all these people. You are to congratulated. I know it is part of a business, but it protects many of us."
Post 19 IP   flag post
Panama City Beach, FL
Rollinryan private msg quote post Address this user

WOW... I see an opportunity and am glad I didn't invest $10,000 yet. Guess they will answer your concerns? I doubt it without being probed and usually that requires a monetary adjustment.

Guess I'll hang in and see where this goes.

Thanks for addressing.. seems to be very important... For Sure.

Rollin Ryan
Post 20 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

Yes! Still not resolved.

Post 21 IP   flag post
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