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Panorama Tools License

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  • hd_de_2000
    The Panorama Tools library and PTViewer are published under the GNU license which states that any piece of software using it must also be published under this
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 5, 2007
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      The Panorama Tools library and PTViewer are published under
      the GNU license which states that any piece of software using
      it must also be published under this license. Apparently,
      several programmers violate this requirement. I personally
      have not checked this but I frequently get emails from
      users of such programs. What I personally often see when
      browsing the internet are rip-offs of PTViewer which can
      be easily identified.

      I encourage anyone who wishes to start a commercial
      project based on PanoTools, but this can and should be done
      within the boundaries of the license, which btw is one of
      the most generous licenses thinkable. Violating the
      license is not just cheating me (which is no problem to
      be discussed on this list), but it also endangers the
      violators business: According to the license text any
      software which is partially GNU-licensed is automatically
      fully GNU-licensed. The user can request all sources
      from the vendor. What if he assumes (as stated in the license),
      that he can legally make and distribute copies
      of the software, ruining the violators business?
      The software vendor will have a hard time defending
      a copyright which he legally does not own.

      Anyway, to solve this problem, and after some discussions
      at the IVRPA-conference in Berkeley, I am planning to change the
      license for the PanoTools library (the files "pano12.lib" and
      "pano12.dll" apparently used by many programs) to the
      GNU-library license, which means that programmers can link
      to it without revealing their own code. They still must
      make the library code (and all changes they made to it) accessible.
      I am going to publish the license text at my website in the
      next weeks,and the change will be in effect from that day
      on (not retroactive).I will not change the PTViewer license.

      Regards

      Helmut Dersch
    • Erik Krause
      ... I m very glad you clarified that point. We had a lengthy discussion on the sourceforge Panotools developer list
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 5, 2007
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        On Sunday, August 05, 2007 at 8:13, hd_de_2000 wrote:

        > I am planning to change the
        > license for the PanoTools library (the files "pano12.lib" and
        > "pano12.dll" apparently used by many programs) to the
        > GNU-library license, which means that programmers can link
        > to it without revealing their own code. They still must
        > make the library code (and all changes they made to it) accessible.
        > I am going to publish the license text at my website in the
        > next weeks,and the change will be in effect from that day
        > on (not retroactive).I will not change the PTViewer license.

        I'm very glad you clarified that point. We had a lengthy discussion
        on the sourceforge Panotools developer list
        <panotools-devel@...> earlier this year and came to
        the conclusion that without your statement the licensing issue can't
        be solved.

        Many thanks for your wonderful software - see you in Lucerne...

        best regards

        --
        http://www.erik-krause.de
      • erik leeman
        Many thanks for your wonderful software Indeed! thank you! thank you! thank you! I don t think we can thank you enough! Regards, erik leeman
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 5, 2007
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          "Many thanks for your wonderful software"

          Indeed! thank you! thank you! thank you!
          I don't think we can thank you enough!

          Regards,

          erik leeman

          (www.erikleeman.com)
        • Keith Martin
          ... I d like to add my heartfelt thanks too. k -- Keith Martin Author, Creative Suite 3 Integration (Focal Press) Senior Lecturer in Publishing, LCC
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 5, 2007
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            Sometime around 5/8/07 (at 11:33 +0200) Erik Krause said:

            >Many thanks for your wonderful software

            I'd like to add my heartfelt thanks too.

            k
            --

            Keith Martin
            Author, Creative Suite 3 Integration (Focal Press)
            Senior Lecturer in Publishing, LCC (University of the Arts, London)
            Technical Editor, MacUser magazine
            design, programming, VR photography, consultancy

            http://www.thesmallest.com
            iChat/AIM & Skype ThatKeith

            UK (main) +44 (0)20 8646 3474
            UK (cell) +44 (0)790 954 1365
          • yuval_levy
            THANK YOU for your wonderful, seminal and inspiring software that was well ahead of time and still is one of the best stitching engines. THANK YOU for
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 5, 2007
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              THANK YOU for your wonderful, seminal and inspiring software that was
              well ahead of time and still is one of the best stitching engines.

              THANK YOU for clarifying the license issues.

              Yuv
            • Daniel M German
              [..] ... Hi Helmut, We haven t had any chance to meet I am Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada.
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 5, 2007
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                [..]

                > Anyway, to solve this problem, and after some discussions
                > at the IVRPA-conference in Berkeley, I am planning to change the
                > license for the PanoTools library (the files "pano12.lib" and
                > "pano12.dll" apparently used by many programs) to the
                > GNU-library license, which means that programmers can link
                > to it without revealing their own code. They still must
                > make the library code (and all changes they made to it) accessible.
                > I am going to publish the license text at my website in the
                > next weeks,and the change will be in effect from that day
                > on (not retroactive).I will not change the PTViewer license.
                >

                Hi Helmut,

                We haven't had any chance to meet

                I am Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of
                Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada. I do research primarily in the
                areas of software evolution, software re-engineering, open source
                software, and software licensing.

                You are most likely aware that panotools have been maintained during
                the last years as a sourceforge project (I joined the project in
                Dec. 2005). I'll refer to the source forge version of panotools as
                SF-pano to avoid confusion.

                I am very glad you decided to clarify these issues. During the
                discussions of the panotools license (around the beginning of this
                year) it became clear that we were divided in two camps: those we
                wanted panotools under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), and
                those who wanted to continue using the General Public License
                (GPL). For the sake of disclosure I was in the latter group. We came
                to the conclusion that you were the only one who could initiate a
                change of license.


                In 2006 SF-pano was split into two versions: pano12, binary compatible
                with many of the programs you wrote (and some commercial software,
                such as PTgui), and pano13 which was no longer binary compatible with
                them (but with a new set of programs that reproduced the functionality
                of PTstitcher).

                PTgui acknowledged its use of pano12 as a dynamic library, and the
                believe that it did not infringe the GPL by doing so (something that I
                personally did not accept). Without you (the main owner of the
                copyright) it was impossible to assert the license of SF-pano12, or
                SF-pano13.

                On the other hand I applaud Max Lyons who had been actively
                participating in SF-pano, and whose product (PTassembler) has been
                using SF-pano12 as an executable (in accordance to the GPL).

                Panotools was being used against the spirit (and perhaps the letter)
                of the GPL, and nothing was done against it. IMO, this was creating a
                bad precedent. The development of panotools has stalled ever since.


                As I mentioned before, I am glad you have clarified this issue.

                Helmut, do you plan to continue development of panotools?

                I'll be glad to donate to you the copyright of many of the
                improvements I have done to panotools. This includes several output
                projections, and a new parser of the .ini files.

                daniel



                > Regards
                >
                > Helmut Dersch
                >





                --
                --
                Daniel M. German
                http://turingmachine.org/
                http://silvernegative.com/
                dmg (at) uvic (dot) ca
                replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .
              • hd_de_2000
                My answer to Daniel bounced from the list so I repost it here: Hi Daniel, ... My own frustration regarding GPL-violations are due to the abuse of the PTViewer
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 10, 2007
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                  My answer to Daniel bounced from the list so I repost it here:

                  Hi Daniel,


                  On Sun, 5 Aug 2007, Daniel M German wrote:
                  >....
                  > Panotools was being used against the spirit (and perhaps the letter)
                  > of the GPL, and nothing was done against it. IMO, this was creating a
                  > bad precedent. The development of panotools has stalled ever since.
                  > ....

                  My own frustration regarding GPL-violations are due to
                  the abuse of the PTViewer applet. There were times when I daily
                  received emails from users who had spotted violators. I wrote a few
                  emails to the infringers but it did not stop, and I finally
                  gave up. What could I do? Starting a legal fight is out of the
                  question (a) because I have already received my lifetime share of
                  legal battles, and (b) because I have better things to spend my time
                  with.

                  I did not monitor the development efforts on Sourceforge,
                  and was not aware of the conflicts you mentioned in your
                  email.

                  On the other hand, I enjoy seeing the whole Panorama Tools
                  project succeed and now dominate the VR-scenary. This success
                  could not have been reached with open-source development alone.
                  We just can not provide such a user interface and user support.
                  However, it is rooted in the open-source project, and it will
                  probably fail, if the open-source part is completely
                  discontinued. The strength of opensource projects is
                  that they quickly fuel novel research results into usable
                  applications. Eg, many features of 5 year old PTools
                  are still not or only partially available in the commercial
                  front ends (just saw the "Nadir fixing" for flat floors
                  in Joosts new "PTGui", which "PTStereo" could do for arbitrary shaped
                  surfaces some 5 years ago, etc).

                  I wished there was a better relationship between the
                  two "camps" because of this interdependence.

                  >
                  > Helmut, do you plan to continue development of panotools?
                  >

                  I have some ideas about motion picture processing, but I
                  have not made plans about how much effort I will spend.
                  I have no plans in the sense of general improvements
                  and development of the existing programs.

                  > I'll be glad to donate to you the copyright of many of the
                  > improvements I have done to panotools. This includes several output
                  > projections, and a new parser of the .ini files.
                  >

                  Thank you, I will check the Sourceforge project.

                  Regards

                  Helmut Dersch
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