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1

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 7:51pm

Scandal - Easypano has stolen the krpano Bing Maps Plugin Code!!!

Hi,

today I have read that Tourweaver from Easypano is now also supporting Bing Maps:
http://easypano.com/forum/display_topic_…&PagePosition=1

I was a bit surprised that they got it that fast (not typically I would say ;-)) because there were some special things to be respected when using Bing Maps with OpenScales. Especially the coordinate and zoom translating to be compatible with Google Maps was not an easy part.

So I have downloaded their version and looked into their swf by using the Sothink SWF Decompiler...

...AND THAN I WAS SHOCKED:

More than 99% of the Bing/OpenScales related code was directly stolen/copied from the krpano Bing Maps Plugin!!!!

Even the simple code and the graphics for the controls, which were plain simple and every Flash developer normally should be able to do himself was copied!


Here a code comparison - a small part of original krpano Bing Maps Plugin code:


And here the copy from Easypano:



Why is that part special?

The OpenScales API that was used in the krpano Bing Maps Plugin uses internally 'Resolutions' as format for the map zoom and the Goolge Maps API directly the zoom levels as number itself. So to be compatible to the Google Maps API it is necessary to convert the Google Maps zoom level to the OpenScales 'Resolution'.

In the Bing.as file from the OpenScales sources there is a mapping table for that. It is a row of values with these numbers (shortened here for display): 156543, 78271, 39135, 19567, 4891, 2445, 1222, 611, 305, 152, 76, 38, 19, 9, 4.7, 2.38, 1.19, 0.59, 0.29, 0.14, 0.07

This are the resolution values for 22 zoom levels, but in the krpano Bing Maps Plugin I wanted to be able to interpolate between zoom levels and also go/zoom beyond level 22, so the values between these steps and above were necessary. So I have analyzed that row of values and found this formula for calculating the resolution directly from any zoom level: resolution = 10^((22 - 4,74380021493083 - zoomlevel)*LOG(4)/2) .

Finding that formula was not that easy and I was pretty sure that no one other would be that detailed and do this ;-) (every 'normal' coder would use the given mapping array) - so this was the first that I was looking for and was very surprised to see the same code also in the Easypano code. But then was looking further - also all the other code is almost identically, even the function and classes have still their original names!!!

I have extracted here some decompiled code lines from both plugins for comparisons (99% identically) - fell free to download and compare yourself:
http://krpano.com/temp/easypano/bingmaps_original.as
http://krpano.com/temp/easypano/bingmaps_stolen.as

Everyone with a Flash decompiler tool can do the same by opening and comparing the krpano bingmaps.swf and the Easypano TWViewerp_b.swf files.

...

That's absolutely not okay from Easypano!
I have worked very hard for that code and they have just simply copied it!

What to do with such company in such case?!
Any tips or experiences?

Best regards,
Klaus

igor.socha

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2

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 8:13pm

RE: Scandal - Easypano has stolen the krpano Bing Maps Plugin Code!!!

Why I´m not suprised...
These Chinesee *unsure*
Best regards,
Igor Socha

olihar

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3

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 8:15pm

What can I say... this is outrageous... What can we users do other then spread the word and stay away from their products.

I wonder if this is the case for this part of your package that there are other things that they have stolen in the past.

vincen

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4

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 8:29pm

The best is to do best publicity about it, I think it's best and easiest way every people know what happened there ;)
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Tuur

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5

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 8:34pm

Sent them the bill, and also spread the word.
Maybe there are legal options by EU?

Let's all put this on easypano forum, when there is one.
Those bastards *cursing*
Tuur

jeromebg

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6

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 9:29pm

Petition

Maybe you could create a petition to ask them to remoove this plugin or buy the source code ?
http://www.change.org/start-a-petition?u…tm_campaign=sap

7

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 9:33pm

The bad news is that my first tip is "try to resolve it privately." Which means, alas, not making a public stink about it at first. Later, if you have to make a public stink you could say, "we tried to resolve it privately, but..."

You've limited their options. You want them to do the right thing but they need a way to save face, and the more they can save face, the more they will give you in private.

I guess this is advice for next time....

You might decide to eventually sue them, of course, but it's frequently the case that only the lawyers win, so be careful with that.

Zephyr

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8

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 10:02pm

This is very sad indeed.

First because, you spend alot of effort to go beyond what's required. 22 levels would be suffice 99% of the users, you could alsoo just say, well the users who use bing, just use parameters since the api is so different. You spend hours, days, perhaps weeks to help us. And that for no additional fee. Then some company comes along and steals the code...

Second, it was not some company. I think it belongs to one of the bigger panorama software makers. They should be ashamed. Their creditbility is tarnished now. If someone now speaks of tourweaver, I would advice against it. Not only because they steal code, but alsoo for the reason that if you don't write the code, there is no way you could support it, upgrade it or bugfix it.

Third it's one thing to decompile it, and reverse engineer stuff, learn from it and it's another thing to just completely copy paste it and remove copyright markers here and there.

I'm not a pro concerning law, but this is what I would do:
- Contact them in private, ask for takedown and retification
- If they don't comply, find out who their webhoster is and ask for a takedown on grounds of illegal content. With all the commotion about megauploader and such, they would be lenient.
- last option would be go public, like twitter perhaps a frontpage/news article and other panorama forums.

Hope it helps, best of luck mate, this sucks monkey balls
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9

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 10:11pm

Hi,
I wonder if this is the case for this part of your package that there are other things that they have stolen in the past.
I will search also for other stuff of course but I doubt that I will find any code from the krpano core - this is part of krpano is a protected (basically as license protection and not to hide the source) and not that easy to copy like a plugin.

The plugins itself are unprotected because I have no big problem when someone is privately looking at the sources to understand how krpano is working or as inspiration for own plugins.


The bad news is that my first tip is "try to resolve it privately." Which means, alas, not making a public stink about it at first. Later, if you have to make a public stink you could say, "we tried to resolve it privately, but..."
I was just shocked when I saw that! I really couldn't believe that they had done that!

Sent them the bill, and also spread the word.
Maybe there are legal options by EU?
Maybe you could create a petition to ask them to remoove this plugin or buy the source code ?
You've limited their options. You want them to do the right thing but they need a way to save face, and the more they can save face, the more they will give you in private.
I think my main intention is that they should remove all the code that they have copied from me immediately and never do that again, maybe with an official statement or so! I just don't want that they use my code and work, not even for money!

Best regards,
Klaus

Zephyr

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10

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 10:54pm

Quoted

I think my main intention is that they should remove all the code that they have copied from me immediately and never do that again, maybe with an official statement or so! I just don't want that they use my code and work, not even for money!

Best regards,
Klaus


I hope this doesn't affect your motivation in continueing your work/hobby
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11

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 11:03pm

I hope this doesn't affect your motivation in continueing your work/hobby
of course not
krpano is my full-time work, not just a hobby and I'm still as motivated as ever!

best regards,
Klaus

Tuur

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12

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 11:09pm

In a way this confirms krpano is, by far , the best. 'they even steal code that they csn't do them selfs.
I'm sure also klaus will fight and stays keeping up as THE master for all real panoramic, virtual tour builders.
Maybe we ask, for example nodal ninja, to get rid of that 'easy sh**'?
Heads up !
Tuur *wacko*

Nodal Ninja

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13

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 11:38pm

support

Hi All,
First post *smile*

This issue was brought to our attention by another member which we thank. First let me say there are some very reputable Chinese companies (i.e. Fanotec) that take a huge amount of pride in not only product manufacturing but in supporting our community as a whole so we need to be careful not to stereotype.
I have to be honest in saying I am quite surprised at these findings and coming from the creator it's appears irrefutable. I don't know law and don't know code but can smell when something begins to burn. I would hope Easypano finds fair resolve to the satisfaction of Klaus and even the community they have been serving for many years.

Since we sell their software we must accept a certain amount of responsibility to the product. If a portion of the product is stolen then we too are guilty of reselling stolen property so we felt it necessary to contact Easypano for an explanation. We do have a sizable investment in their software but in a show of support towards Klaus on this matter we have opted to temporarily suspend sales.

We'll watch this closely now as it affects our bottom line. And as others have already suggested ideally an amicable solution can be worked out behind doors.

You have our support Klaus - good luck.

Best
Bill

AYRTON

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14

Wednesday, March 28th 2012, 3:39am

Bill,
thanks for your post. It is a nice way to do things. Stopping selling their software until everything is clear it is a NICE way of doing bussiness. Congratzs

Klaus,
here in Brazil, once I had a similar problem, and I found out with my lawyer, that anything you write, being a code or not, ... a poem, a book, or any text you write it is protected by Copyright,and you can sue for copying part of it.
So I would suggest to take the way that Zephir said and try to get an positive action from them, but if nothing works ... then it is time to fight for your rights.
I'm deeply sorry for you.
I know you from the early days before KRP was popular and I know you devote hours and hours to make it the BEST player in the world.
It is not fair what they did.
Shame on easy(not so)pano

Cheers from Rio
AYRTON
It's not WHAT you shoot. It's the WAY you shoot.

15

Wednesday, March 28th 2012, 4:06am

Consider using secureSWF for obfuscating the most important parts of your plugins. You have the full control on obfuscation with this software and can even obfuscate individual classes and functions.
I've tried a lot of obfuscators and this is definitely the best one.

image360

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16

Wednesday, March 28th 2012, 5:40am

SleazyPano

Klaus,

You need to contact a IP lawyer that knows international laws. You can try the nice approach, but I would expect little to no results. Talk to a IP (intellectual property) lawyer ASAP.

Bill, (Nodal Ninja)

You should sever all relationships with Sleazy Pano. Not sure why you have not seen their issues in the past. It's pretty much always been obvious that they are lacking in good business practices. They spam Panoguide on a consistent basis, have been for years. You would do yourself well to remove them from your circle today.

Robert

Sam Rohn

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17

Wednesday, March 28th 2012, 5:48am

seems the original topic in the easypano forums referenced by klaus has been pulled, so they know they are busted

but the google cache is here -

http://goo.gl/KIbIJ

sam
Sam Rohn :: 360° Panoramic Photography :: Location Scout :: New York City :: www.samrohn.com

PanoPress :: WordPress Plugin for 360° Panoramas in Flash & HTML5 :: www.panopress.org

18

Wednesday, March 28th 2012, 5:48am

This is Joe Rao from Easypano. I'm responsible for all the matters of sales and marketing of Easypano products. I'm hope I'm allowed to make a clarication on this issue.

First, I would like to extent my apology to Klaus, who I respect for his excellent work in providing the awesome panorama player. We've stopped the download of last update of Tourweaver and removed all the related subjects immediately after I've received the feedbacks and investigated into the issue. (Easypano marketing team has no knowledge of code thing)

Our developers responsible for Bing Map have admitted that they had copied THREE TOOLS (PositionControl, ZoomControl and MaptypeControl) of Bing Map Plugin of Krpano but all others are sole Easypano's. They have invested a lot of time in doing the research of Bing Map and it is close to success (OpenScales is an open resource to all developers and they have done a lot research on realizing hotspot and radar on Bing map as well as the class of TWCustomMaker in order to resolve the offset issue of radar scanning, and so on), but unfortunately they committed the wrongdoings in the final stage without prior notification to our marketing team. We're so sorry for what this has brough to you and hope you understand Easypano's stand it's always our goal in providing the best tool with our own propriety to create the virtual tour. No matter what, we'll punish those developers who have stained the Easypano's reputation.

Easypano will release another update supporting Bing Map and open its source code for your review in a few days. As we all know that Easypano has been in the market for more than ten years and we always respect our competitors and their hard work, which push us forward to seek for better solution for virtual tour creating.

Once again, we apologize to Klaus and hope you keep going providing better and better products to all virtual tour users. I think I own you a cup of coffee. Hope we have a chance to meet each other in Photokina 2012.

Yours Sincerely,

Joe Rao

Easypano Holdings Inc.

19

Wednesday, March 28th 2012, 6:02am

I've also realized that there are some faulse accusation again Easypano. I hope we can create a fair competition world. We made mistake, but we correct it. However, everyone should be honest in their speech.

This is a world of knowledge sharing. We've never intended to "still" anything from any of our competitors. Please never forget that Easypano is one of company engaged in this industry in the earliest time.

Please never forget 400 patent and the other one for virtual tour creating. We're trying to be better.

Please never understand that this remark is an offense, which is not my intention. Thank you for your understanding.

Joe

Zephyr

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20

Wednesday, March 28th 2012, 9:05am

Seems fair enough. Just curious. People not accepting the update would still be able to use full usage of the plugin right? Seeing photographers having deadlines, not accepting an update so they can deliver the map the client wants, is a big possibility
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