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This document is intended to summarize the events that lead to the creation of the PanoToolsNG Yahoo Group and the move away from

Short history

The first PanoTools mailinglist "proj-imim" was created by Helmut Dersch and was hosted at the fh-furtwangen. After a patent threat from Ipix the list was shut down around 2003-04-17 and the community decided to move to the PanoTools Yahoo Group created by John Spikowski (JS). JS managed the list and refused the help of other list members because he didn't trust them: [1]

First attempts to move to

  • 2004-11-12 JS registered [2]
  • 2004-11-22 JS's first try to move the community to a forum at [3]
  • 2005-03-05 JS first asked for money [4]
  • 2005 03-15 JS tried to migrate the list to mailman [5] claiming that his work is worth 50.000$ and coining the infamous The bottom line is that being a PanoTools members is no longer going to be a free ride. [6]
  • 2005-03-18 After this events Kevin Kratzke joined JS as list mom [7]

Next attempts

  • 2005-09-18 Creation of the PT-Beta list [8]
  • 2006-05-22 New server for (150$ per month) next request to move to this server [9]
  • 2006-05-23 More intense request for donations [10] and calling critics whiners [11]
  • 2006-06-01 JS starts to "Mirror" the Yahoo group [12] with a fork in mind
  • 2006-06-04 Steven Dowd found out that JS is using the server for other projects including his commercial pages [13]
  • 2006-06-06 JS, Yuval Levy and Bert Vierstra are blocked from posting for a month [14] but JS was still able to post to the list [15]
  • 2006-06-09 JS announced the PTML list [16] to fork the list as explained in [17]
  • 2006-06-26 JS announced to sell the domain [18]

Changing the management

A poll was set up where 93% voted to change the management of the PanoTools list so as a first step where new moderators added [19], [20] and Kevin Kratzke signaled that he would give the ownership of the list to a formal entity like the IVRPA or a non-profit organisation as a Verein. JS didn't like that idea.

  • 2006-07-10 JS regained ownership through a back door, removed all moderators including Kevin Kratzke and changed the list to moderated [21]
  • 2006-07-10 The PanoTools NG list was created
  • 2006-07-20 PanoTools list closed [22]


Since then JS has acted in a very unreliable manner. One day he offers peace: [23] the next he spreads wild accusations, mostly on his site, the next he removes the accusations again (hence no link).

External incidents

After the move of the community to the NG list JS also tried to disturb the list at Nabble where he tried to delete the list several times or changed the description [24] and on Wikipedia where he modified the PanoTools article several times [25] and attacked other people for which he got several admin warnings and blocks [26]

Some days before 2006-09-28 he started to copy articles from this wiki thereby deleting the history, which is a clear violation of the authors copyright and of the GFDL (Paragraph 4.I.) under which the wiki articles where released.