Is it legal to create and sell 3D models of existing real-world items?
I dug around a bit and found nothing solid on this, and thought to see what the community has to say.
Say there's an car or a piece of furniture I wish to create a 3D model of and sell. Is this legal, given that its design may or may not be someone else's property?
If ur sure it's the property of nobody yes you can
After some discussions on another platform I arrived at the conclusion that it very likely isn't illegal to create and sell 3D models of existing real-world items whose design may or may not be somehow protected, the reason being the fact that legitimate marketplaces like this one and others such as TurboSquid feature innumerable models of brand products of all sorts without perceptible backlash.
As an artist, you have the right to interpret the world around you, just as you can paint a picture or draw a picture of existing things, say buildings, vehicles, etc.
Another thing is to try to sell taking advantage of a commercial brand and present your product under that brand.
Let's say that you can make a model of a particular car whenever it is an artistic creation, that is, that there is something in the work that is exclusively yours, but I think it is not fair to try to sell it under the trademark, it is better to clarify that it is your version of that object.
Probably, the reason that brands do not make claims in general, is that, in reality, a model is nothing but a drawing, and would not exist if someone does not make that drawing.
As such a drawing, it can always be argued that it is a creation in itself, an interpretation of an existing object, a work of art since it is the work of an artist.
With the same object, it is very likely that there are not two equal models, since each artist has a different level of skill, sensitivity and knowledge.
I believe that a brand has the right to demand that its designs and its commercial brand not be used as such, but it can not prevent someone from interpreting them, since that interpretation is something different that belongs to the person who made it.
I mostly agree with stereomanik. However, it happened on another marketplace, some car barnds got removed. Car manufacturer sent cease and desist leather. That is legal term for "remove models depicting our brand or else". Money we make from selling 3D models is to low for any brand to start big legal action against i think. So the worst thing that can happen to us is we simply get our models removed.
That being said, it is still a risk. We spend time in making those models, it would be a shame if all that time is wasted. Do best idea is to make our own stuff from our head. To be concept artists as well. That is ultimate security.
Yes, there is always a risk and nobody wants to be involved with legal issues.
But, just to expand a bit the topic, somebody can steal your fresh own design, I talk by experience, and take legal actions against it can be even more complex, we walk in the edge of the razor.
I also recall the Rank Xerox case.
An italian artist created a character named Rank -Xerox, probably because the name´s sound pleased him, the character himself has not any kind of relationship with the brand.
But the brand claimed against, and the artist was forced to change the character´s name and called it Ranxerox, then the name was not the same even if it sounded equal.
Just to show how we are always in the twilight.
Thanks for the conversation so far. I am also planning to sell my 3d models online. After I was not sure if I can do this with the respective brand name I ask a lawyer (Germany) if it’s allowed. After a research he came to the conclusion that its not allowed to sell 3d models without the permission of the brand. Of course, I'm wondering now how other platforms do this without this permit? play roulette? the other question what I ask me is this, if I design as 3d models for e.g. a couch with the same design but without brand name, can I sell it....? Because it’s my own design of the current product.
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