New Stolen Content - and a veterans opinion on the issue.

Discussion started by strangefate1

Hi fellow artists and enthusiasts.

I just wanted to give everybody a heads up about this vendor:

I was told that the above vendor was selling my work here on cgtrader and that he has been reported to CGTrader several times in the past for selling stolen content, and with 486 models of varying quality and styles and no consistency between them, I wouldn't be surprised if most or all of his content was stolen.
I actually just selected a random model from this vendor and googled the first sentence of his product's description and sure enough, it's another stolen model.

The stolen props in question from my own work can (or could) be found here:

It's a fraction of the props included in a Fantasy Bedroom I did a while back. He sells the props for $39 while the whole Bedroom set including more than twice the props can be purchased legitimately for $24.95
Images of the original can be seen here:

While I'm grateful that cgtrader seems to have removed the content pretty fast after reporting it, I had done some googling on the topic before reporting, and emailing them with the issue, and after some reading walked away with the impression that cgtrader has a pretty lax attitude towards theft and scammers.
Often it seems, repeat offenders have the specific content removed (if at all) but the vendor himself isn't removed, which really just encourages their behavior.
If you can steal and upload 100 models, who cares if 5 of them are flagged and taken down, right ?

I personally don't find this acceptable for a website that presents itself as reputable or legitimate in any way.

In my email I offered to help by contacting the investors they list on their website (Intel Capital, Practica Capital and which I'll do after this, hoping that maybe one of them might have some motivational tips or tools for them or experience to share in dealing with similar issues, providing them with links to some of the reported and ignored stolen work and vendors. They may not care where they invest perhaps, but it also can't hurt to raise their awareness.

Clearly, just reporting the offenders isn't doing much.

- Now, it may seem like overkill to some but this is where the opinion bit comes in which I hope will resonate with some other people trying to make a living, supplement their regular income doing something they love or people still trying to simply make a break and a buck selling their 3D work online.

Sorry ahead for the rather long post...

I've worked for 15 years in the video games industry as a lead artist for a large, wonderful and successful Studio before 'retiring' a few years ago. Nowadays I just do stuff I love and sell it online.

Buying models, Substance painter/designer materials etc online on various sites is nowadays a normal part of game design. You can get so much for so little these days that it has become the first go to solution. If you can find and buy it, don't build it.
You'll generally save 80% compared to what an in house artist would cost and the time he/she would spend creating the same asset. It frees up your artists for more unique needed work and saves a lot of your own time you'd usually spend communicating your needs to the artist and then giving feedback and dealing with revisions until you get what you were looking for.

Purchased models by a studio can be anything. Sometimes you buy the simplest stuff, big or small, as a stand in and to help reduce the gray box / blocking out phase, or to quickly provide programmers and designers with something they can test game mechanics and design with.

I've bought (or the studio did rather) entire hipoly refineries for hundreds of $$ just so I'd have a few premade pipes and a detailed silo to start with, using about 20% of what I bought and ignoring the rest.

I've also dabbled in contracts doing renders and such for ads (out of curiosity and for the experience) and it's the same. Someone doing ads will happily spend a few thousand dollars for 1 or 2 3D models to provide you with, and feel like they made huge savings by not having you model the content first.

- In all my years and experiences one thing has always been a constant, and that's for the need of the purchased work to be a 1001% legal.

When doing the ads work I was always provided with the models, for the simple reason that nobody can afford to use illegal work so they would usually link me to the store models they trusted and wanted to purchase and ask if they would work for my needs. They would not trust me to pick the models nor did they care to spend hundreds of dollars more for a very similar model if they didn't trust the cheaper vendor or the website it was on. They literally don't care about whether they spend a $100 or a $1000 on a single model.

At work at the studio was the same, we were always very careful to veto purchases and the vendors as good as possible. In case of doubt, products wouldn't get used and any trace of them had to be scrubbed from the game. Leaving just a single illegitimate blade of grass and it's texture in a shipped game, can result in a lot of headaches and wasted time and money replacing/dealing with the prop.

Websites with sketchy content and vendors were entirely blacklisted, not worth the hassle. It's always cheaper and preferable in the end to spend $100 on a model and website you trust than $20 on a similar model on a website you do NOT trust.

Needless to say, if a website that has ripped video game characters or other recognizable assets, vendors with 100s of assets that don't add up skill or style wise with little to no description, few or inconsistent model previews, google results that confirm issues with the website's content right away, IP protected models/designs with the wrong license types etc etc, are all huge red flags, and 1 is most of the time enough to blacklist a site, given all the other options available out there.

Bottom line, allowing such vendors to exist hurts everybody.
It hurts all legitimate vendors because scammers scare customers away from the website in general.
It hurts them because their original content will always be second guessed on this website.
It also hurts them because their hard work gets buried beneath large dumps of illegitimate work, unable to shine or compete.

It hurts the website if it's trying to present itself or become a legitimate, respected, go-to place.
Growth and Investors will be harder to come by as the industries they try to attract as customers don't materialize and their reputation becomes known.
New honest vendors will also be harder to come by as they're faced with the poor reputation of the site.

If you read all this, thanks.
If you work for cgtrader and didn't delete this post, thanks to you too.


Posted 23 days ago

I totally agree with you. I have been publishing models for almost 2 years (*), struggling to solve this problem and the conclusion I have drawn is that they do not care at all. This specific user has been reported for months, he has models from DAZ, Evermotion, Hum3d and others, but he is still here. Even if they kick him out, he will come back in, it's embarrassing. There are documented cases, of users who have entered up to 9 times with the same stolen models, with the same user (preserving and increasing their reputation, by republishing the same models over and over again) or with different ones. There are users who have multiple accounts and when they delete one of them, the rest are not deleted on their own initiative. Some simply modify the models slightly or hide the evidence and are allowed to continue here. Others openly announce models taken from games, publish images with pirated watermarks ...

The fact that there are 1,030,000 real models, but the ID of the models published today, that is 2,400,000, indicates to me that many models are erased and not because they are obsolete, since currently models are still being published with older software of 10 years. It's because cheats often have large collections. There are many signs that give them away and it is easy to detect them. Simple steps could also be taken that would improve the situation, but other than good words nothing has been done about it in years. Yet another indication that it is not a priority or important for CGT to solve this problem.

CGTrader has lost all its credibility. It is worse than a pirated page, because those who go to those pages already know what they are going to find there, but CGT presumes to be a great market and in reality there is a lot of consensual fraud, (it is impossible to be so inept when it comes to solving such a serious problem). All this fraud has caused worse (illegal) things that seem to have been better controlled, which confirms to me that if you want you can and that they could do better, but they don't. I would say that many of the buyers know the dubious origin of what they buy, that is, they are as tricky as those unscrupulous sellers and they only look for an alibi for a few dollars, (usually the stolen models are sold cheaper than the original ones), in case the thing gets ugly legally. It may be that type of business that is sought to exploit here (many pirate pages already charge to download the models), and it is clear that there is a lot of demand for stolen models, by unscrupulous sellers.

Informing investors had not occurred to me but it is a good idea, maybe the situation will improve.


P.S. Do not expect much participation in the topic

Posted 23 days ago

Yes, this is a serious problem that ALL 3D marketplaces are reluctant to solve and because of that it became worse over time.
I had stopped making new models for sale a few years ago because of that and the undercutting which is a consequence of the same problem.

I had deleted all of my models and left TurboSquid, because a few months ago, they had actually started protecting thieves and also un-ban some of the accounts that I had previously reported - in some cases leaving them selling the same stolen content with the same username and status.
I had showed proof of that in their forum and they had banned me from it for that...

My impressions so far from CGT is that they are faster than TS in removing stolen content and bans are permanent, but there is still a lot of stolen content and in some cases only reported products are removed without a ban for the seller.

Posted 23 days ago

I completely agree with everything you say, stolen models is a big problem for reputation, bad for everyone, industry etc., it should be addressed. However, I do not agree it is better elsewhere, its an internet problem not limited to CGtrader.

You are mentioning there are plenty of other options out there, can you point those out?
As far as I can tell there are just two important ones besides the game engine specific market places (those two are Turbosquid and CGtrader).

I was selling on 4 markets for long time and ended those for reason they just did not sell (no traffic) or made down right crazy demands to work with them. Just not worth all the upload hassle, maintenance, etc.

The last one I left was Turbosquid, a place that takes 60% cut (very expensive platform), was on it for long time. I had no problem with it as long as I could provide my models 60% more expensive for those people your mentioning (who supposedly don't mind paying premium for maybe better quality control and insurance for legit models?).

It was fine up until that place decided to cut down prices on non exclusive sellers to avoid them providing the same content for less elsewhere,.. why? Maybe there are not that much people willing to pay for the premium then? Maybe most people don't mind sifting rubble if things are cheaper? Don't know, I just want to earn a buck from my work, that's all.

Anyways, I left Turbosquid the moment they adjusted my prices, because at that time almost all sales was happening on my CGtrader account, just apart from small number (we could maybe call premium users?). From that moment on it was not worth it serving those few and lose out on others unintentionally served just because the work was available there. The fact that Turbosquid prevents compensating for the hefty expenses proves to me that they don't believe clients want to pay for the extra quality control and thus they want the artists to pay for it.

Also at the time I was there many occasions occurred my models got stolen via credit card fraud, that’s also part of the problem. If its not possible to get models stolen via that type of fraud then they would probably not end up somewhere ells. As far as I can tell no service is able to prevent that from happening, right?

Anyways, in Turbosquid forum your simply unable to say something about this sort of things because your post will be removed in a blink of an eye. I’m convinced same things are happening there but you wont see any of it in that censored forum.

Bottom line, people want quality control and safety, you say they want to pay for it, my experience tells me its few.

Posted 23 days ago

Having to eliminate the same cheat up to 9 times is not the most efficient way to deal with this problem. That encourages cheats, (there are more and more cheeky) and greatly damages the credibility of CGT. You are losing the trust of customers and the respect of sellers, which are very difficult things to recover. They may not do anything in TS when the claim does not come from the owner (the law does not oblige them), but they are extremely careful, when it is the owner who claims and there may be legal repercussions, (for example, there has been no see there no lamborghini models since they were eliminated, and there are far fewer DAZ models, sold as own, than here). Here even if the legal owner is claiming, the stolen models reappear immediately.

I agree that it is not a problem unique to CGT, but this is where it is most serious, because it is most widespread (for example, it is difficult to find counterfeits and replicas of jewelry products like here). TS is committed to quality and legality and dedicates many of its resources to maintaining them. They offer compensation to cover possible legal contingencies. All this has a high cost, but it gives them prestige, (which is not earned by selling stolen models, poorly presented ...). The prestige and quality models attract quality buyers, (who are the most excasses and profitable), and those buyers prefer to spend a little more but have guarantees that what they are buying is what they expect and they will not have problems of no type (especially legal). Here, instead, quantity prevails and, judging by sales statistics, the only thing that matters to most buyers is price. CGT makes no use of resources to monitor published models. It is the ideal environment for fraud to multiply and prosper. They are radically different approaches and attract radically different buyers. The way of dealing with this problem is also different and that of TS is more effective.

There are many relatively simple things that can be done to improve the situation, such as having to present, upon registering as a vendor, the license of the software used. That would eliminate a lot of fraudulent vendors and a lot of software fraud. The name and country of the seller, which is mandatory, for the sale of any product in any real-world store, should also be visible and would prevent cheats from camouflaging themselves. Nor should more than one user per person be allowed.

Of course the root of the problem is the pirated pages, which offer millions of stolen models. Only a small part of them comes from fraudulent purchases. Many of those models are resold by legitimate markets and large buyers. It is essential that these pages disappear so that the problem disappears.

I think strangefate1 has explained it very well and hopefully CGT will take good note.

trimitek wrote
I doubt pirated pages can be exterminated, but they can be easily cataloged and all models that appear there can be added to a database. I won't go toо deep about this, but it can be automated without much effort.
Posted 23 days ago

It's sad to see how some crrocked sellers are protected by cgtrader. I recognize many assets from cgtrader and other marketplaces being stolen and put on sale in store of this thief's store

I even found my own free model, which was already sold at least once by him. Stollen asset: and my original model:

How many more reports cgtrader does need to permanently ban the thief from marketplace?

trimitek wrote
Damn, he even got one of his two positive ratings for your model!...
LemonadeCG wrote
Yeah, makes me thinking if it worth to offer free stuff on cgtrader at all :]
Posted 23 days ago

It's better to not delve into the pricing war here on this topic.
I believe part of the reason thieves problem is not solved yet is because both marketplaces are afraid that they will be at disadvantage if their competitor do not apply the same measures - they will not make money from stolen content and on top of that their marketing team won't be able to brag about who has the bigger... collection (because a lot of models will have to be deleted).
I personally think it will have the opposite effect, because quality and safety attracts a lot more than quantity, but it's still a risk from marketing point of view that nobody wants to take, unless forced to.
So there are 3 options:
1. TS or CGT takes the first step (I'm sure the other will follow shortly if they don't want to lose their business)
2. A new law forces all of them to resolve the problem
3. Nothing changes until we all die

Posted 23 days ago

CGtrader must ban the payout accounts that belong the thief. Opening a legit bank or paypall account much more harder than registering with a different user name on cgtrader and continue with stolen models. This way CGTrader can have a list of payout accounts that belong to thieves. Other than they just create another account and continue their business model. Deleting stolen models only with reported cases is just hopeless effort.

Posted 23 days ago

Thanks for all comments and opinions!

- So, yesterday I emailed the 3 investors listed on their website. It probably won't do much, or anything, but it's worth a try.
Piracy will always be a problem and clearly will never be stomped out of existence, if the music and movie industries haven't been able to get rid of their issues with all their millions of dollars, then neither will 3D art theft go away.

- I can live with my work being stolen and distributed through all of the pirate sites of the world that offer it, just don't pretend you run an honest, legal business when you rely on theft for a probably good part of your income. I would hold a site like this, that claims to have 'offices' in the US and other countries to a higher standard than a chinese site with free stolen models.

I looked up the first 3 models from Seekstore yesterday too, to provide some examples in the emails to investors.
His first and third products are from Daz and I couldn't find anything about the second one at the time.
I also got an email from CGTrader about the removal of my stolen work, which I imagine is standard here, and a bit laughable when he has been reported so many times and they very well know that probably all his stuff is stolen.

As for other sites, depending of your needs, we always relied on Artstation, Gumroad, cgtextures, Cubebrush, Turbosquid and a few others.

While Turbosquid may have it's problems too, it does present itself more successfully as a go-to place for professionals. While some things appeared shady from time to time, its always been easy to find what you need, presented properly with renders, wireframes and in somewhat consistent and professional fashion (like someone spent time on his models and actually cares about whether they sell or not).
I never got the impression that the 'good stuff' was overshadowed by giant art dumps of stolen work... has been a few years since I looked there for anything tho.
I'm no fan of Turbosquid, what it did or tried to do years ago to monopolize the market in a hostile way mostly ruined that site for me. I'm no fan of greed and shady tactics.

-As for what to do, I don't really have a solution for CGTrader other than to do more than the almost nothing that they do now.
If thieves simply come back with a new account and the same models, then I'm sure something could be scripted to recognize identical uploads.

Also, if you're not Facebook and can't afford an army of drones curating your stuff, that's fine, but then you have to find ways to enlist your community to do the work. Not trying at all as it seems to be here now is not only lazy, but casts a shady shadow of lack of professionalism and initiative over the business.

- I don't have a solution for the issue, but they do have an army in their community.

Perhaps banning people is not the solution is they just open new accounts. If someone has a stolen model reported and removed, then perhaps the income from any new sales in his store should be diverted and spread among other vendors for the next 2-3 months.

What vendors ?
perhaps those that they themselves had never anything taken down for piracy (are honest), have a certain amount of content for sale (are dedicated to the site, not just looking to cash in) and have reported illegal content within the last 2 months or less (help police).
A shorter period for reporting would help it make so that people actually report new cases regularly, rather than just report 1 item and hope to cash in on the pirated store's other illegal sales.

Sales might not be much and payouts would have to be every few months only perhaps, and still wouldn't be much, but at least the money would go to good hands.

It's not perfect system and can probably by picked apart easily as I just made it up, but with a dedicated community like they seem to have here it shouldn't be a problem to find a solution that makes everybody happy.

trimitek wrote
Community driven solution can work very well and can be easily streamlined. It will just need some attention at the beginning and a few rules to avoid abusing the system.
Posted 22 days ago

@Techna, how can you be so certain Turbosquid attracts quality buyers who presumably like to pay more? My numbers tell me different story.

At the time CGtrader was getting noticed and my account was gradually getting the sales in tandem it got lower on Ts, it was little less then 50 to 50 ratio, just 3% kept buying my more expensive models on Ts. It showed that Ts commitment to quality had added value for just 3% of the people (probably those type the gentlemen is talking about).

Why would anyone invest in very expensive systems when only 3% care about it? This 3% maybe pay a bit more but not that mush more to justify the cost of serving them with such expensive system. If anyone finds it useful to pay (and lose lots of money) for the luxury and comfort for those 3% then go ahead.

My experience tells me the majority of clients are independent developers and freelancers that usually have hard time to earn a living, they do not care about the platform the contend is on and they just want the best price.

Just small amount are big studios that need top level everything, let those go to strictly curated very expensive websites (not what Ts is).

Ts shows it needs to cut down the prices (in combination with lots of discounts) because the customers just don't want to pay more for prestige. That's the problem, Ts solution to this problem is let the artists pay for it, but they obviously are also not in favor for doing that.

Maybe CGtrader could invest in a separate division and put people in place to do rigorous quality control and call it checkbest models or something, ask 20% extra cut if you want to participate in it, etc. It would probably be nice for some but I would not be participating in it.

That's the nice thing about CGtrader, it only sells service to those who ask for it and want to participate. Ts just demands your money for everything they want, most importantly they are showing CGtrader has a better model because they copy it (at expense of the artists on it).

Anyways, permanently banning sellers dealing in stolen models, completely agree with that.

Posted 22 days ago

I rely on testimonials such as that provided by strangefate1 and other members of the industry, whom I have had the privilege of listening to in person, or in books they have published, in market research and segmentation of clients to whom I have had access because of my career path ... Do you really believe that if you only represented 3% TS would you make the investment you make? Of course, the sector of customers whose motivation is quality is much less than that of those who are motivated by price, (that is why most people have a utility instead of a high-end car), but they generate many more. benefits, because they have big budgets and cost is not their main concern. But that is not the subject here.

That this cheater has not yet been eliminated seems to me shameful. There is only one reputation and you have to take care of it. It already has 11 more models than at the beginning of the thread and that some have erased it. Some examples of other stolen models:

stolen model:

Original author umkamedvedka:

stolen model:

Original author Merlin studios (for DAZ):

stolen model:

original model (DAZ):

stolen model:

Original Author Moonscape Graphics (for DAZ):

stolen model:

original author petipet (for DAZ):

stolen model:

Original Author Merlin Studios (for DAZ):

stolen model:

original author Evermotion:

stolen model:

original author Evermotion:

stolen model:

original author Evermotion:

stolen model:

original author adrealina:

stolen model:

original author Hum3d:

And there are many other recognizable models. Sellers like this do CGT a disservice, unless their reputation doesn't matter to them, (which is what it looks like).

Posted 22 days ago

Don’t want to minimize the problem but it is happening all over the place including Ts but only CGtrader gets into the eye of the storm because everyone can complain about it in this public forum, noting gets deleted here. The question is who wants to deal with the problems and pay for the solutions, no answers on that one.

Stangefate1 seems to be an intelligent person and experienced industry insider, but I find it strange he points out dealing with Artstation and Gumroad while advocating security and quality control is very important. Those places have absolute zero quality control, security and search navigation, they are the cheapest platforms around.

Is Stangefate1 really representing those high value customers?
If yes, why does he sell his great stuff for just 24,95 dollars?
24,95 dollars to not make it 25, why play with perception making it look less?
Does he really believe high paying customers exist and is lucrative?

Anyways, I like Artstation allot and I have a nice looking shop on it, very promising website but sales on it is only 5% of what I get here (probably because of the issues I'm mentioning?).

I keep agreeing dealers of stolen goods is very bad, it should be dealt with, but CGtrader don't deserve to be in the center of the storm, they are doing allot of things right and better then the other solutions mentioned here.

Bottom line, I’m eager to hear about possible solutions, not just pointing out world problems to the one who actually listens. I hope all this complains help in any way but I’m kind of skeptic about it if no one wants to pay for solutions.

Posted 22 days ago

I have been analyzing this problem for almost 2 years, not only in CGT, and I know what I am talking about. To the point that just by taking a look at a model, I can identify who is the original author and from which pirated page it comes (they are often repeated a lot), or from which game it was extracted. I have seen particularly serious cases, which went beyond the classic copyright infringements. I have bothered to inform myself and I know perfectly the applicable regulations. I have made reasoned and reasonable proposals that could improve the situation, but in all that time no concrete action has been taken in this regard. They just eliminate offenders, (sometimes up to 3 times a week the same offender), it's embarrassing. I have a lot of documentation that proves it. Evidence of cheat breaches mentioned in this thread was provided quite some time ago, and there are many others in the same situation. Of the 170 users who have been removed in recent months, very few had a TS account. The same goes for those who sell DAZ models as their own, jewelry counterfeits ... Although there is fraud in all markets, I can assure you that nowhere is it as serious as here. So NO, CGT is not doing its job well and shirking its responsibility, (which it does). The only logical conclusion is that they don't care at all.

Posted 22 days ago

Just an example:
A quick search with keyword "interior" + price range up to $50 will always give you plenty of thieves in ANY 3d marketplaces (the lower price you set, the more thieves you will find).
Just tried it on TS - checked 12 pages, noticed 12 different accounts..

Also checked some of the old accounts that I had reported few months ago and TS support protected- some of them are gone (one of them had CM certified scenes with stolen models), some of them are still there, selling the same stolen content - one of those that I checked is uploaded in 2012...

So is it worse to protect thieves?
Is there a point measuring who has more?
Do they all just pretend to care?

For me all 3D marketplaces are responsible for this situation.
There are a lot of things that can be done, but they don't have motivation to do it.

skapricorn wrote
As I'm repeating like a parrot: all marketplaces getting profit not only from models (and maybe not from models at all), but from traffic flow and statistics numbers for ads-oriented contemporary internet-economy.
Posted 21 days ago

I could also give you many examples, but I am already tired of this topic.

It is not about seeing who does it less badly, but about doing it better. I think we will all agree that:

- It is a serious problem that affects us all.
- What is done so far is clearly insufficient.
- There is not the slightest intention of improving.
- With that conformist and complacent attitude it will never improve, it will get worse and worse. You will tell me in 1 year if you keep thinking the same.

Posted 21 days ago

That's exactly what I was trying to say, we can give examples all day.
There is no point in making this TS vs CGT topic.
Both marketplaces don't take measures to prevent this practice.

Posted 21 days ago

I find it very hard to believe that they don't care,
I'm curious, what sort of reasonable proposals that could improve the situation did you make?

iterateCGI wrote
This question was addressed to Tecna,
Posted 21 days ago

I proposed these measures almost 2 years ago.

- That the real name and country of the seller are always visible, (As is mandatory on any invoice, or purchase ticket from any physical store). It would help a lot because it would prevent repeat cheats from camouflaging themselves. This was done, so it is easy to implement, but it was quickly removed, due to complaints from some users, who probably have something to hide.

- Do not allow more than one user per person. There are users with up to 10 simultaneous accounts. Allowing this, in addition to distorting statistics, votes ... helps cheats protect part of their collection of stolen models. If they are not able to implement it, the users themselves could detect it, if the real name were visible.

- Inform the legitimate owner, when we detect a stolen model. This speeds up the disposal of stolen models, because the law provides for them to be removed in 48 hours. In addition, the owners of the models that end up on the pirated pages, are what they can and must file a claim to have them removed from those pages. Since nothing is achieved, it is if nothing is done.

- Control software licenses. In addition to helping to have fewer stolen models it would also help regulate prices. Even if CGT did nothing with it, having to file the license invoice, upon registering as a vendor, would avoid many cheats. There are many models with pirated software screenshots. Users themselves could help control this by including that information in the profile.

- Eliminate free models, or at least reduce the number of free models per user to 1 or 2 models. I think that would be enough to fulfill its purpose, which is that potential buyers can see the seller's way of working, before buying their model. But in reality, what they are for is to attract cheats who later publish those models as their own. There are currently more than 228,000 free models, which represents more than 22% of the published models. There are even users that ONLY have free models (in large quantities). Rather than being free to everyone, free templates can be offered to buyers, as an added bonus for purchase.

- Create a professional association and a code of good practice, to defend our rights, as in other professions.

LemonadeCG wrote
Sorry, but most of your proposals are bullshit and some are even unlawful, not to mention that those measures probably wouldn't help much. Cgtrader is trying to build community driven marketplace and you want them to turn into nazis.
Posted 21 days ago

Thanks SimonTGriffiths.

Regarding Lemonade's comment:

The name of the seller always appears on the invoice, whether it is paper, electronic or simplified. It is the way in which governments can control tax fraud and buyers can exercise their rights (claims, returns ...). CGT adopted this measure, (or it may have been a mistake), because it was so brief that it went unnoticed by many. Those who protested could corroborate it, but I doubt they will. Repeat cheats can remove the evidences or even publish different models (there are many different stolen models on the pirated pages, to choose from), they can change their username, but they cannot change their real name, so clearly this measure would help to identify them .

Many are brave when they hide, but would not dare if they were exposed. So it would also help reduce the number of cheats.

You know as I do, that it is true that many users have multiple accounts (treworld3d clones). Some users have even commented on it in the forum.

You yourself have warned users (for example 3dHaupt) of the theft of their models. I don't see anything strange in it. Many pages, (especially pirates), only admit the claim if it is made by the owner of the rights. It is appreciated that CGT is not one of them and attends to well-documented claims.

It is true that there are many models created with pirated software, you just have to take a look at the images of the models to see it. CGT could perfectly include, among the documents to present in the registration of seller, the license of the software used, it would not be illegal. Just as it is not, other professionals (doctors, lawyers ...) hang their accreditation on their wall. Or other establishments (bars, restaurants ...) have visible their business opening license (which includes the name of the owner, who is the one who is granted the license). Right now, anyone, even if they have never used a 3d program, can publish thousands of models. If it were mandatory, the cheats would have to pay a license, or they could only publish models with free software, which greatly reduces the number of models available on the pirated pages.

You yourself have said in this thread that you are considering whether it is worth offering free models. Offer them for the minimum price, or as a gift to those who buy their models, I do not see that it is false or illegal. I think you have misunderstood me, I do not mean that they are deleted by CGT.

Other groups create associations to defend their rights, and copyright law encourages them to do so. The union is strength, and if we are a community, let us work together to solve this serious problem.

Naming the Nazis is at least in bad taste.

SimonTGriffiths wrote
I always use my real name :) The problem I see with your accreditation suggestion is that if you can go to the lengths of stealing software and, indeed, models, then you would certainly be able to provide false documentation for software purchase. One of the things that make it difficult to trace peoples models is that a lot of modellers use different names on different sites. As I specialise (mostly) in a certain area I often look at what others have to offer, and many times I've seen the same models on other sites, but I am never sure if they're stolen, or indeed if the ones I've seen first on here are the stolen ones because the names differ across sites. I believe the only way to track these people is to physically search for our own models across these sites and then report them on finding. The chances of having the offending models removed still stays low :(
LemonadeCG wrote
I'm not sure if showing seller's name to a buyer would be acceptable without consent of the former and i don't see how that would help to reduce the piracy, but i have no doubt that showing seller's name publicly without his consent is unlawful. Same can be said about asking for proof about licensed software. Have you ever heard about privacy? Oh and i'm perfectly entitled to sell 3d models, even if i never have touched 3d content creation program in my life. As for free models, well, if you have problem with free models, then it's just that - your problem. Eliminating free content from cgtrader would solve absolutely nothing. And lastly, i didn't call anyone a nazi. If you think otherwise, i suggest to re-read my previous comment once more.
Posted 21 days ago

Providing invoice of purchased software on registering, in order to be able to upload certain file formats is the easiest measure and will work great, because stolen models and illegal software come from the same warez sites, so the likelihood people who sell stolen models to also use illegal software is 99%.
Also, as far as I know, making fake invoice is considered much bigger crime according to the current laws.

However.. there is one VERY BIG problem, that I'm certain 3D marketplaces are well aware of:
Judging by comments, pricing and some other factors, I can estimate that probably around 60-70% of all sellers are using illegal software...
That means that if a 3D marketplace is brave enough to implement such rule, they may loose very big chunk of their collection.
I doubt some of them will dare to risk it unless forced to.

For me, this is a balloon very similar to the one that caused the financial crisis in 2007-2008 and will inevitably pop sooner or later making a crash landing.
The sooner that ends the less damage it will take, but I will leave that analysis to the marketplaces.

So for now, more realistic scenario is using software and scripts to recognize duplicate images and meshes (similar already exist and can be used as is).
For models - the relations between certain percentage of points distances can be recorded and compared - it's like a unique fingerprint of a model and retriangulation, scaling or changing small parts of the mesh will not affect it. Human check can be done at the end if needed.
All models uploaded to warez sites can be analyzed and added to a database for comparisons with uploaded models.
It will take some time to analyze all uploaded models, but banning accounts with stolen models will accelerate the process a lot, and once all of the models are scanned only the new ones will have to be checked and it will be very light on resources.

LemonadeCG wrote
Look at cgtrader's designer list: most of those on the first page are not individuals, but organisations and many of them are outsourcing modelling to other individuals or organisations. How they supposed to collect and provide the evidence about various software licenses that are used by their contractors? And what about if someone made his models 10 years ago with software that he no longer owns, or lost documents long time ago? What about if someone rents software? How you could check if model was made in the valid period? Maybe someone will rent the software for one month, just to have "evidence" and then cancels his subscription? It's very easy to say "do this, or that and problem will be solved" without thinking how it can be implemented practically and what actually that would do to the issue. I think that idea about demanding to provide evidence about legality of used software is not only hard to implement practically, but it also so easy to circumnavigate, that it would only hinder honest sellers and would not affect those that really has something to hide.
trimitek wrote
It's not that hard to implement. I can address every one of the cases you had mentioned and it can be solved with simple rules, but there is no point in delving into this - the reasons I had already explained. | Will it hinder the process? - yes, but you register only once | Will it worth it for the honest sellers? - yes | Will it damage the marketplace profit? - yes, most likely, especially on implementation | Will a marketplace do it voluntarily? - no, I don't think so
Posted 20 days ago

Funny how we're fighting for days over each other about what should and what shouldn't be done, while the "hero" of the story is continuing to upload stolen assets like nothing ever happened.

trimitek wrote
I believe he will be gone tomorrow when CGT staff come to work. I hope I'm not wrong :] (unless it's some kind of official holiday in Lithuania)
Posted 20 days ago

The one who sells the models is the seller, not CGT, so the seller's data must be available, just as it must be visible on any label, of any product that is put on sale. But also, the seller gives his authorization to CGT, when he registers as a seller, so that he can satisfy any circumstances related to his commercial activity (legal, fiscal requirements ...), even after his commercial activity has ceased. . You also agree to deliver to CGT any documentation that it, or the buyer, deems appropriate (such as the software license) to demonstrate that everything is correct regarding its models (including copyrights). It is stipulated in the internal regulations.

Privacy refers to private life and a commercial activity is not part of private life. There is also the right to the image and models of real people are sold scanned or not, (famous and anonymous, including children, probably without their authorization) and in many cases their name is also used.

CGT standards also provide that uploaded content must be your original work. If the seller is a studio, it will have legal personality, and the licenses should be in the name of the studio. If it does not have legal personality, it is only a group of individual sellers and should sell as such, each with its corresponding license. The license should be in force as long as models are released. If you are a professional dedicated to your work, you will have the license permanently, (or at least while you continue to produce models).

Removing the free templates would prevent unscrupulous people from reselling them, without the author earning anything from them. The ones that I had for free now I have for $ 2 and I have sold them several times.

I agree with trimitek that if all models were thoroughly analyzed, a large part of them would not pass the cut for one reason or another (in all markets).

I hope that tomorrow the offender will be removed.

Posted 20 days ago

I found this by chance on Pinterest:

I could believe that they are too busy to review the models that are published here daily, but it seems that they do have time to promote stolen models on their social networks, (since the 3dsky logo is clearly seen in the image). For things like these, that's why I claim they don't care at all.

Of the 18 models (all stolen) that this user has, 5 have the 3dsky logo, one is published twice and another is from Anchel, a CGT user:

I included that model in my analysis almost 2 years ago, it was published in 5 pirated pages and had more than 3,000 downloads:

P.S. Seekstore still not eliminated

Posted 19 days ago

The solutions your providing to the world problems I can now somewhat understand why CGtrader is not reacting on them and I would not call is carelessness on their part or unwillingness to find real solutions. The software license control you are referring to (if applicable globally) would not make any difference, probably big part of content would become Blender content and 3ds max, C4D and Maya users would be very unhappy to find very few content, Blender gets very popular and thief's would just deal with Blender content and FBX models and that's it.

CGtrader demanded my full identification and payment information, I don't see why any regular user like you needs to see it, how would it exactly help?

You spend 2 years analyzing the problems, how are you planing to return on investment, are you planning to setup some business around this stuff? I’m reading about some hints from your friend suggesting some sort of police force, how does that look like in concrete terms? Would you be on this force? Is this why you need names on display?

I will always encourage everyone to do site suggestion and give constructive criticism but up until now I just didn't see any of it, just some sort of smear campaign and requests to turn this platform into Turbosquid 2.0, that's all.

Excuse me for the next part and referencing back to Turbosquid versus CGtrader debate but the way CGtrader gets attacked/portrayed in this conversation kind of is suggest it is bad here, CGtrader people are bad, they don't care, supposedly support thief's, etc., kind of suggesting we should feel guilty supporting this platform, its bad for everyone, better solutions out there, etc. (its not).

CGtrader is just as susceptible to the world problems as any other place.
(PS: everybody can join the CGtrader Pinterest board and pin something on it)

I’m not complacent to the problems of theft and copyright infringements I'm just a practical individual. Show me real solutions and tell me how much it is going to cost (the solutions would need to be saving me money, not cost me more).

Probably the most viable suggestion I have heard so far are some sort of algorithms/scripts comparing data and find duplicates, that would probably eliminate some types of fraud cost effectively, all the rest I’m hearing so far, just very skeptic and a bit suspicious about it.

Posted 19 days ago

The first paragraph of your comment tells me that you intuit that most users use pirated software. We agree on this.

What I am saying is that CGT (and not only CGT), should comply with their own rules and the law (which is what they are for). My only interest in this matter is to keep the market free from fraud, for the benefit of ALL honest modelers. If I planned to do business, I wouldn't have wasted so much time on this. So much interest in maintaining anonymity indicates to me that there is much to hide. But anonymity does not protect and everyone is responsible for their actions.

If CGT were brave and eliminated all the fraud, it would be a benchmark, but as already mentioned, that will not happen.

I do not know, nor have any relationship with who you call "my friend". They are also not a fan of TS. As I have said more than once, I only sell my models on CGT and considered it as my home, so I wanted it to be clean and I have tried to help make it so.

Each one draw their conclusions. For me it is clear that things are not being done well.

I do not see anyone else, except trimitek, contributing ideas, I hope they are put into practice. Not even CGT has done anything in these 2 years to improve the situation. Waiting for someone to come fix your problems is usually not a good idea. Troubleshooting is also not usually free. But it is more expensive if they are not solved.

Posted 19 days ago

( For the protocol - seekstore account was removed yesterday as predicted )

Posted 19 days ago

Um, do these pirates make new images? Or do they use the ones uploaded with the models? If they use the modellers' images, would it not be prudent to copyright those instead of the models to make it harder work for them to steal? I am of course assuming the simply download a model and all its formats and then save our images directly from the model page, then upload elsewhere without ever checking the model out. If they had to make new promotion images this would surely make the model not worth the time and effort to steal in the first place?

SimonTGriffiths wrote
Dam, can't edit a reply lol Something like this on the images;
trimitek wrote
As you can see from their pricing ranges, most of them are not very good at realizing the value of time. Some even do some recoloring or make changes to the mesh in attempt to hide their crime ( + new renders). Those who use the same images from the original are usually rare, because they are caught and eliminated easier.
Posted 7 days ago

Wow, published 2020-05-23 (today) and just 4 views at the time you pointed it out,

Thief's get detected in few minutes on this marketplace :o

Posted 7 days ago

In this case even a simple duplicate image detection would have worked to catch the thief.

Posted 7 days ago

Yes, some users quickly detect cheats, but CGT most of the time, it takes too long to remove them. There are many cheats reported, waiting to be removed. For example, the one I mentioned in this same thread 15 days ago, which has not yet been removed.

Other times, although they are removed, they re-enter shortly, changing their names, such as the user who announces the Audi showroom on the forum, with Evermotion vehicles, which has already been deleted 2 times and at least has a sale of that model. I very much doubt that the buyer has been advised that they cannot use the model.

Now you have simply hidden or removed the vehicles, but it is still here:

No wonder they take so long because there are so many cheats to get rid of. For example these, all recently released:

With watermarks from another website:

The iron man model removed on numerous occasions:

Hum3D vehicle:

And many others with pirate page marks, and extracted from games, which I will not put here.

thiefsend wrote
Very good thread. To bad I've notice your post first after I start my own. But we have any eye on the same guy. I really hope cgtrader will do some action on those guys. It's really a shame that this accounts still there after weeks they got reported.

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