Published a full game-ready asset that I made with a help of free hi-poly source from this stock. Am I infringing copyright?

Discussion started by SlashAssetStash

Hi there! I decided to use that hi-poly (https://www.cgtrader.com/free-3d-models/industrial/tool/generator-915634f1-1323-4e1e-a017-3aa4e288cb2b) in my own sci-fi project, but then I found a better concept art for my environment, so I published this asset in my account (https://www.cgtrader.com/free-3d-models/space/other/scifi-electromagnetic-generator), also for free. Am I infringing copyright?

Answers

Posted 21 days ago
0

Hi,
I don't item in question is copyrighted, so you can't infring the copyright. I guess you want to ask do you breach the license terms by posting your work. And the answer is NO. Your work is considered to be derivative of original and since all cgtrader's free models are shared under Creative Commons lincense (unless stated otherwise by author), you are free to use, remix and share derviative works, as long as you attribute the author. However there is small problem how you attributed the author - i think you did unsatisfactory job here and things certainly can be improved. Please take a look here and see how proper attribution should be made: https://creativecommons.org/use-remix/ If you'll fix this issue, then your work will be absolutely fine.

LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
"I don't item in question is copyrighted" - should be "I don't think item in question is copyrighted". Sorry for typo.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
The model in question is labeled with Royalty free license. And the only change I see is in a few colors/materials.
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
Sadly cgtrader does pretty lame job in distinguishing licenses - both commercials and free models are labeled with same license, but free models are in fact being sold under CC BY license. It is stated in CGT terms and conditions. As far as i can tell, OP has done significant changes to the model, for it to be considered a derivative work. All is fair here, appart from insufficient attribution.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
This is a really dodgy situation. If the page you get the model from says Royalty free license I would trust that, not the Terms and conditions, which says "A Product which is offered as a free download shall be licensed with one of Creative Commons licenses as chosen by the Seller.". It doesn't say IS, but SHALL, which implies it should, but may not be CC and that is chosen by the seller. It's kind of unclear.
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
Not really, "royalty free" is not a license by itself, it just means that you don't need to pay royalties on model usage. On cgtrader commercial models are sold under standard royalty free license (terms can be found on CGT's terms and conditions page) and free models are distributed under CC BY license (terms can be found on Creative Commons page). The only confusing part is lack of proper labeling on asset's page.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
There is pretty clear labeling (under "Free" on top) on the asset's page that says "Royalty free license" it even shows more info when you hover.
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
You should contact support about that. I'm affraid i said everything i could say and there's nothing to add. In my mind situation is clear.
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
So i was wrong. Free models on cgtrader are indeed published under royalty free license by default and not under CC BY license. In this case topic starter had no right to publish derivative work on his account.
Posted 21 days ago
1

You are not allowed to modify, sell, or publish for free model that isn't yours.

Posted 21 days ago
1

@trimitek, @PhantomDesign guys, please do not spread false information - one is certainly allowed to modify and share the works based on CC BY licensed artwork. Resell is probably not allowed (i'm not entirely sure about that), but you are allowed to share such work for free under similar license.

PhantomDesign wrote
What I forgot to mention " From moral standpoint". @LemonadeCG , what would you do If I steal your model (that is on sale, not uploaded for free) or find it somwhere else uploaded for free, so I modifiy it slightly and put it here for free ?
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
If you'll steal my commercial model and will be trying to sell it, or distribute for free, i will report you and the model will be taken down. If you'll do the same with my free model and will improve it by modifying it, i won't have anything against that, as this is allowed by the license. Mind you that all my free models are shared under CC BY SA license, so your derivative work would have to have EXACTLY the same license.
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
By the way, here's my model wich is derivative from other work: https://www.cgtrader.com/free-3d-models/household/other/vintage-suitcase-528ee5e8-4a33-4e50-a8aa-aac7267d1b78 I see that my attribution could be improved too - i will look if it's possible to add links into model's description on CGT.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
You know how is the situation with 'free' models on internet. You can never be sure if the model is really uploaded by it's original author. If the original author spots his model, he wouldn't care if you downloaded it somewhere for free, he will report it and you may get banned - that's why I recommend to not do such derivative works unless you did a carefull research to find the original author and ask his permission.
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
If you think that you found THE author, then you don't have to ask his permision, beacause he already gave his permision by choosing license for a model. Of course you can still ask for permision if you want, but it is not required! As for how to determine who is the author, i agree that it's not always easy, as it's with most information on the internet. But that should not be a dead block for free culture. Sharing, working upon and attributing free assets should be encouraged by the community and not the other way round.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
I have nothing against free culture, but you are risking a ban for your account here.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
:) I didn't mean you exactly. I described hypothetical situation: You find a free model on internet (it turns out it was not uploaded by original author and is in fact copyrighted commercial model), the original author finds it out and reports it , so you get a ban. That's a very real risk and I'm sure that happened to a lot of sellers around here.
Posted 21 days ago
0

I believe trimitek is right, you should listen to what he says.

Posted 21 days ago
4

I guess the conclusion the OP and everyone can make from this thread is to not rely on a information that somebody in a forum tells you is right (and I include myself in this).
Read all of the opinions, but do your own research, because in the end you upload the model and the responsibility is entirely yours.

Posted 21 days ago
3

Thank you guys for the informative replies!
@trimitek you said "The model in question is labeled with Royalty free license. And the only change I see is in a few colors/materials." - these are completely different products, coincidence is observed only in the shape of an object. Dmitri's model is detailed hi-poly mesh, mine is Unity's textured prefab asset with LODs.
I agree with @LemonadeCG that sharing, working upon, and attributing free assets should be encouraged by the community and not the other way round.
I'll contact tech support and ask about this dodgy situation.

trimitek wrote
trimitek
LOD_0 looked identical at first glance... Now when I look closely it looks like retopo with baked details from the original model with a few elements removed - that can also be a dodgy situation if it turns out that the original author is different and it is a commercially copyrighted model. I always prefer to be safe than sorry and that's why I recommended what I did, but then again it's all up to you.
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
@trimitek, re-texturing is already considered big enough change. You don't have to do re-topology in order to call a work derivative.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
Where did you get that info from?
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
Can't remember and frankly i can't be bothered to search for this info, however if you'll find somwhere written that re-texturing is not enough to be considered as derivative work, feel free to let us know ;]
trimitek wrote
trimitek
You see, you are making suggestions that you didn't checked and didn't researched. Someone can accept this as a fact and get in trouble, because of that. My research shows that even if you try to use the "Fair Use" exception for derivative work it can still be a very slippery path. Here is what a College Professor Stephanie Morrow writes on that: "There are four factors for courts to weigh when a defendant accused of infringement claims the fair use defense, and this four-factor balancing test leads to subjective, unpredictable results. Although you may think your use is fair, you may find out that the court thinks otherwise. If you miscalculate, you'll join a long list of artists who have—or who have just thought that no one would notice their appropriation—and who have paid dearly for their mistake."
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
Not sure why you mentioned fair use there? This case has nothing to do with fair use. The original model is published under Creative Commons license, which permits remixing and sharing. There's no need to overcomplicate things. Just go to Creative Commons website and see for yourself what exactly is allowed and what's not.
trimitek wrote
trimitek
Sorry, I went too far ahead trying to be short. "Fair use" is the last line of defense you can use if you are sued for infringement and is still dubious you may escape - that's what I was trying to say. If we presume that the model is published by original author and by creative commons license then you are right, but that may end up to be a wishful thinking, so it doesn't hurt if you just do a research and ask the author. In my experience most of these guys are really happy that you ask and will gladly give you a permission.
Posted 21 days ago
0

@trimitek, to be honest, i find your attitude "everyone is a thief, unless one can proof otherwise" to be disturbing. SlashAssetStash did nothing wrong, nor illegal here. And even in unlikely event if original artwork would be found illegal, that would not be valid reason to terminate his account, or pursuit lawful actions against him. Most likely it would end up in removal of "original" and derivative assets without further consequences for SlashAssetStash. I can't say what it would cost to author of "original" work, as it depends on circumstances we can't know.

Posted 21 days ago
2

@LemonadeCG I think you are interpreting my words wrong.
I would say it's more like - 'prepare for the worst and wish for the best' kind of thing.
How likely or unlikely you think is something to happen doesn't change the fact that it can happen.
As you said, you don't know the circumstances.
You don't know what kind of person you may encounter and how good his lawyer is and you don't know what kind consequences it may have.

LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
It's possible that i interpreted you wrong, but for sure you sound like you're trying very hard to discourage people from remixing free assets in any way, shape and form. If you're affraid of wolf, then by all means don't go to a forest, but there's absolutely no need to go to the streets and cry out loud to everyone BE AFFRAID, BE VERY AFFRAID!!!
trimitek wrote
trimitek
If somebody gets sued, because you said to him - 'don't be afraid, it will be OK', will you take the blame? No, he will. In this case, we can say you are an optimist and I am a pessimist. Everyone can decide for himself how he likes to go with this.
Posted 21 days ago
4

Why not produce something from scratch to a final product all by your own, maybe plan a hierarchy of it's parts and rig it, create own morphs and/or animate it and be darn proud you made it ?
No bother with confusing copyright laws then. ;) - Just my little input to the discussion.
- Over and out LOL...

Posted 21 days ago
3

So I read all of the comments on this post and decided to contact technical support and ask about this specific issue. But technical support guy didn't tell me any serious argument why I should remove it from my page.
Finally, I contacted the original author of hi-poly source and he told me that if I created low-poly model, textures and other stuff by me then he doesn't mind and it is OK to publish my game-ready asset version.

In conclusion, I want to say that as @trimitek told above there are different people and you never know what to expect from them. It is really 'dodgy' situation.
Otherwise, I fully agree with @LemonadeCG.

trimitek wrote
trimitek
Permission from the author is the best approach in such situations.
Posted 20 days ago
3

I just want to add something that is important and was left unclear above.
I had contacted support to clear it up and as I thought, all free models published on CGT are by default with Royalty Free License and not with Creative Commons license.
You should trust what is written on the product page.
That point 24. in CGT terms in condition is a bit misleading and should be considered more like a recommendation - if you want to set your free model to CC license, you should switch it's license type to Custom and write that down.

trimitek wrote
trimitek
*terms in condition = terms and conditions ( sorry - no edit option :/ )
LemonadeCG wrote
LemonadeCG
Thank you for investigating and clarifying this for us all. Apparently i was misled by CGT's confusing terms and conditions and all my above statements should not be taken into account.

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