Copyright Matters - Especially Mine

Posted on

Feeling rather jaded about second life today. Since mesh became a thing, it’s raised the bar for skill level needed to make competitive products, if you don’t have the skill to use a 3d modeller, you find someone who does and pay them to make models for you.

There’s lots of “market places” for 3d models, turbosquid, cgtrader and sketchfab to name a few. They all have licenses for the usage of models distributed on their site. These sites are geared towards those who can’t otherwise afford to hire a 3d modeller exclusively - indie devs etc. You’re usually not supposed to resell them, or claim you made them.

CGTrader and turbosquid have specific terms in their license that you may not upload them to virtual worlds including second life - sketchfab does not.

The other way is full perm meshes. Presumably these full perm meshes are made by 3d artists and sold on second life market place, rather than people simply reselling meshes they bought on one of the previous web sites (it does happen). Full perm meshes almost always require to be part of a larger build - ie sticking some scripts in them and calling it a day is not a larger build.

It’s important to read - and understand - terms and conditions, why? because if we’re going to make out that copyright matters, if we are really going to fire off DMCA notices at people who infringe our rights, then it’s important that we make sure we are absolutely above board.

I think though, too many people are out to make a quick buck - buy a model on sketchfab for $9US or whatever, put some scripts in it you prepared earlier and sell it on for about the same price.

Now, that might seem ok to you, but consider if you’re making breedables - virtual items that people often invest in, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Now imagine the creator of the 3d art you didn’t read the TOS about, decided to come after you. Sends Linden Labs a DMCA infringement notice, and suddenly everybody’s copy of your breedable is deleted from the grid. You’re going to have some very angry customers.

What you do with your business, is entirely your business. If you’ve read the TOS, and it’s entirely above board, then great - this article isn’t aimed at you. For those who think no one will notice, or it’s okay: I paid them money I can do what I like (you paid for a license to use, not the copyright), then maybe think twice about it.