View Full Version : Buying models

09-06-2007, 12:56 PM
I'm working on a TV show and have to buy a rights free model. The producers are a little nervous about the rights issues and it's use in a television show. I found what I need on Turbo Squid. Anyone have any advise I can pass along to these guys as far as past experience goes? I forwarded their license agreement along to the powers that be but they are still hedging their bets. Any help would be appreciated.


09-06-2007, 06:44 PM
From the TurboSquid FAQ:

3. Rights Granted. The Vendor (TurboSquid) grants to the 3rd party (You) who either purchases license rights to content via a valid sale, or downloads freely available content submitted by the Vendor, a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide, royalty-free license to: publicly perform, publicly display, and digitally perform said content.

So basically they're saying, if you buy something from them, you have the rights to use it in the public domain.
Isn't that the whole point of the service?

09-06-2007, 07:35 PM
So basically they're saying, if you buy something from them, you have the rights to use it in the public domain.
Isn't that the whole point of the service?

One would think so, yes, but there have been a few examples of what seems right and obvious to not be the case.
In the case of using purchased copyrighted content, I'd say it's better to err on the side of caution and at least be a little concerned about it, and maybe, if possible, seek something more definitive, in writing, from the source itself.

FWIW, if possible, I would not go that route at all, and either build what you need yourself, or subcontract it out to someone capable with a very specific legal agreement.

Not saying TurboSquid can't be trusted, but it's always better to make sure your bases are covered - in the off chance of a lawsuit you may very well win, but it's a waste of time and effort, and you don't want to go through it anyway.

09-06-2007, 10:40 PM
Agree with you on that, IMI. For the time and trouble it's taking to go through the process of figuring out if it's legal, just get it designed in-house.

Stop the pedantic law staff from spending more paid time telling you they're not sure whether it's okay or not. Give that time to a modeller and get it over and done with :)

09-07-2007, 09:43 AM
Also, I'm not sure if that covers let's say future licensing from that model... for instance... let's say that the show does really well. And the producers decide to license the characters or elements to Lego to create toys... Will turbosquid allow that? or will they request an extra fee or percentage?

They may want their lawyers to look over the turbosquid agreement...

09-10-2007, 08:14 PM
Turbosquid do not own the vast majority of content on their site. People like me do, and as far as I'm concerned, when I sell a copy of an object, the legal ststus is exactly as it says in the TS excerpt above. The purchaser has the right to use it in a broadcast situation, or to create rendered content of any sort. The only proviso is that none of the actual models or textures must be passed to a 3rd party without prior consent of the copyright holder... ie me. If someone wanted to buy the rights to any of my models, then they would have to pay me not turbosquid, although they would have to approach me through the site initially.

In the case of games models, they can be passed on in the form of game content, but must not be in a form that can be extracted by the user.

This is a pretty standard agreement, and if lawyers can't get their heads around such a simple concept, then maybe they should be replaced with ones that understand plain English.

Any 3d model site will have broadly similar licenses, and the same goes for content provided by 3d apps such as Lightwave.

Would these lawyers not be able to understand the licencing on newtek content either?

At the end of the day, the idea is to save time & effort. If it takes a modeller more than a week to make & texture a mesh, and his wage is $80k, then there is a substantial saving to be had if you can find the right model on a 3d site for $150 to $200

09-12-2007, 06:58 AM
The bare essence is that you have full rights to USE the model (in a production), but not rights to DISTRIBUTE the model itself (meaning, you can't pass the model on to your client or turn around and resell it online). You don't need to worry about legal hassles when it's as simple as that.

I worked on a Mayfield Ice Cream Ad that involved Mt. Rushmore as a backdrop. My boss had already purchased the model online, but it didn't look very realistic, so I spent a considerable amount of time of resculpting it. You may want to tweak your purchased model too, if your client is afraid it won't look unique enough.

Later on, I remember seeing that same base model we purchased, used on a spot for the History Channel. No copyrights violated at all.