View Full Version : Copyrighting 3D models

04-16-2008, 11:01 AM
I got a customer who wants to buy the unlimited rights to use and modify one of my Greyhound models for use only within the parameters of his website.

My concern is that he alters it just enough to where he could redistribute the model without my permission. Is this a real possibility?

Am I within my rights to ask that any derivative models should not be distributed? (I have recently had many requests for my Greyhound model) Just wondering how I should handle this as this issue has never come up with me before.

Or should I go seek a lawyer out for this?

04-16-2008, 11:34 AM
By selling him your Greyhound you can't of course forbid him not to create a Greyhound himself. So how can you check if it's your Greyhound he used? Yeah, maybe when you get a lawyer and start a lawsuit where he has to show his 3D-model, which then has to be compared to your model. But if he slightly moved all points and a small addition here and there, you're gonna lose this case, I'm sure. Too much trouble I'd say.

My advise: either ask a lot of money, or put it on Turbosquid for everyone to buy, or don't sell it. You say you had many requests, well then I'd definitely not sell it to anyone; only renders. Can't you ask your client exactly what he wants to modify, and do that for him?

04-16-2008, 01:07 PM
He said he wants "the unlimited rights to use and adapt your 3D models but strictly limited to this PROJECT X".

If we state in the contract that any derivative work based on the model would only be allowed to be used for "Project X" and not redistributed in any form or sold, that should cover it, wouldn't you think?

04-16-2008, 01:12 PM
but once they get the model how can you prove that they didnt remodel it to closely match your model?

04-16-2008, 01:18 PM
I'd say that in this particular instance it all depends on how much you trust this guy. If he's a repeat client I would say, heck, go for it. But I would feel somewhat odd giving it to a total stranger. What can he do with it, after all, that he couldn't pay you to do?

04-16-2008, 01:27 PM
Yeah, the problem is that I'm so busy with other projects (except when I'm here at my day job browsing the forum) that I don't have a lot of time to do this.

He wanted me to do the work in the first place, but I told him it could be a while before I get to it. Then he asked if he could have his guy make the changes.

I guess I just wanted my cake and to eat it too. :)

Maybe I should just make an extra effort to work it in somehow....

04-16-2008, 01:53 PM
I avoid giving anyone source materials because it puts way too much power in their hands. No matter how well you spell it out in contract, once he has your model he will be able to do just about anything he wants with it (illegally) and you will doubtfully be able to prove it legally. And even if you could, the legal costs would be ridiculous. In this day and age if you're not already rich then you probably can't fight to protect your work.
If you give him the model make sure you charge him enough to compensate yourself for the worst case scenario.

04-16-2008, 02:08 PM
I agree... Find a way to give him the renders he wants. Dont give up that model, unless the price is right...

04-16-2008, 02:52 PM
The price is actually quite nice... Which is the only reason I'm tempted to go ahead with it.

I'm also toying with the idea serge mentioned about uploading the model (plus a few others) to turbosuid at some later time. There's been enough interest in it that would make that a good option.

04-16-2008, 03:14 PM
I Built a 3D Model for a company, and had a NDA wrote buy a lawyer friend, Contract Lawyer actually.
I also Read Protected the Lwo Object and Zipped it with a Password, email for password.
Write Protecting the File you can do with a password, so any attempt to modify the file would result in not being able to modify original file.
But they can resave it under a different file name...
A majority of the time they wont modify it. ..
I actually gave them a Lower quality model, because the one I had built was way to big for there applications.
I baked all the surfaces so they did not have the need for all the original image maps...

The Arch Firm does not have LightWave on there system, so I do not worry about them modifying the model.

So passwording the Zip files is one way of reminding them, they are Copyright Protected..