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clone45 Posted - 07/09/2010 : 13:26:37

I've been playing around with the 30 day trial of Strata Foto 3d. I'm impressed! It works great! In the long run, I would like to create packs of inexpensive 3d objects to sell to game developers.

Then I started thinking about the legal ramifications. Let's say that I find an old Black & Decker toaster oven from the 80's. I shoot the required 20-odd photos of it from various angles and the software spits out a 500 polygon 3d model, fully textured. I edit the texture map, removing the "Black and Decker" logo. However, anyone who owns the same toaster oven would be able to recognize it. Can I sell that 3d model?

Let's assume that my 3d models shows up in the next Grand Theft Auto game (ya, right!). And, let's change my example model from a toaster oven to a Volkswagen Bug. I'm assuming that would be a big no-no, and if that would land me in hot water, the toaster oven would be no different.

Anyone experienced in these matters? Just about everything in this world was NOT made by me. Ha ha ha.

Thanks so much!
- Bret
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erum Posted - 11/16/2013 : 05:13:15
Some of the new 3DSOM toolset will likely be included in the next Foto3D release. Note that Foto3D is a lower priced version of 3DSOM technology aimed at the Strata userbase.

clone45 Posted - 07/10/2010 : 01:21:45

I wholehearted agree. I'll poke around in the TurboSquid community to see what they think. I also have a friend who's very active in Second Life. Maybe she can shed some light on the subject. If I find anything interesting, I'll post them here. :-)

- Bret
Michael Posted - 07/09/2010 : 18:18:42
People who own copyrights use strong language to describe your rights. "Fair Use" used to be a very broad concept.

If you look at a stock photography site, you have the right to use any images you buy there, and they have a right to sell the rights to you. If there's a Honda in the background of an outdoor shot, should iStock get permission from Honda before selling that image? What if I want to shoot a model in my kitchen, do I need rights from Black & Decker, General Electric and Corning in order to sell those images?

It depends on the focus, really. If you're animating a short about an animated Makita drill, it's probably best to ask permission. If you're animating a short about a handyman who has a few tools, one of which included a Makita drill, I would think that falls under "fair use".

You obviously have more detailed information there. I wonder if Turbosquid has any more info on the subject? It sounds like a topic that has likely been brought up in those circles.

Michael Luscombe
clone45 Posted - 07/09/2010 : 15:49:36
Thanks Michael,

I've dug up some interesting articles on the subject.

One is labeled "Visual Design Theft" (http://www.bannerwitcoff.com/_docs/library/articles/Katz%20and%20Cardy%20Innovation%20article.pdf) Here are some interesting points from the article:

1) Herman Miller, maker of the Aeron chair, sent out cease-and-desist notices to stores in Second Life selling 3d models of their chairs. (see http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-9794128-52.html)

2) The article also says, to paraphrase, that there are three types of law governing this area: Design patents, Copyright laws, and Trademark law, each one with different "gray areas".

It's an interesting read. I've done some texture art a while back and used photos of worn down windows, walls, doors, etc. in the textures. It would be surprising if the door manufacturer chased me down and sent me a cease and desist order. It wouldn't concern me so much if I were using these textures and models in my own game, but selling them to other game developers puts a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. I'm not sure how to deal with it.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!

- Bret
Michael Posted - 07/09/2010 : 14:16:02
I can't give you binding legal advice, of course =)

I don't see how Foto 3D objects would be any different than selling photos you had taken, or building models by hand. As far as I know, you are allowed to sell images and models of recognizable objects. Take a peek at Turbosquid, which features plenty of brand name objects.

Rockstar skirts the issue in their games by removing or changing all the brands. That's part of their humor, though. It wouldn't make sense for them to have a real product in their games.

Michael Luscombe

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