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I have purchased models through Daz3D, and I have downloaded a lot, for free. The 3D models were downloaded as .MMD or .FBX.

How do I tell if I can edit or use any of these models, in my game? When I sell my game, will I need a license to include these models?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please note the big changes I have made to your question; Firstly, we can not tell you about the specific models you downloaded. Even if you provided us a reference to these objects, so we could actually tell what models you downloaded, this would not be a very good question (as it would be far less applicable to other users), so I have reclarified you question to ask about how do I tell if my models are usable instead of are these specific models usable. I have also removed a lot of the tags, as they either had nothing to do with licensing, or were too restrictive. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Feb 7 '17 at 22:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is why a lot of people use other ways of creating characters. Make Human and Blender for example. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Barton Oct 30 '18 at 20:33
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First: I am not a lawyer, please contact a lawyer for actionable legal advice.

Use of the 3D models depends on the license the model maker provided. You should be able to read the license and see if it allows you to use them in a commercial project.

Commercial project means you intend to charge users for it.

Anytime you get content from the internet, make sure you identify the license, or if there is none, find the creator and ask them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Added the IANAL comment. I took his question about publishing to be unrelated to the first question. As in, if he wants to sell his game, is there a required licence to buy to sell his own property. \$\endgroup\$ – databyss Feb 7 '17 at 22:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've updated my response to match the edited question. \$\endgroup\$ – databyss Feb 8 '17 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I might be wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that if a License is not bundled together with the asset, or clearly visible somewhere on the site, assets are assumed to have a specific license, which does not allow commercial use. So if you ask the creator, and they agree to allow you to use the assets, make sure you have it documented somewhere. \$\endgroup\$ – TomTsagk Oct 31 '18 at 10:07
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You can use models that you were granted the appropriate rights to use, via the licensing agreement you entered into during the purchase or acquisition of the model.

Beyond that there is no way to say, in general: you must review (or you must task a lawyer with reviewing) each model and how you use it in your game, and compare that to the license for that model. For example, it's possible you were granted a license that allows you to render out the model and use it for marketing purposes but not to actually distribute the model geometry or render it in real-time. It's possible you were granted the ability to use the model however, as long as you don't charge for the product you're selling. You may need to make certain disclaimers about where you got the model. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The list of possible entanglements and requirements is too long to enumerate here.

If you do not have or cannot find a license for a model it's probably safe to assume you cannot use it.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, keep in mind that this may not be just limited to a final public release. Posting on a devlog, social media or whatever, with content for which you do not have an appropriate license, can get you into trouble at a later point in time. Don't risk it. \$\endgroup\$ – Bart Feb 7 '17 at 22:23
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I am not a lawyer, and you can be sued for anything. When you move into the commercial sector, you should contact an actual copyright lawyer. All that aside, you should always ensure that you have a license that permits your specific use of the assets, regardless of whether you originally paid for them or not.


Daz3D actually directly addresses these concerns in their Help Center.

Can I use Daz 3D's products in a video game that I am producing?

Only products for which there is a Game Developer License can potentially be used in a video game. You must have the pertinent Game Developer License for vendor. At the time this article was written, only DAZ Original Content products and Rawart content have available game licenses.

Daz 3D (Daz Original) -- Commercial Game Developer License
Daz 3D (Daz Original) -- Indie Game Developer License
Raw Art -- Commercial Game Developer License
Raw Art -- Indie Game Developer License

As of writing this answer, the website reports that the indie licenses are for "Developers with Personal or Business income of LESS than $100,000.00 annually" (currency is presumably in USD). While this sounds like it very well applies to the average user, here, this will still cost you 500-1000 USD (at 500 USD per license). The commercial licenses are 2000 USD a piece.

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