We all know that there are many repositories and marketplaces for 3D models on the internet. The specific problem I have now is with this 3D asset for sale on a site. It was made for sale a short while ago. The same model is available at another place for free under a CC license, and was first uploaded years ago. Furthermore, the same 3D model was made available for download for free under a personal use license at another place even earlier, about 6 years ago.

My problem is I don't know who to complain to or which person I should complain about. Normally my gut reaction when I see this sort of stuff is that the paid product has made its way around and been made available for free by someone. However it could easily be the other way around. The seller most who most recently uploaded the model looks suspicious. There is hardly any information that would reflect their knowledge of the actual model. Anyone who's done modelling of real objects before will know the extensive references one must use to make an accurate model

At least one person is in breach of copyright, and most likely the code of conduct on their respective site.

If for example the original author is Person 1, then Person 2 selling the model is breaching this license, because it's a non-commercial license. If on the other hand the original author is Person 3, then Person 2 may sell the model, but they need to fulfill the attribution requirement, which they haven't. If however the original author is Person 2 (the person selling the model), then the other two are in breach of the license.

Most likely the model (which appeared in 2013) is proprietary and copyrighted content and all three are in fact in violation of copyright (well, that's what I think is most likely). The asset may be ripped from a AAA commercial game, as was the case with a model I found recently which came from an ARMA military game.

I don't who to complain to or who to complain about. I thought someone could point me in the direction of the best way to go about this, as I think this community has some experience in handling 3D assets and licenses, and many of you who are in the industry or are experienced with this sort of misconduct might know the best way to approach this.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has little to do with game development and belongs to law.stackexchange.com \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Jun 1 '19 at 14:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bálint I can understand that. Law SE would be more appropriate. Also Open Source SE seems to have a knowledgeable community about licenses. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zebrafish
    Jun 1 '19 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zebrafish Please note that even if communities are affected by the behaviour you describe, SE sites are not meant as forums for discussion. So even if the game development field is (somewhat) affected by this, the GameDev SE considers these questions off-topic, because they have nothing to do with solving problems in actual game development. Best thing you can do is contact the owners of these sites, or report the suspicious items, as you've already done. \$\endgroup\$
    – TomTsagk
    Jun 3 '19 at 8:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I understand. I tried to delete my question but it won't let me as it says there's been contribution to it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zebrafish
    Jun 3 '19 at 9:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zebrafish Don't worry about it, we have tons of closed questions :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Jun 5 '19 at 10:05

You can't know who is the original author. Maybe they all are the same legal entity under different pseudonyms? Who knows?

If you really want to do something (which is not your obligation), then contact all the people who claim to be the authors and tell them their copyright might be violated by the others. The real copyright holder is the only one who can take legal actions.

Also, as a game developer, avoid asset stores where the uploaders are anonymous. Buy directly from the artists and have them sign a contract clause which makes them liable if someone sues you for using an asset they stole.


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