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Please define “Commerial Use”
Posted: 23 September 2012 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Basically, what it boils down to is that ‘commercial’ usage crops up in some of the most unexpected places/circumstances.

Did anyone think, that possibly, a render for the Freebie Challenge could be ‘commercial’?

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Posted: 23 September 2012 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Hmm. It seems that determining what “commercial use” truly means is a nearly impossible task. Like Chohole mentioned at the start of this thread “any contest which is carrying a prize is considered Commercial use”. That´s what I always thought as well. Then suddenly it turns out that this is not true, as Freebie Challenge contest should be an exception from this rule. Yet very strictly speaking, Freebie Challenge should be considered commercial also, at least in a way, because you do get a prize. There is a difference between getting a paid item for free as a prize (other people must buy it in order to get it) and getting a freebie as a prize (it is not sold anywhere). But I feel we are walking a rather thin line here. A prize is a prize, after all. Especially when only the winner of the contest is entitled to get the freebie - then that item is not just a cassual freebie, it´s price is in it´s uniqueness (no one else is going to get it, only the winner).

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Posted: 23 September 2012 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Surely 3d content made available to the public (Especially for free) that the creator cant put lawful restrictions that state you cant make any ‘artwork render’ with that content in it public! A render is an ‘Image’ not distributing or selling the actual product.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Proxima Shining - 23 September 2012 02:50 PM

Hmm. It seems that determining what “commercial use” truly means is a nearly impossible task. Like Chohole mentioned at the start of this thread “any contest which is carrying a prize is considered Commercial use”. That´s what I always thought as well. Then suddenly it turns out that this is not true, as Freebie Challenge contest should be an exception from this rule. Yet very strictly speaking, Freebie Challenge should be considered commercial also, at least in a way, because you do get a prize. There is a difference between getting a paid item for free as a prize (other people must buy it in order to get it) and getting a freebie as a prize (it is not sold anywhere). But I feel we are walking a rather thin line here. A prize is a prize, after all. Especially when only the winner of the contest is entitled to get the freebie - then that item is not just a cassual freebie, it´s price is in it´s uniqueness (no one else is going to get it, only the winner).

Plus in past contests GCs were part of the prize package…usually though just for the biggies…like the Halloween one.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Spyro - 23 September 2012 03:00 PM

Surely 3d content made available to the public (Especially for free) that the creator cant put lawful restrictions that state you cant make any ‘artwork render’ with that content in it public! A render is an ‘Image’ not distributing or selling the actual product.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but images are being sold and bought all the times. Even ones that only exist digitally and not on physical media.


Really, it’s a very simple definition - if you gain, expect to gain or gamble on the expectation to gain any benefit or profit out of your artwork, beside reputation, it counts as ‘commercial’.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Spyro - 23 September 2012 03:00 PM

Surely 3d content made available to the public (Especially for free) that the creator cant put lawful restrictions that state you cant make any ‘artwork render’ with that content in it public! A render is an ‘Image’ not distributing or selling the actual product.

I’m pretty sure an image is a derivative work, so yes they can place any restrictions they like on the usage. The choice is to accept the restrictions or to find, or create, an alternative item with more palatable restrictions.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Proxima Shining - 23 September 2012 02:50 PM

Hmm. It seems that determining what “commercial use” truly means is a nearly impossible task. Like Chohole mentioned at the start of this thread “any contest which is carrying a prize is considered Commercial use”. That´s what I always thought as well. Then suddenly it turns out that this is not true, as Freebie Challenge contest should be an exception from this rule. Yet very strictly speaking, Freebie Challenge should be considered commercial also, at least in a way, because you do get a prize. There is a difference between getting a paid item for free as a prize (other people must buy it in order to get it) and getting a freebie as a prize (it is not sold anywhere). But I feel we are walking a rather thin line here. A prize is a prize, after all. Especially when only the winner of the contest is entitled to get the freebie - then that item is not just a cassual freebie, it´s price is in it´s uniqueness (no one else is going to get it, only the winner).

Avoid the minefield. Just use freebies that are okay for commercial use. Also, if the challenge identifies specific freebies, I think that might count as tacit permission to use them in the challenge (assuming the actual content creators are participating in the organisation of the challenge).

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Posted: 23 September 2012 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Richard Haseltine - 23 September 2012 03:50 PM
Spyro - 23 September 2012 03:00 PM

Surely 3d content made available to the public (Especially for free) that the creator cant put lawful restrictions that state you cant make any ‘artwork render’ with that content in it public! A render is an ‘Image’ not distributing or selling the actual product.

I’m pretty sure an image is a derivative work, so yes they can place any restrictions they like on the usage. The choice is to accept the restrictions or to find, or create, an alternative item with more palatable restrictions.

Yeah you are right of course! ... Just a shame really that so many of the freebies restrict you from using it in renders, more so with ones you use as a personal entry to a contest (Which I would only enter for fun!). Selling renders of it, I could agree with as an ‘appropriate’ restriction. But this topic seems to suggest we cant even post renders of it on say: deviant art or here. (Maybe I just all confused lol)

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Posted: 23 September 2012 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Studying copyright in digital media and art seemed so much more simple and straight forward than the EULA with 3d lol (Then again, I had teachers for digital media and art) (3d was not the primary core of digital media diploma btw)

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Posted: 23 September 2012 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Spyro - 23 September 2012 03:00 PM

Surely 3d content made available to the public (Especially for free) that the creator cant put lawful restrictions that state you cant make any ‘artwork render’ with that content in it public! A render is an ‘Image’ not distributing or selling the actual product.

In a way, both sides are ‘correct’ on this.

And both are wrong.

By making an item available, whether there is a charge or not, the creator of that item gets to decide what rights are transferred to the person acquiring it.  Generally, that means usage rights.  Sometimes, but not very often it includes distribution rights.  Legally, there really isn’t a ‘restricted usage’, except when it deals with trademarked items.  So a ‘generic’ widget made by someone shouldn’t be able to be restricted to ‘non-commercial’ end use (finished render), because there isn’t clearly defined legal precedent for doing so.  You can either use it or you can’t.  There’s not really any distinctions as to what you can use it for, though.  And yes, it is a lot like that can of paint…you can do most anything with it, but you can’t sell what you’ve painted isn’t very likely to stand up in court.  And there isn’t likely to be any real test case for this, because most free content creators don’t have the resources to take it to court (not entirely true…because there have been cases where publishers have taken artists to court that took and cut up books/magazines; usually those type of cases end in favor of the ‘artisit’).  But when it comes to trademarked items, the rules are different, very confusing, often not uniform and subject to things like the US’s ‘Fair Use’ clauses, and in this area, there are plenty of court cases…more often than not, ending in favor of the trademark holder.

Now, of course, the ‘legal’ consideration as to whether or not there really is a ‘restricted use’, it becomes a moot point when you actually use the item…you become bound by the license terms, regardless of whether or not they really exist.  Which, when it comes down to it, is what is usually found in the readme or EULA or content creator’s website (if spelled out) not what some category on a distribution website says.*

Basically, there should be four clearly defined categories…

1.  Public domain.  The creator basically gives up all rights to the item and no longer has a say in what happens to it.  Under this, the creator, cuts all ties to the item and anyone can do anything with it.

2.  Limited distribution.  This can be something along the lines of the Creative Commons license.  Allows for redistribution and/or modifications, as long as the method of distribution is the same as the original content (in this case free and under the same terms)  AND proper credit/attribution to the original creator.  This would allow modifications, derivatives, format conversions and so on.

3.  Usage rights only.  The downloader is allowed to use the item as they see fit, but can’t redistribute it.  This means all uses…including sales of the final render/contest entries/use in a game, as long as the original mesh/textures can’t be extracted.  (similar to most purchased content)

4.  “Fan item”.  An item that is a fan art/fan made item of a trademarked franchise, like Star Trek items.  Basically, needs to adhere to the terms that other fan related items particular to that franchise are used.  This would also include celebrity morphs.  Basically it means, in most cases, you can’t make any money/benefit other than reputation from the using the item.\

*All of the above is my opinion, based on quite a bit of research, not any legal advice.

Now this next part is probably going to upset a few people…

A lot of the problem comes from some misguided/mistaken belief that because you, as a content creator, are making an item available for ‘free’ means that nobody else should be able to make any money from it.  Well, in reality, when an ‘artist’ uses the item to make a render (picture/painting/etc) they aren’t, technically, making money off of you.  They are making money off of their work, composition skill, interpretation of an idea, etc.  It was your choice to ‘give it a way’ as opposed to offer it for sale.  It was your skill that made the item and your choice to not charge for it.  Live with it.  Don’t make it confusing for the rest of us.  As a ‘user’ and a creator, I try to make it clear with my items…any use, except redistribution for profit (yes, I’ve actually put some of my stuff under CC, so it can be redistributed under the CC terms).  I’m rather flattered when someone uses something I made to make some money.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Look I realize that I came late to this party, but having entered and placed in several contests of the Challenge type ( some of them alongside Cho - Hi Cho! Bryce on!)  the only thing ever offered as a prize would be bragging rights, a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place trophy image, and maybe the right to pick the next Challenge Topic.
Zero cash, zero monetary value.
Zilch.
So there are contests, then there are Contests.

If the prizes are cash, have cash value, like say even a scholarship, that is Commercial Use.

A freebie creator is giving you their time and skill to use without charging you a fee. This gives them the right to stipulate how you use it. When you download it, you make a deal with the freebie owner to abide by their usage requests. If you don’t want to do that, don’t download it. Or contact the creator by email and discuss how you’d like to use their work - they might give you permission.
Can you violate that agreement and get away with it? Sure, it is unlikely that they’ll sue you, because they stand to spend more than they"ll make out of a lawsuit. It’s essentially a question of ethics - yours.
If they find you’ve violated your end of the bargain, though, expect them to notify administrators of digital art gallery websites where you post, forum contests you’ve entered, etc. Then expect to be permanently banned. Daz3D and most other sites will treat that as copyright violation and by way of the TOS kick you to the curb.
I’ve created a few freebies through the years (the rose I used in the attached image was one) but none are available now. And the only stipulation on usage I gave was “send me a link or give me credit if use it or don’t, whatever I’d just like to see what you do with it” but it was a case of my house, my rules.
Sorry to be so long-winded; consider my $0.02 worth spent.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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I just want it to be clear. Freebies that are ok for commercial use, should be labeled such on the site and in the readme. ShareCG, has several ‘commercial use’ categories which just add to the mess.

Unrestricted use
Commercial Renders Ok, Contents not for redestribution
Commercial Renders Personal use.

It just makes it weird to search for items, with so many categories. Especially when number 3 is just not defined. One assumes if Commerical renders are fine, that the owner has no issue with personal use renders. Why even make a category for personal use at all? Isn’t that a given if you put a freebie up on a site? If you didn’t ok that for personal use, why upload a shared file to a site for 3d artists….?

 

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Posted: 23 September 2012 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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SereneNight - 23 September 2012 07:08 PM

I just want it to be clear. Freebies that are ok for commercial use, should be labeled such on the site and in the readme. ShareCG, has several ‘commercial use’ categories which just add to the mess.

Unrestricted use
Commercial Renders Ok, Contents not for redestribution
Commercial Renders Personal use.

It just makes it weird to search for items, with so many categories. Especially when number 3 is just not defined. One assumes if Commerical renders are fine, that the owner has no issue with personal use renders. Why even make a category for personal use at all? Isn’t that a given if you put a freebie up on a site? If you didn’t ok that for personal use, why upload a shared file to a site for 3d artists….?

 

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Posted: 23 September 2012 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Spyro - 23 September 2012 07:15 PM
SereneNight - 23 September 2012 07:08 PM

I just want it to be clear. Freebies that are ok for commercial use, should be labeled such on the site and in the readme. ShareCG, has several ‘commercial use’ categories which just add to the mess.

Unrestricted use
Commercial Renders Ok, Contents not for redestribution
Commercial Renders Personal use.

It just makes it weird to search for items, with so many categories. Especially when number 3 is just not defined. One assumes if Commerical renders are fine, that the owner has no issue with personal use renders. Why even make a category for personal use at all? Isn’t that a given if you put a freebie up on a site? If you didn’t ok that for personal use, why upload a shared file to a site for 3d artists….?

 

My thoughts EXACTLY smile

I like sharecg but their labeling system drives me nutty.=-) Especially the Commerical and Personal Use label. Because if you click to see what that means, they define it as being subject to the applicable license agreement. But, what does that mean? Unless the readme defines it,as being ok for commercial use, then I don’t have any idea what the artist intends by that label at all. Especially when there already is a commerical renders ok, label.

I have no quarrel with artists who don’t want their items used commercially. I just want a way to clearly identify those, so I don’t mistakenly download one. I only want commerical use ok items in my runtime.

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Posted: 23 September 2012 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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It is best to assume that those sorts of products that only are vague about usage rights or who have worded their Eula in such a way that it is not clear and understandable- that it is for personal use only. If you assume things are personal use only unless otherwise stated, you can’t go wrong smile

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