Declan Flynn (jdeclanflynn)

4 replies · posted

SketchFab and Intellectual Property Ownership

Does anyone know off the top of their head if uploading a model as part of a course submission to somehow limits or in anyway whatsoever transfers IP ownership to SketchFab post upload? I haven't read their EULA in depth, but I will. Just curious. I have a model that I want to further develop and hate to not own it anymore... Thanks.

  • I answered  my own question. According to their ( "Terms of Use" under section 4 "User Content" it states in short that all users own their models, but the section starts with the word "Generally," and so that worries me. It also says that users, upon upload, grant SketchFab and its affiliates, licensees, agents, assigns, etc., a license to "a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers) right and license to use, reproduce, publicly display, distribute and adapt the publicly shared User Content for the purposes of developing, distributing, providing, improving, and promoting the Services, our activities and your publicly shared User Content. You further grant Sketchfab the right to use your name and trademarks, if any, in connection with our use of your publicly shared User Content. "

    With all due respect, and Mr. Lampel, I will not be uploading any models to SketchFab as part of a course requirement even though the request isn't necessarily contingent upon a "passing" grade. If it is all the same to you, I'm gonna skip it.

    Thanks for your understanding...

  • Unfortunately, that's the world we live in. Those EULAs are about insurance, lawsuits, and saving money. It's not about them wanting to own your stuff, per se, it's about them having defacto permission to use your stuff for their own promotions without having to pay you. It's about keeping you from being able to sue if they use your stuff without paying you for the rights.

    It's up to you, of course, but I'd say, don't worry about it. All corporations have similar EULAs. It's scary because it's you as an individual being at the mercy of a corporation. Well, we all are all the time, so it's not like you're wandering into new territory. They could do the honest thing, the thing corporations used to do, and pay you for using your stuff in their promotions, but that ship sailed sometime in the mid-70s.

    If you ever post your finished stuff to Youtube, Facebook, etc. you'll be dealing with the exact same type of EULA. The only way to avoid such a scenario is to never post your stuff anywhere, ever.

    • I concur with one exception. If we're talking about a still image with or without a watermark or even a video, again branded or watermarked, in that case I think am over reacting. However, in my case it's a .blend file, which gives them access to the mesh, vertices, edges, faces, etc., and according to their EULA they have too much control over my intellectual property. That's the exception. 

      Perhaps I misread the course's outline, and it did not ask me to upload a .blend file. Maybe a .obj would suffice, but even that makes me a bit uncomfortable. 

      However, I do appreciate your note. It was very thoughtful. :)

    • If my model is an original work that deviated from a course or lecture I would agree with you to protect it more I suppose.

      If it is just a submission of a course that you took here where it looks pretty much the exact same as the course example then I wouldn't worry to much since you built it and there are probably 100+ just like it.