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Art rights question

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edit:: I actually found another developer selling a "development kit" using the same models from the 3rd party modeler, stating the "unlimited use license" covers distribution through his package, which is the same license I have......he's selling the entire models and everything lol, and has been for a while in the asset store for Unity3d...

This is thte actual license wording:
[quote]
[b]ComanyName products may be used Royalty Free in the following scenarios:[/b]

1) For personal or commercial use.
2) For advertising or promotional use.
3) For website or in any electronic devices.
4) In broadcast, multimedia, video games or animation.
(in as many applications as necessary)
5) In books or magazines.
6) The products may be modified for individual style and appearance.

The following is prohibited:

Selling your CompanyName license, allowing other to use CompanyName content even in a non commercial setting. i.e. giving a friend or colleague the content to evaluate. For evaluations of artwork or music, please contact CompanyName for assistance.

Market, distribute, give, transfer, sell or sublicense the products in any form with the exception of a compiled application such as a video game.
[/quote]


I've bought 3d modeling packages over the last year with the only limitation I cannot resell the models but can use them for unlimited number of games/projects. The guy also said I can edit the models but cannot transfer animations to non-purchased models. Textures are from cgtextures.


When I was making a 2d game, I took screenshots from a top down angle, isolated them, ran them through some photoshop magic, and had new 2d artwork.


The new 2d artwork is based off the 3d models, but it's not reselling his models in a competing manor.

Can I give away 2d sprite sheets (top down tiles) that were based off screenshots of models I own the rights to use/edit? Maybe even charge $1 if I put a lot of time into isolating 50+ individual objects?

The tiles are 64x64 and 128x128 pixels, and with photoshop filters look much different. I'm using some features from the original work, but not using the majority, such as interiors and I'm only showing a roof and 1 or 2 walls (textures from cgtextures with rights to edit), where the actual copyrighted work is a 3d model with interiors.

A screenshot seems like the equivalent of taking a picture, so if you take a picture of a copyrighted work model with free textures, and use a couple elements to create a different type of work, you are safe or no?

In this case the textures are from cg textures, I bought the models which are copyrighted. I'm taking a picture of a model with my own textures, editing it to make a different looking building in a different format....

Here's quick screenshots isolated: Edited by lmbarns

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First-- It's best to NOT rely on forums for legal advice--
That said, here's my best estimation on what a Lawyer would say

[quote]The new 2d artwork is based off the 3d models, but it's not reselling his models in a competing manor.[/quote]

You are creating what is known as a "Derivative work" from the original 3D models. That is-- a new work, which is [i][b]derived [/b][/i]from another work. And copyright law gives rights over derivative works to the original creator. Despite the sloppy wording of their license (many explicitly call out Derivative works), you would probably be in violation since you would be distributing the derivative work in a manner clearly outside "a compiled application such as a video game" which appears to be the clear intent of the grant of license.

it's similar to what happens a lot with sound effects or music.

Brian Schmidt
Executive Director
[url="http://www.GameSoundCon.com"]GameSoundCon[/url] Edited by bschmidt1962

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It seems like a pretty terrible license (for the creator) as if I were to put all the models into a "compiled program" that were say a sprite sheet generator that output 2d sprite sheets (sequence of images/frames) from the animated 3d models, that would probably be alright because the license doesn't consider whether or not your "compiled program" outputs some other form of art or product, just how you distribute the content.

But damn it says "Royalty free use for personal or commercial" then in a second breath says "delivered only in compiled program".

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