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TysonJ

How legally safe is this free texture site wrt copyright law?

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http://www.3dtexture.net/

 

No terms of use, no contact, title of the page is "Free 3d texture gallery". The intent seems clear, for people to use these textures for their own creations. 

 

I guess I am confused about the legal ramifications of using sites like these, which have not adopted any CC licences, but are nevertheless clearly giving away their content for the ad revenue. 

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The intent seems clear, for people to use these textures for their own creations.

So it would appear, but the site doesn't say any such thing. Merely the site's title (not the site itself) says "Free 3D texture gallery", but even this can mean at least two different things. It can mean that the gallery is free, that is you're allowed to see the pictures in the gallery without paying for a subscription, or it can mean that the textures are "free", for whatever that means. The word "free" isn't very clear either. It may mean a lot of different things.

 

The intent seems clear, yes. But it could as well be a deliberately deceptive wording. Like when a fraud company like Payback sends you a mail stating "Click here to win" (I just received that kind of spam a few mins ago, no idea where they even have my address from, but it serves as good example...). Of course if you click on "Click here to win", you do not win anything at all. They're only trying to deceive you into believing that.

 

All these anyone-can-upload-sites (including Open Gameart) have already enough legal implications, such as anyone can upload anything, even under a false license, so you might be infringing copyright without knowing and without a good defense (no real person you could grasp). In the case of the 3D texture gallery, all content seems to come from "texture" which is presumably the site owner, but you strictly don't know.

 

I am already weary about using content from sites which very clearly state the license (because, you know, it doesn't mean anything, they could be lying!), but if it's a site like this one where it isn't even worded in an unambiguous way, I would stay far, far away from using that stuff. Simply because the gains are not worth the trouble you may get into.

Edited by samoth

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I guess I am confused about the legal ramifications of using sites like these 

You ask about "safe" and "risk". Those are different questions than "is it legal".

 

Will you be sued? Probably not. In that regard the risk is low.

 

Do you have the legal right to use the image? Probably not. Without a license or agreement in place you have no right to use the image in your game.

 

 

 

Permission can be a license for specific art assets, a work for hire agreement, or even a downloaded copy of a web page from the creator that the images are public domain or otherwise follow some broad license. For some rights in some locations on the globe the law requires a written agreement. Those sites do not provide any of that. As such, you should not use them.

 

You might attempt to argue that their web site is a unilateral contract, much like a "Reward: Lost Thing" poster is a binding unilateral contract. You might even win that argument in a court. But it is a very weak position.

 

Just get art from a reputable source with proper rights. It causes far less grief and stress, and you won't have to wonder if your game is legally tainted in some way.

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Thank you all for the good advice.

 

Why do you not use the http://opengameart.org/ ?

 

The law stuff on that site is explain plain and simple.

 

In my legally naive phase of game development I was grabbing everything I wanted, and I grew attached to some of it, and I dread having to replace it all. 

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In my legally naive phase of game development I was grabbing everything I wanted, and I grew attached to some of it, and I dread having to replace it all.

 

Never do that. Also on the Open game art site you can ask the artist by posting under the art before using it. You also have several licensees to choose among.

 

On last thing. Each time you download some art then you take a screenshot of the page, open up a notepad plug in the url and a copy of the licensee it is published under. Then you have something to show your lawyer IF you ever need to go to court. However my experience with Opengameart is that many people there are very fair and honestly.

 

For a huge bunch of free texture with a very clear license you also have the option of:

 

http://www.texturemate.com/

 

that site is cramped with textures. It is published under the CC BY 3.0 except that the sites owner writes that credit is not required

 

"The stock textures, texture packs, brush packs, and any other resources available for download on this site are completely free and may be used in commercial or non-commercial applications. Credit to texturemate for use of available textures or brushes is appreciated, but not required."

 

Also bear in mind that:

 

"The only exception is that they cannot be redistributed commercially in their unedited form. These textures cannot be re-packaged and resold without significant modifications to their appearance. Brush packs may be used to create unique images in Gimp or Adobe Photoshop, but they cannot be redistributed without being significantly edited."

 

if you can agree to that then you have access to some very nice texture packs and the site's collection keeps on increasing.

 

The trick is to keep you back safe by keeping some visual proof and then only use websites with clear licensees that are clearly written.

 

If you need icons:

 

http://game-icons.net/

 

Also under the CC BY 3.0

 

Here you MUST credit the icon designer and the website.

 

There you go, free icons, texture and art all under the legal public licensees in all shapes and forms but take screenshots and credit where credit should be done and ask where ask should be done. That way you show the designers and artists the proper respect for their hard work smile.png

 

And if you can afford it then donate some for these great websites(it cost some to host all these resources).

Edited by Dwarf King

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This sounds like a very good practice, I will be adopting it. And thanks for the links!!

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