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Ownership of models
show user profile  Wingman
If you work on a project and lets say you make a model of a house for an arch-viz. You model some furniture, and you buy some furniture online, and you put in some models you maybe have made for another project before.

Is it usual to write something about ownership of the models in a contract with the client? I guess it is normal that the 3D-artist own the models? (i run a one-man-company)
I wouldn't hesitate to use the furniture in another project, but would you use the house itself if it would fit in another project? Or could you put the new furniture you made out for sale on turbosquid?

What i'm wondering i guess, is if the model of the house itself should get any special mention in the contract. There is of course decent behaviour; i wouldn't put the house i made for the local architectfirm in my next 3D-pro-guns-porn-flick. But maybe i could use it as a neighbouring house to another house-project?

Would this be a good rule to go by;
you say that the designer of the house would own the right to use the 3d-model of the house (but you own the model itself), but that you would own the right to use models of more common things in the house (like if they have drawed in a comercially available fireplace, you could use your fireplace model as you wish later)

I'd be glad to hear any thoughts on this.

read 591 times
8/9/2009 6:06:02 AM (last edit: 8/9/2009 6:06:02 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
You either sell or license works you create. If you sell the work, it's no longer yours & belongs to the client. If you license it to the client, you retain ownership (so can use as you please in future - including licensing to other clients & developing the content further), but you grant the client rights to use it in some way. This should all be clearly stated in the contract and is standard intellectual property law that applies across disciplines.
read 588 times
8/9/2009 6:25:37 AM (last edit: 8/9/2009 6:31:32 AM)
show user profile  Wingman
If you work with a client in another city, and you dont have time to meet, how would you do it with the contract?
Will it be sufficient if i write an e-mail with the conditions and that the client answers with an "ok" from his work mail? (its a 3000€ job)
My insurance company did something like that, where i had to answer 'ok' on an sms when i bought a new product.

read 531 times
8/9/2009 3:15:47 PM (last edit: 8/9/2009 3:15:47 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
First, I should state I am not a lawyer, so what follows is based on experience and what I've learnt from legally qualified friends. You should consult a properly qualified professional.

They charge money, so here's an introduction for free :

The formal solution is to have a solid contracting services agreement which defines the relationship between the parties - who is responsible for what, when, ownership/licensing, etc.

You can email drafts of this agreement between each other until you are both happy with what you have, then, ideally, run it past a lawyer to make it legally watertight.

Both parties need to sign the finalised contract, so the usual way of doing this (if you can't meet up) is one party prints off two copies, signs both (and initials every page), mails both to the other party who signs both and initials every page, keeps one copy and sends the other back. Faxiing it or scanning works fine too.

Email contracts, instructions and extensions are used. As to their legal validity, I suppose it would be up to a court to determine whether there was intention to enter into a legally binding agreement. The more formally this is done the less uncertainty there is, but again, don't take my word for this, consult an expert.

I have a consulting services agreement which you are welcome to use as a starting point, if you'd like it, it's been approved by UK & US lawyers so is pretty solid (and contains lots of fun complicated legalese in places). It's for programming, not art, so will require modification, but might be helpful.

For a small job, maybe it's not worth the hassle of all this, your call.

In the end, the contract is only important if you end up in court. If that happens and you don't have solid evidence that your view is that which was agreed, you're screwed.

Perhaps Apocalyse Head is around - he is properly qualified so can advise far better than I can.

Suggest extending your social network to include the odd lawyer ...


In the UK, we have a government funded organisation called Business Link who advise on this kind of thing, free of charge. I would imagine there's something similar in the States, but I've never looked into it.
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8/9/2009 3:41:22 PM (last edit: 8/10/2009 2:27:24 AM)
show user profile  npcph
this is not meant as a slam on A-S at all, so please don't take it as so. But you may want to get input from some people that work in the industry regarding the use of models. I know we have several people who do arch vis stuff and they would be the best to answer that question. Strat or Inxa for example.

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8/9/2009 8:30:46 PM (last edit: 8/9/2009 8:30:46 PM)
show user profile  STRAT
we use stock models and textures all the time from well known (and lesser well known) interweb companies. there are no issues in using these pre-paid/modelled elements in your works to a client, and you have no obligation to tell him this or give model and image credits out of the originators.
but, in the majority of cases, you are not permitted to give out or re-sell this material. ie, you cannot hand over any of these pre-paid/modelled textures and models to the client if he requests them. you can use them in your renders to the client for money, but the actual source material is yours and licensed only to you. your agreement/contract with the vendor will state this. if your client wants the actual model and source material from you he must also purchase and licenses for 3rd party elements you've used in the project.

ultimately, 3rd party suppliers will state their rues and regulations that you chose to abide by in their sales contract with you.


read 459 times
8/10/2009 2:20:06 AM (last edit: 8/10/2009 2:29:16 AM)
show user profile  Wingman
Thanks for the input on the contract. on small jobs i guess i'll stick to the "e-mail contract".

what about the models you make based on the clients 2D-drawings? are these models normally your property, so you can use them in later projects? I guess this isn't decent behaviour, your client don't want to see their designs pop up in som silly commercial or whatever, but do you mention ownership of the 3D-model this in the contract?

read 436 times
8/10/2009 4:44:03 AM (last edit: 8/10/2009 4:44:03 AM)
show user profile  STRAT
we deal in mainly archiviz, so i cant comment on tv commercials and the like, but yes, there's a standard clause in our contract that states all material we produce is contracted and owned by us and we're free to use it as we see fit. usually in future projects and our own advertising.

if the material we produce for a client is secret and not to be publicly disclosed then we obviously respect those wishes (a lot of our work is under wraps for some time after hand over of the project), but after this period we do as we will, and we state this this requirement in our initial contract with him.
We have in the past had a client or 2 take issue with this, and in a court of law there might be grounds for him to stand on, but they're not usually prepared to take on the risk of costs and so forth just for the sake of most probably loosing.

if we weren't allowed to pimp past works of other people's designs then we'd not have any portfolio and marketing material to show. we dont claim rights over people's designs, only the imagery we produce. and this is reasonable argument in a court of law.

there are sticky laws over intellectual rights over pimping other's designs, even if you've drawn it yourself from a photo for example, but we dont let issues like this concern us else we'd never submit any work. but if you're worried then i'd certainly look into it.
(take 3DWorld mag for instance, they require a full credit list of items in your image before they publicise, so they can get full permissions from all involved. ie, architects, car manufacturers, domestic applience manufacturers etc etc. it's a right faff, and different peeps take different measures to make sure they're covered and in the right. it also depends on the kind of business you're in and the size of pimpage you carry out. it's up to you how you protect yourself. most dont and in the majority of cases never need to)

at the end of the day it's all down to a good communication, understanding and relationship between you and your clients. this is the route of all good business imo.


read 432 times
8/10/2009 4:56:00 AM (last edit: 8/10/2009 5:11:40 AM)
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