Blend Swap is open for everybody to upload their 3D models and related files. We have insisted time and time again that you should only upload your own work, made by you from the ground up, that is: your design, your meshes, your textures.
However we're conscious that many fans of TV shows, movies, games, and manufactured products love to use the site to share their recreations of famous designs and ideas originally created by third party companies. These works fall under the special categorization of Fan Art, that is, a model or piece of 2D/3D art that depicts a design, logo, product or character originally conceived by a third party artist or company not related to the blend author or Blend Swap.
All Blend Swap users must know one very important thing, FAN ART IS NOT FAIR USE OF THIRD PARTY DESIGNS AND IDEAS, as described in the english Wikipedia entry:
The legal status of fan made art in America may be tricky due to the vagaries of the United States Copyright Act. Generally, the right to reproduce and display pieces of artwork is controlled by the original author or artist under 17 U.S.C. § 106. However, fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which would place control of the copyright with the owner of that original work. Display and distribution of fan art that would be considered a derivative work would be unlawful.
However, American copyright law allows for the production, display and distribution of derivative works if they fall under a fair use exemption, 17 U.S.C. § 107. A court would look at all relevant facts and circumstances to determine whether a particular use qualifies as fair use; a multi-pronged rubric for this decision involves evaluating the amount and substantiality of the original appropriated, the transformative nature of the derivative work, whether the derivative work was done for educational or noncommercial use, and the economic effect that the derivative work imposes on the copyright holder's ability to make and exploit their own derivative works. None of these factors is alone dispositive.
American courts also typically grant broad protection to parody, and some fan art may fall into this category. This has not explicitly been adjudicated with respect to fan art, however. Moreover, while parody is typically afforded protection under § 107, a court must engage in a fact-intensive, case-specific inquiry for each work.
This means that we have to exclude your Fan Art from commercial use for it to be eligible for Fair Use exemption, this, however does not warrant any type of Fair Use exclusion under US Law (and other parts of the world), so the copyright holder can still initiate a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
This is why we implemented the Fan Art mark on the site, to let people know, that regardless of the license attached to the file, noone should EVER use the Fan Art marked works for commercial purposes.
We must ask you to please mark your blends depicting any character, design, product, logo etc, made by a third party unrelated to you as Fan Art so everybody on the site knows about the restrictions actually ruling your file, regardless of the CC License attached to it.
Blend Swap will stop serving or completely remove files reported for copyright infringement by another user that presents evidence of the authorship problem or if we receive a Cease and Desist request from a big company. As the copyright holders Companies have all their right to request complete removal of files featuring their designs.
If you represent a company that has detected unlawful use of your company's design please send a Cease and Desist note to:
- Blend Swap, LLC
3208 E 17th St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
with the following information:
- Names of the products/characters/etc
- Links of the offending models
and your request to pull the offending content offline.
If the third party design is a CC licensed in an Open Source fashion, like the Open Movie projects from the Blender Institute, or the design was released under CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, CC-Zero, by the original author, you don't have to mark your blend as fan art, because this type of original material is Open Source and as such, you only have to respect the original license. For more information on how CC licenses apply, please read our licensing page.
If you copy something, followed a tutorial, or revamped an Open Source model/file, please say so. There's no shame in copying or modifying but there is in stealing.