posted this on January 24, 2014, 03:41
Note: Please refer to our Royalty Free License and FAQ for more information and definitions of terms used in this article.
TurboSquid’s main business is selling copyright licenses to 3D models to our Customers. We do this by allowing artists from around the world to publish 3D models for sale on TurboSquid, to which TurboSquid then in turn sells licenses, and then delivers the 3D models and related files. Generally, we refer to what is sold to our Customers as Stock Media Products.
When an artist publishes a Stock Media Product to TurboSquid, the artist warrants to TurboSquid that he or she owns all of the rights to publish and distribute that Stock Media Product. Unless explicitly noted, TurboSquid does not license the rights of Other Parties that could be depicted in a Stock Media Product, such as trademark, trade dress, and other rights. It is your responsibility as a customer to determine the need for, and get, proper legal clearances for any Stock Media Product in your Creations that has any potential Other Party intellectual property.
This can be a bit confusing (all intellectual property law is complex), so hopefully the examples below will make it clearer.
Perhaps you need an elephant 3D model. This is an example of a generic Stock Media Product. You can use it in a game, advertisement, or any other type of Creation allowed in its Royalty Free License. There is no other associated intellectual property related to this Stock Media Product.
Sometimes artists create Stock Media Products that depict real world objects of some type, and while the artist owns the 3D model itself, another group may claim ownership in the subject matter depicted. For example, the Zamboni depicted here contains protected intellectual property.
In some cases such as with Zamboni, the company has notified TurboSquid that Zamboni will not allow its products to be used for any purpose other than under the Editorial Use restrictions. This means the Stock Media Product license is for news purposes, and for people with explicit rights clearances from the owners of the depicted intellectual property. You may not use it, for example, in an advertisement unless you are an authorized party such as an ad agency with proper legal clearances.
This is indicated on our product pages with the following notice in the licenses section:
Content with a Brand Notice
TurboSquid does not manage or attempt to figure out which rights are protected for which uses (personal, non-profit, commercial) in which countries (some trademarks are only in a single country). If an associated brand of any sort has been detected, TurboSquid will indicate that in the interface.
Some brands are public domain. For example, NASA is a brand that is available for use by the public (see using NASA Imagery and Linking to NASA Web Sites). Other brand owners seek the publicity of being used in Creations. Some are fine with non-commercial use. It is wholly your responsibility to ensure that you are properly using any intellectual property depicted in the Stock Media Product. This applies equally whether you license a 3D model or create it yourself.
If you have a question about whether your use is appropriate, please consult your legal counsel. Another approach is to search for a generic item that has no brands associated with it, and use that instead.