SMCars and models theft : official statement

tom120934

Administrator
#1
Dear SMCars members,

Two recent events in this community has decided the SMCars Team to publish a statement about a plague in our lovely CG world : model theft.

A model theft (to be explicit for non-English members like me) is showing a work that is not yours, while you're pretending or you're insinuating it is yours.

We won't give any name here, that's not the point. But we think the SMC community deserves the right to know the facts and how the SMC Team responds to them.

First case :

A WIP thread by member A (name are fictitious, of course) has been brought to our attention by a member B. B just PMed the SMC Team, with some wires pictures of a commercial-of-the-shelf model. Careful inspection revealed that those wires were exactly the same for the model A showed and claimed as his own work.

This mesh topology is a perfect proof to judge a model theft, because it's like the DNA of the model : two different models never share the very same mesh, even if they're done by the same artist.

Given the evidences, what was the SMC Team reaction ? Things are clear for that : model theft means ban. Ban like definitive, irrevocable ban. But in this particular case, given the fact A was only 14 years old, we chose to issue only a temporary ban, to try to teach A how badly he acted. We asked them to come back after his 7-days ban, and to publicly apologize. End.

Second case

A long lasting flame was have been brought to SMCars by some people. One of them have been charged with model theft happened elsewhere. Then that member charged other members too. A long and sterile discussion took place, before we bring the whole story inside our modcave for investigation.

That investigation revealed out that :
1/ No model theft happened here on SMCars in this particular case, or at least no one pretends a model theft happened on SMCars.
2/ Model theft may have happened elsewhere but the evidences were not that explicit.

General and final thoughts

We do not tolerate model theft. Never ever. Period.

We do take appropriate sanctions, for the sake of the community. It already happened, it will happen again (sadly) No problem about that.

We don't take sanctions for something that may have or may not have happened elsewhere. We are no omnipotent Gods, we're in charge of SMCars so we limit our action to SMCars.

As a consequence, we won't ban a member who has been banned elsewhere, just because (s)he has been banned elsewhere.

Your devoted Team.
 
#3
Lol, my stuff gets stolen all the time. The bad thing is, Im trying to sell those models. Seeing somebody else uploading my work for free is not that great.
 
#5
Lol, my stuff gets stolen all the time. The bad thing is, Im trying to sell those models. Seeing somebody else uploading my work for free is not that great.
Are you selling same models you've been doing for GTA?

Dff's seem to be easy to open even they are locked unfortunately :wut:
 
#6
Yeah but under another name :p Im not sure if a watermark would change anything. They would delete or just ignore it. If they are uploading the model on their own page or blog you cant do much against it.
 

greenvampire

Super Moderator
#8
Just to expand on what has already been said,

Personal attacks in the public forums or via PM's is not acceptable behaviour. If you believe someone to be a theif, or breaking the rules in general, ALWAYS report to an Admin or Mod... Do not confront or make accusations to the forum member.

Remember that although its ok to voice an opinion, personal insults or accusations is not only Slander / defamation of character, but it can also be highly damaging to a professional freelance artist.

I know that might sound abit harsh, but I have seen professionals on other websites who have been damaged / wrongly accused by jelous trouble makers just wanting to start a flame war.
 
#9
My models have never been stolen, but my renders/drawings were. It's sort of annoying, but basically I don't care much. Life has changed in the past 20 years or so. Keep in mind that nowadays theaft is a "norm of living". Try to protect your property, i.e by not uploading real models or high resolution images.
 

tom120934

Administrator
#10
I chose to upload some of my models on my website. They're downloadable for free, full 3D models with shaders, and so far I didn't find them for sale elsewhere. Maybe it's because they're in Blender format and they're uncommon cars (Ariel Atom and Marcos 1800GT) I've also put them for sale on TurboSquid, never earned a single buck but it wasn't my goal.
 

tom120934

Administrator
#12
Just like almost anything else in IT field, there is no such easy and definitive way : there'll always be a hacker / cracker to bypass such a protection. Sorry !
 
#14
Lol, my stuff gets stolen all the time. The bad thing is, Im trying to sell those models. Seeing somebody else uploading my work for free is not that great.
I kno that, and i think its more cause some of your models are in GTA and anyone you cant model pulls thos models out.
 
#15
Sad, but true! Even images get whisked off. Damage control in weakest of cases becomes very difficult.

I suggest proper watermarking of the images, as well as the models. Models can be watermarked by inserting your relevant details in the mesh itself, as a part of mesh flow. Preferably on a curved or difficult part.
 
#20
All my renders watermarked, but as tom120934 pointed out, there's always a way out. The only way to mark images is to put a text, that replaces the actual pixels in the render. But these look ugly. I prefer not to post any serious work of mine with the size exceeding 640 x 480 pixels. But even these are getting stolen.

A couple days ago I discovered a Russian webpage with lots of strangely familiar pictures. There's not a single bloody mention of where all the stuff came from...
Below is the link. Enjoy the view:
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