Sketchfab content stolen and being sold on Turbosquid: Advice for users

Just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve recently discovered that someone has stolen some of the content I previously uploaded to Sketchfab and was selling this for more than $100 on Turbosquid. I’ve also found content from at least one other user here too, so I can only assume all the content might have been stolen from various Sketchfab accounts. Here’s the link to the user who stole this content: NINI2020 3D Models for Download | TurboSquid. I’m assuming it’s ok to share this and can’t think of any reason why not, but mods can obviously amend if required.

The Samurai character also available for sale by that user also “appears” to have been stolen from this Sketchfab scene / Samurai The Shogunate - 3D model by heat3d [48533e7] - Sketchfab

One important thing to note is that my dealings with Turbosquid so far have not been positive and from my perspective, they don’t really care about such things. It took more than half a dozen emails and nearly four days for them to take any action at all and they’ve only just deactivated the stolen content to prevent further sales. The user’s profile and other models remain active and available for sale though!

Here’s a little advice for anyone else who experiences this. Before I continue, I should state the obvious. I’m my no means a legal expert, so please take the following with a grain of salt. However, I do have friends, family and clients who work in prominent positions within the legal industry here in the UK. Digital artists “do” have rights and you can take action to recuperate costs. Deactivating or removing content is not enough, so make sure you don’t accept that. How many times has your stolen content been sold and under what licensing conditions? These are questions you need to ask. Remember, content purchased via sites like CGtrader and Turbosquid may end up being used international ad campaigns, on TV or shared across social media channels. Those licenses can cost a lot of money!

Companies and individuals who have purchased your content without your permission from stock 3D sites may also be liable. Hope this helps and Sketchfab will continue to take steps to prevent content being downloaded illegally ASAP.

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Hey, sorry this happened to you! We’re continuously rolling our security features to reduce this problem.

In the mean time, the best way to get this removed is to file a DMCA takedown notice with Turbosquid - they are legally required to act on it and remove your content.

Using our DMCA generator app you can generate a legally compliant DMCA takedown notice. It will be emailed to you and you can forward it to agent@turbosquid.com.

I hope that helps!

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Hi Bart, Thanks for the reply and info. I did file a take down notice along with evidence proving I created the model via the form on the Turbosquid website. It still took nearly four days and a ton of additional emails before they even deactivated the content in question. They also sent a generic response, with no apology or information regarding what action they intend to take against the user and have allowed this user to remain active on their website. I’ve contacted the artist who originally created the Samurai character to let him know his work has apparently also been stolen too.

Companies like Turbosquid seem to believe that simply deactivating the content in question resolves the issue, but that isn’t the case at all. If they’ve profited from the sale of this content, then either their customers (anyone who may have purchased the content from them) are liable or they are. They shouldn’t get to keep the proceeds and I don’t intend to let them get off that easily. It’s about time 3D artists and designers took a stand against this crap.

All the best,

Hi Bart,

Is there any way you can contact the Sketchfab member “heat3D” to let him know that his character has been stolen? I’ve sent a message to him via his Artstation profile, but have can’t see a way to contact via his Sketchfab profile. He’s from Ukraine too! Many thanks.

Unfortunately, this sounds like they handled it in the legally correct way - 4 days is a ‘reasonable’ response time, and you don’t need to provide more information than ‘we handled the issue’.

@Heat3d see the message above.

It’s a shame that you actually think four days is reasonable. That’s part of the problem and why this type of crap has become normalised. This has to change.

I said it’s ‘legally reasonable’. DMCA law prescribes handling responses in a ‘timely manner’, although lawyers do not agree on that that means exactly :-/

FWIW here at Sketchfab we process DMCA takedown notices within one business day, and we’ll ban repeat offenders.

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