Sketchfab Forum

So ripped models from the games are good?


(Oleglinkov) #1

Ok, bitching time, sorry guys if I'm gonna hurt someones feeling.

Today I woke to an email, saying that my one and only model - Stormwind mailbox FANART (made it completely from scratch, model and textures), was picked for another World of Warcraft collection, here on Sketchfab. Fine, lets see whats else in that collection. I am, after all, big WoW fan and its art. Bunch of good stylized art in there aaaand of course there are few models RIPPED directly from World of Warcraft. I was going to close that and move on, but then I see this

DeathWing PBR by JER3D on Sketchfab

Let me get this straight - one guy, rips a model from popular video game, uploads it here. Then another guy, downloads it (they even discuss that in the comments), makes some shitty modifications to it (sorry, but it really is crap - pixelated nonsense and wonky anims), uploads it here again and gets Staff Pick? WTF?! Are you high or something? Also, bunch of 'PROs' praising that model, like its some sort of stellar art? The only parts that are stellar in fact, are not even his. Puts a lot of 'credibility' in the opinion of these 'PRO' guys.

I understand of course, Sketchfab staff are not necessarily experts and every video game out there, but these guys are not making secret out of where those models came from. And its not the only one, here is two more:

Stormwind Cathedral Quarter House 01 by skarn on Sketchfab

Gilneas Market Quarter House 01 by skarn on Sketchfab

Ripped from WoW, staff picked months ago.

I'm in NO WAY representing Blizzard Ent. here, but I believe this is some serious copyright violations or at least WoW EULA breaches. There is dozen more models ripped from WoW and freely available to download from Sketchfab, just not staff picked. What is it? File sharing service now?

There is also an ethical issue here. Some artists work hard to produce original art, and then there is some who just rips models from games and get instant fame. Is this ok to you, Sketchfab?


(The Timeburner) #2

Correct me if I am wrong. But,arent these fan arts? And not directly from the game itself?
I mean,if that's the case,then there's nothing wrong about recreating the design.The artist is claiming the model,not the design.

Im a bit skeptical about the staff picks,too. I dont see anything worthy of a staff pick with voxel arts that get staff picked.That's just for me tho and I dont know what criteria they are basing these picks.


(Dark Minaz) #3

As a blizzard fan myself i made a few so far as well

Frostmourne by dark-minaz on Sketchfab

I think the big issue is that you sometimes don't know if its ripped or not.
But i am also not to happy with some of the overwatch/wow rips that only got a little key animation and in the description it's "model by : me".
I do get that he maybe made the animation but downloading a model is not making it.

Not really sure on the legal things or anything, but id at the very least add some sort of information that it's not a model made by that person (without the option to edit it, as sort of grey banner "MADE BY XY STUDIOS" "uploaded by xy". Because most of the time it's just stealing work and trying to pass it off as you own. What is unfair against the people that spend days making something.

The problem is game models will always be on the internet, but i think an report option would be nice to get rid of some of those models, at least on sketchfab, since those just give this sort of unprofessional look to it.

But my issue is not with the fact that those models are slightly changed (if you did a new texture, fine you did something, or you made an animation that look fun, sure) but with the fact that they steal the entire credit. Oh great you made tracer .. exactly as the ripped files look like .. SURE ...


(Nomadking) #4

I don't think anyone really likes the idea of people simply ripping and reposting game assets without appropriate accreditation, but as you already mentioned - how can the Sketchfab staff realistically know? Even if they do know the game it's from, how can they be sure it's ripped and not a recreation? Also, the Deathwing model actually states it from WoW but modified, does that come under 'fair use' for educational purposes? (Sharing of it probably doesn't fall into that)

Ripped models for cheap clicks suck, but it's quite a tricky problem to solve.

FYI: PRO members are simply paying members, the label itself doesn't say anything about their skill or credibility.


(Chaitanyak) #5


this is actually pretty terrible.. stuff like this is what can get sketchfab in serious trouble!
maybe even blocked in a region or worse!

i love sketchfab and its become an important part of my workflow..
saddens me to see it put at risk this way.


(Oleglinkov) #6

@nomadking just type in 'WoW' in the search and you will find models ripped from WoW. Here is Deathwing original model, ripped from WoW and posted here, freely available for downloading

Deathwing by Sanguinax on Sketchfab

you can see in the comments, both guy who uploaded it and the guy who made that modification, discussing the details. seems like there is even some sort of request to rip and upload was made. Buildings I posted above, also rips.

There is nothing wrong I guess, with tinkering with someone else models, even if it comes from popular video game. I've done it myself. But never in my life I posted such stuff on the web for whatever reason or used it in any way other than just learning. If you want to make a dragon, go and make you own dragon, no matter how good or bad it will be compared to the original.

Even if we leave ethics aside, there all sorts of copyright issues. If Sketchfab is unable to come up with the solution to this problem, there might be one day when some big studio going to show up and demand all that stuff deleted and maybe even hold responsible for whatever damage it could cause. I don't remember signing any legal papers when uploading my model, and even if there is some checkbox that asks if all the content is my own, I doubt it will hold in court.

What to do? Well, staff could start reading descriptions and deleting the ones that openly states that it was ripped from a game. I get that mod makers want to exchange the models they've ripped from games, but there should be other ways to do that. Emails, dropbox, whatever else.

Oh, and I know what 'pro' sign means. I think they should be called Premium members then. Using term 'PRO' is just childish.


(Nomadking) #8

Just going to get these points out the way first:

Oh, and I know what 'pro' sign means. I think they should be called Premium members then. Using term 'PRO' is just childish.

I know you're coming at this from a gamer perspective, but Pro means professional in a lot of walks of life, including other aspects of software development. Most people don't consider it childish at all.

I don't remember signing any legal papers when uploading my model, and even if there is some checkbox that asks if all the content is my own, I doubt it will hold in court.

It would hold up in court, that's the entire point of EULA's, and you've already agreed to it:

4.3 User Representations. By submitting User Content, you represent and warrant that (i) you own or otherwise control all of the rights to your User Content, (ii) the use of your User Content does not violate this Agreement or the law, and will not violate any rights of or cause injury to any person or entity, and (iii) your User Content will not violate the additional content restrictions set forth in Section 5 of this Agreement.

But getting back to the main point of this topic, your solution works fine for the Deathwing model and any model where people clearly say "This isn't mine", but even the Stormwind or Gilneas houses have no such confessions. To anyone who's played WoW it's obvious that they are ripped models (or very faithful recreations), but to someone who hasn't played WoW? What about models from a less popular game? A tag alone isn't enough proof of anything, as anyone creating fan art or inspired pieces would use the same tags.

There definitely should be more diligence when it comes to Staff Picks and ripped models, but what to do about ripped models in general is a much more complex question.


(Dark Minaz) #9

I guess the simplest way to somewhat fix that would be to implement a sort of "report" option, with a link if possible.
For example, i see a model (let's say agent47 from overwatch) and i know it looks 100% like the game. So ill report it as it got most of the obvious "it's a rip" parts (tris, looks really good for only 16k poly, no texture is wrong, same haircolor, same everything).
And if i know that there is proof of that i can add a link, for example to a google drive file that holds all ripped overwatch files.
So someone can check both and see that nothing has been done on the model.

I think that could help, what to really do with them is another issue, just mark them as "not created by xy" "remove them" or something else, is up to sketchfab at that point.
But i totally agree that ripped models as staffpick kinda hurt sometimes, especially when yours don't get them.


(Oleglinkov) #10

No, I'm coming at this as an actual professional who has been working in game development over a decade now. Paying 10$ for small sign 'pro' doesn't make you a professional, which is why having it is just childish. And in some way its even insulting, seeing who those 'pro' guys plastering their amateur, at best, opinions on something all over the place.


(Nomadking) #11

No, I'm coming at this as an actual professional who has been working in game development over a decade now. Paying 10$ for small sign 'pro' doesn't make you a professional, which is why having it is just childish. And in some way its even insulting, seeing who those 'pro' guys plastering their amateur, at best, opinions on something all over the place.

They are paying for the Professional service, not they are Professional artists. It's quite a simple distinction.


(Oleglinkov) #12

No. You're wrong. Go here

https://sketchfab.com/plans

Notice the small ' ? ' sign against the 'Capture leads and appear in the PRO directory', click it, it will redirect you to the directory full of artists. Read the window (tab) title saying 'Find professional 3D artist'.

Questions? Just like that at a cost of 10$ you're suddenly amongst the brightest. Now, obviously, the real professional 3D artists will stand out, no matter what, but you can now see why I am sceptical about this and would prefer 'Premium' users.

Anyway, staff is ignoring this thread, so I don't see any point to continue this discussion. Lets just hope that sketchfab won't be closed one day because its flooded with ripped models.


(Nomadking) #13

They should probably change the title of that page then, as the rest of the Pro branding seems to refer to Pro Users not Pro Artists. TBH I've never even seen that directory page before you linked it :wink:

As for staff ignoring the thread, they aren't. I've made them aware of it, but since you started it over a weekend, you can probably understand why there hasn't been a response yet.

Not sure why you're clinging to 'closed because of ripped models' non-sense, as I already pointed out, when signing up you agree that you have the rights to upload whatever models you do. The blame would be squarely on the users, not SF themselves. It's not needed as part of the argument against ripped models, the merits of controlling those speak for themselves.


(Bart) #14

@oleglinkov You and others have raised some very good points, I'll try to explain our policy and processes here.

First of all, our Terms and Conditions explicitly state that you need to own all the rights to a model before uploading them to Sketchfab. Of course, many people ignore this and upload other people's work. Thankfully, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects sites like ours that host user-generated content. If it wasn't in place, it would be impossible to run Sketchfab!

That said, once rips or other pirated content get uploaded, we have two options:

  1. The correct legal route: the model owner (Blizzard, in this case), sends us a DMCA takedown notice with proof of ownership. We're legally required to remove the model, and the person who uploaded the copy to Sketchfab can be legally prosecuted by the plaintiff. However, if you send a fake or incorrect takedown notice, you can be counter-sued (oh, the joys of Law!).
  2. If you're not the owner of a model, but you can offer sufficient proof that a model is a rip (include a screenshot from the game, for example), we will get in touch with the Sketchfab user who uploaded it and usually it gets deleted right away. We’ll also ‘un-staff pick’ such models when we receive a solid report (I’ll un-pick DeathWing).

We cannot (even legally) scan all uploaded content for copyright breaches and are entirely dependent on such reports. When in doubt, we'll at least try to avoid Staff Picking these models because, as you correctly point out, people should not be 'rewarded' for pirating other's work.

The "PRO vs Premium" discussion is an interesting one. I'll report your input to our team.

Anyway, staff is ignoring this thread, so I don't see any point to continue this discussion. Lets just hope that sketchfab won't be closed one day because its flooded with ripped models.

Well, we're real people too who like to enjoy their weekends :slight_smile: So if a discussion like this happens during the weekend we cannot always reply right away. It was at the top of the list for monday morning though!

Im a bit skeptical about the staff picks,too. I dont see anything worthy of a staff pick with voxel arts that get staff picked.That's just for me tho and I dont know what criteria they are basing these picks.

@the_timeburner Do you mean you see voxel art that should be staff picked, but isn't? We certainly try to! Voxels are very popular and we have some very gifted artists in our community.

Here's a list of recent voxel models that did make it into our Staff Picks gallery.

I guess the simplest way to somewhat fix that would be to implement a sort of "report" option, with a link if possible.

@dark_minaz Absolutely! We are actually in the process of creating a report option to help us with this. Not only for copyright issues, but also for spam, abusive comments etc.

PRO members are simply paying members, the label itself doesn't say anything about their skill or credibility.

@nomadking PRO members don't even need to be paying - Students and teachers can get free accounts, and through our referral program it's easy to get a free PRO account too.

There definitely should be more diligence when it comes to Staff Picks and ripped models, but what to do about ripped models in general is a much more complex question.

Like I mentioned before, it's very hard to know for sure if something is a rip. But if we even suspect it's a rip we'll not staff pick it (and if we find out it’s a rip afterwards we’ll un-pick it). Things always slip through the cracks though..

this is actually pretty terrible.. stuff like this is what can get sketchfab in serious trouble!
maybe even blocked in a region or worse!

@chaitanyak Fortunately, it's not as bad as you think - we're protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which creates a 'safe harbour' for sites like ours - without it, it would be impossible to host any kind of user generated content. Here's more information.


(The Timeburner) #15

@bartv Yeah,it's just me who doesnt like voxels.

Oh,one reason some get the Pro/Premium is to upload bigger contents.Just like me :slight_smile:
I did invite some game devs that are also interested in models to get a premium account. Just to upload one particular model.

My question is,what happens to the models when that premium account expires?
Will those be taken down? I hope not.


(Bart) #16

Ah! Yeah some people go for minimalism I guess. I'm a big fan of low-poly art myself :wink:

Nothing happens to them - they'l just stay in your account just as they were. If they were private during your PRO subscription, they'll remain private etc.


(The Timeburner) #17

Nice! Thankfully.

Why do I get notifications like,"First Emoji" What are these badges for? What kind of badge is that,"First Emoji"?


(Bart) #18

I replied here:


(Vlad) #19

@bartv Don't worry, we are people from Russia likes be disgusted and feel insulted :wink:
Also we don't understand english well and can't find contact form in Contact page, so we prefer complain in public :smiley: