@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:
- 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!).
- 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 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.