Copyright hindering democratisation of 3D

Gavin Greenwalt: Copyright owners own the right to models of their products
Gavin Greenwalt: Copyright owners own the right to models of their products

Increasing power of GPUs is enabling designers to create 3D models quicker and in greater detail. Such additional details may include specific models of cars, cameras or other products instead of just generic models. This should pave the way towards democratisation of 3D.

However, a major barrier can halt this progress.

While creating a specific product is now easier, using that created model may be a challenge. Standing in the way are copyright laws and more importantly, copyright owners.

“Copyright owners own the right to models of their products. They can decide whether users can use or should remove 3D models of their products. Users need to seek permission to use such models,” said Gavin Greenwalt, Senior Artist of Straightface Studios.

Getting permission to use 3D models of specific products can prove to be a major stumbling block.

According to David Forrester, CEO of Lightworks, some companies are more prepared to grant permission because they “want their products to be flashed everywhere”.

“Yet, there are others who don’t allow anything to be used,” he added.

Both were among a panel of speakers at a Jon Peddie Press Luncheon organised in conjunction with SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 in Singapore. The other speakers include Gerry Blank, Director of Graphics Software Engineering of Intel, Phil Miller, Director of Product Management of NVIDIA and Neil Trevett, President of Khronos Group and Vice President of Embedded Content of NVIDIA.