The online world is full of 3D model marketplaces offering both free and for-purchase models created by a widespread community of designers. These sites are wonderful ways for people to easily obtain high-quality models for 3D printing at home, and they also offer a means of making a living for some designers. Unfortunately, there will always be people who abuse the system. There have been several cases of unscrupulous users selling others’ designs as their own, and things get even more complicated when it comes to actually buying and selling as opposed to just downloading a free design.Like any physical goods, 3D models can be returned if they’re unsatisfactory to the buyer. A buyer can return a 3D model for a full refund for a number of reasons: bad quality, missing textures, incompatibility of an asset, etc. When returning a physical item, however, it’s a lot simpler – you just present the item to the seller, who takes it back and returns your money. With a digital file, there’s no way to know whether or not the item still remains in the buyer’s possession. A buyer can easily purchase a file, download or copy it, and then demand his or her money back for whatever reason. Returns are an honor system that assume the buyer has deleted the file and won’t be using it, or worse, selling it elsewhere.
CGTrader, one of the largest 3D model marketplaces in the world, is taking steps to ensure that that doesn’t happen – by eliminating the need for returns altogether. The company has teamed up with 3D asset protection platform PolyPort to test the latter’s asset protection features on the CGTrader marketplace. The integration would allow CGTrader users to review 3D models in real time within their software application of choice before deciding to buy a model. Encryption would make it impossible to save the model and would thus protect designers from theft, while at the same time letting customers fully evaluate all models before purchasing them.
“We know how difficult it is to ensure IP rights are protected in all digital media,” said Dalia Lasaite, Co-Founder and CEO of CGTrader. “We are collaborating with PolyPort to see whether their technology could help us solve the issue in the exponentially growing 3D industry. 3D models are very complex assets, and we would be happy to provide a convenient method which would allow our customers to ensure that what they buy is exactly what they get.”
The system could go a long way toward establishing trust between buyers and sellers, and could eliminate a major problem in the online marketplace world. PolyPort CEO Chloe Kettell thinks that the integration between CGTrader and PolyPort could be a step towards transforming how the creative industry does business and distributes content, as the company keeps IP in focus.
“IP protection is a rapidly growing issue that will continue to expand as the world further embraces digital technologies,” Kettell said. “We’re excited to further our mission of safeguarding creators digital IP by aligning ourselves with an industry leader such as CGTrader that empowers real content creators.”
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