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The 3DMR is Dead. Long Live the New BMR!

28

bmr.jpgLast February, we wrote about Andrew Kator's Blender 3D Model Repository, a great and well maintained resource for Blender users. In July he closed down, but an alternative is now available.

Update March 28, 2016: this site is no longer available.

It turns out that Andrew's project ran into trouble because people were uploading copyrighted material.

Andrew writes:

A Year of Success. Over 900 Models, Over 2,000,000 Downloads... Then Problems.
July 17, 2006 The Blender 3D Model Repository is gone. While it was very successful, I have received too many emails from model authors complaining that their models have been illegitimately uploaded to the repository."

October 24, 2006 I have spent too much time trying to provide resources like the BMR to people who show nothing but abuse, complaints, and disregard for artist rights to continue with the project.

In time, Andrew Kator's models will become available on this site. We cannot continue to waste our personal money on lawyers and legal issues, especially when the expenditure of those resource brings us nothing but complaints and unnecessary trouble."

Under those circumstances, anyone would give up and I can only applaud Andrew for what he has done for us so far. At the same time, I think those who are uploading others' models should think again about their actions - thank you for destroying such a great resource!

The New Blender Model Repository

Thankfully, a new site has risen to fill this gap: the 'New Blender Model Repository' [update: link removed, the size is gone], which now has some 30 models available. It's models are nicely organized by categories like Man-Made, Animals, Plants, which are further subdivided into categories such as architecture, transportation, fish etc.

As a sidenote, I think that the form they've chosen (a forum) is the wrong tool for the job; a forum is not a content management system and previewing a model is now too cumbersome. Let's hope that the forum is just a temporary 'quickfix' and that something better will come in its place.

I'm unclear about their policy for allowing people to upload work. I hope everyone remembers the old 3DMR. We should learn from its fate.

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

28 Comments

  1. Datastrip# 0x002 on

    This still has the same flaw. The only real solution for this is for everyone to learn to model and quit whining :D ...

    KIDDING!!! -c'mon.. it's just a joke ;) (no.. really.. ... it IS :D ) (nothing implied..)

    ...
    ..

    WHAT!? .. lol :D

  2. Datastrip# 0x002 on

    actually, the best setup would be a table.. with a picture of the model which is also a link to the download. That way, if someone has a complaint, they only need to name the block. the prosedure afterwards would be that the download link/image gets frozen and shown in greyscale (untill the issue is resolved). That way things keep running smoothly and the models that most people petition to download get checked out (by that, I mean that the copyright/ownership issue gets resolved for that specific model) and if it's greyed out and noone petitions to get it back up, it gets deleted.

    so.. this is what I meant to say earlier. and in this method, the forum actually could become really feasable to the whole repository thing..

    here's what I mean by that.. -the moderators could be responsible for resolving ownership issues with the model.. and the more people get involved, the more perpetual the machinery of the operation becomes. (for those who don't follow.. -it'll practically run itself!!)
    -this could be big..

    (and yes, do read minds ;) ).. mua ha ha haa!! (ahem..) lol.

  3. Another solution would be to grab the IP address of the uploader, as well as require them to have a confirmed REAL email address (the one provided by their ISP, not hotmail or gmail) when they register. Then, if any copyright issues arise, there is solid information to lead to the person violating the copyright. Informing uploaders that those proctections are in place would deter most violaters.

  4. I think Datastrip# 0x002 the II is right. Datastrip# 0x002 the 1st is a little crazy.. Kernon, you are also kind of right, but it's so conventional that, well, it bores me. This legality working itself out thing sounds much like the way Wikipedia handles their information.

    For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pula_Arena_Inside.jpg

    "This image is not licensed under the GFDL. It is under a non-commercial-use only licence."
    Under Datastrip's suggestion, BMR would say: "This model is flagged for possible illegitimate uploading"

    "If this image was uploaded after May 19, 2005, it will soon be deleted without further warning.[1]
    Older images with this template will be considered for deletion."
    BMR would say: "If this model is not given the right to be uploaded by it's original modeler, it will be deleted in [x amount of time] without further warning."

  5. It's a shame about the old repository being closed down... It closed just as I joined the Blender community.

    The current repository is just as vulnerable as the last one. You could put a notice that says "BMR is not responsible for any illegal uploads" (rough terms).

    I also think that you should get a domain name. BlenderRepository.com, perhaps?

  6. Grabbing the IP of the uploader is great, my only problem here is the statement that one can not use a hotmail or gmail account.

    I'm using hotmail for over 6 years now and, thus, is my primary e-mail address. A simple password send by e-mail would work for uploading I think.

  7. If a real CMS was used, as Bart suggests, (sorry, I can read now.) the submission form can be very clear on what is allowed, and allow the submitter to specify the license...

    The site could be organized into a gallery and in many different ways: by license, key words, rating, etc...

    (I wrote more here: http://www.e2-productions.com/bmr/index.php?showtopic=52 )

    About the copyright issues, Submitters could only be ONLY allowed to submit their own work.
    To allow the site to grow quickly/legally, Perhaps a team could be made that requests free model authors work be converted to .blend and posted on this site. A hidden field could keep the correspondence with the author in case any issues arise.

  8. @Bmud,

    Speaking of Wikipedia, perhaps using a wiki, or something similar would be better than a forum... There's a thought.

  9. @Alexander:
    I proposed two measures. One, log the IP address. Two, log a valid email address.

    Two methods are better than one. For example, a person could mask their IP address.

    Using Hotmail or Gmail is not a vaild email address for security purposes because anyone can get one (or even 20!). The email address that your ISP provides is far more secure because your ISP requires valid billing info to pay for their services. That valid billing info is connected to your ISP-provided email address.

  10. Still, there's hundreds of sites that offer free email addresses that pop up all the time...
    Perhaps only reputable Blender Artist posters are allowed to login/submit? and only with their common login name? (not sure how that would work...)

    Perhaps the submission for should also include a mandatory checkbox, something like: "I affirm that this content is 100% my original work, and am releasing it under above listed license..."
    and take some clues from video.google.com, "I agree to the Upload Terms and Conditions."

  11. It´s bad to see that a good idea is droped by the ignorance of copyr. issues.
    But like the discusiun above shows, it seems to be not easy to generate a
    sort of copyright standard who is accepted by all peoples.
    In that case that copyr. laws are in lot of cases not easy to understand.
    Example Fanfilms: ...you "copy" an commercial work without permission,but you don´t earn
    money with that . Basicly forbidden - but toleranted by the moviestudios.

    ... you have a photo (or a video) from last holyday, nice scenery
    as background for a blender work. But some people on that photo
    basicly don´t give there permission. You present your work on an
    internet gallery... maybe you get post of a lawyer....
    ...and so on.
    And YOUTUBE, GOOGLE VIDEO ? A lot of copyr. material of movies, musicvideos and so on
    is there to see. And the “I agree to the Upload Terms and Conditions.” will not save this
    platform´s ( i belive ). Industry and Lawyers needing some time to react - and in this time the people showing anything on that platform an beliving thats okay - till lawyers open fire!

  12. It is with great disappointment that I had to kill the "old" BMR. Obviously, if I didn't want it to succeed I would not have done it in the first place.

    Unfortunately, the legal issues just became too annoying and expensive. We are paying off the lawyers in installments that will hopefully be done late next year. In October, more issues came up (even with the BMR inactive) and it became too much for me to continue programming the CMS needed to make it work in the future.

    Since October, I have redesigned our website. Now all 217 of my models are re-licensed and available for download. In a better world, I could continue hosting other artists' models... but at least I can still provide something to the Blender community through my own creative works.

    Regards to all, except those that do not respect intellectual property rights.

  13. @Andrew
    That's sad news. This really puts major brakes on a couple of service ideas I have. I think I will consult with a good lawyer before going any further. Or, just avoid the pain and extra costs altogether by simply moving on to other ideas.

    I wonder how other model repositories (in other communities) survive? Maybe it's the difference between an opensource community vs. a commercial community (i.e. overall level of maturity).

  14. Kernon,

    The major difference is that most successful sites are commercial. It would be great if Blender users supported advertising and donations, but my experience is that because the users are open-source based, they are not the demographic to "click" on ads or donate.

    I also have serious doubts that the general Blender 3D community would be willing to support a commercial site, since from my experience users that agreed to commercial rights for non-commercial models never paid. This is not a criticism of the Blender community, I'm just relaying my experiences.

    You may have other/better commercial results, and I am not trying to discourage your ideas and projects. You may find a better answer, one that I neglected...

    Please be certain that any of your projects require multiple verifications of authorship and copyright ownership. By having such "checkboxes" for both contributions and downloads, you might prevent some of the legal issues I have experienced.

    Regards.

  15. "Why on earth upload other people's content?"

    If you make a living on this, it is a very easy way to shut freebie sites like that one down.
    -

  16. All Andrew needed to do was make a form for uploaders to fill out to indemnify himself from legal repercussions. Maybe not even that...I mean look at how much copyrighted material is uploaded to other user-community-based sites (I won't name any names), but seriously - hold people accountable for what they upload and the site won't suffer.

  17. Cool.... this really needs apis in blender to pull stuff out the repository.

    Haven't looked at the repository yet, but probably needs to have stuff like ratings, tagging etc.. provide apis to access that in blender python then it would become really cool as you could have it pulling models off the site and into your 3d scene (game, music visualiser, whatever).

    I really like some of the stuff people have done in context free, and nodebox (although it's mac only), if these programs could be bridged into blender then some pretty interesting effects might be possible.

  18. Has the repository been moved? on

    this stuff is wasting space sorry for the loss but it is time to move on. hope a new repository opens I have alot to add.

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