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About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
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.


  1. I saw this somewhere recently (me thinks it was on this site - perhaps a link in the comments) and it is very sad indeed. I guess there are always those out there who will do anything for the quick buck.

  2. that is Chinese - steal steal steal - welcome to the new art of capitalism - I can not do anything, so I'm stealing and say it was mine. This time I've recently noticed several times even with cgcookie. shame

      • You can read it that way but I don't think he/she is saying that cgcookie is stealing but the opposite. I don't completely agree though, because all the cgcookie content in the wild I have seen is their free content and the licence might allow that. Those who re-release their content doesn't help clueless users who watch the tutorials and they get stuck. Cgcookie might lose some subscriptions because of that, but the copying itself is not technically stealing. I've tried to direct those users to blendercookie and how to start learning Blender and 3D properly but that's an endless road leading to nowhere.

      • chromemonkey on

        No, he's not saying that. He said "that is Chinese", everything that follows is directed at accusations of theft by China, first their theft of Blender property, followed by their theft of CG property. Don't be EvilModerator.

        • chromemonkey on

          (When in doubt, go back to the opening sentence and read as if it sets up the context for the remaining post. If it still doesn't scan well, then question, but don't assume the answer in the process of asking that question. The irony here is that the only accusation was in the accusing of the suspected accuser. Okay, now my brain hurts.)

          • Jon Weatherford on

            Neubi3D was referring back to his earlier rant in this thread. He stated that users had "stolen" his car models and posted them in their renders, seemingly as their own work. He wasn't blaming the site itself and was only comparing the Chinese event to his own experience. By the way, Jonathan Williamson warned the user to give credit for models that they did not personally create.

    • Generalising isnt good. Even if it is a predominant trait amongst certain groups or nationalities. Remember, it is the Blender Chinese community that has made efforts to report these issues.

      Please choose such statements with care.

  3. Elijah Voigt on

    I'm not being racist when I say this, most of my friends have been to china and can vouch, there is no respect for copyright, there is no respect for legality, if you can steal something and make a profit off of it, do that. It's just how the economy of China works. Fake iPhones, fake iPads, fake everything. This is just another ripoff that will fade away and make some dude a bit of money fast.

    • It is a sad fact, that the Chinese don't respect copyright law. It's by no means racist, it's just a common truth. (I've been told it's a cultural thing, but I've yet to corroborate that.) Hell, there are even fake Apple Stores where the employees believe they work for Apple. If you're feeling rather self-rightous, I encourage you to read "Made Poorly In China", by Paul Midler. He gives a pretty reveling view of business in China. The government has it's own copyright system that, from my understanding, won't recognize your rights as a creator unless you're registered with the PRC's system. On the bright-side, I've read stories of the PRC cracking-down on these frauds, but I don't know they're done for show or they're legitimate efforts to clean up their market place. I say that since "face" is a big thing over in Asia.

      I'm not so peeved by the blatant rip-off of Blender, since it's open-source, as I am by the artwork work and models they're using to promote 3D MoFo. They're probably getting millions in tax-money off the hard work of those artists. (As well as those beautiful developers who freely spend their time developing one of my favorite 3D apps.) None the less, I'm grateful to the Chinese Blender community for exposing these people. The more sunlight, the better. :)

  4. Generalising is a bad thing. The chinese community shows their efforts to bring up the case. My company has chinese business connections, trades etc. and they all respect copyright and hard work. As always - It depends on social skills. Thanks to the chinese Blender-Community.

  5. McBuffington on

    Chances of an open source-program being hijacked like that are pretty big from the start.
    But this thing aint going to last. IF 3DMOFUN has a userbase and they get a wind of this they'll probably change their course of action. Ofcourse it'd be amazing to see them claim blender is a ripoff, I'd get myself some popcorn and watch the carnage unfold.

    It's a shame though, and a bit disgracefull for the company doing this ( wish I could read their name so I could curse them ). The people responsible shouldn't be allowed to do anything similar in the future, because this is bassicly theft & fraud

  6. AnonymousCoward on

    Just another half baked fork of Blender that is going nowhere.

    a) It has an annoying adware there, where the original doesn't.
    b) The Chinese Blender community is on top of things and probably will make a public campaign to denounce that company.

    For those not familiar with open source.

    It is ok to fork a program. You can take it all if you fallow the license.

    Pingdom: 10 interesting open source software forks and why they happened posted September 11th, 2008 by Pingdom
    The most suscessful open source projects are also the most forked.

    About removing the trademarks from the software, well IP law requires you to do that even for open source, you cannot distribute a program that has trademarked marks in it without strict permission from the trademark holder, that would violate trademarks and open them to litigation.

    This is exactly why CentOS removed all references to Red Hat from their releases.
    If nothing else this may show that these people making the fork have some sort of legal counsel, they are trying very hard to do the very bare minimum to comply with open source licenses and IP law, which they seem to have failed by taking the images that probably are CC-by-SA, if they are C0 or PD they did nothing wrong, but the training material I am fairly certain is not PD or C0 without looking closely I say they could get bitten by it.

    So to be clear, Blender is open source it is ok to rebrand it and even sell it as long as you remove all trademarks from it, you don't need to ask permission ever to do it, this also protects the Blender name from criminals, less than honest or just simply incompetent ones.

    We as a community though should frown upon the practice of taking it without making any changes or not sharing the changes back to the community, and so I hope the Chinese Blender community do their best to show others where they can find a more thrustyworthy copy of it.

  7. Christos Georgakas on

    Do a research in ebay or sites like and you will find lots of examples of free-3d-package-that-does-everything.It's a shame but hey that's reality!As we say in Greece there is little virgin-birth in ideas in the world right now.So that means more clopyright :)

  8. This is obviously a step above rebadging for resale. The info in the link refers to 'cheating financial support out of government'. I'm pretty sure that they would not be happy to be paying out good money for no reason. That would be the best area to look at. Focus on removing the motivation.

    The nationalistic thing is a red-herring IMHO, as opportunism only exists where there is an opportunity (which unfortunately is everywhere), and there would be no opportunity without gullibility (which unfortunately is everywhere too).

    On the up side Blender is now being taken as seriously as Chanel perfume, Rolex watches, Maya, Photoshop etc, etc, etc .....

  9. To break up all the seriousness: Anyone else wondered why they weren't at least consequent enough to call "their" product "3D-MoFo"? ;-)

  10. Thank god there are still honest chinese (those who do not seek money at all cost). And I am proud to know they are Blender users.

    Would it be possible to ruin the day of the 3DMofo guy by adding something more explicit in the splash screen? As it stands now it is a bit anonymous.

    Hope the screenshot pass. If not it is a simple line of text added to the splash screen saying "developped by the BF and countless anonymous people". It is not obstrusive, but at least the people from 3DMofo will not be able to say "we developped it".

    To make it even more difficult for them to crack or hack, make it a scrolling text so that they have to dig in the source code to get rid of it.

    And do like some MMOs do, provide Blender latest news to the splash.

    I call this "operation reconquer Blender". Mark the territory.

  11. For what it is worth, the Chinese will no doubt claim this as theirs. What I mean is, they will claim Blender copied them.
    I notice it is hosted by Baidu. It all makes perfect sense now. Baidu is notorious for advancing copyright and trademark violations. If you have an album out, its on there for everyone. Do you have a movie? Well, its not being distributed for free or whatever the host wants to charge for it. Ironically, Apple recently lost a patent case in China. That is weird, since they expect everyone to honor their patents, trademarks, etc, yet freely go about ripping others off.

    It is not just the Chinese doing this though. Wasn't an American company or individual "caught" doing something like this?

    I get the spirit behind open source and all the licenses that go beyond that, but isn't their some way to at least copyright or trademark your brand without inhibiting the whole thing? What I fear is that some day someone will come up with the idea to just take this and make it their own, and it becomes very popular and then they attempt to copyright/trademark/patent it. See what I mean?

    Blender China, their a Blender Taiwan (where I live)? Need to contact them or create it!

    • Then that patent would be bogus, and I doubt it would get accepted as a patent in the first place. Even if it was accepted as a patent, it would still be possible to nullify it. (But I'd hope it wouldn't be required to go that far.)

      • AnonymousCoward on

        Hmmm...that in theory, in practice one would have to have a lot of time and money to do so.


        At the same time Crawford's patent was being prosecuted, more than 5,000 other patents were issued for "the same thing," Martin says.
        Crawford's patent was for "an online backup system." Another patent from the same time was for "efficiently backing up files using multiple computer systems." Yet another was for "mirroring data in a remote data storage system."

        Source: NPR: When Patents Attack on July 22, 2011 by Planet Money's Alex Blumberg and NPR's Laura Sydell
        Also one can use M.CAM(The same thing the NPR people used) to find out how many patents one issued on the same subject.

        5 thousand patents covering the exact same thing, those are potential 5 thousand lawsuits each costing between tens of thousands of dollars to millions, each with a duration of a minimum of one month going all the way to decades.
        The patent system in many places is being automated like in the US.
        And because of the perceived threat that "exclusionary" legal tools represent to others, other countries are granting patents for everything, they don't exclude anything.
        Doubt?Look at this then, the US patent office granted a patent for a USB cross.
        Want to know how bad this has become?BBC: Patent war talks to be hosted by UN agency to protect innovation on 6 July 2012.
        The US congress is also talking about it, they all can see the writing on the wall, with IP law becoming more stronger the threat of everybody being left out is great specially when you think about what it means to have the power to exclude others from something legally and you give that power to 7 billion people to do it, it ain't gonna end up pretty, since those patents will be sold and resold and end up in super pools that will produce a shield against competition in the market for the people who are able to hoard the most patents in lesser time meaning the country with more human resources probably will win out this war, that is China and India for those counting.

        • AnonymousCoward on

          And if anybody think patents are bad they haven't heard of copyright which last 5 times longer cover much more(i.e. derivative work) and are powerful in what they can do.

          Just the other day I read about an artists suing a label for having the audacity to use her graphite...hmmm art on a wall in a public street, the studio responsible for making the video clip filmed some people dancing in front of a wall and that happened to be painted by somebody else who promplty claimed copyright infringement and was demanding payment for it.

          I can see why so few people have any sort of respect for copyrights anymore, when somebody can transform a public space into private property just by painting a wall that can't be a good thing.

  12. Warnotte Renaud on

    That's a shame. Some people have no consciousness. I can remember to have seen on a website that offers cracks for 3D software a render I've made with Thea render (with a Red BMW that you can find on blendswap), and they used it to promote the crack release ... I was totally green to be associated with it.

  13. It's time to do something about this. Blender became a super-sophisticated software, with resources that rival with the top-line of commercial 3d softwares and and are even better than them. These facts estimulate the greed of some...

    One thing that we can do, for now, is disclose Blender in our sites, blogs, and on facebook, orkut, twitter, myspaces, linkedin etc, etc. This disclosure helps to avoid that people fall in these tricks.

  14. emailed the Chinese embassy about this... useless I know but if lots and lots of people did it they would get the the message that people are getting jack of Chinese ripoffs and that R&D stands for Research and Development and NOT Replicate and Duplicate.

  15. carlos santos on

    Having the blender nation neews feed in the splash screen would help to prevent this kind of situations, but is just and ideia.

  16. On the bottom white half of the image, I see the word 'Blender' on the top line. I don't speak chinese but... could that be something like "based off of Blender"? thus giving credit.
    Or are the saying "Blender copied us"?
    or is Blender a city/town?

  17. There is a little bit of irony in this. Look back on all the posts that say "Blender can now do what so-and-so program can do" or "this new Blender tool resembles Maya's/etc. functionality". Of course, those tools did, in general, buy up or copy older programs and creating a more coherent, proprietary system.

    There are ways to subvert direct copying . . . creative encoding of the Blender logo in the UI, aggressive community involvement esp. in China, and so on. But this is really only escalation. It does defeat the spirit of open-source, community created programming. Yes, the "MoFun" may violate the basic license agreement (which should be addressed), but this is everyone's product. This is *not* Maya, Softimage, Pixar, Autodesk, etc.

    With all due respect to Ton and his dedication and ideals that keeps this Blender alive, Blender is this community's gift to the world. At some point, it becomes part of the world at large, and out of our control . . . without that core concept, none of us would have any of what is available today.

    Altruism is hard to live as a lifestyle, since you have to give up something personally valuable without any hope of gaining any benefit, even recognition; allowing others access to that value is the goal.

    • You are confusing things. It's not MIT Licence. It's GPL, it has Copyleft in it, and that means whoever gets the code have the RESPONSIBILITY to give back the changes to the community, and to attribute the authors appropriately. None of these requirements have met. It's not just good will, there is a license behind it, and is not 'open source', it's 'libre software'.

      • AnonymousCoward on

        Not the changes, just the code which they did apparently.

        3D Mofun quote:

        3D Cube

        3D Cube (3DMofun) is the 3D power (3DDL) in accordance with the rules
        of the GNU GPL open source software in source code on the basis of the
        international open source software Blender, the autonomy to develop
        customized perfect from a whole new generation of localization,
        full-featured, open source, free and non-commercial 3D software; the open application service platform (3D community
        3D Online Class, 3D Shopping Mall
        3D Forum, etc.) one of the integrated applications and
        components: experience, create, fun in 3D!
        To all for free, open source, non-commercial 3D software to make contributions to pay tribute!

        The GPL 2.0 is not GPL 3.0 which would have forced them to release any further software and make their changes GPL automagically, this probably was made by choice by the Blender community of developers, because it would force a lot of outside code to be removed or have their licenses changed and make it difficult to integrated Blender in other pipelines legally.

        They forked Blender. Legally that is ok, is what the GPL and the whole open source thing is about the liberty to use and modify something without having to ask permission for it.
        It puts the responsibility of the choice in your hands, you must make that choice nobody will make it for you, if you want to get the software from the hands of 3D Mofun that is your choice and nobody will or can't stop that from happening, if you don't want to and you want to make a statement get your Blender from the Blender foundation and don't forget to donate or buy something from them which is what I strongly recommend.

        You are in charge, because is up to you to make the choice, this is why I have no problems and see nothing wrong with what 3DMofun did(copying Blender), they took it and will try to sell it, depending on how they do it they may or may not succeed and it is not a problem for the Blender community since they are not using any of the logos of the Blender software and are not making any claims that they are sponsored by Blender, meaning they do not seem to be misleading anyone. Who knows they might even in the future help development along or not, so once again this is about choice, you can make that choice the GPL is what enable you to do it.

        A lot of people here seems to be angry because they copied everything, that is true, that is what the GPL was designed for as long as they don't mislead anyone there is no problem.

        Personally I wouldn't touch that code with a ten feet pole, because that adware there doesn't inspire much confidence, I wouldn't buy anything from them either and I hope they wither and die. Which probably will happen because the Chinese Blender community is watching and will make sure that everybody knows where that software is coming from and where to find a "clean" copy of it.

        3DMofun in my opinion is a bad fork, which happens and like all bad forks it probably die out soon, but even if it doesn't at some point they will have to start making their own thing if they want to grow, copying something will only get you so far, how many forks that added nothing do you see around?
        None, they don't get far and there is a reason for it, or reasons one of those is the lack of differential and which may be due to lack of good leadership with a vision where to go.

        People want to do something good for Blender?

        Here is what you do.

        - Buy merch from the Blender foundation.
        - Donate to the Blender foundation, it doesn't matter how much as long as you do it constantly, once a week, a month, a quarter, annually(please don't donate once in a decade).
        - Spread the word.

        Ton is a great leader, he has all my respect, I am sure he will make good use of those funds.

        • I don't have any money nor credit card. But I collaborate writing the spanish wiki and the spanish UI, and even spreading the word and giving totally free classes. I think that's just enough for me. Thanks to clarify it is GPLv2. I thought it was v3.

          • AnonymousCoward on

            That you contribute what you can(human resources, time and knowledge) is all good too.

            The Blender Foundation could help out people who want to give them money by using other platforms in conjunction with their own e-shop(e-market or whatever one want to call it). Android's in app billing could help, since many don't have a credit card but many do have a cellphone and can use the Android market to purchase a wallpaper or a subscription to some Blender asset with variable prices more or like Kickstarter, where you start from $1 and it keeps going up from there, also Blender could use Kickstarter to finance part of its costs for their yearly projects, since some people over there got millions in funding(see Oya, Peebles).

            On the part of users if you really want to give some money the alternatives are a bit grim, you got bank transfers which don't allow small amounts, Western Union, prepaid credit cards or micropayment services like Flattr(which depends on Blender setting up their end though) and that is it.

            Also people can create some artwork for Blender to sell.

    • This is one area that Blender could easily copy with the community's blessing to pass back the compliment :))

  18. Is it really a big deal? I mean we all know where to really get it. If you get tricked into thinking this is their stuff oh well. Its on them. It is a community owned item isn't it?

  19. somewhat off-topic, yet,
    just out of curiosity...there is a translated version of /Blender/ right?

    I haven't thought about it till now, but a non-english version of Blender seems necessary..
    By no means is this an appropriate act on the software...just curious how Blenderheads over the ocean get into it.

  20. Is it really surprising that this is coming from China? Who knows how many companies are doing this with Blender alone? China is notorious for rebranding and cheap knockoffs.

    They've done it with all of the major consoles since at least the Playstation (you think you're getting one cheap, then go to put a disc in and it's just one of those LCD games like the ones that were popular in the 80s), maybe even going back to the NES.

    It's not surprising at all that Chinese companies are rebranding open source software. I wouldn't even be surprised if they were doing it with commercial software, to be honest.

  21. Since blender is open source this is allowed though, right? I mean you can sell blender if you can convince people to buy it.

    • Yes, as long as you comply to the GNU GPL license. You can for instance not claim that you developed the software yourself and certainly not if you didn't have anything to do with it's development. Which is what these chinese are doing.

  22. metaphor_set on

    Let's spread the word. I already created a google/youtube account to flag the other two rip-offs. Let's check other video platforms and flag those guys where ever they appear. It's the least we could do. Show them "We are watching you, scum".

  23. The only thing that these guys are doing wrong is not releasing their code as open source GPL. Removing the names is fine. It has never been the case that a forked program has to link back to or even mention the originating project. Being able to do this is what Open Source is all about, not sticking it to people trying to make money.

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