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Sketchfab Launches Public Domain Dedication for 3D Cultural Heritage


Sketchfab just announced the availability of Public Domain/CC0 licensing for cultural organisations. Over 25 museums joined the initial launch, contributing 1700+ models to the Public Domain.

Sketchfab writes:

We are pleased to announce that cultural organisations using Sketchfab can now dedicate their 3D scans and models to the Public Domain using the Creative Commons (CC) 0 Public Domain Dedication. This newly supported dedication allows museums and similar organisations to share their 3D data more openly, adding amazing 3D models to the Public Domain, many for the first time. This update also makes it even easier for 3D creators to download and reuse, re-imagine, and remix incredible ancient and modern artifacts, objects, and scenes.

We are equally proud to make this announcement in collaboration with 27 cultural organisations from 13 different countries. We are especially happy to welcome the Smithsonian Institution to Sketchfab as part of this initiative. The Smithsonian has uploaded their first official 3D models to Sketchfab as part of their newly launched open access program.

At this time, CC0 is only available to cultural organisations, but the platform might consider opening it for other users too:

Why CC0 [only]for CH?

We have chosen to open the CC0 download option just to cultural organisations for the time being for a couple of reasons. Firstly, and as mentioned, it aligns well with the work that galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) are already doing with regard to open access. Secondly, dedicating a 3D model to the public domain before its copyright expires is a significant action and all of the organisations in Sketchfab’s CC0 launch have vetted their content thoroughly before adding the dedication. As we follow the response to this initiative we may consider offering the choice of CC0 dedication to other communities on Sketchfab.

CC0 by Thomas Flynn on Sketchfab

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.

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