After writing the last post I found a discussion on a book cover designers’ group about the legality of using software programmes such as Daz, and thought it might be worth repeating my understanding (which no doubt has deeper legal issues than I am listing here, as I am not an attorney*).
- Daz Studio models, meshes, textures are copyrighted and you may not pass them on or resell them. By this I mean the actual model that someone has created, or the original textures that they have created.
- The promo artwork on the product store page for that product is a work of art created by another artist, and they retain all the normal rights to it just as any creator would for their artwork. In other words, even if you’ve purchased the model, you have no rights to the artwork used to promote that model.
- Once you’ve legally purchased it, though, you can use those assets to create your own art, just as you would with any other tool that you use. You bring your unique vision to the final product, which is the render.
- The only caveat to that would be the models on Daz that are actually on iffy ground in relation to copyright – by this I am referring to the celebrity lookalikes, the vehicles (I have a motorcycle that the vendor called a “Marley Davison,” for example) and in that case you wouldn’t risk it on a commercial project. That’s just common sense, and any sensible person knows that they can’t use Angelina Jolie’s face on their cover, no matter if it is a photograph, a 3D render, or an original illustration.
So, I hope this clears up some of the misinformation and misunderstanding involved. Legal matters are tough for creatives, as plain information regarding complex legal issues is sometimes difficult to reseach and most of us aren’t legal professionals. And as the whole ridiculous “Cockygate” issue taught us, even with legal advice you can still get it wrong. :)