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Copyright issue assets

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gor-Sky, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Gor-Sky

    Gor-Sky

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    I feel really insecure about the asset store because of this thread :
    https://forum.unity.com/threads/for-the-first-time-in-asset-store.645874/

    I thought when I buy an asset I can use it in my commercial game without copyright issues when there is no extra condition or license mentioned in the asset.
    Now it seems that unity sells assets which violate copyright issues like a batmobil or saber lights.
    I spend a lot of money for 3d assets rather than using free sides because I thought that the assets are safe!
    Isn't that kinda illegal that unity earns money with copyrighted assets?
    Have I know look through all the bought stuff myself and reassure that there is no copyright violated?
    I really love unity and the asset store and know I feel insecure and sad...
     
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  2. SpookyCat

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    There is a checkbox when you submit an asset where you declare you have all the rights to publish the asset to the store, I guess this stops Unity having responsibility if a seller lies by clicking that box. I personally would not buy an asset that is clearly a copy of a real world item such as a gun, vehicle, etc. As I really would not want to hassle that would come with that if someone issued a claim against it. Would be interesting to hear what Unity have to say on this, I know a while back Turbosquid had numerous cease and desist claims against them for content they were selling and a lot of vehicles, trademarks, logos, weapons etc had to be removed.
     
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  3. Gor-Sky

    Gor-Sky

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    I don't want any problems for unity or myself. I really love unity and the asset store. For me it makes me possible to make a game which is my dream... But when spending money I want to trust the store and feel protected which I always did until today. I really want to hear what unity says about that.
     
  4. Amon

    Amon

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    Just report the asset. It's a clear copyright violation. Report it and don't lose faith.

    Reading that thread you linked to where the OP is trying to defend himself by stating it's his copyright because he made the model, regardless of the fact that the model is a true depiction of the BatMobil, just goes to show you how some people really don't get copyright. I know it's not all black and white and that there is various shades of grey regarding copyright but that asset is in clear violation so report it.
     
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  5. Gor-Sky

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    I don't have personal problems with the mentioned asset and I don't want to harm the author so I personally will also not report it :( this asset is clearly a copyright violation so the trap isn't high here. I know I act double sided but I kinda feel bad for the author... I just want to recognize on the asset store which assets I can use save and which not. And I am afraid of the assets that aren't so clear like a bat Mobil or light sabers.
    Reporting one asset this still will not help me feeling sure about other assets :(
     
  6. MD_Reptile

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    It is a bit "wild west" right now thanks to the democratization of game development kind of allowing this sort of scenario to play out. You just need to use common sense, and google-fu to make sure the models/assets your purchasing truly are legit. Sometimes its easy to tell, sometimes its not so easy. In a case like a batmobile, obviously there is an issue with branding and copyright to that vehicle - so you would avoid such a thing. Other times it is not so clear cut, and you might have to do a bit more research and make sure its all good, but about 90 percent of the time your safe to just use what you find on the asset store assuming it has decent reviews and there isn't a very obvious violation like a popular IP being abused.
     
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  7. Lurking-Ninja

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    Okay, I will translate:

    - you don't want to think and research whatever asset you're using is or is not someone else's IP
    - you don't want to "harm" a copyright infringement just because you're lazy
    - and then you're whining about the AS that it contains other people's IP and you demand that you need to be safe from the big, red-eyed copyright-monster

    The real life does not work like that. You have to work on your own safety and do your own research and if you were read the AS license agreement you would know that that Unity does not guarantee that you won't be sued if someone put other people's IP on the site and you use it.

    Do your research and you'll be fine. And don't buy superhero assets, they aren't licensed and even if they were, the license wouldn't cover you. Those companies want their cut from your game if you use their IP. Or want to protect their IP so they won't allow you to make games with their stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  8. Murgilod

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    I reported it, at least. I don't give a single S*** about Warner Bros. or whoever, but if somebody buys this asset and uses it in a game and there's a takedown applied to them? That's a pretty big problem that has to be considered. This isn't something geometrically simple or anything, but a near 1:1 model of a prop that is called "Batmobile."
     
  9. Gor-Sky

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    I will not go into detail regarding the assumptions like lazy or whatever about my character...
    But i agree with your opinion regarding superhero assets. Assets that look similar to Disney and Marvel i avoid.

    I am also not happy with Unity here. Of course everyone should do something himself or herself for their own safety (and I did more that you can know or assume here) - but it's not ok to take Unity out of responsibility here!
    Just makes me angry to hear stories that people wait 2 weeks for assets approval. That kinda indicates that unity reviews the assets but not regarding copyright issues. And not knowing the batmobile or light sabers - are the reviewers living on Mars :p ?
    The asset is still up even if it was reported today minimum twice and this batmobile thing is really a clear thing...Just having the feeling that earning even a bit more money is more important than protecting the developers using the asset store. Just like @Murgilod said, when someone uses it and get sued thats a really bad thing!

    My fazit is that i will have to research a lot of more before buying assets because i cannot trust the asset store anymore lie i did before (being kinda naive or whatever...)
     
  10. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    You're very(!) mistaken regarding copyright law and copyright actions. Unity did nothing wrong here. They cannot and will not guarantee to you that they won't let any asset into the store which is not usable for you due to further copyright considerations. Again, RTFM (policy this time). Also Unity does not have any means to check if the publisher has or has not the rights to publish the asset. Batmobil isn't special. In law and in contracts there is no 'you should know if you aren't living under a rock' situation.

    If you want to use other people's work and IP, you should do the research. Unity will remove the infringement when the IP owner tell them to do so. Period.

    No one has lied to you, you simply didn't read the license. Read it and you will know that they never guaranteed to you that no one will sue you out of the blue with copyright claim. Unity has nothing to do with this, they have no means to prevent this. Really. If this means that you don't trust the AS, well, in this case you should trust no one. Because no one will guarantee you that you won't have any IP problems. Even if they do, you will be responsible for any infringement which you do without knowing about it. But in both cases (if you hire an artist or buy from the AS) you can sue the artist/publisher and you have a good chance to recover (or at least win) your damages from them since they were misleading and lied about their ownership/rights over the given IP.
     
  11. Gor-Sky

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    I never said that Unity lied.
    You say Unity did nothing wrong here so here is a kinda provocative question:
    So you think it is ok for unity to earn real money and profit with asset store sales regarding assets wich clearly violate a copyright?
    You also say Unity has no means to prevent this... of course not when getting profit.. But what is with honesty and values like that? And why can't the Unity reviewer goole an asset first before approval just like i should to be sure myself. If they would there would be no batmobile on the asset store... I have the feeling they can of course research it but they dont want to on purpose to maximize profit. Perhaps this is also an empty assumptions but i am not happy with this feeling...
    I just had the illusion that there is put a little bit more effort to prevent copyright assets being sold... but now i know better ... Still am in love with Unity - just a little setback that's all...
     
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  12. AcidArrow

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    The thing is how would they know? Maybe the asset creator got a license. Is it likely? No. Is it impossible? Also, no.

    With all that said, I also dislike the current situation of a store not being liable at all for what it's selling.
     
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  13. Murgilod

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    It actually IS impossible. As somebody who has dealt with rights handling for iconography and other trademark stuff, big companies like Warner always have a ridiculous amount of clauses in how you use the branding, none of which is being adhered to here.
     
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  14. Gor-Sky

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    I think that in obvious cases they could ask the asset creator for a prove of showing the licence or a document where is written that there is no special licence required.
    I dont want that every asset creator has to go trough this procedure but in some really obvious cases this would help.
    Sure someone could show a fake licence but this requires a lot of more crinimal energy than just uploading the asset and clicking a checkbox.
    Also like posted in the other thread Unity shouldnt wait until the owner reports an asset but also react on reports from other people and research the case. And when they have a real suspicion they could disable the asset on the store until the creator brings a prove of the licence... This isnt actually so hard to do but of course it costs more money...
     
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  15. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    The name Batmobile is a clear trademark violation. Use of the Batmobile model itself in your game though is not automatically a copyright violation, as you could use it in the form of a parody and be protected under fair use.

    The creator of the asset though, marketing it for sale neither as a parody or in the form of commentary of the original work, really doesn't have any defense.

    I Am Not A Lawyer
     
  16. Ryiah

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    You're way overexaggerating the situation. Copyright violations almost never reach the point of a lawsuit because lawsuits are expensive and only done when a company has exhausted all other options available to them.

    What will happen and will almost always solve the problem is that they will issue a takedown notice to wherever the game is available, it will be removed from the site, and the developer will have to fix the copyright violation by removing the asset before it is allowed back up.

    Below is an example of this happening. 7 Days to Die had a zombie asset that was copyrighted (it was purchased from the asset store), the owner submitted a takedown notice, the game came off the store, the developers removed the asset, and the game went back up. It never reached the point of a lawsuit.

    https://www.cinemablend.com/games/Why-7-Days-Die-Was-Removed-From-Steam-60086.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
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  17. Murgilod

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    Yeah, these things pretty much never go to court, but a takedown notice can be a real problem because that's the bottom falling out of your sales revenue for however long it takes to replace something. It's not as big a problem as a lawsuit, but it's a big enough problem that stuff like this is a concern. It's why I only use art assets for prototyping.
     
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  18. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Honestly, this is pretty lame. While certainly the asset store cannot guarantee something isn't a violation, and certainly cannot spend a ton of time reviewing in-depth every single item's source in an asset, this is pretty low hanging fruit obvious. Clearly not licensed and not able to be used legally. As the op pointed out this is more a faith/trust issue than anything else. If an asset of the batmobile named "BatMobile" can slide through, it's pretty much safe to assume every art asset in the store is "use at your own risk". Kinda defeats the purpose.
     
  19. Gor-Sky

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    Thats exactly what I meant! The issue is not one batmobile asset but the feeling and trust towards the asset store in general. I would also understand it more with free assets but with paid ones I kinda expected that it is not so easy to slip trough.
     
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  20. Lurking-Ninja

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    They never stated otherwise and it's kinda common sense. Now, IDK why would this defeat the purpose, no online store will and do this kind of reviewing because it is impossible. Unless you want to investigate everyone and demand proof from everyone that it's their original IP or they have authorization to share it.
    Please give me one example where an online store does this, I'm really curious.
     
  21. Amon

    Amon

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    I have reported this to WB and included the link to the asset on the asset store. I don't want the Unity Asset Store becoming a no go zone. Turbosquid flashbacks.........
     
  22. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I thought the Unity Asset Store was specifically expected to be doing this kind of QA... that's why they take a cut, right?

    I submitted something once -- a basic weapon -- which sat for a couple weeks before being rejected for being redundant. So clearly they looked at it, at least for a moment. Why did batmobile not get looked at same as my model? Was somebody sleeping on watch that day?

    Good on @Amon for reporting that. Maybe some bigger dog sniffing around will spur some positive action.
     
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  23. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Nope, that's not why; it's for technical issues and so on. Can you name a single store that polices for copyright infringement as part of their curation procedures? They will all remove things with proper notices, but tell e.g. Apple that there's infringement on their app store (and there's massive amounts), and they'll basically tell you it's not their place to do anything and to please leave them out of it, without said legal notification. Sure, some of it seems obvious, but if they get involved in any of it, they have to get involved in all of it, and that goes down a legal rabbit hole real quick.

    --Eric
     
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  24. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Ah, gotcha. Makes sense. Thanks for clarification.
     
  25. Ostwind

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    AFAIK parody/fair use does not properly apply to games or interactive content plus it's very different/non-existent per region or even per country. Fair use in it's most flexible form is mainly US only. Selling a game in Steam, App store etc. would mean you would have to limit your audience to rely on the 'fair use' card.

    I could see the asset sold for editorial purposes only, short films, etc. as Unity is pushing in that area but that would require a clear indication in the store as now its a complete trap.
     
  26. AndersMalmgren

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    If you lynch mob guys are not careful they will takedown anything that is remotely in copyright land, like weapons, etc, etc.
     
  27. AcidArrow

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    So what you're saying is, it's going to be faster for me to find assets I want that I can actually use in my game?
     
  28. AndersMalmgren

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    That you will not find any items like for example from my library

    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/?stay#!/content/64555 (Real weapon resemblance)
    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/?stay#!/content/66147 (macbook resemblance)

    heck, even these probably have real world counterparts
    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/?stay#!/content/54048
     
  29. Ostwind

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    Maybe. However the original issue is related to an asset that is pretty much a carbon copy of an iconic movie vehicle, is using a registered trademark and is related to an industry that is very protective about their IP and thriving on licensing deals (movies, merch, games, toys, etc.). Gun industry for example is a completely different from the movie industry.
     
  30. AndersMalmgren

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    We have a saying here in sweden, basicly it translates to, be careful what you wish for. If Unity do listen and take action, you can bet it will not be sensible and from case to case. They will just strike anything with anything that might have a resemblance of copyright/trademarked material
     
  31. Ryiah

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    The EU is already way ahead of us in any attempt to get copyrighted assets removed. :p
     
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  32. AndersMalmgren

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    Yeah, retarded directive.
     
  33. Ostwind

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    Or they will change their policies and improve how assets are displayed or licensed. The current way means the store is unreliable. Even you might get in trouble cause of your asset purchases at some point.
     
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  34. Lurking-Ninja

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    Care to explain?
     
  35. Ryiah

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    Have you seen his list of assets? He likely owns half the store by now. :p
     
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  36. AndersMalmgren

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    What can I say, we dont have an artist :D
     
  37. AndersMalmgren

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    I dont care about the ones doing wrong, I care about the ones in the clear or in the gray that will be punished because of this.

    People complain about lawyers that defend murders and rapist. I'm glad they do it the day I'm falsely charged with a crime. Its the other side of the coin
     
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  38. AndersMalmgren

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    Were should we draw the line, I can identify several items here

    upload_2019-3-30_21-24-51.png


    Daniel Defense Mk18
    Eotech exps3
    Magpul AF2
    Hogue grip

    Among others
     
  39. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Fly below the radar, if you are worried.
     
  40. Tom_Veg

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    In my experience asset store is careful which models they allow to be published. One model i published got removed by the asset store do to copyright. It was rejected after review. It was my 3D version of infamous Pepe the Frog... The forg is copyrighted work... I was a bit to much drawn in the meme/political momentum of the times, so i figured it would be nice addition given the nature of my other work for the store. It was my mistake to publish such a thing. But asset store was prompt to react. Which in the end i think was good for me.
     
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  41. Ostwind

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    You might care at the point when all the sudden Unity reports that an asset you have purchased is not legal and must no longer be used. What if the purchase is an essential part of a game, eg. a pack of cars, characters or even the gun pack you have purchased. What if you have thousands of users on multiple platforms. All the sudden you must redo or alter all the guns to the point that some users might consider the game is no longer what they purchased it for, eg. for those specific looking cars or guns.

    Unity does not necessarily have to stop accepting assets as its impossible for them determine what is a direct copy or inspired work, clear or gray area work. However something needs to change when batmobiles get accepted without enough warnings to the submitter and not a single disclaimer shown at the asset store page.
     
  42. Ryiah

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    If this whole situation is literally a case of the asset store reviewer not recognizing the batmobile it would be hilarious. If it isn't I wonder why they handled your asset that way and not this one.
     
  43. Tom_Veg

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    My asset wasn't rejected at first publish. It didn't look 100% as original as you can see.
    But, i posted it on the forums here, and some people jumped telling me it was copyrighted. So to deal with that, cause they where right, i changed the model from priced to being free, and i included description i don't own the copyright... Later i did some modifications, and after that review of the version it got finally rejected do to copyright violation. I think it is for the best.
    screenshot010.jpg
     
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  44. chingwa

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    I don't see how it could be anything else... it's really incredible such an asset got through the approval process.
     
  45. chingwa

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  46. AndersMalmgren

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    I rather leave that to the buyer actually. You cant go through life with the mindset that someone else is holding your hand
     
  47. zombiegorilla

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    The purpose of the asset store is to buy assets you can use in your game/project. Not that the the assets you buy "may be be ok, but who knows? We don't really care." I very clearly stated that nothing is going to be perfect, but their goal should to the best job reasonable. Reasonable doesn't include publishing an asset called "Batmobile" that is just an asset of the Batmobile. That is just lazy and clearly doing little to no checking assets.
     
  48. zombiegorilla

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    The asset store is caters heavily to beginners, and many who clearly know nothin' about nothin' based on some of the posts. The asset store's primary mission should be about supporting developers. Period. Not about supporting asset store developers, or providing a wild west west asset dumping ground like every other un-moderated place on the web, or a place where people grab couple of bucks publishing other people's work (either ripped or copied).

    If the answer to the question "is this asset beneficial to developers" is not yes or maybe, it should be rejected. The "Batmobile" is straight up "no". No one can make a game with the batmobile with out permission. No one sell trademarked content without permission. And it is literally a matter of time before that asset gets removed. The asset store knowingly published and is making money off an asset that will get pulled and their users cannot use. Sure some stuff may be on the fence or debate-able or may be buried and not seen. But this is stupid obvious. The asset store has a mechanism for reporting assets... this asset should have been "reported" by whoever reviewed it.

    Edit: just to be clear, I don't have any particular love of WB, batman nor is this a commentary on copyright/trademark. I'm just shocked at the lack of care/qa in the asset store. If this is going to just be another un-curated dumping ground, why bother? There are other places to get assets that are cheaper and have the same amount of risk.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  49. Antypodish

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    And here is a little issue with an asset store.

    From time to time we got questions on the forum, like "Can I use this asset xyz in my game?"
    Then typical responses are in following form "Yeah yeah, you can, just make sure, you read individual licences."

    And here is a thing. People purchasing assets, assuming they are fine and without legal matter to worry.
    Then if referring to "read individual asset's licence", and asset hasn't got such licence, what expecting from buyer to think about it? Often discovered after purchase.

    Here also could fit whole return policy subject, as consequences, based on miss-selling asset products.

    I got now impression, asset store does not make asset buyers any favor really.
     
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  50. Ryiah

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    While I was reading through some other threads it suddenly occurred to me that this might not be the only case of them uploading an asset heavily based off of copyrighted material. One quick skim through their thread later and what do you know?

    I don't know how close to the original these are but I do know searching Google Images for "Lamborghini orange car" gives multiple results that looks very close to the first asset (as well as another asset made by a different author linked below but with lower quality than this one).

    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/vehicles/land/hyper-electric-car-141949
    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/vehicles/land/exotic-cars-collection-75318

    Different author asset link (mentioned in the parenthesis above, and one that we've discussed in the past).

    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/vehicles/land/gr3d-super-car-121613sspc-13916
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019