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Recently I read a comment here about very long-range licence regulations on blend-exchange. It states:

You grant to blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com a worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute your user content in any existing or future media. You also grant to blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com the right to sub-license these rights, and the right to bring an action for infringement of these rights.

This indeed is very heavy. I'm allowing them to do nearly anything with my blend file. Until now, I often recommended new users this service, as is usual here, but after reading this, have a bad feeling about it.

I understand that a website with user content need some kind of long-range rights to host and distribute this content. I know that this service is offered with best intentions and free of charge, which is greatly appreciated. But following these terms it would also be possible to sell all blends there, or am I wrong? What happens if giantcowfilms is sold itself? Couldn't the terms be narrowed down to what is just neccessary to allow permanent storage and for using them here on BSE?

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    $\begingroup$ I've let giantcowfilms know about this question. He is the one that runs the whole blend-exchange site. $\endgroup$ – David Oct 4 '17 at 11:52
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The reason that is so broad is to try and make the site as permanent is possible - I didn't want any license restriction to get in the way of a plan to finance additional storage (I have no intention of ever selling them for profit). For example, if I were to take donations to buy additional storage that I could not afford, I would want the license to be completely permissive of that. If it came to it, I might even need to put ads on the website (heaven forbid), which in a round about way would constitute selling the content. Either way, I want the current blends to stay and I want to continue being able to take in new blends.

If I had a a lawyer, I'd look into changing it to make it explicit that the blends could not be used for profit, but I just don't know the full implications of such a restriction (for example, maybe the fact that the advertising service I use makes a profit would be an issue), so I think I will leave it for now.

As far as GiantCowFilms.com selling itself, It's my personal site, and I see it as very unlikely anyone would even want to buy it (and they'd need to make me an offer I could not refuse), and if they did, blend-exchange would probably at long last get its own domain (the use of the sub-domain is a cost saving measure), and there would be restrictions on what the new owner could do with the blend-exchange sub-domain.

P.S.

Speaking about costs - blend-exchange has used up roughly 75% of its space, so at some point we will have to start looking at either finding more free methods of getting space - or look into ways to finance more space. If that falls short, we might have to start removing infrequently viewed/downloaded files, which would be sad.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your detailed answer. Again, please don't misunderstand me: I'm not questioning your intentions. But even some of the most promising relationships may get divorced sometimes, or accidents happen. So, it's to a lesser extent a question for you, but more for the community. If the majority is happy with so extensive terms, so be it. But all these rights should only be given as they are needed to provide a permanent storage for BSE. Oh, and I would happily provide my part of donation to keep the service runnig, if it comes to that. :) $\endgroup$ – Grimm Oct 5 '17 at 11:37
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    $\begingroup$ Out of interest, how much space would you save by deleting all blends over (for example sake) 1 year old with no downloads? $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Oct 10 '17 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ @batFINGER Removing those files (no downloads) would save around 327 megabytes. If we were to remove files with less than five downloads would save around 1.73 gigabytes. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Oct 10 '17 at 21:09
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    $\begingroup$ @GiantCowFilms and how much space they are taking in overall? Or to be more specific how much % could you save by deleting them? $\endgroup$ – cgslav Oct 21 '17 at 18:37
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I'll just give my opinion of blend-exchange's license, because I'm in no position to change it.

Yes, it is overly broad, and surrenders all rights to blend-exchange. Could it be narrower? Probably, but like GiantCowFilms said in his answer, we are not lawyers better to play it (very) safe then run in to some stupid legal trouble down the road.

Two reasons why the terms do not bother me.

  1. It is for storing blends use in questions and answers. Ideally it should be small test cases showing a problem, or the completed solution. There is no reason to upload a full scene.
  2. This is the internet... Youtube and google drive's terms have very much the same effect, yet we all still use services like those.

Let me elaborate on #1. Say I'm writing a question, and I need to include a blend. If I'm doing my do diligence I will start a new file and recreate my problem (that in its self will solve many issues). I'm not concerned that blend-exahcnge has the right to sell my blend; it only contains a problem!

Or say I'm writing an answer, this one as an example. Whenever someone writes an answer they are sharing knowledge. That kind of sentiment does not bode well with "you can not use my blend."
I made that blend just so people could see exactly how each method in my answer works. I gave the knowledge away in my answer, the blend is just another way of sharing it.

When you look it is like that, it is hard to come to the conclusion that the terms restrict usage. If you have something that can not be shared, you probably are not writing your question as best you could.

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  • $\begingroup$ As far as the Google Drive terms and conditions go, this is what they say: "When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content." So, you're not keeping any more rights by using Google Drive. $\endgroup$ – Scott Milner Oct 9 '17 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ And Blend-Exchange using Google Drive internally, so we kind of need those rights to then give them to Google. This is exactly why this is so messy and why I'm nervous to change anything. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Oct 9 '17 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Oh boy, that's even worse than I expected. See, that's the problem with too broad rights – the uploaded blends are not only given to one person, but submitted to a giant worldwide data kraken without the users knowledge. I agree with David, its not a really big problem, since all blends are about problems, or cutted down to simple meshes or parts of them. Still, I'm not at all happy with this. But if the majority of people here is fine with it, I guess I have to accept it. $\endgroup$ – Grimm Oct 10 '17 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ @ScottMilner That is why I brought up other sites' terms. Not to suggest one is better or something but to show that this type of surrendering all rights stuff is kinda normal on the internet. $\endgroup$ – David Oct 10 '17 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ Just because it's normal doesn't mean it's the way it should be, though. And it's within our power to control our little piece of the Internet. (: $\endgroup$ – SilverWolf - Reinstate Monica Oct 12 '17 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ That's what I hoped to start: a discussion about what should be. But most people here seem to be content with the status quo, so be it. $\endgroup$ – Grimm Oct 16 '17 at 11:14

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