There are millions of 3D files shared around online, and each day a good bunch of new ones appears. Some of the models and assets are close to being a work of art: great details, scaling, textures, concepts. And rightfully so - such files are a backbone of video games, movies, and commercials. But even if files aren’t commercially valuable, they still are the intellectual property of their creator or owner.

In recent years, more attention and action has been taken in the field of intellectual property and, accordingly, its theft. DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is widely known and often used as a base by creators to take down unauthorized use of their work. And it works great as long as the support or claim department of a platform that hosts files is willing to collaborate. However, there are still some sources, even big ones, who won’t remove the infringed content or will require a creator to jump over the hoops to protect their natural right to their work.

Another new trend on the radar is NFTs. Though, it’s still unclear if it’s a solution or a whole new curse. NFTs allow purchasing distribution rights to work and, as a result, then claim these rights to be infringed. However, NFTs are currently falling into a grey zone when it comes to complicated cases like Fair Use or the authorization of the rights in the first place. Cases of a creative work being stolen and then sold as an NFT, cornering the original author, grow and make this “tool” rather questionable.

Well, what is our approach? Simpler things work the best. A while ago, we came up with Watermark 3D – a solution that places a watermark on a 3D file. The mark is hidden and doesn’t interfere with the file’s geometry and mesh. But it allows you to sign your models and also track and check the files for the presence of any signatures as well. While our movement to bring this tool to more file-sharing platforms and, thus, make stealing and selling models harder, continues, we also work on improving the tool itself.

So, with the recent update Watermark 3D is now compatible with colored 3D files. That adds 3 new formats that can be watermarked – OBJ, GLB and DAE/Collada (to a still supported but colorless STL). We are happy to see the interest of people in our solution growing, and having 3D models with color information compatible is a huge step forward. Now more people can check out our tool (which is still free for personal use) and, hopefully, benefit from it.

Image by hirwaaristide

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