There are tons of ways you might plan to use 3D models you bought through the Sketchfab Store, but interpreting our licenses (Standard or Editorial) determines if and how you can.
Before we review some examples, keep in mind that recommendations from Sketchfab staff should not be considered as official legal advice. The following article should be considered as guidelines, not official permission. Also, we always advise Sketchfab users to consult with their legal council to be absolutely sure you’re using your purchases correctly.
A Standard license means you may use the 3D asset worldwide, on all types of media, for all types of use (whether commercial and non-commercial), in all types of derivative works. Others can do the same, as none of our licenses are exclusive.
An Editorial license can only be used in connection with events that are newsworthy or of public interest (news articles, documentaries, creations of cultural value, etc.). You may not use them for any commercial or promotional use. You may edit the 3D assets only if its editorial quality is not altered.
How can I use my purchased model?
Sketchfab Store assets are royalty-free, which means two things:
- Buyers do not need to provide credit or attribution to the creator when they use the model properly.
- Buyers do not need to pay any additional fees in the future beyond the price of the asset.
If a Sketchfab user is unsure whether or not they can use their purchased model for the intended use, it’s best to ask the following questions:
- Will the 3D model be downloadable for others?
- Will the 3D model be commercialized in any way?
- Will the 3D model be part of a larger work?
Will the 3D model be downloadable for others?
Regardless of license, you cannot offer others the ability to download models you’ve purchased on the Sketchfab Store.
- You cannot upload a purchased model on your own Sketchfab profile or any other 3D platform, even if you edited the source file significantly.
- You can use a purchased model as a character in a mobile game or YouTube video you’re building, as long as it can’t be individually downloaded.
Will the 3D model be commercialized in any way?
Models with an Editorial license cannot be used for any kind of commercial project.
You may still be able to use Standard-licensed models for commercial projects.
With an Editorial-licensed model you cannot advertise a product on an e-commerce website, whether it is 2D or 3D.
With a Standard-licensed model, you can:
- add it to your crowdsourcing campaign
- use 2D screenshots to sell physical print materials, i.e. brochures or textbooks, as a piece of a larger work
- Showcase a 3D model on a LED display screen for a commercial event
Will the 3D model be part of a larger or different piece of work?
You cannot distribute a 3D asset incorporated in a derivative work if the derivative work is too similar to the 3D asset.
- You cannot purchase a character model and make minor changes in order to sell it as your own. Minor changes would include, but are not limited to:
- adding animation
- changing material colors
- 3D printing
- You can 3D print a 3D character and include it in a larger work, such as a battle scene featuring multiple characters and elements.
Sketchfab users can think of tons of ways to use models, so it won’t be possible to list them all here, but you can find a number of other potential usage questions below:
Can I edit the model I bought?
Yes, of course! However, how you’re allowed to use or share the model after you’ve edited it can vary. If you’d like to edit the model and share it beyond personal use, you must have a Standard license and you must change the model significantly. Significant change can be open to interpretation, however, as an example, simply changing a model’s material colors or pose is not enough.
Editorial-licensed models cannot be modified if it would change the editorial nature of the asset.
Can I 3D print the model I bought?
Yes, of course! You’re more than welcome to 3D print a Sketchfab Store purchase for personal use or display. However, how you use it beyond personal use can vary, depending on the license and how you plan to share it (as explained above).
Can I use my Sketchfab Store model in a mobile game I’m making?
Yes, as long as the 3D model is not downloadable as an individual asset from the game.
Can I use my Sketchfab Store model in a YouTube video I’m making?
Yes, as long as the 3D model is not the only element of the video.
Can I make clothes or other merchandise with a 2D version of the model I bought?
Yes, this would be considered a derivative of the original work.
Can I use 2D versions of the model I bought in other media - flyers, textbook pages, etc?
Yes, you can produce a 2D version of the 3D model on other materials, however, only if the 3D model itself is not the sole focus of the work. You cannot simply make a 2D version of a 3D model and print it on other materials, regardless of license.
Can I make an NFT from the 3D model I bought?
Neither Sketchfab Store license (Standard or Editorial) allows buyers to resell 3D models they bought. An NFT is no different than any other usage. You may not redistribute the 3D model alone as an NFT, and you may not distribute a 2D image of the model as an NFT. You must use the model in a larger, derivative work.
Similarly, free content may not be used to create an NFT if it violates the Creative Commons license.
Can I use 3D models that have logos in/on them for commercial projects?
Possibly. In order to do this, you would need to contact the owner of the original branding and IP for the asset and clear the rights with them in regards to commercial projects. Otherwise, these types of assets should be used only for editorial purposes.
What is the difference between the Creative Commons (CC) licenses for free downloadable models and the Sketchfab Store licenses for paid models?
Creative Commons assets that you can download from Sketchfab for free must always be accompanied with attribution. This means you must credit the author and provide a link back to the Sketchfab model page when using these assets in any project. Sketchfab Store models are royalty-free so they provide full flexibility. You can use them freely, without attribution, worldwide, in any eligible project, in perpetuity.
Can I purchase a Sketchfab Store model and allow a friend or colleague to use it?
No, Sketchfab Store models only provide a single-seat license, which means that you are the only authorized person to use the 3D model and you cannot transfer the rights to use that model to someone else. If you’d like to license the asset for your company or larger team, please email us at email@example.com
Do buyers own the rights to a model a seller has uploaded to the Sketchfab Store?
No, the buyer is provided a license for how they are allowed to use it. They do not own the copyright or the ability to sell it as their own.
What can a buyer do if a model is no longer available in their Purchases tab?
If the Store team removed the model for copyright reasons, we will recommend and encourage the buyer to delete the model on their end (for legal reasons) and not use it going forward. We can refund their purchase, and possibly provide a coupon for a future Sketchfab Store purchase.