TurboSquid Publishing Agreement FAQ

Why do I need to provide personal information to publish on TurboSquid?

Initially TurboSquid did not require personal information to make it easier for artists to try out selling on the site. Our customers want us to make sure we know where our Stock Media Products come from, and we are now asking for that information.

What are the different download labels in my download report?

  1. Purchase. This means a customer who purchased the product downloaded it. The label includes the date of the purchase to let you verify it.
  2. Free Product. This means a customer downloaded a free product you have posted.
  3. Support. This means Support downloaded the product to provide customer support, such as testing the product in a particular 3D modeling program or attempting a file format conversion.
  4. Trial. A trial download may indicate an upcoming purchase, as described below.
  5. 3D Industry. 3D industry promotions are downloads for testing or demonstration uses, described below.
  6. Corporate Purchase. This means a customer who purchased the product on a corporate account downloaded it.

What is trial use?

In some cases, large corporate customers may be given product files before purchasing, which is common in the stock photography world. For example, if an advertising agency or architectural firm is competing to win a project, they will not have the budget to purchase the Stock Media Products yet. Once they win the project, they must Purchase the Stock Media Products if they want to use them for the actual project.

Another example is large game companies that have their own game engines. There is no way for our Support department to test 3D Models to see if they work in that game engine, and so this is a way to reduce the risk for these companies to Purchase.

We think this is valuable for the community and will bring large corporate entities as new customers in the Stock 3D world, but if it is something you are uncomfortable with, you have the ability to opt out of this in your artist account settings. Large corporate customers are extremely careful about managing proper legal clearances, and we feel that there is generally a low risk of theft for these types of customers.

What is a 3D industry promotion?

TurboSquid may provide Stock Media Products to a business partner or trusted client to test or demonstrate its software or hardware, in a private or public setting. Some of these uses are for display to consumers such as at a trade show. These companies are typically the artists that work inside the large software and hardware makers that you are aware of. We feel this kind of use helps the 3D production industry, and helps promote Stock 3D.

What does the agreement mean by allowing TurboSquid to authorize “new uses” of my product?

In the Royalty Free License, we have tried to exhaustively address any possible use of products by customers. However, customers are bound to ask about novel uses and push the frontiers of what can be written into a stock license. In many cases, the proposed use is substantially similar to an existing use authorized in the Royalty Free License.

To prevent unnecessary loss of a sale or delay to a customer’s aggressive timeline, TurboSquid may permit a new use that is substantially similar to an existing authorized use. We will then notify you of the new use. If you have an objection, we will not authorize the use again for you. If later we add the use to the Royalty Free License, however, this will apply to future purchases of your products. We will not add any unreasonable uses to the Royalty Free License.

What is a corporate agreement?

A corporate agreement is a modified version of the Royalty Free License available only to certain corporate customers whose specific needs cannot be accommodated under the Royalty Free License alone. For example, TurboSquid might enter into a corporate agreement promising that the purchased products are not infringing. Because customers often regard corporate agreements as confidential, TurboSquid does not disclose the content of any corporate agreement, although we try to keep them as similar to the Royalty Free License as possible. In any case, you receive the same royalty for any purchase under a corporate agreement.

What does distribution through Syndicate Sites mean?

To help promote our StemCell initiative, TurboSquid may join with third-parties (“Syndicate Sites”) to make the content available to a wider audience. TurboSquid may provide bundles, samples, or collections of StemCell content to those syndicates to distribute via business models such as subscription payments, one-time blanket license fees, or revenue shares.

For any StemCell content distributed through Syndicate Sites, TurboSquid will allocate to you 50% of the proceeds for any sale of your content. Royalty payments for syndicate sales may not happen as frequently as regular TurboSquid royalties, but when they are paid out, you will receive the proceeds with your regular TurboSquid payment.

Please note that this only applies to StemCell-certified content. Your other 3d content will not be made available through Syndicate Sites.

Can I opt out of distribution through Syndicate Sites for StemCell?

No. Distribution through Syndicate Sites is an intrinsic part of the StemCell business plan. Generally these should be aimed at new customers to 3D and should help grow the market.

Why are you offering site-wide discounts?

Most of our customers come to TurboSquid to find specific content that meets an immediate deadline. Some customers, particularly during holidays, buy models just for fun. We plan to target this behavior by using site-wide sales. We’ve done our own research on the topic and had this validated by a number of other businesses that encouraged us to use this to sell more models.

Can I opt out of site-wide discounts?

Yes. You are not obligated to participate in any site-wide discounts, and you are able to opt out at any time in your account settings.

How do I opt out of site-wide discounts?

You can opt out of participating in sales through your Artist Settings. To do this:

  1. Go to your Artist Settings
  2. Scroll down to the Permissions section
  3. Under DISTRIBUTION PERMISSIONS, uncheck the box next to “I agree to participate in TurboSquid sales and discount programs.”

If you change your mind and wish to participate in future sales, you are free to do so by enabling your distribution permissions.

What will my royalty be for items sold during a site-wide sale?

Royalties for discounted items will be paid according to the sale price and not the full price. For example, if your $100 model sells at a 25% discount, you will be paid your royalty portion of the $75 sale price.

How can customers use preview images that I upload?

Many customers are graphic artists who want to use promotional images uploaded with a product, but have no knowledge about how to independently render the 3D model. In this case, we instruct the customer to purchase the 3D model and use promotional images that can be reproduced with the 3D model files.

Customers may not use any image that has added stock photography not included with the 3D model. They also may not use images that have watermark or superimposed logo, attribution, copyright notice, branding, or other notice unless they get permission from Support. In this case, Support will make sure to instruct the customer to crop out such branding, if that is appropriate.

When does a customer need to “re-license” an already purchased product?

Customers sometimes need to buy another license to a Stock Media Product (i.e., re-license). For example, if the customer had to provide the product files to a client, the customer cannot use the Stock Media Product for another client without re-licensing the product by purchasing it a second time.

When this happens, the customer pays the same price as the original purchase even if the price rose in the interim or the product was removed from TurboSquid. If the product was removed from TurboSquid, TurboSquid will not take a commission on the sale and will forward the payment in full. The purpose of this is to allow honest customers to manage their licenses.

What is TurboSquid’s role if I disagree with a customer’s use of my product?

TurboSquid may choose to arbitrate a disagreement you have with a customer’s use. If you believe a customer has used a product in an unauthorized way, you are responsible for notifying us before making any contact with the customer.

If TurboSquid elects to arbitrate the issue, we will waive any commission from the sale. As the intermediary, we have to consider both your side and the customer’s side. The purpose of arbitrating is to prevent unnecessary conflict and find a fair and amicable solution, which is much more important to us than a commission. The maximum amount of additional compensation to which you may be entitled to receive from TurboSquid is three times the Purchase price.

This provision was added because TurboSquid lost our biggest customer when he was legally threatened by an artist for violating a readme file included in a product. We could have arbitrated this to keep our biggest customer for our artist community, and would have compensated the artist for the good faith misunderstanding.

How does indemnification affect me?

When you sign up to sell on TurboSquid, you agree to only publish content for which you own the intellectual property rights. If you publish content that causes a customer to face legal troubles, TurboSquid must take appropriate action. In the case of an indemnification claim, we will review your account to determine why the issue occurred, and depending on the result of that review, we may have to disable your account.

You are always (and have always been) responsible for the content you publish, and you could be legally at risk, too. We suggest that you carefully read the publishing agreement and make sure that you understand your obligations as a seller to reduce any risk to you or your customers.

Can I use branded logos in preview images?

TurboSquid does not allow the use of logos of branded content in any preview image. You may use the logo within the 3D model in order to depict a product accurately but not in any other way. This policy was requested by companies that believe branded logos in preview images could unintentionally suggest that the content is being sold by or endorsed by the company whose logo is featured.

Can I publish 3D models using AI?

No, in order to ensure that customers are protected, that intellectual property is not misused, and that artists’ are compensated for their work, TurboSquid will not accept content uploaded and sold on our marketplace that is generated by AI.

Artists must have proven IP ownership of all content that is submitted. AI-generated content is produced using machine learning models that are trained using many other creative assets. As a result, we cannot accept content generated by AI because its authorship cannot be attributed to an individual person, and we would be unable to ensure that all artists who were involved in the generation of that content are compensated.

This policy extends to creating geometry and texture maps using AI generative tools.

What are Shutterstock datasets / data deals?

Shutterstock datasets, also known as data deals, are a product offering developed to support companies building computer vision machine learning models. Shutterstock datasets are sets of visual content organized by a specific theme or topic that can include images (including photos, illustrations, and vectors), videos, music and 3D models. All content within datasets incorporates metadata, including keywords, descriptions, geo-location, and categories. Examples of datasets include a wide range of industry categories like food & beverage, transportation & autonomous vehicles, animals & wildlife, clothing & apparel, travel, tourism & hospitality, etc.

Datasets, also referred to as data deals, provide a potential new source of revenue by extending our reach to new customers that do not currently work with Shutterstock, including AI researchers, leading technology developers and manufacturers.

Is all TurboSquid content used in Data deals?

TurboSquid content is not involved in every deal mentioned in Shutterstock’s material and will only be utilized in projects for which the content would be relevant.

How do I get paid from a Data deal?

For any TurboSquid content used in Shutterstock data deals, earnings from datasets are pooled in a collective fund and will be distributed every three to six months. If you have generated earnings from the fund, you will see those posted in your Earnings Summary, labeled as “Contributor Fund” earnings.

Can I opt out of Data deals?

Yes, we will have an option in the contributor account settings that will allow you to opt out of having your content included in future datasets, also known as data deals.

Will TurboSquid content be used in the Shutterstock AI Image Generator?

TurboSquid content is not part of the new Shutterstock AI Image Generator.