It has come to my attention that one of this months (January) free assets is using stolen parts.
The asset in question is the Orca Games Full Animations Bundle, which is using animations directly copied from Mixamo.
This makes the asset illegal to use, because the Mixamo terms only allow for commercial use in full projects (e.g. games or film), as long as the content is inseparately embedded within your project - but do NOT allow to resell the animations.
Looking at the reviews and comments, multiple people talk about this and the seller even acknowledges the problem by evasively offering a refund.
I have reported this to the Epic Support and after it was escalated to a senior marketplace admin, I only got a seemingly automated, evasive reply that asked me to report the asset if I am the copyright holder.
This makes it look like the marketplace team is fine with giving away illegal, stolen assets during the free month, knowing that it can get everyone who uses this asset into legal trouble with Adobe…
Why is there nothing being done about this?
And this isn’t the first time I reported stolen assets on the marketplace, in each case I got the same non-reply and the stolen assets remain for sale till this day. How can this be okay?
EDIT: Appearently accordng to this Twitter user (https://twitter.com/_vladislavzh/status/1610671501996429312) the pack uses animations stolen from another source as well - appearently @KuboldK’s movement animset pro pack.
EDIT 2: So the sound pack that was in the freebies also used stolen content, and was removed. Two illegal assets in a single months selection, wow.
This is also relevant to this:
and the answer that the person reporting got:
Edit: PS, that’s not the first time as well… About 2 years ago it was the same, but I think with animation ripped from some game… Tribe maybe?
Wow this is worse than I expected, so the marketplace team is actually knowingly commiting a copyright crime AND making ever person who downloaded that free asset complicit…
Interestingly this isn’t the first time I reported stolen assets on the marketplace and I always got the same non-answer that asked me to report it if I am the copyright holder, even though I gave them unrefutable proof the seller did not have the rights to that asset. They remain up on the marketplace to this day…
thank you for the tip, i have downloaded the asset but the animations are real choppy in some places so i decided to delete it, but after your message i will remove it from my vault.
Seems like stolen assets on the marketplaces are much more common than I thought…
How can you remove stuff from the vault?
sorry should have written it in other words… i meant deleting it from the specified vault folder
i tried removing it from my library but there is no option
That is a shame. I’m always into free stuff, but knowingly accept copyright infringements is a no no. It should not require an active action by the copyright owner in such obvious cases.
Absolutely incredible… What an investigation Epic. Really.
Last year something similar happened, with many different asset packs, but the user is still allowed to sell on the marketplace
Our company was about to start to sell assets on the marketplace… We are reconsidering it now. If our work can be stolen this easy with literally no reaction from Epic, what is the point ?
I think you missed the point.
It doesn’t matter where you sell them, the issue is that if you publish them elsewhere they could be re-uploaded on the marketplace.
I think that Epic would take them down if contacted by the copyright owner, maybe they are not “doing anything” because the publisher could have private agreements with the copyright holder, this issues should be reported to them and they should contact Epic directly.
It’s rather that the marketplace team seems to have a mentality of “we don’t care because we are part of a giant megacorporation”.
Which really sucks because this could put every developer who downloaded and uses these animations (or the many other stolen assets on the marketplace) into legal trouble, and the Epic marketplace team knows that very well.
And if Orca Games actually had an agreement with Mixamo / Adobe, they would write that in the asset description or as an answer to comments & reviews that note the stolen animations - instead they are begrudgingly offering a refund.
You should talk to mixamo not epic: “Someone is getting rich selling your free, cheesy, choppy animations.”
So they’ll spend a lot of money on lawyers, but the animation maker shows them a blender/maya/etc file. with an unreal dummy rig. And the animation files.
So things get complicated, keyframing position is not copyrighted,
Not so rich with 7500$, but it’s not that bad considering they didn’t pay for it🤣
Not long ago, Mixamo got Unity to ban a lot of their marketplace sellers for selling Mixamo animations without permission.
And in this case, Epic is actively involved by giving Orca money for participating in the monthly free selection AND ignoring all evidence given to them that Orca has not only stolen animations from Mixamo but other sources as well.
I am sure Tim Sweeney isn’t all too happy that his marketplace team is opening his company to potential legal liability.
Being familiar with DMCA/copyright violations, Epic literally can’t do anything until the copyright holder reports it. You can’t report it, I can’t report it - only the holder otherwise they lose some protections under DMCA:
"…takedown notices under 17 U.S.C. §512(c)(3) must substantially comply with certain statutory requirements.
A proper takedown notice needs to be in writing, and substantially include: (1) the physical or e-signature of the copyright owner, or a person authorized to act on the owner’s behalf; (2) identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or a representative list of works at a specific site if multiple copyrighted works are covered in a single notice; (3) identification of the allegedly infringing material to be removed, with enough information to allow the service provider to find the material"
For DMCA, yea. But DMCA is just one mechanism of many.
Here I think applies simply breaking terms of Marketplace Distribution Agreement (which explicitly state that you have to have all the rights for redistribution). Plus they can take it down whenever they want really. See point 6. of Marketplace Distribution Agreement - Unreal Engine
I feel like this is being viewed as an issue that is between Epic and Adobe only.
Its a huge problem for the customers of Epic if they buy these assets and are in violation of copyright law.
Epic should be responsible for ensuring their marketplace is legit, not hiding behind DMCA and only issuing takedowns from the actual copyright holders.
If they can’t do this and these things end up becoming legal issues for the game makers then the asset store is effectively worthless.
Very much this. I would be very cautious using any marketplace assets currently knowing the Epic is sort of just shrugging this off