Re-branding Blender

With the success of projects, and publishing all the exciting Blender releases, we’re now being challenged by third parties who like to ride the waves and do business with Blender.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In its very nature, GNU GPL is about freedom, the freedom not only to use and modify the sources, but also to distribute and resell our releases under another brand name.

Unfortunately we keep receiving concerned emails and forum postings from people who were worried about resellers renaming Blender on websites or using Ebay to sell Blender downloads.

rebrand 1
rebrand 2
rebrand 3
Artwork on these sites were copied from:

– cover image is by Benedict Campbell

– The horse at the top is a photo manipulation

– This image is 3DS MAX. Artist’s page on CGSociety

– The car is done in Wings3d and rendered in Maya

– The room is from Elftug, Deviant Art website

– The church is a photoshop image – tutorial here

(Links found by Moviestorm Artist forum)

(June 2012)

The Chinese Blender community pointed us at 3DMofun, a company in China abusing Blender – claiming they made this software themselves, removing every Blender credit from the UI, not crediting Blender translations, images and DVD contents… all with the aim of getting government funding for 3D education.

Here’s a full report of by the BlenderCN community about this.

Only the software download via their BBS (incomplete download) still has the original GPL credit and Blender names.

Apart from ‘naming and shaming’ we can’t do much yet now… see below.

Visit the very supportive Chinese Blender community for more information, or help them!

(January 2011)

The companies IllusionMage and 3Dmagix resell via their websites Blender under their own name. Both websites are probably managed by the same person or company.

On their web pages they intentionally hide that the products are distributions of GNU GPL licensed software, and that the software is freely downloadable as well. More-over, even after contacting them several times, they don’t remove copyrighted content from their websites. A lot of text and images have been copied from and random images – not even from blender – were copied from various CG websites.

Rebranding and re-distributing GNU GPL software is a key right. This doesn’t give the right to then also rebrand the credits, claims and artwork as created with Blender.

The sad thing is especially that people are being lured in with the suggestion that this is a cracked version Autodesk 3D Max. Their customers probably feel too ashamed after purchasing this product to complain really…

But what can we do? Not much really… lawyers will be a waste of money on this. Best is as usual to just publicize this well. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” as a U.S. Supreme Court judge once said.

Ton Roosendaal
Chairman Blender Foundation