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3D Model Marketplace CGTrader Accused of Being "Evil" For Pushing AI

Eddie Ataberk listed the alleged "sins" committed by CGTrader concerning generative AI.

If you've clicked on this article, chances are you're already familiar with the ongoing "cold war" between Digital Artists and generative AI, a conflict that has been frequently highlighted on 80 Level ever since the first massive anti-AI protests in December 2022.

A side that is rarely mentioned in this war, however, is the online art marketplaces and galleries, which one might say have found themselves in a rather peculiar position. On one hand, such websites have to maintain their "of the Artists, by the Artists, for the Artists" reputations by siding with the human creators, yet, on the other hand, the allure of potential profits from featuring AI-generated content on their platforms, or even permitting AI developers to utilize user portfolios for training, is too enticing for some to ignore.

In a recent development related to this often overlooked side, Eddie Ataberk, a Senior Technical Artist and Software Developer, has accused CGTrader, a prominent 3D model marketplace and community for 3D Artists, of being "evil" and allegedly stealing the artworks of creators to train its own AI image-generation tool.

In one of his latest Facebook posts, brought to our attention by a renowned 3D Character Artist Ivailo Ivanov, Ataberk listed the alleged "sins" committed by CGTrader concerning generative AI. The purported wrongdoings include removing artists' ability to delete models and automatically making every artwork shared on the platform eligible to be used in AI training.

Additionally, the author accused the company of stealing artists' works, presumably those shared on the platform, to develop CGDream, CGTrader's AI-powered tool for creating images and 3D models with text prompts. These actions, in the eyes of Ataberk, make the platform "evil", with the Facebook post in question serving as a warning to those artists who have their works featured on the website.

When it comes to CGTrader, it's worth noting that unlike, for example, DeviantArt or ArtStation, owned by Wix and Epic Games respectively, CGTrader is privately held and reliant on investments. While I'm by no means an economist, historically, it just so happens that when investors heavily intervene in a company's operations, it often results in the company making unpopular decisions in order to satisfy the backers.

Another interesting observation is the identity of CGTrader's board chairman, who came on board in 2021 following a direct investment in the art platform. Do you remember Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds? A company that, over the years, has acquired a certain reputation for its, let's just say, questionable monetization practices?

Well, it turns out that several years ago, CGTrader's board of directors was joined by none other than Rovio's ex-CEO Mikael Hed, whose position would entail at least some control over the art platform's financial decisions. With Hed's involvement, one may wonder if his experience with Angry Birds' monetization might have influenced CGTrader's financial strategies. Once again, those who can say for sure probably won't speak up.

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Comments 3

  • Anonymous user

    Artists need to rise against this unfair fight themselves. Throughout history, they were always that part of society which no one cared about their situation! Most of them lived poor and lonely and now in this era of technology they're even being hung! Not only no one cares about them but actually consumeristic AI enthusiasts and greedy big guys are trying to devaluate their jobs and steal their works and force them to accept such cruelty! They have no respect towards artists.
    Training AI is absolutely nothing comparable with progress of tools in case of art.
    Think about this; in the past kings and royals used to tell artists to paint or sculpt their figure in some sorts, and artists used to do that; does this mean the kings and royals were artists because they ordered and prompted? the same goes with AI, you people who use train AI are just prompting computer to give you visuals so that you feel proud of your non-existed talent! the job yet is done by AI, by computer! does that make YOU to be the artists??!
    Almost all of those who use AI generators are lazy talentless people who can't draw a straight line on paper and want to become something over night and now suddenly they've became Leonardo Da Vinci of the century!! What a mess is this?!
    We should do something. Humans without regulation would destroy everything. AI is a big progress in engineering field and can help us to do big stuff in medical and other scientific discoveries, but now it's being shoved into art field, being used as a hubby which downgrades a profession and devaluates one of the most special skill of humans which no living being is able to do it; "creating art"!
    If you're AI enthusiast, just think again without being selfish... This is not fair...

    1

    Anonymous user

    ·20 days ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Nah, I'm going to continue to support I generated content. You want to all cry that ai is stealing your work? Well non of you learned how to make art in a vacuum. You all took inspiration off of someone else's art, and people often directly rip off styles.

    As someone who likes to mess around with making little games in ue5 I can't wait to have easy access to libraries of 3d models that fit my needs.

    If we let people like you run things we'd have never got past the wheel.

    -2

    Anonymous user

    ·21 days ago·
  • 3D RenderHub

    At RenderHub, we say NO TO AI. We do not, and will not support AI-generated art or 3D models. We invite you to join our community, where we truly are siding with the human creators.

    0

    3D RenderHub

    ·22 days ago·

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