Expiration date

if it is definitely not possible to have a password on a sketchup file, to have it self destroy after a certain date would enable developpers to manage better the spreading of their work, and avoid critical updates need

It is not possible to password protect a skp…

any self destruct mechanism would be considered a virus and difficult to manage if allowed…

I don’t understand your ‘use case’ points, what are you trying to ‘protect’?


i know sketchup does not come with a password feature, and that anti virus softwares might be dumb enough to considerer a self destroying file as a virus

my request is about digital rigths management, something very natural for a developers; you can enjoy create components and do it for fun, but it would reach a profesional level if some kind of DRM was possible

As John says, any self-destruct mechanism would be considered to be a virus. As for password protecting, I’m not sure what (if any benefits) that would bring. Anyone illegally distributing commercial content, could equally distribute any password.
Would you consider an individual password for every component? That would be intensely annoying for all concerned…distributors as well as purchasers. You can effectively do that already by distributing components in password-protected zip files. That would be equally annoying.

I and quite a few others have been offering commercial components on a professional basis for over a decade. You just have to be sensible about how you do it.

I can’t see how any 3D mesh can be protected in that way…which is why all those ridiculously poly-intensive trees etc in the 3D Warehouse have not been made in SketchUp by the uploaders but have been ripped from meshes created in X-Frog, Onyx or SpeedTree. Ditto all the figures and vehicles with file sizes way up in the MB range.

The DRM involves being vigilant and reporting any such breaches.

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i am interested in that: could you explain more?

We offer content by subscription, so we maintain a relationship with our subscribers. We also physically build identifiers into the components, unlike merely claiming Credit or having an appropriate filename…both of which can easily be circumvented.
We’ve also been known to refuse subscriptions from entire countries if we find that their level of piracy is unacceptable.
We also regularly trawl the 3D Warehouse and various warez sites. In fact our relationship with most of our subscribers is such that they actually tip us off if they spot something.

In fact I spent an hour earlier today sweeping the 3DW for 3D people. I found 2 files by the same SOB (not bad out of 16,000 search results. Trimble removed them very promptly.They’d been deliberately exploded and regrouped to hide their identity, but like I said, we have many identifiers.
You can’t argue with a little company logo, in actual geometry, hiding inside a car hubcap…or steering wheel…or wing mirror…or behind a number plate…or in the sole of a shoe…or an ear…or up a nose. You get the idea.

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As to distributing 3D models in a somewhat protected way for viewing, 3D PDF seems to be the only available option. It can be password protected just like any PDF and it can be viewed and orbited with any free Adobe Viewer version since v.7- everyone today is supposed to have one. There are a couple of commercial export plugins for SketchUp.


Thank you for explaining all this.
You seem to manage well the diffusion of your components, probably because, as you wrote, you restrict yourself to a safe juridical environment.

But some people don’t even try to argue, they just use the component without telling anyone

So I shall go on my quest of a self destroyable sketchup component; time is the only parameter nobody can escape from,
i have heard that some social network applications propose sending messages with an expiration date; so maybe the idea is not so foolish

For me, passwords are not sufficient, because it is easy to distribute the password with the file
And 3D pdf is not an option either, because i want the components to be used in sketchup
The problem has not an easy answer…

I don’t think there is any way you can fully protect 3D content that forms part of a model’s geometry. After all, there are plenty of figures in the warehouse that have been ripped from commercial games (which obviously do not have an export function for their assets.) There are a number of programs that can rip any content from a 3D application…whether it is OpenGL or DirectX, as they interrupt the data from that program to the graphics card.

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I would say that establishing a good working relationship, containing a level of trust, with your clients would be the best solution, like what Alan seems to be achieving.

I don’t know what sector you are working in, but in architecture time limits are an especially bad idea. Everyone expects archived files to be usable even after many years, and increasingly documentation is seen as a continuing process.


my understanding is that archives and documentation are 2 different things
Of course archives must be usable forever; but as you wrote, documentation is a continuing process.
In this process, old information should be dumped and replaced by new one; expiration date on files would do part of the job automatically
Some informations are relevant only for a period of time, this makes expiration date also useful.
Snapshot has expiration date feature, Dropbox too recently…
So i do think it is coming