by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jun 15th 2009 3:04pm
The NY Times is running an article about a bunch of illustrators complaining that Google offered to promote their work for free as special skins for its Chrome browser. The concern? That Google wouldn't pay them to promote their work. Of course, that's fine. They can (and many did) choose not to accept this free promotion, but it's difficult to understand what sort of statement they think they're making. As Google noted, it found plenty of takers for the chance at such a great channel for promotion, so all those artists who stood by their "principles" will suddenly find out that for all their complaints about not being "paid" by Google, lots of artists will get a lot more exposure, and hopefully most of them are smart about turning exposure into money. Google wasn't asking the artists to do anything new, but to reuse an existing work -- but from that, it's likely that people will learn about these artists, and that could (or should) easily lead to new work. The cost to artists is next to nothing, but the potential payoff is quite high. So why deny it? It's the same silly entitlement mentality that has people think that for every use of work they've already done they must get paid. It's a failure to recognize that exposure is a form of payment, and widespread exposure from a brand like Google should be quite easily monetizable. People who think compensation only comes in money are going to have a lot of difficulty succeeding in the digital era.
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