|Seriously, how is this a difficult concept?|
What's wrong with letting people use your art for free? I don't see how it's not fair to you if the person isn't trying to make money off it or anything.
How exactly does someone asking to take advantage of a service I offer as part of my living for absolutely zero compensation fail to be unfair to me?
Let’s say you own a sporting goods store and selling running shoes is part of how you make your living. Let’s also say that I really, really love the shoes you sell and come into your shop expressing my enthusiasm in regards to having a pair. However, I also make sure to tell you that I won’t be using the shoes to try and win the Olympics, or become a professional athlete, or anything like that. I only want the shoes for my own personal, non-competitive purposes — walks around the neighborhood or perhaps the occasional jog.
Because I won’t be attempting to make money or gain prestige for myself in any way using your shoes, I think you should give them to me for free. Don’t worry though. I like your shoes so much that I’ll be telling all of my friends about your shop and maybe even sending them in your direction. Maybe if you’re lucky, some of them will be willing to wear free shoes as well. Imagine all the exposure your store will get with all these people walking around town in your product! Isn’t that exciting? Aren’t you grateful that I happened to wander into your shop today? I think you should be. I just paid you a huge compliment, after all.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Most people would even say such an attitude smacks of entitlement, delusion, and utter disrespect. Nevertheless, this is exactly what people are doing when they approach an artist thinking they should be able to ask for free services, free use of their work for personal purposes, and so forth. I hope this clears the matter up for you.As I stated in my previous article, most people don't really have too much trouble understanding why it bugs me when people approach me expecting to be given free permission to use my artwork for whatever they like. If you simply don't know how it works and are assuming out of ignorance, that's one thing. I'm really not talking about you. If you're the type of person that simply doesn't want to pay for artwork or can't afford to, I'm not talking about you either. You're under no moral obligation to give two shits about my artwork or anyone else's.
It's the people that take my responding to their inquiry with price quotes on licensing fees or usage rights as some grievous offense and cop a "well, I never" attitude about it that I'm looking at with this type of response. You're not doing an artist some kind of favor by offering to put their work to good use or give them something to do. You're not paying them a compliment either, nor will any professional artist with so much as a lick of self esteem take it as one. I don't tell other people how to run their businesses or make their living, but if I ever tried, I'd thoroughly expect to be verbally spanked for it. I'd deserve it, too. Seriously... shame on you.