A true story of mine

3 min read

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MediaDesign's avatar
I don't expect many to read this, but I really need to tell this story, because I am incredibly shocked and amazed at what dA has done for me and I just find this story so coincidentally funny.

So, for christmas, my parents decided to buy me an external hard drive. A western digital one. Until now, I hadn't used it at all, but I needed to back some files to it so I plugged it into the laptop and proceeded to install the drivers. I noticed a file management program came with it, and usually I don't install these kinds of things, but I just decided to install it this time. So it goes through the installer, and eventually it gets to the part where it auto backs up my documents to the drive. I noticed that one of my HydroPro icons was on display on the page, and for a moment I thought that it was showing the icons as the program was backing up, but I slowly realised that the icon was embedded in the program. I went on to find that the program has used several of my icons, I wasn't credited ofcourse, but nonetheless I was completely shocked at how far my icons have spread.

This also hasn't been the first time I've stumbled across my icons on other things, once in a blue moon I come across a website that happens to use them either as navigational purposes or in their logo. But to have them embedded into a program installed on a Western Digital device, being sold all around the world, it's quite amazing, and coincidental that I happen to have purchased it. Which makes me wonder what other programs or devices include my icons with them?

Finally, I'd like to ask a question. Why are (digital) artists so uptight about having their work digitally copied across the web? I know so many people who get upset and angry over their work being copied to sites such as Flickr or others, or being used on other things. Furthermore, why do people feel the need to charge for their work to be used? I understand if it's commercial work, but if it's just work you've done as a hobby in your spare time, why do you feel the need to have to put a price on that, and limit the availability of your work? You're just ruining your chances at being found. I have always let my icons be 100% free to use in any way, and you have no idea how far it has gotten me. Sure, there will be a lot of people who take it and use it without giving anything in return, but that doesn't bother me, as it shows that people actually like and appreciate my work enough to want to use it in their own projects. But I also get a phenomenal amount of recognition, contract work, job offers, and many, many thanks over these icons. It's overwhelming. I know my icons aren't the best icons available, but having them available without any strings attached makes them far more appealing.

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents.

Have a great day!
© 2010 - 2021 MediaDesign
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TheRealOneEye's avatar
Dude, that's pretty sick that your stuff ended up on a Western Digital HDD. After reading your journal, I've got to say that I agree with you wholeheartedly, at least when it comes to icons and as you say, hobbies. This is pretty inspirational stuff you've got here, hehe. What did your parents say when you told them that your work was on the HDD they bought you? :)
Rahzizzle's avatar
Wow! The only reason I may be a little disturbed by finding that is that some "graphic designer" for Western Digital probably was assigned to create icons for it and just took the coolest ones he could find on the web and said they were his own. You on the other hand should feel nothing but delight knowing that you have the true originality and creativity needed to be an up-and-coming artist. Be honored. Knowledge is Power.
MediaDesign's avatar
Yeah but I don't mind, as you said I at least know it within me that I am the true creator, and that is all that really matters. Thankyou for the comment :)
SebSil's avatar
Damn it Flemming!
I have taught u nothing?? Put a price on ur work n make $$$ n give me a percentage!
MediaDesign's avatar
Damn it Seb, can't you spell my name right?!
SebSil's avatar
lol maybe if u start making money i mite
GamerWorld14's avatar
What a coincidence that you installed that program, I would be honored to see work getting that far, but to have someone use your work without contacting you for building and selling that program, I too would consider that stealing.
MediaDesign's avatar
Yeah well, in my case I had already stated that my work can be used in any way, shape or form, whether people would be making money from it or not, so technically this isn't stealing. But yes, it's quite a coincidence!
GamerWorld14's avatar
Oh, I didn't know you stated that at first. Well, I guess congrats to you for having your icons be used so often.
Purtle-Patrick's avatar
wonderwhy-ER's avatar
Good attitude man :D Add it to CV :D My icons were used in western digital program. Awesome :D Good story too :)
In the end you earn on exclusive works I think :) Ones made for nonexclusive I would gladly post for later reuse. Feels good making more value for the world for free.
MediaDesign's avatar
Thanks man, might be interesting to add it to a resume or something :P Yeah, it doesn't matter who's making money off my icons, I'm still the one getting the jobs from it :)
EnzuDes1gn's avatar
very cool man, i had stuff like this happen too, feels great eh :D
MediaDesign's avatar
Haha thanks mate, yeah it's a great feeling. Care to share a story of yours?
EnzuDes1gn's avatar
I am often asked if I am the same enzudesign, who created soo many mobile themes, especially when I have been to china :D , my GUi is very popular for phones ;)

I used to work for several mobile companys creating themes for them :)

It's nice to be recognized for what you do, especially when it gets me many discounts on buying stuff etc :P
MediaDesign's avatar
Haha that's awesome man, congrats :D So far no discounts for me, but I don't mind :P
EnzuDes1gn's avatar
haha sux to be you :lick:
gregre1234's avatar
information must be free or somewhat.
iMattDev's avatar
Wow you heave realy came far m8! Keep on the good work!
MediaDesign's avatar
seancruz's avatar
If you put it in that perspective it seems reasonable then to allow them to be spread. But I think there would be a fine line dividing what should be tolerated. For instance, a painting I worked on for days being used without my consent as a cd cover, which makes money, well...I would find that stealing. Someone took something I worked hard for, I labored in making the painting only to be stolen and used to make profit. At least I should be paid or compensated for the hard work I did. Essentially then, art becomes a service, and if people want my service then they must pay in exchange.

Whereas, icons are...well icons and art too and even though they are not the easiest thing to make, they are much quicker and easier to make(I would say) compared to full matte paintings or illustrations. And you mention it's a hobby so it essentially is just a hobby for you, whereas I must work, study, and practice my illustrative skills so that I may one day have a spectacular portfolio to present. The last thing I would need is someone taking my work and using it for profit.

To put it into a different analogy: imagine an inventor invents a genius conventional tool, and right before he can patent it, an admirer takes his plans and hard work and patents the invention and makes profit from it himself. Will people see who the original inventor was? Most likely not.

But if you feel it's fine that your icons are used and spread that's great! See, icons have a functional purpose and a decorative purpose, so I would think it's fine to let them spread out.
MediaDesign's avatar
I completely understand what you mean, and in that regard you're probably right, and I'm probably being a little ignorant in my journal thinking nothing bad could come of it. I guess it would be safe to say, giving your work out for free is a gamble. And I guess you could say I got lucky. But I realise that there are people out there stealing work, and selling it not necessarily as their own, but a part of their product, and that is wrong. I suppose icons and painting are two very different things, but I don't only give out my icons as free use, but anything non-commercial. But even if someone did take something of mine, printed it as a CD cover without any credit or compensation, I'm not sure if I would be all that annoyed. People will still know that work as mine, not necessarily the people buying the CD but the people who originally viewed the work on my portfolio. I've had work stolen from me and put into an online game where people pay real money for it, and I was annoyed at first but in the end I realised that if I decided to fight for them to remove it, how would that be helping me? The work would just rot away in my folders, and I would gain nothing. And it's not money I'm talking about, but rather feedback and comments, and the feeling of having something you made being used by thousands of people all over the world.

But thankyou for your response, I don't expect to convince you of my opinion but it's nice that I got a bit more understanding from other people.

And thanks about the icons :P they're nothing special as designs but it's just so shocking to see them being used in so many places.
seancruz's avatar
Np xD

wow your icons in a game that's cool at least. What sucks though is that not many people would recognize it's yours. I would have at least asked to be credited. As for a CD, if that happened to me, I would ask for some sort of fee or fixed price and credit. CDs make a lot of money, so what does it hurt if I ask for $300-$700 in exchange for using my art, right? I would hope though, they would comply that way I won't feel forced to file a lawsuit against them or something like that and my art can continue to be promoted by the CD :P
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