Published: January 16, 2010
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!