Google recently annoyed dozens of illustrators when it approached them about contributing art to the new Google Chrome browser. The artists would receive exposure as compensation for their work- and nothing else. From the NY Times:
In the first quarter of this year alone, Google reported profits of $1.42 billion, an increase of 8 percent over the same period last year.
In a statement responding to questions, Google said that the project was modeled after a similar one last year for iGoogle, a personalized home page, where artists and companies (including Jeff Koons, Bob Dylan and Gucci) contributed images to be used as skins.
“While we don’t typically offer monetary compensation for these projects,” the statement said, “through the positive feedback that we have heard thus far we believe these projects provide a unique and exciting opportunity for artists to display their work in front of millions of people.”
But exposure often is a given for illustrators, who are rankled that Google is asking them to work for exposure alone.
“I have done gift cards for Target that are in stores nationwide and animations for Nickelodeon that run 24 hours a day worldwide on cable TV,” Melinda Beck, an illustrator who is based in Brooklyn, wrote in an e-mail message to Google rejecting its offer. “Both of these jobs were high-profile and gave my work great exposure but both clients still paid me.”