Google is currently working on getting artists to make skins for its Chrome Browser, which is pretty cool. Much less cool, however, is that one of the biggest companies in the world refuses to pay the artists.
Many of the established artists are refusing to hand over their work to Google for no cash based on promises of free exposure.
"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."
It's tough to see Google's position as reasonable here. Sure, these artists will get exposure, but if they can't get paid by Google, who will pay them? With print becoming more and more threatened by the web, there are fewer places for artists to have their work featured than ever before. And yes, Google is a business that survives by being shrewd with money, but they don't need to take advantage of struggling artists who are just trying to make a living. Whatever happened to "Don't Be Evil," Google? [NY Times]