Forced Exposure

I suspect this wonderful Oatmeal comic is both a response to HuffPost raping his bandwidth and also what happened to Wil Wheaton when they wanted ‘free’ content.

(This is why I repost images and give credit; certainly despite Flattr – thank you those who have donated – it doesn’t cover the costs, as a truly non-profit personal blog, so I certainly don’t have $50 Million to spare, unlike HuffPo! Then again I never repost whole articles or comic series…)

This is why so many ‘news’ articles are just refried reddit, Instagram or Twitter posts…they don’t have to pay for those. Well they probably do, but quite often get away with it pretending it’s a ‘found resource’ and they are in the ‘public eye’. And conveniently these stories are usually from little people who won’t get lawyered up about their content being stolen.

But the ‘work for exposure’ thing does get me really annoyed, it happens a lot in the creative world. As Daniel Lebon pointed out on Oatmeal’s Facebook page “If they’re big enough that the exposure will help, they HAVE the money to pay you. If they’re not big enough to pay you yet, the exposure won’t count for fuck all.”

I have my FREELANCE ISN’T FREE tshirt and the poster on my wall because I’ve found that strangely the clients that don’t pay you – e.g. friends, or charities, or some very naughty corporates – are the worst precisely because a free resource is seen as an unlimited resource. They’ll mess you around, make millions of changes and expect it to be quick. Oddly if they pay you even a small amount or trade/barter, this attitude usually goes away, the psychology then is rather than a ‘favour’ that can be abused, it’s a transaction, and any messing might mean they need to pay/trade more.

This is why I never do free work, it’s more pain than it’s worth, not only because it rankles you that this quick free job has become a monster, it’s not actually helping you pay for food or shelter.

Exposure leads to exposure fast – not having a roof over your head!

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