In an effort to promote its new Chrome browser, Google recently asked a gaggle of high-profile illustrators and artists to produce personalized "skins" – unique design schemes that could be downloaded by Chrome users across the globe. The catch? Google, the multi-billion dollar corporate behemoth, wouldn't pay the artists a dime.
As The New York Times noted, the project does have a precedent. Last year, Google asked Jeff Koons and Bob Dylan, among other high-profile artists, to submit work for iGoogle, a personalized homepage template.
“While we don’t typically offer monetary compensation for these projects,” the company said in a statement, “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.”
The offer has received a swift rebuke from the artists, who condemned Google for not respecting the value of intellectual property.