Ach, late to the party. Dave, excellent post. I think there’s a big difference between that remix of your work by a friend, and the appropriation of creative work for someone else’s gain: whether monetary or to pass it off as their own or whatever. The difference is in intention: the first was a gift, in a way, which you only realized after the fact. The other uses can vary from outright stealing to the legitimate use of a quote to emphasize and enlarge a point.

I think the old publishing industry practice of allowing quotes of 100 words or so without permission is not a bad one – that allows epigraphs and short quotes, and makes you think about longer ones. I consider myself a professional artist and writer, and have spent all my life trying to produce the best work I can. That’s what I have to offer. People have tried to take advantage of artists and get them to give away their work for free for centuries – I’ve seen it so much in my work with arts organizations, and it often boils down to rich people using artists as pets or adornments, with no understanding of what their lives or struggles are actually about. there are, of course, many exceptions, but I find that attitude really offensive. Artists have never been good at educating the public about what they do or why it’s important, but as society becomes even more oblivious to this, and digital art of all forms is available to be taken, both abuse and pressure on artists to “accept the situation and adjust to it by “not caring” increases.

I think it’s fair to expect compensation for creative work when that’s the deal, and expect respect for its origins (meaning: ask before using, and give proper credit) when we’re putting our work out on the web. If we want to do projects that are “Open Source” from the start, as a way to open up discussion and encourage experimentation and creativity — then that’s another subject, and a good one.