Why this is not a credits page
Long ago I used to keep a credits page for graphics I had picked up from artists who were offering them for free.
Now most artists discourage the use of credits pages, because such pages aren't very helpful when you want to find out where a particular graphic came from. Read the 'Set of the week' tutorial - it explains the reasons very well.
The artists prefer instead the credit for graphics to be given on the page where it's used. That's very reasonable, and I'm trying to stick to that practice - crediting either with text links (for dividers and small graphics) or with link buttons (for backgrounds and coordinated sets).
But no direct linking!
While artists love - or even require - this kind of linking back to their site, direct linking can cause them great problems. So what's the difference?
A link on my page will take you to the artist's page when you click on it. A direct link to the graphics (coding the artist's server as the image source) will pull the graphics to my page when you view the page. This will be counted as traffic and use of bandwidth at the artist's site - which she may even have to pay for, while it is not giving her any real visitors!
This isn't fair on the artist! The way to do it is instead that I should copy her give-away or "linkware" graphics to my computer and use it from my server, not hers (which is what I actually do). Billy Bear's Playground (at http://www.billybear4kids.com/) has an article on "What is "Direct Linking" ...." - it explains this in more detail.
This really is a question of keeping the artists on the web. Some artists have closed down their sites because it cost them too much to pay for other people's use of their bandwidth. Others feel like giving up because people don't give them credit or perhaps take the credit themselves.
When the artist says, "Don't add my graphics to a collection," then don't. The artist has the copyright on her work, you can't give it away on her behalf. If you want to share these graphics with others on the Net, then you should rather collect links to those who give away their own graphics (try for instance my collection of links to free graphics).
It's only polite ....
The least we can do to reward these artists' generosity is to obey their rules for how their graphics should be used. Other people on the Net are helpful also - providing help pages, or even answering questions. We should recognize their effort in some way as well, if only by dealing politely with them. There is a campaign going on (at http://www.gilbertson.nu/Polite.htm) - perhaps you too want to join it?
I'm very grateful to linkware artists (or artists with reasonably priced purchaseware). Their work is not the only graphics used on my site - for instance I have made my own navigational buttons.
But most of my graphics have been bought from various artists or picked up from their Free Graphics pages.
Without them, my site would have been a lot less fun to make.
And without them the Web would have been a less colorful place.
Anne K. Sorknes Visitors' book
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