This post isn't really book-related (or ebook related, or writing related), but it is about something I've noticed lately.
How many times have you surfed the internet, saw a picture you thought was snazzy, and did the whole right-click-and-save thing? Right now on my personal Facebook page I have a cartoon-ized image of the Firefly crew as my 'cover' image that I found and saved on a website I now completely fail to recall.
Fonts too, to a degree. Ever been working on an image or a paper and wanted something a little snazzier than normal? You go to a free font site and download to your heart's content. It's all so easy!
But what about when you want to use these items for legitimate purposes?
Creating a cover to an ebook legitimately can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 if you properly pay for the usage rights, as required by law. We are so accustomed to simply clicking and saving anything we like that when it comes time to follow the rules and be fair to the original artist/creator, it adds up.
I'm still trying to decide if this says something about our current internet-driven society or not. We have become too accustomed to free content, I suppose. If it's meant to be free then more power to you, but there is so much that we have decided to be free without ever considering the creator's rights or ability to be properly compensated for their time and effort.
Having said that, changing your computer 'wallpaper' would be a costly and very occasional endeavor should we have to pay royalties for each use.
We live in transitory times, boys and girls. Hopefully our kids will have a fair set of rules worked out for us. In the meantime, download your free swag while you can!