In my own opinion copyright is very important and a very obvious issue. Any creative who creates images do so useally originally because they have the urge and need to do so since childhood. Then when he or she get the oportunity to make a living out of it, the copyright is an important thing to make an income.
For example everytime a company of any sort re-use an illustration by me, they pay a fee for the use. Like going to the video store renting a movie. People download all kinds of movies, music and computer programs on the internet, and they see it as their right to do so, saying the internet is free, and its only used for personal use. Like taping an old fashioned cassette player tape, listening to ones music in an ipod or whatever.
Should this also aply on images? Illustrators work to make a living, some more succesfully than others, but it is a job, and then when they see their work being used by someone without their knowledge, agreement or payed for, they many times dont have the strenght to fight it. In Sweden the Association I am a member of, paying my yearly fee to, has 1-2 employed lawyers. They help out in many legal issues, many times in contact with company´s of all sorts. And its also payed for when needed through the yearly fee to the association. But in many countries there is no such help to get. And therefore illustrators and other creatives are standing by themselves. And via the internet they suddenly are supposed to like the situation when their images and copyright is used unvillingly. What is your thought.
It is a text I have taken from the Swedish association of Illustrator & Graphic Designers choose English button on the site.
More about international associations can be read about on ICOGRADA´s website
Illustrator & artist