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Author Topic: No Spec: Read this before doing services for free  (Read 717 times)
TradeFortress
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January 25, 2013, 01:47:36 AM
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http://www.no-spec.com/faq/

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Why is spec work unethical?

The designer in essence works free of charge and with an often falsely advertised, overinflated promise for future employment; or is given other insufficient forms of compensation. Usually these glorified prizes or “carrots” appear tantalizing for creative communicators just starting out, ending with encouraging examples like “good for your portfolio” or “gain recognition.” The reality is that they often yield little extra work, profit or referrals. Moreover they often must sign a contract unwittingly waiving their valuable creative rights and ownership of their work to the ones promoting this system. A verbal agreement is ineffective in protecting the rights of the designer in a court of law. As a result the client/employer will often employ other designers using similar unprincipled tactics to change and/or resell the creative work as their own. This also promotes the practice of designers ridiculously undercharging themselves in the hopes of “outbidding” any potential rivals, devaluing both their skills and those of the graphics industry in the process. Promoting this method encourages some clients/employers to continue preying on uninformed creatives for menially valued labor.
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dpcman
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January 25, 2013, 01:55:48 AM
 #2

Thanks for the info. I did know about this from experience but I never knew the name for it.

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January 25, 2013, 09:02:05 AM
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The underlying economic reality of the situation is that the vast majority of the population aged 15 to 35 is otherwise unemployable. They have no practically usable skills or any value, and it is more productive for society as a whole to keep them tied to a monitor in a room somewhere than any alternative. Consider it very cheap prison, which is what it is, keeps them out of the way. (Yes, you may think that at the very least they could dig ditches or pole dance, which while not particularly useful still turn nothing, ie their own time and body, into something, which worthless as it may be still wouldn't be completely worthless. This however is not true. A sandwich dropped on the floor is completely worthless, not just mostly worthless, and just so one of these useless tenderfoot youths is also completely worthless - they'd cost more to organize and employ at ditch digging than the value of the dug ditches many times over).

Consequently since they're locked up online they're all going to be "competing" for a vague "designer/copywriter/seo expert/webdeveloper" useless nonsense. The notion that the prices for this could somehow be propped up by some form of collective action leveraging some entirely imaginary bargain power is risible: they have no bargain power whatsoever, the sums paid as consideration for their "work" are simply private charity, as all the "buyers" are strictly aware, just read clients from hell and you'll see it plain. Organizing the pointless into a shitstorm of lulz may sound like a decent project for poking fun at them, but other than that it's an exercise in wasting time.

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January 25, 2013, 12:40:54 PM
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The underlying economic reality of the situation is that the vast majority of the population aged 15 to 35 is otherwise unemployable. They have no practically usable skills or any value, and it is more productive for society as a whole to keep them tied to a monitor in a room somewhere than any alternative. Consider it very cheap prison, which is what it is, keeps them out of the way. (Yes, you may think that at the very least they could dig ditches or pole dance, which while not particularly useful still turn nothing, ie their own time and body, into something, which worthless as it may be still wouldn't be completely worthless. This however is not true. A sandwich dropped on the floor is completely worthless, not just mostly worthless, and just so one of these useless tenderfoot youths is also completely worthless - they'd cost more to organize and employ at ditch digging than the value of the dug ditches many times over).

Consequently since they're locked up online they're all going to be "competing" for a vague "designer/copywriter/seo expert/webdeveloper" useless nonsense. The notion that the prices for this could somehow be propped up by some form of collective action leveraging some entirely imaginary bargain power is risible: they have no bargain power whatsoever, the sums paid as consideration for their "work" are simply private charity, as all the "buyers" are strictly aware, just read clients from hell and you'll see it plain. Organizing the pointless into a shitstorm of lulz may sound like a decent project for poking fun at them, but other than that it's an exercise in wasting time.
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January 25, 2013, 02:04:27 PM
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This however is not true. A sandwich dropped on the floor is completely worthless, not just mostly worthless, and just so one of these useless tenderfoot youths is also completely worthless - they'd cost more to organize and employ at ditch digging than the value of the dug ditches many times over).

Protip: There is no current technology capable of substantiating manual labor completely. Neither for certain services.
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January 25, 2013, 02:39:18 PM
 #6

http://www.no-spec.com/faq/

Quote
Why is spec work unethical?

The designer in essence works free of charge and with an often falsely advertised, overinflated promise for future employment; or is given other insufficient forms of compensation. Usually these glorified prizes or “carrots” appear tantalizing for creative communicators just starting out, ending with encouraging examples like “good for your portfolio” or “gain recognition.” The reality is that they often yield little extra work, profit or referrals. Moreover they often must sign a contract unwittingly waiving their valuable creative rights and ownership of their work to the ones promoting this system. A verbal agreement is ineffective in protecting the rights of the designer in a court of law. As a result the client/employer will often employ other designers using similar unprincipled tactics to change and/or resell the creative work as their own. This also promotes the practice of designers ridiculously undercharging themselves in the hopes of “outbidding” any potential rivals, devaluing both their skills and those of the graphics industry in the process. Promoting this method encourages some clients/employers to continue preying on uninformed creatives for menially valued labor.

Thanks for bringing it up again TF. I was looking for this a while back to warn people, and recommend them use services like Rugatu that can guarantee them getting paid, by holding the funds in "escrow" while the work is being done.

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January 25, 2013, 05:02:16 PM
 #7

Protip: There is no current technology capable of substantiating manual labor completely. Neither for certain services.

If we replace substantiating with supplanting your protip becomes merely wrong, instead of amusingly wrong. Which sort of proves the general point: under a certain level the value of others is principally that they entertain.

Otherwise, the only reason manual labor is still done at all is that most human beings are cheaper than most machinery.

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