An excellent post from illustrator Gary Taxali's blog via Drawn!
"In the last little while, there has been a MAJOR backslide in the industry. Poor rates have been an issue for a while but things are becoming worse. Clients' fees are getting even lower and the rights they're demanding are even higher.
You want examples? How about SWATCH calling me and asking me to design a watch. They wanted a complete transfer of copyright for a paltry fee. As if that's going to happen. Google calls me and wants my work for their new search engine all over the web, the fee? Nothing. Editorial clients are slashing 1999's fees almost in half and citing the bad economy as an excuse. You know what? My excuse is that the economy is bad so you have to pay me MORE for an illustration. How's that for an economic stimulus package?
So here's to every client with shitty fees and terms. Do not waste my time or contact me. I am very busy working with clients who respect artists and you're wasting my time with your solicitations. So for you, I give you a special salute that I hope will keep you away because I don't need your work."