Anyway. Long ago and far away, someone wrote me a nice letter asking if they could use my work in a signature tag, if they put up the copyright and the link. They were very polite, and I appreciate polite, and generally if people ask to use my art for non-commercial purposes and include a link, I say "Yeah, go ahead"--good will is inherently valuable and it's no skin off my teeth, nor has such an attitude had any apparent negative impact throughout my career. (I mean, I've lost count of the LJ icons, but I simply don't think I'm losing anything by it, and I'm flattered people like the stuff.) And the linky bits may eventually bear fruit, even if only one in a thousand who see it follow the link.
A while later there came another such e-mail from another such group.
And another. And then another.
And yet another.
And now I get four or five of these bloody things a day.
Half of them I don't reply to, since I simply forget they're there and once something's off my scroll, it might as well be at the bottom of the Sargasso bearing witness to eel nookie. But I still get these e-mails almost as often now as I get offers to refinance my mortgage, and rather more often than I get letters from dying businessness in Zimbabwe. Not up there with penis enlargement or porn, mind you. But still, a not-insignificant amount, all of which require a reply, even though I've whittled my replies down to the three word "Sure, feel free."
Damnit. You try to be nice...
So now I dunno what the hell to do--ignore all future requests? Get a form letter saying "For Christ's sake, take my name off your list, I can't handle all these e-mails?" Cry a lot? Pray that eventually I'll have gone through every single bloody person in that particular hobby and they'll taper off? It's never any one person, it's just that somehow, the tag making community learned that I was a mellow artist, and now I'm getting buried under permission spam.
I don't care about the art use. My sales certainly have not suffered. But the e-mails are too much. They've hit critical mass.
Maybe I should just update my FAQ or something...