I have several brushes I have downloaded from various sites (all free) and I realized I used one in a design I was hoping to use on a T-shirt. Obviously the brush design (which is a gear) is not the entire image, but it is part of it and since it was free I didn't pay to use it. Is it kosher to use a free brush for something you intend to sell? Should I try to track down the original owner and make sure? And even if it's legal, is it just bad form? Smells like lamesauce to me...
Well, some brush givers/sites specify whether you can use their brushes in work you intend to sell and so on...
But to ask about this specific situation, if you're unsure, you could always draw the gear by yourself?
I could for sure, I have issues with the way photoshop does ellipses and circles. Ellipses are always filled in and the circle shape's borders always thicken with the size of the circle- which irritates me to no end. I usually default to brushes for shapes that requires perfect circles. It's not worth the hassle with each line being it's own layer, having to rasterize and merge every single one and so forth...
Also, do you use the shape tool or marque tool for your circles?
I used the shape tool.
do it directly in the paths palette though, then the nasty filled layer is not created. with some practice, paths are no hassle at all, but are a quite amazing tool.
Or for quickie circles, just use the ellipse marquee and use "transform selection" if you need to resize or adjust it, then fill or stroke as desired. (Setting stroke to "inside" will keep it nice and circular.)
By the way, last time I needed gears, I found the fastest and most reusable option was to make them in Illustrator and import them...
Inkscape is good for that purpose or other vector program.
As to your original question though...if it was specified as free there should be no problem. It would have to be made abbundantly clear that you could not use it for commercial purposes if they wanted to protect it. Even then I think it would be difficult to protect something you specifically offer as "free for download".
The person was bugged constantly about what brushes he used in PS. So one day he submitted a pack that had all the brushes he uses. Some brush artists went up in arms for not being credited. I could understand that artist's point and theirs - but the way the brushes are stored after a while it's an easy way to "detach yourself" from the property due to how .abr files are loaded.
Very true Arshes...personally I wouldn't use someone's brushes that didn't offer them no strings attached and I wouldn't put all my .abr files together and upload them anywhere. I'm kinda stingy but I would just tell people find them yourselves. I don't get this new mindset that I have to make everything easy for someone because they're too lazy to find their own resources.
To be honest, it's really just a tool. I have brush sets released in the past. I don't care if they credit me or not because everyone is going to use that brush differently. I mean if I borrowed someone's sable haired paint brush or some old brush from a friend that made cool splatter/grunge effects - I really don't see the need considering the overall picture would be my vision.
The problem is when you're using brushes like a very obvious stamp. But since usage of a brush can vary....
While it's nice, some people have to be realistic about what they're releasing and how it will be used.