Drawger, the illustrators' blog, has been very vocal lately and is largely responsible for the Times running the story.
In case your "click" button is broken, Google (which is a really big company -you may have even used them to get to this site, which incidentally is hosted by Google, for free) contacted several professional illustrators and asked them to do work for free.
We're often asked to do work for free. Just as frequently we're asked to work for substantially lower than we would like to charge. Very rarely can we do free work. In fact, as Helena Usack told me when I was a terrified novice producer - "Nobody needs animation, no one's life depends on animation." Animation is a luxury. Illustration is a luxury.
Maybe Oprah Winfrey can afford to give away 100 cars to her studio audience, providing them we a free luxury. Maybe there's a billionaire animation studio that can do a pro bono commercial or make a ten minute film from a novice's script. To quote Brian, "Artists shouldn't be asked to do work for free, they're the ones who need money from their work."
While scanning Drawger for the first time in a month or so, I noticed our friend Steve Brodner has learned how to make a moving gif.
Day by day I feel more obsolete.