Friday, 22 November, 2019

Elon Musk got into the weirdest fight over a farting unicorn

Elon Musk got into the weirdest fight over a farting unicorn Elon Musk got into the weirdest fight over a farting unicorn
Russell Knight | 30 June, 2018, 22:01

Edwards, who described himself as a fan of Musk, raised an eyebrow when he noticed a close pastiche of his image featured in a Tesla sketch pad demo tweeted out by Musk in March of 2017 - this time without any kind of credit. All of these people are now fighting over a drawing of a farting unicorn.

Similar images of farting unicorns have been used for Tesla's in-vehicle interfaces and promotional material, although Edwards was only alerted to the potential infringement after his friend purchased a Tesla auto and found a similar farting unicorn in use.

Elon Musk answered, but in a rather sharp form.

In 2017 Elon Musk tweeted a photo of Colorado potter Tom Edwards' mug featuring a cartoon of a unicorn farting electricity. Musk's position is legally indefensible, considering a tweet in February of 2017 (since deleted), wherein he acknowledged one of the potter's mugs, whose design featured the mythological creature powering an electric vehicle by farting into a funnel leading to the gas tank.

Musk shared two drawings on Twitter to announce the feature, the other one being a slightly displeased Mona Lisa - only the Leonardo Da Vinci riff was signed, not the unicorn.

So Edwards and his attorney sent Musk a letter last month, asking that Tesla negotiate a price to fairly compensate for the art. Edwards wasn't interested in a cease and desist order-he was fine with Musk using the art, as long as he got paid.

The endorsement bumped sales around the world, pleasing Edwards greatly.

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"I love the fact that it's in the cars, but I just want them to do the right thing and pay me adequately for it. Elon Musk can be a hero for standing up for artists' rights".

The Westword article was then picked up by the Guardian, who confirmed that Edwards' lawyer, Tim Atkinson, had sent a letter to Tesla's general counsel on May 23, 2018. But he's still not impressed that the image has been used so widely by the company.

"So I decided to make it my New Year's resolution to pursue getting compensation, because artists are always seeing their work just taken, and it happens all the time", Edwards said.

"Have asked my team to use a diff example going forward. He can sue for money if he wants, but that's kinda lame", Musk tweeted at her in response. "How much money does your Dad want for this awful transgression?" The Tesla CEO said the design "was chosen randomly by [Tesla's] software team as a joke (they didn't tell me in advance)". Take note of the unicorn, the farts, and the auto at the base.

Soon the founder of Tesla and SpaceX have deleted his tweets and blocked by the artist's daughter on Twitter. Robin Edwards, a musician, was tweeting under her stage name Lisa Prank. He said Mr Edwards should be happy "this attention increased his mug sales".

Care to weigh in, Grimes?

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