Because I bring you nothing but the most important news, today I tell you the story of Elon Musk’s epic battle against a farting unicorn.
Yes, the tech tycoon behind Tesl and SpaceX is in a bizarre feud with an artist over an image of a unicorn with a flatulence problem. It all started with a tweet in 2017. Musk tweeted an image of a bug bearing the image by artist Tom Edwards, which also contained the phrase “Electric cars are good for the environment because electricity comes from magic.”
Edwards was thrilled. He told CBS in his hometown of Denver, “I sold about 50 mugs from that tweet. It seemed like the perfect person to promote my design. I was really happy that he did that.”
Things got weird from there, though. Musk so liked the image that he then used it in his sketchpad app to demonstrate how it works. Then, Edwards found out that that the business magnate had actually used the image as an icon in every Tesla automobile. That’s an awful lot of use of an artist’s image without compensation.
“So all last year people were sending me pictures like, ‘Hey, I was in the Tesla showroom and I saw your artwork,’” He told CBS Denver. He didn’t sue, though, because it’s “pretty hard to go after a company like that.” At Christmas, he couldn’t keep silent any longer. “The straw that broke the camel’s back was at Christmas [Tesla] sent out a Christmas greeting and it had my artwork on it.” So, he said “I made it my New Year’s resolution to do something about this.”
Edwards told The Guardian:
I realize my farting unicorn is not as serious as whistleblowers, but honestly, it’s all about integrity. I’d really like to get on Elon Musk’s good side … he’s really really interesting. But he isn’t above copyright law.
Enter Robin Edwards, a performer who goes by the name of Lisa Prank, and the artist’s daughter. She Tweeted Musk to ask him about it. Musk has deleted his tweets, but screenshots are forever, and Westword has them.
“I think the only real solution is if Tesla Motors negotiates with us and gives us compensation for that artwork. It’s really hard to establish the value of that now they’ve gotten a year or so worth of use out of it. And actually, I’d like him to keep using it. I think that would be great. It’s not like I want to take it away, I just think they need to do the right thing.”