Elon Musk has been accused of copyright infringement by Robin Edwards, aka Seattle-based musician Lisa Prank, on behalf of her father, Tom. And bizarrely, it all started with a farting unicorn mug. The illustration by Edwards Sr. adorns a mug that Musk had tweeted an image of last year, and on Wednesday Robin tweeted that Tesla has been using her father’s artwork without compensation.
In February 2017, Musk tweeted the (now deleted) photo of the mug, which features the text “Electric cars are good for the environment because electricity comes from magic” on the back. A few months later, Musk posted the illustration again, this time recreated in Tesla’s sketchpad. According to The Guardian, none of this was an issue to Tom Edwards (who has been making the mugs since 2010) until he discovered that his image had been recreated as an icon in Tesla’s operating system and in a company Christmas message.
Edwards spoke to lawyers, one of whom wrote to Tesla requesting a dialogue be opened on how to reach a deal that suited both parties. Tesla apparently declined to reply, so Edwards spoke to Denver newspaper Westworld, whose story Robin Edwards tweeted at Musk. Read her side of the conversation below.
Unfortunately, Musk has deleted his responses, but as per the BBC, he said the image used by Tesla was drawn by the Twitter user Nik Jovanovic and told Edwards he could change the image “if your dad wants.” He also said her father suing would be “kinda lame” and suggested the attention “increased his mug sales.” He also called someone else a “jackass.”
What do you make of Elon Musk’s use of the farting unicorn illustration? Let us know in the comments.
Next, Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine must pay $25 million in Beats lawsuit.