Elon Musk’s rift with ‘farting unicorn’ artist highlights copyright issues

The Tesla chief recently fought back against claims that his company used artwork without the creator’s permission, sparking a debate and negative media coverage.

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You probably didn’t expect to see “farting unicorn” and “Elon Musk” together in headlines—but a recent copyright argument accomplished the feat.

The headlines were published after Tom Edwards, a potter in Colorado who makes “Wallyware,” accused Musk of using his artwork without permission or attribution.

ABC Denver7 reported:

In 2017, Musk tweeted a photo that has now been deleted that showed an updated Tesla operating system. The system known as the ‘sketch pad’ had a hidden design very identical to Edwards’ unicorn that could be found by pressing the ‘T’ button three times.

Musk tweeted the photo of Tesla’s sketch pad in March 2017. One month prior, Musk tweeted an image of Edward’s mug along with the text: “Rainbows, unicorns and electric cars.” Musk replied to his post with another tweet that read, “Maybe my favorite mug ever.”

The mug features a unicorn releasing gas into a funnel that is connected to an electric car. The back of the mug read, “Electric cars are good for the environment because electricity comes from magic.”

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