06:26 GMT27 January 2020
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    The Tesla CEO has been at the epicenter of a copyright scandal, as he has been accused of repeatedly using a Colorado potter’s "farting unicorn" sketch without permission.

    It all started when Elon Musk posted the picture of a mug, apparently made by the potter, Tom Edwards, with a farting unicorn and the inscription "Electric cars are good for the environment because electricity comes from magic" on the back of the mug – at that time the artist was delighted to learn that Musk loved his work.

    But back then Musk couldn’t have imagined that a couple of months later he would find himself in a fiery exchange of barbs on social media after tweeting a picture of Tesla’s new sketchpad, featuring the very fairy creature.

    The accusations came to light after Edwards’ daughter took to Twitter to claim that Musk had used her father’s design to promote his product without the artist’s knowledge.

    Musk replied to her directly, having tagged the person who drew the illustration for Tesla's pad, Nik Jovanovic, and who has the unicorn sketch as his profile picture and header image on Twitter.

    The two started exchanging messages publicly, with the daughter accusing the multi-CEO of using her father’s “creative property for over a year without credit or compensation.”

    It didn’t take Musk long to strike back, as he suggested that her dad sue him if he wanted to, “but that’s kinda lame,” and went on to claim that this entire situation would boost his mug's sales.

    The two went back-and-forth, with her once again specifying that it was a “copyright issue of stolen intellectual property.”

    And if you’ve been wondering where this farting unicorn came from in the first place, Westword publisher reported that it was Edwards who came up with the image in 2010 and used it on his ceramic mugs, sold for $28 each.

    READ MORE: Elon Musk's War With Media Will Ruin Tesla

    When the illustration was on numerous occasions used by Tesla, Edwards consulted with several lawyers, who told him it was a clear case of a copyright violation.

    And last month his lawyer, Tim Atkinson, sent a letter to Tesla as an “invitation for all parties to continue to benefit from the whimsical, and amazingly spot on piece of imagery my client created in 2010, which now appropriately finds a home in the operating system of the magical vehicles your company produces.” The letter, however, found no response.

    Once the story came out, it was picked up by a number of media outlets, including The Guardian – which particularly drew Musk’s attention as he claimed that he offered to “pay the guy who drew it [sketch] twice”:

    Even though the situation has been highly scandalized, Musk remained loyal to himself and in his most recent tweet he trolled the headlines media outlets pick for their articles:

    Even J.K. Rowling, the author who introduced the wizard boy, Harry Potter, to the world, also mocked one of the headlines in a tweet:

    But other Twitter users, who felt sympathy for the potter, couldn’t remain on the sidelines as the incident was put in the spotlight. Some called on Musk to pay compensation for what he's allegedly stolen…

    …including American singer Vanessa Carlton:

    Many, however, defended Musk and wondering since when a farting unicorn had become "intellectual property”:


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