Is Elon Musk a Bully?

Discussion in 'General' started by David Green, Jun 28, 2018.

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  1. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I read this news, and was stunned to see the Twitter conversation between the daughter of the artist, and Elon Musk. Tesla obviously stole the art, and used it in advertising, and in their cars. The artist asks for a conversation about it, to which Tesla did not reply, then the daughter directly calls out Elon on Twitter to which he basically says "so sue me"... Wow, I have never thought much of Elon Musk, but stealing artists work, and then being a jerk about it is a new low to me...
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
    TeslaInvestors likes this.
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  3. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Active Member

    Is David Green trolling, again?
    101101 and WalksOnDirt like this.
  4. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I would not call it trolling, just a little stunned that a billionaire has such an attitude against a small time artist that he clearly stole the work from.
  5. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I posted the wrong link... Edited now to the correct link...
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    After that, Edwards talked with three attorneys, all of whom seemed flabber-gassed. He ultimately hired Timothy Atkinson of the Denver firm of Ireland, Stapleton, Pryor and Pascoe.

    Sounds like things are in the works. Of course there is also the Nikola Motors suit.

    Bob Wilson
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  8. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I do not think this artist wanted a huge settlement, but just for Tesla to throw him a bone, and acknowledge his work. Now however its another embarrassing copyright infringement for Tesla, and copyright law can be nasty. There are fines that go by quantity of exposure, could be big.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  9. 101101

    101101 Well-Known Member

    And its f-ing nonsense. And this is beyond utterly stupid. I drew a smiley face in the sand on the beach and someone took a picture of it and it got distributed blah, blah, blah. There is a word for this: nominal. And advertising, again stupid, Tesla really doesn't advertise or recompense shill media. That little things showed up in a sketch pad splash screen, maybe no one knew someone that considered them selves an 'artist' did that doodle that any child could pull off.
  10. What they call a "counterfeit Wally design" is just something they redrew, possibly to avoid copyright claims. This shouldn't really work, as the value is more in the idea rather than its expression. Tesla should acknowledge their mistake and move on.
  11. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    That was my point of posting it... Elon could have said, oh wow, we did copy it... Sorry... lets work something out... Instead he fights it, and tells the people to sue Tesla. This is not the way the leader of a $60B company should be acting... Our president maybe, but not a business leader. Musk's message just completely lack of tact and compassion in a case Tesla was completely in the wrong.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Which one is not like the other:


    Can you spot the differences?

    Bob Wilson
  14. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    So why did Westword pull the screen shot of the sketch pad? When I looked at the screen shot, the two illustrations looked similar, but were not exactly the same.
    bwilson4web likes this.
  15. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Yes, but copyright law sees this as the same, its an obvious redraw of copyrighted work, Tesla will pay...
  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber


    . . .
    A derivative work is a work, fixed in tangible medium that includes elements of an original, previously copyright-protected work. The original work is often referred to as the original, parent, or underlying work, and the work that incorporates it is referred to as the derivative. The Spanish translation of Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” is an example of a derivative work. Both the original and derivative works have separate copyright protection. Under the U.S. Copyright Act, the copyright protection afforded to the derivative work is only that which is new, on top of the original work.

    A subset of derivative works is the doctrine of transformative works. Transformative works make use of copyrighted material, but do so in a way that the resulting work is fully copyrightable. The author of the transformative work does, however, claim copyright over material in the original work, as used in his or her transformative piece. But, in the face of such a lavish grant of rights in copyright, courts must carefully deem what is actually transformative (and thus, fair use), and what is just copyright infringement, using a four-part test.
    . . . ​


    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The court will have to weigh the evidence but I see an "educational" use in the Tesla, describing a sketch capability. The Tesla derivative is not 'a thing apart' but rather just embedded as demo software in the car. There are multiple images of farting unicorns of various styles and actions. I suspect a before and after analysis will show sales of the cup have gone up. But I'm content to let the lawyers earn their keep. Of course an over-the-air update of one of Elon's kids art would be just as effective and make the suit mute.

    Bob Wilson
  17. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I am not a copyright lawyer and neither are you obviously, this is silly to discus law when neither of us have a full understanding about the law and how it relates to this. Its like you talking about race vehicles, or me talking about computer chips. I try to talk about topics I know about, and the way Elon treated these people was bullying, and I hope he gets put in his place, socially or financially.
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    That was what I was trying to point out. There is no element that is identical which makes claiming copyright harder to prove:
    1. Number of rainbow color bands.
    2. Absence of antenna on car.
    3. Tail light is not flush with rear of car.
    4. Left cloud is flat on one and angled on another.
    5. Unicorn main and horns are different.
    The goal was to demonstrated the drawing capability, not an exact copy. So just as we can buy a 'paint by numbers' kit of famous master pieces, there is not a copyright infringement. They are interpretations with their own claim to copy protection.

    IMHO, the Tesla sketch looks more like from memory than taking a photo of the cup, scanned, and permanently made part of the car.

    Bob Wilson
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Elon built two companies from scratch and employs ~30,000 making Tesla cars and batteries. He also picked up Solar City when the short sellers tried to kill it. More to the point, he has brought true innovation in cars and rocketry into being and already deployed more than one grid battery farm. One of the risks the bright face are the resentments of others . . . the bright man's burden.

    Bob Wilson
  20. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    Solarcity was saved because Elon and his family members were the biggest stake holders. SpaceX was also the biggest holder of SDolarcity solar bonds. Plus a bankruptcy would have punctured Elon Musk's credibility. Elon Musk didn't save Solyndra, did he? Hard to view this as an altruistic action when the purpose was to save his own interests.

    According to some people, Elon Musk puts Donald trump to shame.
  21. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I can agree with this:
    • $3.1 B - Donald Trump net worth
    • $21.1 B - Elon Musk net worth
    Bob Wilson
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    No, actually, on this particular subject, I think he's absolutely correct. Elon Musk bullying the artist and/or his family member(s) is something that, according to many reports, he has really done.

    Sometimes Elon can be a self-centered jerk. Yeah, he's one of my heroes, but like most human beings he does have feet of clay.

    Particularly galling is Elon's claim that the artist "should be glad for the publicity". Yeah, all artists, authors, playwrights, etc. should be "glad for the publicity" when someone violates their copyright, using the artist's or writer's creation without permission and without paying royalties. :rolleyes:

    But you don't have to be a nice guy to make and sell a very popular, very well designed car. Elon sometimes being a jerk has nothing to do with how good Tesla's cars are.

  23. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Let's not confuse the two. The Nikola Motors suit is apparently a case of patent trolling by a sham company.

    Contrariwise, Tesla really did violate the "farting unicorn" artist's copyright, and according to reports which Musk isn't denying, Musk really did treat the artist and/or his daughter in an extremely rude, hostile and dismissive manner when they asked for something very reasonable regarding artists' rights and copyrights.

    Frivolous lawsuits have given a bad name to lawsuits and to at least some lawyers. But this case, a powerful and rich man trying to bully someone who isn't, trying to trample their rights, is exactly why our legal system was set up to allow suing someone. If Elon starts exhibiting some common sense here, which he very obviously hasn't done so far, then the case will be quietly settled out of court, and give the artist far more than he asked for in the first place... which as I recall wasn't even money, but only acknowledgement.

    Sometime Elon is his own worst enemy. :(


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