28 June 2018

Twitter as a tool to manipulate trolls

Sam Levin for the Guardian, writing about the dispute between a potter and Tesla, regarding the unlicensed use of a drawing:

Musk, however, seems uninterested in compensating or crediting the artist. Instead, he tweeted at Edwards’ daughter this week that it would be lame” to sue and that the potter should be grateful for the attention”.

The dispute may seem low-stakes relative to the litany of scandals plaguing the electric car company — workplace safety complaints, major layoffs; high-profile autopilot” car crashes, an exodus of executives, a suit against a whistleblower, and intense pressure to reach mass production of a new model.

But the use of Edwards’ work without compensation highlights what artists say is the kind of corporate theft and copyright infringement that has become rampant — forcing independent artists to engage in expensive legal battles to get credited and paid.

I already wrote about Musk’s shitty behaviour on this blog, but this is an unexpected new chapter. A company like Tesla using the drawing of a guy who asks nicely to solve the issue should have settled this quietly before the press gets its hands on it. You would think Musk would know better, especially in these perceived trouble times for Tesla, but apparently that is not the case.

Whenever Musk or one of his company is criticised, he just complains on Twitter. Musk is a very smart guy, and he knows the blind loyalty of his community of fans will just give him a pass, and he is using this power very efficiently, even if it involves discrediting the press.


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