Tom Edwards, a Colorado-based potter who designed a “farting unicorn” mug that Tesla CEO Elon Musk became enamored with, announced last Friday that the two sides had reached an “agreement” over the use of the image. No terms were disclosed.
“It’s clear there were some misunderstandings that led to this escalating, but I’m just glad that everything has been cleared up,” Edwards wrote.
The image, which Edwards created in 2010, was first noticed by Musk in February 2017, when the entrepreneur called it “maybe my favorite mug ever.”
According to , Edwards had found out by March 2017 that “the image was also appearing in Tesla’s operating system as a small icon—and that the company had even used it in a Christmas message.”
“It’s part of their branding now,” Edwards told the British newspaper. “I love the fact that it’s in the cars, but I just want [Tesla] to do the right thing and pay me adequately for it. Elon Musk can be a hero for standing up for artists’ rights.”
About a month ago, Musk and Edwards’ daughter, who performs under the name “Lisa Prank,” went at it on Twitter over the use of the image. At one point, Musk said that Edwards could sue if he wanted to but noted that it would be “kinda lame.” (His tweets on the subject were later deleted.)
Eventually, Tom Edwards hired Denver-based attorney Timothy Atkinson to help defuse the situation.
“Please don’t take this as a shakedown,” Atkinson reportedly wrote in a formal letter to Tesla’s attorneys. “What we are seeking instead is a discussion, and a mutual decision in a way to value the past and continuing use of the image, in a way that both sides can feel good about.”
Atkinson confirmed to Ars that the two sides had indeed settled.
“We have settled as reported, in a way I believe is pleasing to both parties,” he emailed.
Musk announced the settlement in an emoji-laden tweet on Friday.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 21, 2018