Elon Musk: Meme Road or Meme Lifter?

Elon Musk Tesla’s CEO, SpaceX’s founder, and soon host of “Saturday Night Live” — loves memes enthusiastically.

“Who controls the universe who controls the memes?” Musk Tweeted last summer.. He made a visual jokeContemporary artWe regularly share it on Twitter with over 52 million followers.

Mr. Musk rarely makes memes himself.Instead, he finds them online and has others Send him their favorites.. Sometimes he reposts his favorites without quoting their origins.

This practice is not uncommon. Many people on the Internet share memes with others without giving credit to creators, as credits can be difficult to identify. Memes rely on joke-style reinterpretations, and it is not always clear where they start.

However, the fact that Elon Musk frequently steals memes is, in essence, a meme in itself. And it’s not always perceived as very interesting.

Memes are a valuable intellectual property for comedians and content creators. Nick Noerdlinger, 23, managing director of the website MemeInsider, said granting or denying credits has business implications. “Because the Internet is so vast and widespread, credit is one thing that ultimately brings people back to someone who may be making a living through the platform,” he said. “In the creator economy, without credit, creators themselves can’t make money, build brands around them, and attract viewers.

Viral meme account that has gained many followers and monetized in recent years Repost the work of other creators I encountered a backlash without credit or payment. In 2019, the conversation on this issue was jump-started by Campaign for Instagram account operated by Jerry Media. It helped brands and top influencers change the standards they follow today.

Quinn Heraty, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law, was announced by rapper Ludacris in 2017. Sued Without credit, by LittleThings, a website that posted illustrations from the site on his Instagram. (party Reconciliation reached.. )

Without “transformative use,” Herati said there could be cases of piracy. “If he removes the credit from the image and posts it without reference to the original author, it’s an indication of intent,” Musk said.

Currently, when a brand uses memes for marketing purposes, it usually asks for permission to share images and credits the owner. Often you also pay for the brand. Mr. Musk, a successful businessman and a free-spirited personal brand, seems to be an exception.

“It’s very difficult to talk about this without looking angry,” said Pat Monahan, 37, a comedian and podcast host with whom Musk shared the meme without credit. Told. “After all, this isn’t about stealing a movie script or an entire song, but it’s mentally similar. It’s just cool.”

You might be more thankful for the simple fact that this year was Mr. Musk temporarily The wealthiest man on earthAccording to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Twitter is used to enhance (and promote) his persona. Cryptocurrency And stock, Including himself).

Jamie Trufin, who runs a meme account called @DogeCoinDaddy, said he was disappointed when Musk posted one of the Doge memes without credit in March.

“It kills a kind of your mood,” said Trufin, 24. “You are working hard to make all these memes. I could have got hundreds of followers from it, and it would have made the community thicker and happier. He. Excited us all with Dogecoin, but he stripped meme pages and not giving credit kills fun. “( The price of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency, continues to riseThanks to Mr. Musk’s tweet. )

In January, Musk reposted a meme about a web domain created by Ben Howdle, 31, who runs a technology-themed meme account. Howdol was confused as to why someone with such a huge resource would share someone else’s work without credit. “If you’re the wealthiest person in the world, you probably don’t need to massage your ego,” he said. (Mr. Musk is currently the second wealthiest in terms of its value.)

Mr. Musk has been doing this for some time. In April 2020, he Shared memes Created by a comedian with a photo of her dog, some say Mr. Musk tried To Pass as himself..

After 2019 Faced with criticism for Share artwork on Twitter without creditInitially, Mr. Musk tweeted, “I always acknowledge everyone’s achievements.” Then he reversed the course: “No one should ever trust anything,” he wrote, “Any fool can know who the artist is in seconds.” Suggested.

Miles Klee, a 36-year-old writer in Los Angeles, heard from a friend: Meme He created in April about vaccinated people enjoying an indiscriminate summer and reposted by Mr. Musk. “Someone in my group chat was like,’LOL guys, did you see Earon stealing Miles’ memes straight?'”

Mr. Klee is not angry with Mr. Musk, but the behavior turns out to be offensive. “Of course, he has a minion who is willing to defend what he is doing,” Klee said. Move “

Chas Steinbrugge (19 years old), a freshman in college who runs the meme account @Trigomemetry, also Meme quoteA website that provides the origin of memes in the form of a modern language association.

“Personality like Elon Musk doesn’t give credit. It hurt creators,” he said. “He was able to create a situation that contributed to the community by promoting young meme creators and tagging or including watermarks on the people who created them.”

Some people whose content was posted by Mr. Musk have since asked for payments such as dollars, Tesla, and Bitcoin. (Monahan said he would be happy to accept “only $ 80,000.”)

Mr. Klee took a more novel approach. “Who can help me create and sell an NFT of screenshots of Elon Musk posting my horny vaccine meme?” He asked his followers on Twitter.who Turn tweets into NFTs, Mr. Klee was able to sell for $ 1,000 in the cryptocurrency Ethereum.

Musk, who was contacted by email asking for comment on this article, responded with two uncredited memes.

Elon Musk: Meme Road or Meme Lifter?

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