Elon Musk took the credit from our cartoon and tweeted

For a captain of industry, Elon Musk certainly has interesting ideas about intellectual property.

This week, the world’s richest man tweeted a black and white comic in which Nintendo’s Mario and Peach characters talk about life on the roof of a building.

“Of course,” the text reads, “there’s no way to prove we’re living in a simulation.”

It’s a pretty funny joke—two video games musing about whether they really live in a virtual world—and it also riffs on Musk’s longstanding interest in the theory that we, like Mario and Peach in the comic, would live in a simulated universe. can live.

But the comic’s authorship raises far more banal problems. Musk has long been known to post memes without credit, and this one was no exception. Except this time, instead of just calling him out, Futurism was actually the victim of the heist.

Yes folks – the comic that Musk tweeted and landed hundreds of thousands of commissions was an illustration of our now-defunct Futurism Cartoons.

At the top of the original image are even watermarks highlighting the futurism and the authors of the comic, Luke Kingma and Lou Patrick Mackay. In the version Musk posted on Sunday, both credits have been omitted.

This is far from the first time the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla has stolen meme art from the little guys. In the past year alone, Futurism has published at least two blogs about memes it appears to have created.

Musk’s propensity for meme-stealing is so pervasive that the New York Times ran a full rundown on it last year, questioning whether the father of nine to 10 children lives up to his “meme-lord” representation.

Musk’s laissez-faire attitude to the work of others also extends beyond memes. In 2018, it was revealed that Tesla had used a small artist’s image to showcase new technology in its vehicles without credit or compensation.

Called in for oversight, Musk was starkly unapologetic.

“He can demand money if he wants, but that’s kind of lame,” he said. “This attention at least boosted his sales of mugs.”

In a way, Musk’s meme theft makes perfect sense. At the meta level, rich people often steal, even if they have no rational reason to do so. Musk has also addressed the charge of canceling much larger ideas, including Tesla itself.

That said, it’s particularly weird — and even a little sad — that the world’s richest man feels like he needs to steal some of the meme world’s low-hanging fruits when he could be the world’s best content creators. hire — or at very least, the prolific alleged meme-stealer FuckJerry — to make him the best memes the world has ever seen.

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