Have you caught wind of the Elon Musk farting unicorn controversy?
J.K. Rowling has gotten a whiff.
The trouble began brewing in February 2017 when Musk, the creator of Tesla electric cars, tweeted a photo of "maybe my favorite mug ever," according to The Guardian.
The coffee mug, showing a cartoony unicorn farting electricity, was created by Tom Edwards, a potter in Evergreen, Colorado.
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The unicorn's magic "gas" is rainbow-colored.
Edwards told Westword, a Denver alt-weekly, the mug was meant as a joke because a lot of people don't know where electricity comes from.
“Electric cars are good for the environment because electricity comes from magic," reads the saying on the mug.
That struck a chord with Tesla's creator who shared the photo of the mug with his more than 22 million Twitter followers.
“I sold 100 coffee mugs because of that tweet,” Edwards told Westword.
But then, a few weeks later, came another tweet from Musk that Edwards didn't take so kindly to: The farting unicorn image showed up in promotions for Tesla's new "sketch pad," a touchscreen drivers can draw on.
The farting unicorn was shown as a doodle, according to MarketWatch, alongside a drawing of the Mona Lisa, to promote the sketch pad on Tesla's center console.
According to Westword, Tesla also used the unicorn image in a Christmas greeting to Tesla owners in December.
Edwards called in lawyers to "tug on their coattails in a friendly manner," he told Westword.
And, he wanted to get paid for his art.
A tweet from Musk this week suggests that's about as likely to happen as, well, a unicorn farting.
“It’s part of their branding now,” Edwards told The Guardian. “I love the fact that it’s in the cars, but I just want them to do the right thing and pay me adequately for it. Elon Musk can be a hero for standing up for artists’ rights.
“It’s copyright 101. They did a blatant copy … and they used it as a promo campaign.”
On May 23, Edwards' lawyer sent a letter to Tesla's legal counsel.
The note, according to the Guardian, was not so much a "cease and desist" as it was an “invitation for all parties to continue to benefit from the whimsical, and amazingly spot on piece of imagery my client created in 2010, which now appropriately finds a home in the operating system of the magical vehicles your company produces."
According to Edwards, he's heard nothing back from Tesla lawyers or Musk, who was silent on the subject until Edwards' daughter, musician Lisa Frank, shook the bushes with a tweet this week.
Referencing Musk's girlfriend, the musician named Grimes, Frank tweeted: “hey y’all Grimes’ boyfriend ripped off my dad’s art! this is a true story! what do you have to say for yourself @elonmusk ??”
Frank also tweeted at Musk: "Your company has been using his creative property for a year without credit or compensation — don’t you think artists deserve to be paid for their work? Maybe you can respond to the letter his lawyer sent you & you guys can work something out."
Musk responded, according to MarketWatch, in tweets now deleted.
“We gained no financial benefit. Have asked my team to use a diff example going forward. He can sue for money if he wants, but that’s kinda lame. If anything, this attention increased his mug sales," Musk tweeted at Frank.
Musk also claimed in tweets, according to the Guardian, that he wasn't responsible for using Edwards' artwork, claiming that the farting unicorn was “chosen randomly by software team as a joke (they didn’t tell me in advance)" and that he offered to “change it to something else if your Dad wants."
In another tweet Wednesday that also disappeared but is still hanging around in screengrabs, Musk called The Guardian's coverage of the controversy "bs" and claimed that he had “offered to pay the guy who drew it twice."
J.K. Rowling linked to the British publication's story in a tweet on Wednesday, putting farting unicorns on the "Harry Potter" author's radar, and that of her fans, too, who got busy envisioning farting unicorns in wizard world.
"The spinoff you never knew you wanted," Rowling tweeted.
Tesla spokespeople have not responded to any media inquiries for comment.
Meanwhile, Edwards keeps cranking out pottery in Colorado.
He likes Musk, he told Westword. “Musk is one of the most fascinating people on the planet,” he said. “I’d really love a check.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Guardian reported, the farting unicorn still appeared on the Tesla touchscreen.