How can you get the world’s richest man’s attention? If you’d ask a certain game developer, he’d say by continuously tweeting.
Tesla CEO, SpaceX boss and currently the world’s richest man, Elon Musk responded to a tweet from a person who had continuously been tweeting to him for over 154 days.
Layabout Vladimirov, an independent game developer, tweeted SpaceX founder Musk more than 150 times over the past year, asking permission to use the company’s name and logos. On January 13, he finally got a response.
“Dear Elon, I’m a game dev. and I am making a game about colonizing Mars with you and SpaceX in it. If you think it’s cool, all I need is the “Go ahead” to use your name and Logos. I will post this every day for a year or until I get a Yes or a No! 154 / 365,” read his final message — when Musk finally responded.
You can steal our name/logos & we probably won’t sue you
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 13, 2021
The game, called “Mars Is Flat,” features both Musk and SpaceX. Vladimirov describes it as a “highly technical Mars survival simulator.”
Its website shows that Vladimirov made a SpaceX-style costume for the game in late December, before getting permission from Musk.
Players will eventually have to pay to access the game, Vladimirov said, but 80% of the profits will go to SpaceX.
“That way the game will not only serve the important purpose of entertaining people and sparking their interest in Mars, but it will actually help @elonmusk and SpaceX achieve it,” he tweeted.
I want to give 80% of the game profits to SpaceX. That way the game will not only serve the important purpose of entertaining people and sparking their interest in Mars, but it will actually help @elonmusk and SpaceX achieve it. Btw more dev. progress updates coming soon.
— Lyubomir Vladimirov (@lvladimirovBG) January 14, 2021
While the game is great, Musk has had a topsy-turvy history with copyright, and has often publicly critiqued it.
Back in 2018, Musk got into trouble for ‘stealing’ an image of a farting unicorn an artist, Tom Edwards had drawn as an ironic tribute to electric cars.
Musk used the cartoon image on Twitter, without attribution, to promote his Tesla electric car range, and ignored Edwards’ attempts to come to a licensing arrangement, telling the artist’s daughter it would be “kinda lame” to sue. Elon Musk deleted his tweets later, and the Colorado artist says he has reached a settlement with Musk.
Elon Musk had also used the photo of a woman’s dog, without attribution in a meme she posted on the Internet. (We’re still waiting on her to get a car.)
If Musk does sue for copyright, it would be going back to everything he’d said about copyright so far. And in Musk’s own words, would be “kinda lame.”