Somebody Is Asking Google to Take away Hyperlinks Underneath Elon Musk’s Title

Stock image of Elon Musk profile against Twitter logo

We all know Elon Musk is terminally on-line, however this looks as if rather a lot, even for him. A sender utilizing the billionaire’s title has requested that Google take away a whole lot of hyperlinks for alleged copyright violations, as first famous in a TorrentFreak blogpost.

The removing requests ask the search engine to take down hyperlinks to t-shirts and merch underneath the justification that the merchandise in query violate copyright regulation as a result of they incorporate memes and different content material that the precise, verified Musk has posted on his Twitter account or elsewhere.

Nearly the entire “Elon Musk” takedown requests start with the identical description: “The next web sites have stolen my copyright they usually haven’t any proper to promote them, please take away the next hyperlinks from search outcomes.” From there, the complaints embody a main supply hyperlink meant to show possession—often one of many Tesla CEO’s tweets, and often a tweet of a meme picture—after which present an extended checklist of web sites promoting merch that includes that exact meme. counted not less than 15 separate complaints utilizing this actual format, and most of these contains dozens of offending hyperlinks.

In one instance, the sender targets shirts emblazoned with the multi-panel “it’s harmful to consider something blindly,” meme that Musk tweeted out in December 2022. In one other, the sender zeroes in on a meme-post of Musk laying “BOTS” to relaxation. However the complaints are possible baseless.

Screenshot of a t-shirt sale page

Even although Musk tweeted out his personal model of the Lego Physician meme, that doesn’t imply he owns the rights to that exact model of the web joke or every other.

With regards to memes, intellectual property rights are one thing of a grey space, based on the Nationwide Legislation Overview. Usually, the suitable to revenue off of a meme is granted to the unique creator of the format, or “the homeowners of the media used within the underlying meme,” based on the authorized journal.

The Lego Physician meme format is first thought to have emerged in April 2020, in a publish on the Instagram account Legolize_official, based on Know Your Meme. So, it may belong to that Instagram person, or probably even The Lego Group. However it nearly definitely doesn’t belong to Musk, although he could have altered the textual content. And it further nearly definitely doesn’t belong to whoever is submitting all these copyright claims to Google.

In one other copyright grievance the mysterious “Musk” sender asserts that the Twitter CEO owns the copyright to “#staywoke” shirts as a result of he as soon as posted a video documenting his discovery of stated shirts in a Twitter storage closet. Right here, the copyright declare could possibly be extra legit, as these shirts had been an precise bodily product made by Twitter staff and Musk now owns the corporate. Nonetheless the video tweeted out by Musk might be not adequate proof of the billionaire’s IP rights. And once more, there is no such thing as a proof to recommend Musk is the one making these complaints to start with.

Screenshot of Lumen Database

Although we all know that the second richest man on the earth cares deeply about his memes and on-line presence, this barrage of copyright claims is probably going not his doing. The complaints are clearly unexpectedly assembled, some embody main supply hyperlinks that don’t have anything to do with the next supposed violations, and, as humorous as it might be, Musk most likely doesn’t spend all that a lot time compiling lists of meme t-shirts. In spite of everything, he’s far too busy tweeting and uh CEO-ing.

Plus, submitting a copyright grievance to Google is simple, and doesn’t require any identification verification past offering a reputation, electronic mail deal with, and digital signature—all issues that one may merely lie about.

However the removing requests are an fascinating web phenomenon, nonetheless. Maybe the “Elon Musk” copyright meme warrior is a rabid fan, attempting their finest to defend the actual billionaire’s honor. Or, as TorrentFreak prompt within the preliminary blogpost, maybe the individual trying to take away all of those t-shirt sale hyperlinks from Google is a competing meme shirt maker. Perhaps, by aggressively hounding the search engine to de-list different corporations’ merchandise, “Elon Musk” is hoping to nook the market on dweeb-wear.

The one sender described above appears to be probably the most prolific copyright complainant utilizing Musk’s title, however they aren’t the one one. Others are extra apparently pretend as a result of, effectively, they’re filed in Turkish—which Musk is just not recognized to talk.

Lumen, the database that compiles these copyright complaints, is effectively conscious of the problem of pretend submissions. “We’re paying a number of consideration internally to the broader phenomenon of presumably fraudulent DMCAs and different takedowns,” stated Adam Holland, Lumen’s challenge supervisor and a Harvard College web researcher, in an electronic mail to

However, simply to be on the secure facet, tweeted @elonmusk to ask if he had filed these complaints himself. He didn’t instantly reply.

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