Elon Musk Uses Image Without Permission or Credit, Begins Blocking Anyone Who Challenges Him

Elon Musk Uses Image Without Permission or Credit, Begins Blocking Anyone Who Challenges Him

Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk has been outed for blocking anyone who calls him out for posting photographers’ images without permission or credit. Numerous photographers have jumped in to defend Richard Angle, who took the photo that Musk tweeted to his 27 million followers.

Yesterday Musk posted a tweet containing the caption “Ride the lightning!” along with a photo of a lightning strike to his legions of fans. The photo has acquired over 1,200 comments, 6,600 Retweets, and 77,000 likes at the time of writing.


Angle, the photographer behind the image in question, has shot many launches throughout his career. He wasn’t credited by Musk for the posting of his photo, besides a tiny watermark that remained in the corner. After Angle tweeted about the lack of credit, the photo community rallied around him, asking Musk to respect copyright and not publish work without permission and credit.

Musk’s response was less than favorable, in that he has begun blocking anyone tweeting him asking him to credit photographers for their images.

What’s surprising, though, is that Musk appears to be actively blocking those who are calling him out over this copyright issue. One photographer got blocked for for messaging Musk, “You should credit the photographer @RDAnglePhoto.”

Later, Angle added:

 I appreciate everyone that said I deserved credit for my work, we all do […] I [I appreciate everyone] who got blocked by Elon. I don’t think you should have, you are just doing what’s right.

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Leigh Miller's picture

LOL...and we are surprised?

Anytime you speak to an entertainer etc you pretty much get the same response.

Spy Black's picture

Corporate Imperialism at it's best.

That makes absolutely no sense. Entertainers, Musk, et al. are against "Corporate Imperialism", aren't they??

Spy Black's picture

Yes, doesn't matter what industry. Entertainers are incorporated and run corporations you know.

It's all greed and power trips.

Musk's tweet is already deleted, no surprise

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

As far as I can tell as soon as you post an image on the net it's free game.

Mike Kelley's picture

thank god the law disagrees with you

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

Does it? How did the law deal with Elon?

Made him remove the tweet at least?

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

The law did that? I'd say it was his PR department. He used the image. So what if the tweet gets taken down? The damage is done. No repercussions. No compensation for the photographer. No problem. The law didn't do a thing.

Sure, directly the law didn't do it. But if there were no law in the first place he would have just gave everyone the finger and left it up.

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

I still don't believe it was the law that swayed his decision to take the tweet down.

Michael Holst's picture

So are you giving free license to use your images now? I see you have a website, instagram, and facebook. I could use some of those as stock images so thank you in advance!

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

Is that how you read it?

Carl Murray's picture

"post an image on the net it's free game" sounds like a pretty good invitation to me.

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

Man. I'm a photographer who posts work online. I said what I did in reaction to this post. That's the way I feel. And the fact that Elon faces no legal consequences only helps to bolster my point. I post here as a photographer. Does that help you understand what I'm saying? Nothing I said indicates that I condone this behaviour. If you assholes could only wrap your heads around context this whole conversation wouldn't have taken place.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

Don't waste your time and energy with them. It seems there are a too many trolls here. Just offer them a ><(((°>

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

I understood what you meant as soon as I read it. It's now a world of "knee jerk" reactions. However you probably should have added "and I don't like it either" to the post. But you're right. If someone wants to steal a photo off the net they will, even if you put a big watermark on it, they probably still will. Unfortunately that's how the world operates too often.

Carl Murray's picture

I get it. I get what your saying, I understand. I can wrap my head around it. But when a bunch of people are calling you out for something you said, maybe, just maybe, you're the asshole who is refusing to look at it from the others point of view?

Carl Murray's picture

(Also, I might just point out that, there hasn't been any legal consequences *YET*. Doesn't mean there will be none)

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

You definitely could use some.

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

People are thumbing my comment down like I don't have any of my work online and I'm the one stealing photos. It's slowly becoming the wild west for photography. You thank god for the law, but where was god or the law in this particular photographer's situation?

When people want to be offended, there's nothing you can do to prevent it.

Simon Patterson's picture

I get where you're coming from. You're pointing out the way it seems to be. You're not condoning the behaviour.

Tim Cray's picture

@ Jonathon Rusnak...No, Musk is just another run-of-the-mill asshole that stole someone else's photo and used it without permission or giving them credit. Period. You'd be the first crybaby to whine if someone stole one of your photos and used it without permission.

Jonathon Rusnak's picture

Where did I back Elon's move? Can you daft asshats read? Hey Tim Cray if my toliet backs up you'll be the first to know.

Steven Magner's picture

That only makes sense if Tim Cray was at your house and discovered the backed up toilet before you

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