EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado potter who hired a lawyer to take on Tesla co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has reached a settlement with the multi-billionaire.
In June, CBS4 shared Tom Edwards’ story about his unique pottery depicting unicorns breaking wind.
Edwards says the creations, made in his Evergreen home, show the gas directed toward electric cars.
“The unicorn is farting into this container, and then it’s going through a cord and powering the electric car,” he said smiling. “It says, ‘Electric cars are good for the environment because electricity comes from magic.’”
The art caught the attention of Elon Musk. Edwards says he tweeted a picture of the mugs saying it’s “quite possibly his favorite mug ever.”
The show of support led to a slight jump in profits for Edwards. But, the support took another turn when he says Musk used of copy of his creation to promote the cars’ new operating system.
Edwards later hired a lawyer, who reached out to Tesla, but heard nothing back. It was then Edwards’ daughter got a response after tweeting to Musk directly, “She said, ‘Hey, how come you’re not compensating my dad?”
A few weeks of discussion later, Edwards tells CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann they’ve settled. “The graphic is still in the cars, and Tesla Motors has paid for their right to use it,” said Edwards.
“I did not get rich off this transaction,” said Edwards with a laugh. “I took it on as an ethical issue.”
The hi-tech company has integrated the electric energy-tooting unicorn into the new operating system in Teslas across the country.
“I was just really pleased that they stepped up and did the right thing,” said of the happy ending to the copyright clash.
Edwards said he had been drawing the image on handmade ceramic mugs for the better part of a decade.
The original creations sell on his website, WallyPots.com for $28 bucks per mug.
He was flabbergasted when the gassy pony showed up as the app icon for the car’s sketch pad, without credit or compensation.
“I really do think it was an honest mistake,” Edwards told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
The magical crest also appeared on social media and other places used to promote the cars.
“Determining the value of a work of art is very hard,” Edwards said.
After months of effort, Edwards reached the agreement with the multi-billion dollar entrepreneur and attorneys behind the car company for the continued use of the flatulent animal.
“I used the novel approach of getting a lawyer and then writing a letter, just asking. People usually slap them with a lawsuit and I didn’t,” Edwards said. “It’s really refreshing that it worked.”
Edwards said the settlement terms preclude him from disclosing the amount paid.
A Tesla spokesperson said the company had no comment.