Axl Rose Sends Google Cease And Desist to Take Down ‘Fat Memes’

Not very flattering

We’ve all come across an unflattering photo of ourselves online and could not find the untag button fast enough. And while it’s totally understandable to want those photos removed — it’s not always as easy as clicking “report as inappropriate”.

Axl Rose, frontman of Guns N Roses and recent fill-in for Brian Johnson of AC/DC, is the latest mega-star at the center of a photo “copyright” controversy.

As TorrentFreak reports, a representative of Rose sent notices to Google to have photos that internet trolls have turned into memes about his weight gain removed. The original photos were taken by Winnipeg Free Press photographer Boris Minkevich back in 2010.

A notice sent by Web Sheriff to Google reads, “Copyright image of Axl Rose. Please be advised that no permission has been granted to publish the copyright image so we cannot direct you to an authorized example of it.”

Web Sherrif sent another notice to TorrentFreak claiming that Axl Rose owns the copyright of the photos despite not taking the photos himself.

“We can gladly confirm that all official / accredited photographers at [Axl Rose] shows sign-off on ‘Photography Permission’ contracts / ‘Photographic Release’ agreements which A. specify and limit the manner in which the photos can be exploited and B. transfer copyright ownership in such photos to AR’s relevant service company.”

Minkevich can’t remember if he signed an agreement or not, but whether an unofficial and/or unauthorized agreement was signed, Web Sheriff argues it would still be copyright infringement:

“[If a photographer] was there and taking shots without permission or authority, then other considerations / factors would come-into-play as to what such individuals can and cannot do in terms of attempting to commercially exploit the resultant images of someone else’s show,”

Either way, it’s unlikely that Rose is really concerned about copyright infringement in this scenario, rather he’s using copyright law as a disingenuous way to remove unflattering images of himself. What images? Do a quick search of “fat Axl Rose” on Google and you’ll get the idea.


What do you think? Let us know in the comments.


Image Courtesy Focka via Flickr