Elon Musk under fire for sharing bizarre X advert using artist’s work without credit

Ethan Dean
Elon Musk in TED talk interview

X owner Elon Musk is getting roasted for reposting an unusual advert for the social media platform online. Internet sleuths discovered it was made using an After Effects template that the tech billionaire (or the fan account he reposted from) didn’t credit the artist for.

Elon Musk’s conversion of Twitter to X has been a bit of an odd journey, to say the least. Recent reports indicated that the company is now worth 70% less than when Musk bought it.

Advertiser boycotts and personal feuds in which Musk told Disney CEO Bob Iger to “go f**k himself” can’t have helped. In what might be an effort to counteract the reported loss in value, Musk recently announced plans for paid live streaming on X. A move which proponents of the tech giant praised.

One thing nobody can seem to muster up any positivity about, however, is the strangely low-budget advert for X that Musk reposted to his account earlier today. To make matters worse, it appears that it was created using an uncredited free After Effects template for which the creator only asks that they be shouted out when used.

Responses to the initial post were an all-out roasting of the video from users. “Looks like an early 2000 bowling alley strike animation,” one user said. “You need to immediately fire whoever is making these 2012 movie maker effects,” replied another.

Of course, Musk can’t fire someone who doesn’t work for his company. The original post comes from an account called Tesla Owners Silicon Valley which describes itself as “the most notorious Tesla club in the world”.

Washington Post Games Reporter Gene Park soon posted on X with the source of the animation. It turns out it was a free After Effects template made by a YouTube creator called EnzeeFX.

EnzeeFX offers thousands of templates for less tech-savvy content creators and gives them away for free. The only thing they ask for in return is to “credit us” which neither Musk nor the Tesla fan club that originally posted their work did.

The whole situation is a bit odd given that most people in Musk’s replies don’t seem to recognise that he didn’t commission the creation of the ad.

Their ire might be better directed at Tesla Owners Silicon Valley who among other crimes, paid for verification.