Axl Rose: No Love for Dank Memes, Issues Takedown Notice for 'Fat Axl' Photos
It's been a banner year for rock and roll singer Axl Rose and the recently reunited "classic lineup" of his band, Guns N' Roses. Though he broke his foot at the reassembled outfit's first gig, the famed music group continues to sell out stadiums and wow audiences on their reformative concert run.
However, none of this can prevent puerile Internet users from creating comical composite images (or "Internet memes") of his performance photos and posting them online. New broke today that Mr. Rose has issued "notice and take down" warnings to webhosts of so-called "Fat Axl" photos stemming from a 2010 show.
Working with anti-piracy company Web Sheriff, Rose's lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Google demanding removal of certain images taken by photographer Boris Minkevich for Winnipeg Free Press. These are the source images used for the widely-shared 'Fat Axl' amalgams.
Rolling Stone confirmed the validity of said notice, reporting its language as such:
"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."
It's an uncomfortable but universally-shared fact that photos snapped from certain angles may present one in an unflattering light. Rose has apparently seen enough such images of himself to pursue using the law in having them removed. Web Sheriff works within the channels provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and the Electronic Commerce Directive of 2000 to initiate such actions.
Consequence of Sound details the legalities of the images according to Web Sheriff:
"In a ... statement issued to TorrentFreak, a representative for Web Sheriff said Rose's owns the copyright of the photo, even though he didn't take it 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.'"
In addition to the reformed GNR, Rose is also currently fronting classic rock band AC/DC, serving as lead vocalist in the place of Brian Johnson. Former singer Johnson is currently on an indefinite hiatus from the band due to health reasons.
Below, watch Guns N' Roses' clip for their classic 1992 single "November Rain," one of the most expensive music videos ever committed to film: