Welcome to the meme jungle Axl Rose.
A less than flattering photo of the Guns N’ Roses front man is being used for a series of mean memes, and now the singer is reportedly trying to get the image scrubbed from the internet.
According to the Washington Post, a batch of DMCA copyright notices were filed on behalf of Rose and sent to Google requesting the removal of the photo that sparked the “Fat Axl” memes because of copyright infringement.
The memes change the lyrics to Guns N Roses songs to poke fun at the picture of Rose, who is the band’s front man. Lines like “Welcome to the Jungle, we got tons of cake” and “Sweet Pie o’ mine” have regularly made the rounds on Twitter.
The notice was filed by Web Sheriff, a company that helps protect intellectual property. on behalf of Axl Rose. It can be viewed at the Lumen Database which collects the legal requests for the removal of online content.
The claim is that photographers attending Rose’s concerts must sign a release assigning ownership of the images to the singer.
TorrentFreak tracked the image to Winnipeg Free Press photographer Boris Minkevich, who told the publication that since the image was taken in 2010 he can’t remember whether he signed a release or not. Minkevich has not been involved with the memes.
TorrentFreak said it was informed by Web Sheriff that “[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.”