Axl Rose, frontman of the band Guns N' Roses, has been reported (see the Inquisitr or Torrentfreak articles here) as having sent take-down notices to websites, including Google affiliated sites, that feature several unflattering images of him used in memes to mock his appearance after the signer was pictured having put on a 'few' extra pounds.
The photos are often accompanied by captions reinterpreting Guns N' Roses songs by modifying the lyrics to include references to food or overeating. Examples include: 'Sweet Pie of Mine' and 'Welcome to McDonalds'.
The take down notice is based on Rose's alleged ownership of the underlying photo. According to reports, Rose now requires all professional photographers taking photos at his concerts to sign releases, giving Rose ownership of all copyrights in the images taken.
Google says it sends these types of requests to the Lumen Database for publication. The database shows that Axl Rose used a British company, Web Sheriff, to make the demands using America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Web Sherriff said that all accredited photographers at Axl Rose's shows must sign contracts that "specify and limit the manner in which the photos can be exploited, and transfer copyright ownership in such photos to AR's relevant service company."
No comment has been made by the frontman's representatives on the copyright issue or the outcome of the take-down notices.
It is not uncommon for artists to issue takedown requests in light of unflattering public images, though such requests typically occur behind the scenes away from public attention. In 2013, a representative for Beyoncé asked Buzzfeed to change certain images of her taken during her performance at the Super Bowl, but the site refused and continued to make those photos available.in: Case Law, Copyright, Digital/Tech, News