FunnyJunk lawyer: Oatmeal lawsuit wasn’t “unreasonable”, wants fundraiser shutdown

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If you do something bad on the Internet that everybody doesn’t like, then probably you should reconsider – like I don’t know, suing an artist that had issues with your site because you have stolen material from that website. Well, FunnyJunk, who is suing The Oatmeal, now wants to take down the fundraiser.

For those who haven’t heard of it: FunnyJunk basically is a wall of funny images – many of which are uploaded from users who have taken it from other sites. The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, complained and wrote a blog post because they didn’t even link back to the content or give him credit. FunnyJunk then claimed that he was going to sue them (which he wasn’t even planning to do so), and then sued him yesterday over the article.

In the letter, made public, FunnyJunk claimed that he “published false statements about FunnyJunk to gain publicity, popularize TheOatmeal.com, and injure FunnyJunk’s reputation in the marketplace”, and engaging in false advertising. Many of which are pretty much baseless, I might offer – but I’m not a lawyer.

Then they asked for $20,000.

“Instead of mailing the owner of FunnyJunk the money, I’m going to send the above drawing of his mother.  I’m going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society,” Inman explained on the fundraiser page.

So basically, FunnyJunk wants to takedown a campaign to give money to charities, so it can have the $20,000.

Yeah, that’s not going to win you any Internet love – that’s implying you had some at the start.

In an interview with MSNBC, the lawyer Charles Carreon (the man above), he did not really expect the barrage from supporters of the Oatmeal. “I really did not expect that he would marshal an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails,” he said.

On the lawsuit, he didn’t think it was unreasonable. According to MSNBC’s Rosa Goligan:

Carreon tells me that Inman’s blog post was interpreted as a complaint — similar to a DMCA takedown notice — and that the content the cartoonist listed in it was removed from the FunnyJunk website promptly. He also explains that he believes Inman’s fundraiser to be a violation of the terms of service of IndieGoGo, the website being used to collect donations, and has sent a request to disable the fundraising campaign. (The fundraising website has only responded with an automated message so far.)

“I don’t think that what I did was unreasonable,” Carreon says while discussing the initial demands sent to Inman. He tells me that while this situation is unique, he is typically open to negotiation. He ended the conversation with a promise to keep me updated on how things are resolved and on whether he takes any legal action against the folks who have been harassing him since Inman’s “BearLove Good Cancer Bad” fundraising campaign started.

Though, I really do find it hard to give sympathy to FunnyJunk. Harassing a person, even if it is this guy, is not alright, but claiming your lawsuit as reasonable and then having the balls to try and take down a campaign to a cancer charity?

via Gizmodo, BoingBoing and MSNBC

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  • Freddie

    Factual mistake -FunnyJunk has nothing to do with the current lawsuit, that was brought by Charles Carrron acting on his own behalf

    • http://techgeek.com.au Terence Huynh

      No, he is representing FunnyJunk. A lawyer cannot act on someone else’s behalf without their consent. In addition, the lawsuit filed in the aftermath was filed by Charles after believing that he was defamed by the Oatmeal (totally not, however) – and is suing charities because he’s greedy.