FunnyJunk lawyer continues to act as his own worst enemy

Charles Carreon, the lawyer who sent a letter demanding $20,000 from The Oatmeal on behalf of FunnyJunk, is evidently his own worst enemy. First he threatens a lawsuit against Oatmeal creator Matthem Inman, claiming that Inman's complaints over Funnyjunk's users reposting material from his site constituted defamation. Yesterday, he expressed bewilderment at Inman's "tactic" of publicly making fun of his stupid legal threat. Now he's posted a notice to his site saying that he's taken down his contact information: "Due to security attacks instigated by Matt Inman, this function has been temporarily disabled."

I have seen no evidence that Inman instigated any "attacks"* -- security or otherwise. If Inman didn't instigate any attacks against Carreon, this strikes me as a highly defamatory thing to publish.

Funnyjunk's Lawyer, Charles Carreon, Continues To Lash Out: Accuses Matt Inman Of 'Instigating Security Attacks'

*Also, getting nasty emails is an "attack," but not a "security attack."


  1. I think he’s lying, and trolling and playing dumb in order to get the most favorable interpretation of his actions. Case in point: that’s not what the 404 for his contact page said yesterday.

  2. “Also, getting nasty emails is an “attack,” but not a “security attack.””

    Well, if he’s getting enough that his server chokes, it’d be a DDoS.

    1.  A whole bunch of angry people emailing you to tell you you suck is not a DDOS, it’s a whole bunch of angry people emailing you. A website getting boingboinged isn’t a DDOS, it’s your server collapsing under an unexpected influx of traffic.

      Black Friday isn’t a DDOS on a store either.

      There’s a difference between a whole lot of people deciding to do the same thing which incidentally overwhelms a service because they all do it at the same time, and a Denial of Service Attack (distributed or not).

  3. >Well, if he’s getting enough that his server chokes, it’d be a DDoS.
    Not if they’re from different people. Then that’s just getting too much mail.

    1. Hence the first “D”. It’s just manual, not automatic. It’s more of a social engineering attack than anything else.

      Getting a link on /. or Boing Boing with the intent of taking the site down is still an attack.

      1.  So, right now I’m chewing on a toothpick and have the intent of making you bald.  Am I attacking you?

      2. Getting a link on /. or Boing Boing with the intent of taking the site down is still an attack.

        We can do that?

      3. with the intent of taking the site down
        Since when was that the intent? Did I miss a meeting?

        A ddos would be like when truck drivers use their vehicles to stop traffic as a form of protest. This situation is more akin to being late due to rush hour traffic except in this case he CAUSED the rush hour traffic through his frivolous stupidity.

        A ddos is not a security attack anyway (a phrase I find most odd, actually). A ddos relies on there being physical limitations of infrastructure, not on inadequate security of infrastructure.

        1.  The three security properties are confidentiality, integrity, and availability.  A denial of service (distributed or not) is an attack on availability.  You may not agree with the classification, but it’s what IT security professionals use pretty much universally.

          1. That’s fine, but slash-dotting a site accidentally is not a DDOS attack or a security attack. It’s not an attack at all.

            If their servers cannot handle a spike in traffic they caused, that’s their problem. And it doesn’t matter if the spike in traffic was people looking to see what funny cat photo they posted or to send them an angry email. It’s still not an attack if nobody planned a DDOS attack.

            If my $5-a-month server can’t handle 10 people coming to my site, and 11 people come to send me an email, that’s not a DDOS. If you set up a LOIC to target my site, that’s a DDOS.

          2. @SamSam  Agreed, at most you could call it an accidental DDOS – not a DDOS attack, but a sort of nonmalicious DDOS because your site suddenly became more interesting than you had anticipated.

      4.  The first “D” in “DDoS” is “Distributed”.  That’s certainly true.  The other part is “Denial of Service”, which probably isn’t the intent.    “Distributed Display of Shaming”?  Yeah, we’re all fine with that.

    2.  If somebody said “Everybody send him mail so we can crash his server”, that would be a DDoS (even though it’s implemented socially instead of technically.) 

      By contrast, if several prominent people say “He’s an annoying jerk, here’s what he did!” and lots of people send him mail saying “Oatmeal Dude is right, you should be ashamed of yourself, here’s why!”, that’s not a DDoS, that’s just mass public offense, and in fact I hope his email  stays up and running so he can read how each and every one of us think he should be ashamed of himself. 

      It’s somewhat like the difference between George Bush’s “Miserable failure” Google problem, which worked by somebody cleverly tricking Google’s robots, and Rick Santorum’s Google problem, which worked because millions of people think Santorum is an offensive person who has no business governing the country (even though they’re expressing it in a rather juvenile way.)

      I do think Oatmeal Dude shouldn’t have insulted the guy’s mother, even though she is a hamster and his father does smell of elderberries.

  4. Spotted this over on the TheOatmeal’s comments, but apparently Carreon’s wife is coming out swinging on the comments now as well: 

    “Matthew Inman is a Killer Klown from Outer Space, obsessed with proliferating the imagery of assholes, farts, penises, misogyny, sadism, child abuse, animal abuse, and spewing his disgusting hatred for everyone all over the Internet in a juvenile attempt to take our culture down to the lowest level possible. Fascists defend hate speech as free speech. Let me repeat: fascists defend hate speech as free speech. If Matthew Inman’s hate speech is free speech, then so were all the Nazi cartoons ridiculing Jews …

        1.  Thanks for the warning!

          I looked at the comment in question, and it’s probably just an imposter, not Carreon’s wife.  No way to tell for sure.

        2.  Hey, to each his own. I love the movie. It’s black comedy horror featuring super disturbing alien clowns trying to turn a town into human cotton candy. It has John Vernon (the dean from Animal House) in it, and it has a killer theme song by the Dickies.

    1. Her husband is representing a site that gleefully made money on every one of those fart jokes, without even giving him some money back. What’s the Nazi analogy there?

    2. The question is whether that was really posted by her, or by some troll using her name.  If Carreon really does have a wife, and if that’s her actually writing it, that’s the kind of behaviour you’d expect from someone willing to associate with him.  Or if it’s a troll, well, trolls aren’t like vampires, they can show up even if you don’t invite them in, but when you do invite them in and give them a nice tasty meal, don’t expect them to leave until the next shiny thing shows up nearby.

      (And if it’s his mom, well, sorry she’s collateral damage, but she obviously hasn’t been following her kid’s work.)

      1. Carreon does indeed have a wife named Tara.  I was suspecting it was a troll posting in her name to make them both look bad, but down-thread on that comment section, someone links to a couple websites run by Tara Carreon (one of which is linked to in “TaraCarreon”‘s comment), and it seems to match the style and, um, “eccentricity” of her views.  So I’d say it’s her, which as you say makes sense.

    1.  Alleging that an individual has committed a crime, or implicating his professional conduct in his trade or business is defamation per se in many states.  While he might be able to claim political rhetoric, or that no specific crime has been alleged, I cannot see the bar association looking favorably upon this.

  5. Lawyer who claims to be an expert in ‘Online Media Law’ continues to demonstrate he knows nothing about the Internet, which kind of makes you wonder if he knows as little about the other two words.

    1. Much like that game controller guy who self destructed last year! Guys like that think they control the internets, where really, the internets control THEM

      1.  Via Penny Arcade was an amazing way to watch that story unfold.  I wanted to run out and get a refill on my popcorn but I wasn’t leaving my seat for a minute.  I wonder where that guy is now…

  6.  I now strongly believe that Charles Carreon is trolling with a business plan similar to that of the Westboro Baptist Church’s scam.  I think that he is attempting incite action against himself so that he can sue the “perp” for cash money.  I think that he knows that he cannot get any money out of Matt Inman, so he is pushing for some other sucker to go too far.  I do not believe that Charles Carreon is as naive as he is pretending to be.

    1. Except he’s already getting paid by unFunny Junk. Lawyer’s letters don’t come for free.. even if they’re poorly written and demonstrate an ignorance of the internet and law in general.

        1.  In California, I think the law is that ALL plaintiffs’ lawyers work on contingency, for “free,” until the settlement of the case.  I don’t know if this is true for the rest of the states, however.

          1. I take your point (although not all plaintiff’s lawyers work on contingency), but my point is that *terrible* plaintiff’s lawyers like Mr. Carreon never see their 33% at the end of the rainbow–because they never win.

    1. Quite a different beast isn’t it? I’d have trouble keeping it so professional in the face of the amateurish bullshit shakedown from Carrion and Maggots, LPA.

      1. I think lawyers like that LOVE shoving it in their face in a totally reasonable and mature way. I can see him typing that entire letter with a huge fucking smile on his face.

        1. He certainly made it clear at the end that Mr. Carrion’s client was in line for an apocalyptic beatdown if this continued. Not only would Oatmeal go after them for DMCA violations, but would bring in other 3rd parties whose material is also being monetized there.

          What I would have liked to see is a mention that Rule 11 sanctions cover attorney misconduct like frivolous shakedowns.

    2. Bra-vo, Mr. Balasubramani.  Excellent rebuttal, at the legal, moral, and literary levels… “…At the end of the day, a lawsuit against The Oatmeal in this situation is just a really bad idea.”

      Excellent choice of Mr. Oatmeal (Inman) in having hired him as well.

    3.  I thought the most interesting thing in there is that there are things you need to do to have protection from Copyright claims as a user generated content site and FunnyJunk doesn’t appear to have done any of them. Search for ‘red flag’.

    4.  “You then provide a screen-capture of the referenced source code, which displays a picture of a pterodactyl rendered from standard alpha-numeric characters, along with a quote.”

      If I were a lawyer, it would make my week to have the opportunity to write a sentence such as that.

  7. Charles Carreon is offering a $500 reward for the identity of twitterer @Charles_Carreon:twitter, who’s apparently impersonating him. Will litigation ensue? (Teehee) We better get cracking if we want that $500, people. 

    1.  That guy is getting so backtraced.  $500 in Internet Dollars is like a million real dollars!

  8. As mentioned in the last thread, someone really should just send this guy a synopsis of the Jack Thompson debacle. He is right on track so far. Next step for him would be calling law enforcement in Inman’s locality and attempting to charge him with “instigating” a campaign of threats. The Seattle FBI laughed at the report (literally) they got from Thompson. I wonder if in today’s climate Inman’s local spooks would be as reasonable. I bet we’ll find out by tomorrow.

    1. if I remember right, Jack Thompson got disbarred for his amazingly relentless actions.  

      Wouldn’t be a terrible thing to happen here, sometimes psychotic and clueless people shouldn’t be allowed to take money from people and call it helping when all they’re doing is dragging their own reputation as well as their client through the very deep mud of the internet.  

      1. The key word is “relentless,” which makes the comparison inapt. Jack Thompson was more like the pro-SOPA/PIPA forces who continually come back for bites at the apple. This is just one lamer kerfuffle so far.

  9. I actually thought at first that the whole thing was a joke and that “Charles Carreon” was a lawyer pun.

    1. Well, he’s lying you know. About which part we don’t know, but that’s part of how lies work.

  10. How sad that Charles Carreon has chosen to publicly defame Matthew Inman. But, not to worry, I am sure that Carreon will do the right thing and pay Inman $20,000 in restitution.

    To my knowledge, Inman never instigated anyone to even write Carreon a nasty email. However, Carreon’s client FunnyJunk DID instigate people to write nasty emails to Inman a year ago and Inman has published the documentation to prove it.

    In my personal opinion, Charles Carreon is worst kind of sleazeball, picking on the little guy with frivolous lawsuits to put money into the pockets of big business. Despite claiming to be an “Internet lawyer”, he apparently has all the tech-savvy, and ethics, of Jack Thompson.

  11. But but but his claim to fame was being involved in the whole lawsuit circus, he is all sorts of awesome cyberlawer!

    Christ what an asshole, the depths lawyers will sink to to keep their Wikipedia page (that they wrote) from being deleted.

  12. I hope Carreon’s planning to write a book, because nobody in their right mind would hire him after this.

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