Camp Carreon's new strategy: rape puns!

The longer it goes on, the stranger it gets. Here's Nate Anderson at Ars Technica on the latest stunt.

Camp Carreon isn't done with [The Oatmeal's Matthew] Inman yet—a new video depicts the cartoonist as a "Psycho Santa," while a new website suggests that Carreon might like to pursue litigation against those who engaged in a "Distributed Internet Reputational Attack" against him. ... it's up on a site called Rapeutation.com. The site, apparently set up just for the video, suggests that Internet users are (or have been) engaged in a coordinated assault on Carreon's reputation.

Don't miss last night's feature, by Glenn Fleishman, about the amazing pile of cash that Inman's charity drive generated. It's a good refresher for the whole complicated story behind it, too.

Oatmeal Spells F U in Money Shots

I am kneeling on a sun-dappled hardwood floor with stacks of $20 bills in $2,000 bundles in each hand helping to spell out the word "douchebaggery," and thinking: $220,000 just doesn't seem like that much money. I found myself in this position after asking Matthew Inman, the artist behind the cartoon and business The Oatmeal, if I could take pictures when he withdrew the cash he will ultimately hand over to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation in order to use it to make fun of a Web site that threatened him with legal action.

This is the latest episode in a saga that BoingBoing has documented in quite some detail, and which began June 11, when Inman posted an annotated version of a letter he had received from Charles Carreon, a well-known attorney representing FunnyJunk, a user-submitted content site, complaining about a post Inman had made a year ago. Inman complained in 2011 about FunnyJunk's business model, noting, "Most of the comics they've stolen [have] no credit or link back to me. Even with proper attribution, no one clicks through and FunnyJunk still earns a huge pile of cash from all the ad revenue." It's a common problem with sites that rely on submitted items, and each site has different policies on how to manage such unauthorized postings. Inman didn't issue DMCA takedown notices, though he would have been within his rights. He says he's just not interested in engaging in that sort of behavior. (By the way, did you know you have to register an agent with the copyright office to qualify for the safe-harbor provision of the DMCA? Me, neither! FunnyJunk's registration was received May 29, 2012, shortly before its lawyer sent the letter to Inman.)

Read the rest

Charles Carreon drops lawsuit against The Oatmeal

The EFF reports that Charles Carreon has withdrawn his mad lawsuit against Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal.

Attorney Charles Carreon dropped his bizarre lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman today, ending his strange legal campaign against Inman's humorous and creative public criticism of a frivolous cease and desist letter that Carreon wrote on behalf of his client Funny Junk.

To recap briefly: website FunnyJunk hosted many unauthorized copies of Inman's work. Inman mocked it. FunnyJunk threatened to sue him for mocking it. Inman mocked it again and established a wildly successful charity drive to lampoon FunnyJunk and fight cancer. Carreon soiled his legal drawers and dragged Inman, the charities, anonymous critics, and the entire Internet's attention into a demented knot of litigation. Now this. What will the new dawn bring?

Update: Charles Carreon: "Mission accomplished"

EFF weighs in on Charles Carreon's latest dumb stunt

The Electronic Frontier Foundation have posted commentary on the latest bizarre move from Charles Carreon, the lawyer who sent a ridiculous legal threat to webcomic The Oatmeal on behalf of the website Funnyjunk, and has been digging himself deeper ever since. EFF is defending The Oatmeal.

The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman raised over $200,000 for charity using the website IndieGoGo, with the promise that he would photograph himself standing astride the money and send it (along with a cartoon depicting the mother of FunnyJunk's owner trying to seduce a bear) to Carreon to pass on to his client. Now Carreon is attempting to get a court injunction to prevent the funds from being disbursed to charity.

Carreon's claim runs contrary to the Constitution. As Carreon is well aware, freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our legal system. Carreon wants the court to shut down Inman's speech: a comic response to the letter. Sorry, Charlie, the First Amendment protects Inman's right to challenge your legal threat.

Carreon is wrong on the law. Carreon based his claim on the notion that Inman, a full-time webcomic artist based in Seattle, violated false advertising law because he was allegedly required to register with the California Attorney General as a professional fundraiser. No, Inman is not a commercial fundraiser and not required to register, and he certainly did not falsely advertise to anyone that he was registered.

Ten bucks may help bears and fight cancer, but it doesn't give Carreon control of the funds. The night before Carreon filed suit, he donated $10 to Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad, claiming this gave him standing to stop the distributiuon of the money, and keep Inman from taking the photo of cash. The law does not permit this.

A TRO would only cause undue delay. Carreon claims he needs to take control and put the money in a charitable trust for the charities. Yet all his gamesmanship would do is delay the money for the charities - much of which has already been sent. There simply is no basis for the court to get involved.

Bears Good, Cancer Bad. Also Bad: Trying to Punish A Critic by Preventing Him from Giving Money to Charity

Funnyjunk's lawyer asks judge to stop charitable donation through IndieGoGo by The Oatmeal

Charles Carreon, the lawyer whose baseless legal threats against webcomic The Oatmeal made him an Internet laughingstock, is now seeking an injunction ordering IndieGoGo not to disburse the more than $220,000 donated by Oatmeal fans to a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Foundation that was started to mock Carreon and his client, Funnyjunk. The crude editorial cartoon below appears on Carreon's site.

“If IndieGoGo pays Inman the money in the Charitable Fund, and Inman personally donates the money to NWF and ACS, he will be unjustly enriched by receiving a large tax write-off that should properly be allocated pro-rata to the 14,406 small donors who contributed to the Charitable Fund,” Carreon writes. “Pilfering very small amounts of money from very large numbers of people is a stock mechanism for conducting computer and Internet fraud. Preventing Inman from exploiting the giving public in such a fashion is in the public interest.”

FunnyJunk lawyer aims to halt distribution of "BearLove" money

FunnyJunk threatens to sue Oatmeal creator

FunnyJunk is threatening to sue Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, for $20,000 in federal court. His offense? Criticizing FunnyJunk, and making fun of it for its relentless, unauthorized monetization of his and others' work.

Inman first lampooned FunnyJunk last year, after discovering its users had scraped most of his own website; in return, he received a sneering response that exhorted FunnyJunk's fans to "contact" Inman. But the boot was soon on the other foot: The Oatmeal's comic retort was so widely linked—because it was funny—that it is now among the highest-ranking results when you search for FunnyJunk itself.

You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR shitty website for the past three years? No, I've got a better idea.

1. I'm going to try and raise $20,000 in donations. 2. I'm going to take a photo of the raised money. 3. I'm going to mail you that photo, along with this picture of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear. 4. I'm going to take that money and donate half of it to the National Wildlife Federation and half of it to the American Cancer Society.

To this day, Inman points out, FunnyJunk maintains a substantially complete scraping of his site. But the funniest thing about FunnyJunk is, of course, that nothing there is funnier than the Streisand Effect.

The fine gent pictured to the top right is FunnyJunk's lawyer.

The Oatmeal responds to Funnyjunk [Reddit]

Update: The Oatmeal's pretty much dead from the traffic! Here's a mirror of Inman's response [NYUD]