Print 32 comment(s) - last by Belard.. on Jun 26 at 10:35 AM

  (Source: The Oatmeal)
Supposedly "funny" site, can't take a joke, tries to block $210,000 donation to charity

A website called Funny Junk has gained in popularity in recent years as a place for people to post random images they find on the internet.  Its owners profit off ads placed to monetize their site's role as a repository of funny.  The only problem is that many of the images posted (thousands) were web comics stolen (taken without permission) from hard-working artists' sites.

The Oatmeal, a rather famous web-comic took the site to task, which led to Funny Junk admins posting a frantic forums post last year that somehow jumped to the conclusion that The Oatmeal artist Matt Inman was planning to sue.  Subsequently an email/Facebook flame war erupted between fans of the two sites.

Then in a shocking twist Funny Junk "lawyered up", hiring celebrity lawyer Charles Carreon.  Mr. Carreon sent Mr. Inman a legal threat demanding $20,000 USD and an apology -- all for calling out Funny Junk for its infrigement.

Matt Inman responded by founding a charity campaign entitled "Bear Love Good" and promising to give not a single red penny to Mr. Carreon, but $20,000 instead to charity.  But he promised, "I'm going to take a photo of the raised money.  I'm going to mail you that photo, along with this drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear."

The Oatmeal threat
The Oatmeal received a threat letter from Funny Junk's lawyer. [Image Source: The Oatmeal]

Mr. Inman quickly collected the $20,000 used charity open community platform IndieGogo, with the proceeds going towards the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.

This outraged Funny Junk's owners and Mr. Carreon.  They filed a lawsuit against IndieGogo, Mr. Inman, the American Cancer Society, and the National Wildlife Federation, seeking to prevent the charity donations from going through.  Mr. Carreon claims the charity was not properly registered with the state of California and should not be allowed to operate.

He also claims Mr. Inman defamed him and his clients, commenting, "I think satirical content is fine, but him accusing my mother of bestiality is revolting, and I will not forgive it."

But apparently Mr. Carreon thinks its okay to post crude, explicit Photoshop cartoons of George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice having sex [NSFW].  He and his wife and posted this and several other images.  And for the record, Mr. Inman never specified the ursine seduction to be sexual in nature, and for the record he says the picture was of the Funny Junk administrator's mother, not Mr. Carreon's mother.

And Mr. Inman now has some high profile help defending himself from Funny Junk and Mr. Carreon in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco).  The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced it will be joining Mr. Inman's lawyers.  

Cancer Patient
Funny Junk and its lawyer are suing to try to deny the ACS $100,000 to try to cure cancer.
[Image Source: Stage Mom]

EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry calls the lawsuit "bizarre" and comments, "This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic.  We're very glad to help Mr. Inman fight back."

This type of lawsuit is commonly referred to as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), according to the EFF, and is a well known censorship tactic.

As publicity for the case has exploded the charity's collections have soared to $210,000+ USD.  A donate link can be found here.  The Oatmeal/Mr. Inman urges his fans and readers to donate to charity if they're upset about the case, not take their rage out on Funny Junk or Mr. Carreon.

Sources: Bear Love Good, The Oatmeal [1], [2]

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RE: Using HIS pics without HIS permission
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/24/2012 10:14:48 AM , Rating: 5
Also, to add, that lawyer isn't very bright....

RE: Using HIS pics without HIS permission
By Schadenfroh on 6/24/2012 10:30:29 AM , Rating: 5
Never underestimate the foolishness of our legal system, he might have a software patent or two.

RE: Using HIS pics without HIS permission
By Flunk on 6/24/2012 6:19:08 PM , Rating: 5
The US civil court system is a joke to all us foreigners. People like Carreon would have been disbarred years ago, although in your country that wouldn't be a big problem because the crook could just move to the next state over.

Reforms are sorely needed to stop wasting money on frivolous lawsuits and to eliminate all of the needless duplication.

By Schadenfroh on 6/24/2012 11:50:35 PM , Rating: 5
Not going to happen, most of our politicians are lawyers and they protect themselves.

We continue to elect them because one side promises us free things and the other side promises to persecute groups we do not like.

RE: Using HIS pics without HIS permission
By StevoLincolnite on 6/24/2012 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
When it comes to lawsuits, lawyers win every time, even if they loose.

By swagmonkey on 6/24/2012 2:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
...Except when they're representing themselves.

A valid point for a lawyer with a client, though. :-p

By Schadenfroh on 6/24/2012 6:42:59 PM , Rating: 2
This is why we need more lawyers that are also medical doctors, think of the possibilities in a malpractice lawsuit when your doctor is also your lawyer.

By MrBlastman on 6/25/2012 1:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
He's practically properly named, too. Mr. Carreon rhymes with Carrion.

What a vulture, preying on the carcasses of honest working individuals when in fact he himself works for a pack of coyotes.

By amanojaku on 6/24/2012 11:58:01 AM , Rating: 2
They filed a lawsuit against IndieGogo, Mr. Inman, the American Cancer Society, and the National Wildlife Federation, seeking to prevent the charity donations from going through. Mr. Carreon claims the charity was not properly registered with the state of California and should not be allowed to operate.
You're right, the guy's a dumb @$$. IndieGogo has been around for five years, has collected millions (if not billions), and is well known throughout the country. If it wasn't properly registered the feds would have been on it already, if only to collect taxes.

By marraco on 6/25/2012 3:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
Just wait until the lawyer patents "absurd lawsuits".

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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