Copyright, Defamation, Intellectual Property, Rank Stupidity, Technology

Hide Your Donations, Hide Your Comic; They Are Suing Everybody Up in Here

Last week, we wrote about the legal spat between online comic artist Matthew Inman, who runs The Oatmeal, and the website FunnyJunk.

The folks at FunnyJunk threatened to sue Inman for copyright infringement and defamation, and the internet comedian responded with another comic, of course, and a plea to his readers to raise $20,000, not for settling the legal threat, but for a “Bear Love” charity campaign on behalf of of the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. (Inman also mentioned something about a drawing of the FunnyJunk attorney’s mother seducing a Kodiak.) In any case, we’re off a pretty good start here, right? Sure, but it gets way better….

ATL Editor Emeritus Kashmir Hill tweeted yesterday:

The lawyer suing The Oatmeal is just trolling the legal system (and Internet) with his latest, right?

One can only hope. So, how could this situation get any more ridiculous? Well, let’s turn to Popehat:

On Friday, June 15, 2012, attorney Charles Carreon passed from mundane short-term internet notoriety into a sort of legal cartoon-supervillainy.

He transcended typical internet infamy when he filed a federal lawsuit last Friday in the United Sates District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland. He belonged to the ages the moment he filed that lawsuit not only against Matthew Inman, proprietor of The Oatmeal, but also against IndieGoGo Inc., the company that hosted Inman’s ridiculously effective fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

But that level of censorious litigiousness was not enough for Charles Carreon. He sought something more. And so, on that same Friday, Charles Carreon also sued the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, the beneficiaries of Matthew Inman’s fundraiser.

Yep. In addition to a number of potential substantive problems in the new lawsuits, which Popehat and Kevin Underhill of Lowering the Bar investigate in more detail, Carreon somehow felt it was a good idea to respond to a lawsuit he didn’t like by suing not one, but two ubiquitous, well-respected charities that are simply the beneficiaries of the Oatmeal’s — how shall we say — hilarious protest of the original lawsuit.

What are the grounds of the new suits? “Trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism,” according to Courthouse News documents cited by Popehat. Ooooookay then, dude. The folks over at Popehat express their opinion on the matter more boldly than I might (not that I disagree):

Yes. Charles Carreon, butthurt that someone had leveraged his douchebaggery into almost two hundred thousand dollars of donations to two worthy charities, sued the charities.

Oh yeah, we should probably mention that the charity campaign was a wild success.

As for Charles Carreon, good luck with his case, I suppose. But in the meantime, as Barbra Streisand might suggest, he might want to prepare himself for more cartoons.

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part IV: Charles Carreon Sues Everybody [Popehat]
The Guy Continues to Mess With The Oatmeal [Lowering the Bar]

Earlier: Potential Lawsuit of the Day: War of the Web Comics

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