The Oatmeal, along with others, sued by FunnyJunk

I wasn’t going to really comment on this because, well, it sounded like a whole lot of internet drama that would blow over eventually. Matt Inman’s handling of the situation over at The Oatmeal didn’t do much to change my mind about it. Not to make a judgment call on whether Inman is right or not (I do tend to think he has a stronger case here). It just seems like how things went, say, a decade ago with and the like.

Here’s the long story short in Inman’s words:

Remember FunnyJunk? Almost exactly a year ago I published a blog post about my comics being stolen, re-hosted, and monetized on FunnyJunk’s website. The owner of the site responded and some of the comics were taken down, He still had a ton of my comics hosted without credit, but the energy it would take to get him to take them down wasn’t worth it. I thought the issue was done and over with so I let him be.

A few days ago I was served papers informing me that the owner of FunnyJunk is going to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay him $20,000 in damages.

Anyway, it looks like things are going to get pretty full-blown Level 5 Dramabomb. The end of Inman’s post said he was going to raise $20,000 but not give it to FunnyJunk… rather giving it to charity. And now the rebuttal (care of Lauren Davis at ComicsAlliance):

Ken of and Kevin Underhill at Lowering the Bar broke the story that, on Friday, Carreon did, in fact, file suit with the United States District Court in Northern California, naming not just Inman as a defendant, but also IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Granted, Carreon isn’t alleging that the latter defendants did anything wrong, but he is trying to legally enjoin them from receiving any money.

Man, I’m just all sorts of awed that internet litigation has moved on from the idle threats phase that we saw in the mid-2000’s to the full-court press we’re seeing now.


Posted on June 18, 2012, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Oh man. I’m pretty suspicious of Inman for the reasons outlined in your review (and because he has a sheen of self-satisfaction that rubs me the wrong way, but that’s probably my issue), but I cannot believe Carreon is willing to be the guy who stopped a sizable donation to the American Cancer Society. Anti-Oatmeal = PRO-CANCER.

  2. One important clarification, while Carreon was initially working on behalf of Funnyjunk, he is filing this lawsuit in his own name, not on their behalf.

    I suspect very soon we will see Funnyjunk announce in no uncertain terms that this lawyer is crazyballs and they do not support him.

  3. So wait a second, here. I’m not really clear on the issue here: FunnyJunk stole IP and are now suing the owner of it? TenNapel would have a field day with this, if I’m getting that right. (He gives conferences on how to protect IP every year or so at Fullerton.)

    • Kind of. FunnyJunk’s official position is that Inman is guilty of defamation of character costing them money in their business. They’re suing for damages from his initial post accusing them of IP theft.

  4. Hmmmm….the guilty attacking their victims before they’re attacked…?….with the accusation that would be rightfully thrown at them…?….hmmm…”The best defense is…”…, I guess. Wow

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