June 18, 2012 at 2:12 PM ET
The legal squabbles between Matthew Inman, the Seattle based Web comic better known as The Oatmeal, and Charles Carreon, the attorney for the humor site FunnyJunk, are getting more bizarre.
Reports circulating today indicate that Carreon — in addition to continuing his fight against Inman — is now turning his legal attacks on the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.
Why, you ask?
Here’s the back-story for all of those just catching up to this one. Inman wasn’t too happy about FunnyJunk allegedly posting his creative works without permission, so he took his distaste of the company’s tactics to his community by posting his true feelings on his popular Web site.
FunnyJunk shot back last week, asking Inman to pay $20,000 or face a defamation suit.
Inman responded with an online campaign of his own, which to date has raised more than $178,000. Dubbed “BearLove Good. Cancer Bad,” Inman said he planned to take a picture of the money and send it to the lawyer along with a drawing of the lawyer’s mom “seducing a Kodiak bear.” The proceeds were to be given to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.
OK, you are caught up.
Now, the lawyer for FunnyJunk is reportedly taking his fight to those two charities, as well as IndieGogo, the fundraising platform that hosted the campaign.
We’ve yet to see the documents of the latest lawsuit, but Popehat reports that Courthouse News Service on Friday reported a new suit in which Matthew Inman; IndieGogo Inc.; National Wildlife Federation; American Cancer Society; and others are listed as defendants. (Case No. 4:12 cv 3112 DMR).
The suit revolves around “trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism,” according to PopeHat, who is not too pleased to see the latest development.
Here’s what the Courthouse News Service summary indicates:
"Trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism. Defendants Inman and IndieGogo are commercial fundraisers that failed to file disclosures or annual reports. Inman launched a Bear Love campaign, which purports to raise money for defendant charitable organizations, but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, Funnyjunk.com, and to initiate a campaign of “trolling” and cybervandalism against them, which has caused people to hack Inman’s computer and falsely impersonate him. The campaign included obscenities, an obscene comics and a false accusation that FunnyJunk “stole a bunch of my comics and hosted them.” Inman runs the comedy website The Oatmeal.”
UPDATE: The Oatmeal has responded to Carreon’s latest legal action, saying in a blog post that the lawyer is “making things worse” by attacking the charities and adding that “people who are upset often say and do very stupid things.” He’s also encouraged people to stop harassing Carreon, asking them to direct their energies to the charitable fundraising campaign instead.
"Your lawsuit is meritless and it’ll probably just get dismissed, but I’m guessing you’re just going to keep trying until you find an angle that sticks with a judge. My advice: take a few weeks off, stop saying crazy shit to journalists, and come back when you’ve calmed down. Write an apology to whomever you feel is appropriate, or just don’t write anything ever again. Maybe start your own charity fundraiser as way of apology. I’d donate."
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