Win, Lose, or Draw

Local Cartoon Spat Escalates to Your Mama Jokes, Death Threats, and a Fundraiser for Wildlife

Comments

1
That comic is an insult to Kodiak bears, who are large, humble, and largely peaceful creatures who would never contravene God's law with inter-species sex. It's good that Inman is raising moolah for the wildlifes to ameliorate his karma. :)
2
The real tragedy here is that FunnyJunk, which ignited this whole affair with its cheap-ass skeezy business operation and shady, unethical attempts at legal bullying, is getting away more or less unscathed.
3
Carreon's ambulance chaser ought to be disbarred.
4
$207,989 as of now! It's great that Internet rage can be directed into helpful causes.
5
@3 - Carreon IS the ambulance chaser. Am I misunderstanding you?
6
Inman would not be having any of this trouble if he would have acted like he was older than four years old.

I don't know why people's first response to a legal notice is "derp, I'll start an unlicensed charity", but this isn't the first time I've seen that response.

What he should have done is submitted a DMCA notice to FunnyJunk, and if that didn't get prompt action, sued them himself. Turning it into a pissing contest to see who has the more obnoxious army of monkeys w3as not a clever idea. Both these guys should be drowned in the ocean.

Oh, and the cartoon is terrible, by the way. But not illegal. Hustler Magazine v Falwell.
7
So fun to have contributed after seeing the lovely Reddit link at the time.
8
@fnarf: you are wrong.

1) Inman DID ask them to take down his links in the very first fight they had over this issue (which was a while back).
2) Inman actually DID fight them in court. He now said he just didn't want to do that and instead wanted to draw comics (since he makes comcis) and let them handle the legality of it and it seems that that move was the correct one... because of
a) the money it raised for charity
b) the fact that it seems Inman will walk away without having to pay the 20000 they demanded of him or set up a new legal battle.

9
It's impressive how a contest between two internet 'funny' men about who owns the right to steal jokes from others goes straight into misogyny.

Carreon's clearly a tool, but Inman comes out looking nearly as bad. Carreon's biggest mistake is thinking that reposting Inman's stuff is worth a lawsuit.

You're an aggregator. Ignore the hate and just keep cashing the checks. That's the job.
10
Fnarf - Both charities are licensed. A fundraiser for a charity by a third party does not need to be licensed. Could you imagine if every time a kid went around for UNICEF with their boxes if they had to license? Madness. This would be the same with any small group that wanted to raise money for an actual cause.

I mean Carreon donated to the campaign just to sue it. Pretty messed up. Not to mention by not just suing Inman but including NWF and ACS he is wasting their money with their legal departments.

More reading:
http://charles-carreon.com
11
Fnarf - Both charities are licensed. A fundraiser for a charity by a third party does not need to be licensed. Could you imagine if every time a kid went around for UNICEF with their boxes if they had to license? Madness. This would be the same with any small group that wanted to raise money for an actual cause.

I mean Carreon donated to the campaign just to sue it. Pretty messed up. Not to mention by not just suing Inman but including NWF and ACS he is wasting their money with their legal departments.

More reading:
http://charles-carreon.com
12
Odd that you guys chose to link to FunnyJunk but not The Oatmeal in the article.
13
@12: You make a very good point.
14
@5,

Oh, oops. For some reason I thought Carreon worked for Funnyjunk (and not as a lawyer). I'll amend that: Carreon ought to be disbarred. The first letter was a bad enough abuse of his license; this new lawsuit is complete bullshit.
15
Inman is doing nothing wrong here. I'm all behind The Oatmeal on this one.
FunnyJunk did the stealing, FunnyJunk turned needlessly litigious. Twice. FunnyJunk is an a-hole.
Inman is just plain damned funny.
16
@Fnarf,

Inman is 100% in the right here. FJ violates his copyright, and instead of initiating a legal battle, he just calls them out on it and leaves it at that. And then FJ responds, while continuing to violate Inman's copyright by demanding that he pay them $20,000 or else face a frivolous lawsuit?

Under those circumstances, taunting with nasty cartoons is taking the high road, if you ask me.
17
@8, did he submit a DMCA request? Or did he just yell at the guy?

Afterwards, "I figured I would have more of a chance if I had the public on my side," is the kind of thing a twelve-year-old dickhead says. And taunting with cartoons is idiotic; the purpose of taunting is to get an angry response, and he got one.

I'm not defending Funnyjunk at all; I think the world would be a better place if everyone who worked at or regularly viewed Funnyjunk fell into a wood chipper. But Inman ASKED FOR this overreaction, and he got it. Fuck him, too. Fuck all of these people.
18
Fnarf,

Sometimes, when the facts are so completely on one's side, it is completely appropriate to tell a bully, "I triple dog dare you to even think about filing the ridiculous lawsuit you're threatening me with, you silly, laughable troll."

And if the bully is stupid enough to actually go through with it, well, does that make one wrong to have dared them?
19
Since FJ has never registered a DMCA agent how exactly was the Oatmeal supposed to submit a DMCA request? By not registering an agent FJ gave up their protection under the DMCA.

The Oatmeals lawyers response is pretty illuminating on this:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/96850920/Funny…
20
"...did he submit a DMCA request? Or did he just yell at the guy?"

My understanding is Inman couldn't. FunnyJunk did not comply with DCMA safe harbor provisions and did not give the details of an agent to whom the request could be made (they apparently applied after the fact in late May 2012). He could only send a message to the admin of the site and ask they take down or give attribution to the cartoons hosted on the site.

All he could do was request, and what FunnyJunk then did was put up an inflammatory message claiming he was going to sue them (he didn't) and send their members off on a witch hunt. Some of it was taken down, but much more remained and he left it. The remainder had attribution stripped from it and had FunnyJunk's watermark on it. Up until he got the $20000 or we'll sue demand, that is. Up until Carreon decided to push it further and sue everyone in sight.

That's just bullying and The Oatmeal is perfectly within their rights to push back against those baseless demands.
21
Fnarf,

The Oatmeal didn't "yell" at anyone. He also didn't file a DMCA complaint, file a lawsuit or even threaten to file a lawsuit. He simply posted a well-worded article on his own website that discussed the problems with copyright enforcement for sleazy websites like FunnyJunk -- not only for him, but for other content creators as well.

Specifically, there are (or at least, were) thousands of infringing copies of his comics and other comics on FunnyJunk. People like Inman can't act as their own personal "copyright cops" through the DMCA unless they spend all of their time searching for infringing copies and sending out DMCA notices each and every time. If they went down that path, then they won't have any time to do their actual work of creating new content.

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/funnyjunk

After Inman posted this article, FunnyJunk decided that the best defense is a good offense, and made inflamatory statements like "the Oatmeal wants to shut down FunnyJunk" (a complete lie) and issued a call for FunnyJunk users to harass Inman.

Inman then let the issue rest. Nothing happened for a year, until FunnyJunk had the unmitigated gall to hire an attorney and threaten to sue *Inman* due to Inman daring to criticize FunnyJunk for having a business model that depends on copyright infringement. In a situation like this, an old-fashioned public shaming is entirely appropriate.
22
"The charity is used as a foil".. implying he's pocketing the money is pretty slanderous for a lawyer...
23
@17: He issued a takedown order. FunnyJunk refused to comply. He then made fun of their shitty site because it was cheaper than retaining a lawyer.
24
@22 that's asscovering lawyer talk, the art of the inference. Meant to prick the thought without creating accountability.

Fnarf:

I agree that Inman acted immaturely. He's acted like the entire situation is a joke. Which is fine, because it is a fucking joke. Copyright law is almost defunct because the internet has made stealing material so much easier, and that much more pervasive. What is a guy whose business is comics and comedy, a business he relies on as an income, to do except do what he does best? Is it really better to get all self righteous and bring down the might of the law (dumping thousands of dollars into representation, and whatever else) or does it actually just make more sense, considering one's occupation, to raise the mast on each fist and tell them to go suck on it?

Whatever the end result, sometimes when you get fucked with, the only real justice you're going to get out of it is fucking with someone back- especially in a situation where it is becoming more difficult to protect oneself and one's work from being proliferated. So bravo to Inman for standing up and saying, "fuck this bullshit and fuck you." Mature? Maybe not. But honest, and a shite side more than the hacks who ripped him off in the first place. It's been a while since someone small time had the balls to call someone out for intellectual theft.
25
Who makes their own sushi?
26
@Doug People in Seattle.
27
@dirge: You don't seem to have grasped this situation correctly. This isn't about two websites that each aggregate work that isn't theirs. It's about *one* website that does just that (FunnyJunk) versus another that creates its own content (TheOatmeal, run by Inman). In fact, that's what caused this trouble in the first place: FunnyJunk hosting original content from TheOatmeal without compensation or attribution.
28
dirge,

"It's impressive how a contest between two internet 'funny' men about who owns the right to steal jokes from others goes straight into misogyny."

What are you talking about? Misogyny? Because Inman insulted FunnyJunk's mother? That's not indicative of him hating women, it's indicative of him wanting to get how stupid FunnyJunk is.

"Carreon's clearly a tool, but Inman comes out looking nearly as bad. Carreon's biggest mistake is thinking that reposting Inman's stuff is worth a lawsuit."
Carreon's just a lawyer doing what his client wants. Inman was just a guy who had his intellectual property stolen.

"You're an aggregator. Ignore the hate and just keep cashing the checks. That's the job."
Inman or FunnyJunk? Inman's not an aggregator, but FunnyJunk wasn't going to be able to "just keep cashing the checks" because Inman kept pointing out to the public that FunnyJunk blatantly stole his work.