Robot 6

FunnyJunk lawyer tries to shut down The Oatmeal fund-raiser

Charles Carreon may be a good lawyer, but he has a tin ear when it comes to public relations.

Carreon represents FunnyJunk, which recently demanded that The Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman pay $20,000 or be sued for defamation for complaining that the website permitted users to post his comics without permission. Inman responded by posting the letter on his own site with a series of scornful rejoinders, and then set up an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $20,000 for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

His plan is to take a photo of the cash and send it, along with a drawing of the FunnyJunk owner’s mother attempting to seduce a bear, to the owner of FunnyJunk. The Internet reacted predictably, and Inman has raised more than $125,000 for the two causes, while FunnyJunk and Carreon have attracted, shall we say, a great deal of negative attention.

How could Carreon possibly make this situation worse for himself and his client? By whining and acting like a jerk, that’s how. He told Rosa Golijian of MSNBC’s Digital Life that he had to take his contact information off his website (oh noes!) because of the “string of obscene emails” he received.

And then he asked IndieGoGo to terminate Inman’s fund-raiser, alleging it violates the website’s terms of service. That’s right, Inman raises more than $100,000  for wildlife protection and cancer research, but FunnyJunk’s attorney is going to shut him down.

Or not. Inman doesn’t seem worried; he’s more concerned about whether his bank will let him take out $100,000 so he can photograph it with his rendition of the mother of FunnyJunk’s mother and a bear.

One more thing: Sending the owner of FunnyJunk that cartoon may turn out to be a good deed; after all this attention, he could probably turn around and sell it for enough money to hire another lawyer.

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Comments

15 Comments

This story just keeps getting better and better.

That lawyer will never be able to prove in court he’s not a complete ass. So, if he wants to threaten the entire internet for calling him a complete ass, he’s got a lot of work in his future.

I’m stunned at how well the charity campaign is doing. $117k when MSNBC posted their article, $125k when Robot 6 posted this, and it’s already up to $147k. I mean, granted, it’s for 3 great causes (bearlove, fighting cancer, showing FunnyJunk and their lawyer what idiots they are), but still…very awe-inspiring to see a comic book artist with so many passionate fans that he can get money out of over 10,000 of them for something like this in just 2 days’ time.

Trying to shut down a charity auction?

Good God, who does he think he is, the villain in a movie where people are running a telethon to try and save their TV station?

“This auction is OVER!”

This guy once attempted to burn incense in a courtroom to “cleanse the air” and he regularly threatens to sue people over stupid shit. Believe me, he is not a good lawyer.

@Jade: Er, if he won those cases, then he IS a good lawyer.

“Threatening to sue people over stupid shit” does not actually preclude being a good lawyer.

sex.com sold for $11.5M. That’s hardly chump change. I guess that doesn’t automatically make him a good lawyer (he sure screwed the pooch on this one), but at minimum he’s a successful one.

Could anyone tell me, what indiegogo TOS does oatmeal’s campaign violate?
Maybe you, mr Carreon?
Or is it just another unsustainable claim?
And another rhetorical question: is there any counter that when reached zero should ban the so-called lawyer from court?

@Max: He is “so-called” because he is in fact a lawyer.

I think recommending disbarment over a couple of dumb claims is a bit much. Disbarment is for serious and systematic abuses of the legal system.

What has funnyjunk become? :’(

Funny junk by suing oatmeal is just asking for it. They’re going to shutdown, I’m a long term funnyjunker and I can say fairly that funnyjunk is coming to a close. Once this lawsuit is over that lawyer is kinda screwed.

Him being a model doesn’t really help this case either, go look it up in google images.

professional hater (@dr_mario_XXX)

June 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I do love The Oatmeal. I do think FunnyJunk’s attorney is acting like a weeny. But what really bothers me about this whole thing, has less to do with their squabble, and more to do with oppressive terms of service agreements, foisted upon content creators, like myself. Blindly agreeing to required legalese really shouldn’t be legal. In the vain attempt to cover every conceivable legal angle, a lot of these ‘tastemaker’ sites have actually dealt a lethal blow to creative expression itself. I make ‘not for sale’ music (which no one really listens to), but I guarantee you someone thinks they own the right to do something with it, as per the agreement I had to sign off on to create the account. It’s theft. It’s stifling. It’s killing us all.

PS. Have you had the divine luxury of being retroactively extorted by Getty Images for a former royalty free image appearing on your website? Plenty of our clients have. It’s neato.

@Clockworker: “Funny junk by suing oatmeal is just asking for it.”

Um, okay.

You ARE aware that FunnyJunk has not actually sued Oatmeal, yes?

“Once this lawsuit is over that lawyer is kinda screwed.”

One failed lawsuit isn’t going to ruin his career.

But again, THERE IS NO LAWSUIT. They’ve threatened one, but they haven’t actually filed.

@Thad

You are right about the lack of an actual law suit, however this simple act of threatening a lawsuit has fostered an immense amount of publicity. Carreon has repeatedly followed a course of action that has continually nurtured animosity towards himself and the site he represents. Though he will not be disbarred for his actions his business will inevitably dwindle.

The lawyer just sued the National Wildlife Foundation and American Cancer Society as well as IndieGoGo over the fundraiser…. claiming by his name being attached to it, they violated his copyright…

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