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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.

Website uses The Oatmeal comics without permission, demands $20K

What does this image have to do with creators' rights? Read on!

The old definition of chutzpah is a man who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.

The new definition is what the website FunnyJunk has done: It allowed hundreds of The Oatmeal comics to be posted without permission, and then when creator Matthew Inman complained, the site demanded he pay them $20,000 or be sued in federal court for defamation.

Yeah, you read that right.

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