It’s on now. Matthew Inman at the The Oatmeal has hired a crackerjack lawyer, Venkat Balasubramani, who sent a long and detailed letter to FunnyJunk essentially saying that their mothers should, in the end, have carnal relations with a bear.The Oatmeal wrote a blog post complaining about his content being made available on FunnyJunk. There is no dispute that large quantities of his content were indeed available viaFunnyJunk. To the extent FunnyJunk wishes to make clear that it has removed The Oatmeal’s content and that it should not be held responsible for the availability of this content on its site, it has an easy avenue to do so: FunnyJunk can publish a statement or a blog post to this effect.This would be the appropriate and First Amendment-friendly course of action for a website (that presumably shares the free speech concerns of the internet at large). In any event, FunnyJunk’s claims are meritless, and The Oatmeal will prevail in any litigation involving FunnyJunk’s threatened claims.To be clear, The Oatmeal will not cave in to FunnyJunk’s attempts to censor him through legal threats and bullying.
You’ll recall that this all started when Matthew Inman AKA The Oatmeal received a note from a lawyer representing FunnyJunk, a website that traffics in junk that is funny. Because Inman’s stories detailing how FunnyJunk stole his content appeared so high on Google, the company sued him for slander. They asked for damages of $20,000, not a small sum.
Instead of acquiescing, Inman created a fund to donate money to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Foundation. Dubbed BearLoveGood/CancerBad (because Inman suggested he would take a photo of the money alongside the opposing lawyer’s mother sexing up a bear), the fund raised $169,000 — $149,000 over the stated goal.
The lawyer, Charles Carreon, pictured above, was awestruck at the attention given The Oatmeal’s crusade. “I really did not expect that he would marshal an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails,” he told MSN.
Attempts to get Inman to comment for TC have been fruitless, but I suspect that’s because he’s working on funny comics and probably doesn’t want to deal with this stuff anymore. That said, let this be a lesson to copyright trolls everywhere: protect your mothers, because soon they will be ravaged by highly-sexed bears.