Not Content to Sue Just ‘The Oatmeal,’ Charles Carreon is Suing Charities as Well
Some people just don't learn. After incurring the wrath of certain sectors of the Internet for threatening to sue Matthew Inman, creator of the webcomic The Oatmeal, Charles Carreon, lawyer for the image hosting site FunnyJunk, filed suit against Inman on Friday. But he didn't stop there. Since Inman decided to use his dispute with FunnyJunk to raise money for charity via the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, Carreon decided to file suit not just against IndieGoGo but also the charities, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. That's right, Charles Carreon has now transformed from Internet nuisance to charity-suing supervillain.You can read my earlier post on how this whole mess got started, but here's the CliffsNotes version: 1) FunnyJunk illegally hosts several comics that are property of The Oatmeal; 2) Inman writes a post on his blog complaining about the stolen comics; 3) FunnyJunk removes most (but not all) of The Oatmeal comics and Inman washes his hands of the matter; 4) one year later, Charles Carreon, on behalf of FunnyJunk, threatens to sue Inman for allegedly false statements made about FunnyJunk unless Inman pays him $20,000; 5) Inman instead publicly ridicules Carreon and sets up an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $20,000 for the ACS and NWF (know more than $180,000 strong); 6) Carreon tries to get IndieGoGo to take down the fundraiser, which IndieGoGo refuses to do; 7) the rest of us have a good chuckle about it all.
Ken of Popehat.com and Kevin Underhill at Lowering the Bar broke the story that, on Friday, Carreon did, in fact, file suit with the United States District Court in Northern California, naming not just Inman as a defendant, but also IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Granted, Carreon isn't alleging that the latter defendants did anything wrong, but he is trying to legally enjoin them from receiving any money. Classy.
Incidentally, I tried to check Carreon's website last night, and was instead forwarded to the domain sex.comchronicles.com. I'm not sure if Carreon was having website troubles; one of his charges against Inman is "incitement to cybervandalism." (Remember kids, cybervandalism and harassment just feed the trolls.) But that took me to an advertisement for Carreon's book:
Clicking on the cover invites you to add the book to your Amazon shopping cart. Perhaps Carreon is following the little-known maxim, "When life gives you lemons, turn them into rotten lemons, and lemonade will surely follow."
I'm not sure where FunnyJunk is in this anymore. Carreon named himself, not FunnyJunk as the sole plaintiff. I'm half expecting a FunnyJunk rep to come out with his or her hands in the air pleading that they never expected it to go this far.
Underhill notes that Carreon's complaint contains several errors, and I've seen more than a few lawyers speculate that Inman's attorney could file an anti-SLAPP motion. SLAPPs are strategic lawsuits against public participation, and if California's anti-SLAPP statute applies to this federal case, a successful anti-SLAPP motion would have Carreon paying Inman's legal fees. Whatever the outcome, I'm sure this isn't the last we've hear of Carreon v. Oatmeal.
[Via John Scalzi]