By now, residents of Sacramento, as well as many people across the United States, are likely aware of the bizarre lawsuit between Charles Carreon, attorney for the website FunnyJunk and the Oatmeal’s creator Matthew Inman.
According to one source, the Oatmeal creator, Matthew Inman, accused FunnyJunk of reblogging his comics without giving him credit. FunnyJunk is said to be notorious for taking information from other sites without crediting the authors or artists.
In what started as a request for FunnyJunk to remove content posted to their site without Inman’s consent, exploded into a lawsuit that eventually drew in three other parties.
According to the Oatmeal, after requesting that the reblogged material be removed for failing to follow proper copyright law, FunnyJunk’s attorney, Charles Carreon, instead accused Inman of defaming FunyJunk and immediately demanded that the Oatmeal pay $20,000 in damages in addition to removing all reference of FunnyJunk from its website. Carreon threatened that if the money wasn’t paid, he would file a federal lawsuit.
Feeling that Carreon and FunnyJunk’s claim was groundless, Inman decided instead to launch a fundraising campaign in which all money raised would be distributed evenly to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. The original goal of $20,000 was quickly passed, soaring to more than $220,000. Due to the success of the fundraising campaign, Carreon eventually dropped his claims, and the money was distributed to the charities.
The case between the Oatmeal and FunnyJunk has cast the spotlight on the very serious subject of copyright law and copyright infringement. To protect yourself from a similar hassle, seeking the advice from an experienced attorney is recommended. After all, people who create unique work should not have to fear that someone else will take credit for their work.
Source: San Diego Reader, “Attack of the comic reposters,” Ian Pike, Aug. 15, 2012