The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part VI: The Electronic Frontier Foundation Steps In
Note: All of our coverage of the Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk matter is collected under this tag.
Only a very brief update today. Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal was already represented by the eminently qualified Venkat Balasubramani, whose initial response to Charles Carreon's bumptious demand was near-perfect. Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that it would be joining the fight at Venkat's side.
“This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic,” said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. “We're very glad to help Mr. Inman fight back.”
So, it looks like Matthew Inman is going to be just fine without likes of me or even Kevin. Nonetheless, it's not year clear who is representing the charities or IndieGogo, let alone the satirists and critics who may next be the subject of Carreon's wrath. So: my offer to attempt to find and coordinate pro bono help to any defendant (named or Doe) in this case remains. Thanks again for the many kind offers of help from lawyers, law students, and other professionals. (Fair warning: I may keep you in mind next time some other blogger is threatened with a bogus suit.)
First Edit: By the way:
Ironically, the threat of the first lawsuit never materialized. Carreon admits he was misinformed: Before demanding the $20,000, which was based on FunnyJunk's "estimate of advertising losses sustained due to the taint of being accused of engaging in willful copyright infringement," Carreon was told that all Oatmeal comics had been taken off the FunnyJunk site, even though they hadn't. "If I had known… no demand would have gone out," he says.
Correct me if I am misinterpreting it, but it sure sounds to me like Mr. Carreon is revealing a confidential attorney-client communication between himself and FunnyJunk in order to make himself look less ridiculous. Did FunnyJunk authorize Mr. Carreon to make that disclosure, which could prejudice FunnyJunk?
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