UPDATE: For the latest on the Bear Love Campaign and to find out how you can help protest Charles Carreon's despicable lawsuit, go here.
|Photo Credit: Wikipedia. Hilarious My Daily Lie Meme courtesy of The Oatmeal.|
For the last several days, epic PR fails, clueless z-list weblebrities, astounding abuses of First Amendment rights, copyright mayhem, and...um...bears... all converged into the most delicious Ann Sandwich that the Internet Gods could have ever piled together and topped with a slab of bacon for me.
Great holy mother of scumbag douche fountains.
What a week.
If you have presumably been trapped in a well for the past week, you need to fill yourself in on The Oatmeal versus Charles Carreon versus Funny Junk versus Bears versus Cancer versus the entire Internet scandal.
Here it is in a nutshell:
Hilarious web comic, The Oatmeal, tells content aggregating pit of despair FunnyJunk to stop allowing users to post his comics without attribution or back links, while FunnyJunk rakes in advertising dollars from those posts. Pretty please with a cherry on top.
FunnyJunk acts afool, but The Oatmeal drops the issue because it's not worth the legal hassle.
A year later, FunnyJunk says "YOU WILL HAVE LEGAL HASSLE ANYWAY!!!!" and hires the attorney who successfully litigated the Sex.com domain name fraud case, Charles Carreon, to send Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) a letter, wherein he accuses Inman of defamation, false advertising, and
The Oatmeal decides to raise the $20,000, take a picture of it, send the picture along with a picture of FunnyJunk's mother seducing a Kodiak bear, and donate the money to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.
The Oatmeal raises $20,000 in 64 minutes and has since raised over $180,000.
Shamed and ridiculed scumbag lawyer gets butthurt and sues Inman, the charity fundraising site, and wait for it.... ALSO SUES THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION AND THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY.
Take a minute while all of that sinks in. I'll wait.
I know, right???!!!
Let's just go ahead and get the blatant ridiculousness out of the way. To summarize why the initial legal threat is absurd, I turn to my legal/common sense correspondent, Frassy, my six year old niece. Here is a transcript of my exclusive interview with her on why FunnyJunk's case and their attorney's general point of view on life are disgusting, litigious, greedy, and deserving of an unbridled shame fest:
Aunt Ann: How old are you?
Aunt Ann: And what grade are you going to be in this year?
Frassy: First grade.
Aunt Ann: First grade. Do you like to color pictures? Draw things?
Aunt Ann: What kinds of things do you like to draw pictures of?
Aunt Ann: Fireflies? Those are good. Now, Frassy, what would you do if there was a kid at school and they took your pictures and they hung them up and didn't tell the teacher that you were the one who drew them and they let everyone think they were the one who drew them? How would that make you feel?
Aunt Ann: Sad?
Aunt Ann: Do you think the other kids at school would think they had drawn the pictures instead of you?
Aunt Ann: Yeah. What if you asked them to stop hanging up the pictures without your permission? What do you think they would say?
Frassy: Uh....I don't know.
Aunt Ann: What if they said, "You're mean to say that I stole your pictures, so you have to give me $20 or I'll tell the teacher that you called me a thief?" What would you say then?
Frassy: I would tell the teacher, and then the teacher would put them in time out!
Aunt Ann: Frassy, do you know what a lawyer is?
Aunt Ann: No. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Frassy: A teacher.
I think that pretty well sums it up, but if you insist on having a member of the bar's assessment of their threats, read Inman's attorney's response. Had I been on the receiving end of this letter, I would be pooping my proverbial pants.
So, naturally, the angry villagers descended on Carreon and FunnyJunk like a school of piranha on bath salts. The internet, in general, does not take kindly to censorship and bullying. Carreon is the bottom of the loathsome barrel for taking the case and advising FunnyJunk to sue, let alone demand $20,000 in exchange for not pursuing the lawsuit. All of the ire and indignation and various incarnations of douche [random noun] name-calling, were justly deserved.
As with any internet shit storm, there were the gratuitous twitter impersonations, contact form spamming, e-mail porn bombing, and adolescent threats of bodily harm from the safe harbor of a bean bag chair in Mommy's basement. All of these activities are as abhorrent as what Carreon and FunnyJunk are trying to pull, and should be condemned, if for no other reason, than for the fact that they distract from the real issues and lend sympathy to the real asshats in the situation.
Had I been advising Carreon or FunnyJunk in a PR capacity it would be to drop the issue, give no comments, and stay off the radar. The whole thing would be over in a week. So I was a little surprised when the self described "Internet Lawyer" actually gave a response to Inman's comic and posting of his letter and seemed to be genuinely surprised that his violating an artist's first amendment rights had made people angry. I thought, "Huh. Not what I would have done. Oh well. Maybe this is a shrewd legal tactic. Act offended to make Inman look like the barbarian. Nobody really believes that the lawyer who litigated the sex.com case is actually offended by what some internet comedian thinks about him."
HOLY SHIT. THE LAWYER WHO LITIGATED THE SEX.COM CASE IS ACTUALLY OFFENDED BY WHAT SOME INTERNET COMEDIAN THINKS ABOUT HIM.
Charles Carreon wrote a rap about Matthew Inman.
Since Inman's post, not only has the full force of Charles Carreon's cray and hypocrisy come screaming into view, but also that of his family members, via rambling conspiracy theory posts on various news article comment sections and Twitter arguments with Carreon's many critics. Carreon and his wife Tara's website American-Buddha is a cacophony of hate speech, stolen artwork, books copied and pasted in their entirety, and disgusting photoshopped pictures of various politicians and government figures that they
This is where it stopped being funny.
Charles Carreon is suing Matthew Inman for making fun of him, IndieGoGo for letting someone raise money for bears and cancer research, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society for not having a crystal ball and policing every dollar that is raised for their organizations without their knowledge, and Does 1-Infinity (people that have yet to be identified, but no doubt encompass every reader of The Oatmeal) for also making fun of him and pointing out what an awe-inspiring horse's ass he really is. This herp on the ball sack of humanity went so far as to DONATE TO THE FUNDRAISER HIMSELF just so he could sue it.
I am simultaneously fascinated by his astounding levels of stupidity and ignorance of a technology he claims to specialize in, and equally repulsed by his absolute embodiment of narcissistic personality disorder, with a side of paranoid delusions. Not only is he now robbing cancer patients of funds needed to cure cancer, and bears of whatever bear funds pay for, by forcing these two completely innocent and probably unaware charitable organizations to pay for legal representation, but he is pissing in the face of every blogger on the web with his litigious fear urine.
I am an attorney.
If you say something I don't like, I will sue you.
Even though I might (will probably) lose, you will still have to pay someone to respond to my threats.
That is what I have gleaned from this scenario. This crazy, greedy bastard:
need only write and mail me a letter, and I will have to dig into my wallet and shell out money to an attorney to tell him about the constitution that I would like to think he had read before passing the bar exam.
What kind of a system is that? And what can we do about it?
I am reading all I can about this case, and you should too. Here are some action items that everyone should do, TODAY.
1. Donate to Matthew Inman's campaign to raise money for these charitable organizations. If The Oatmeal is not your style, then just donate directly to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. They need our help now more than ever, to deal with this moron's threats expediently and thoroughly.
2. Read up on the legal aspects of this case. Pope Hat and Lowering the Bar are too awesome sites that I have been following as a result of this case. It is funny, but very informative ongoing commentary on this case and others like it. Go. Now.
3. DO NOT THREATEN THE CARREONS. It is your First Amendment right to give your opinion, even if that opinion is that this guy is an ego-maniacal donkey fart. That does not give you the right to commit criminal acts or make threats. That only helps his cause and feeds into his conspiracy addled brain.
The only way I can stomach living in a world where this man is allowed to practice law, is if every writer, blogger, artist, and person with an opinion is able to share their thoughts without fear of costly, empty threats and frivolous litigation. Share your opinion on this and show Mr. Carreon, Esq that he can't get away with censorship and bullying just because he has a license to practice law.