Attorney Charles Carreon is the gift that keeps on giving for comics and law bloggers alike.
He's the lawyer for the website FunnyJunk, which allows users to upload content they find amusing. About a year ago, The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman blasted FunnyJunk for posting a number of his comics without his permission. Two weeks ago, Carreon sent Inman a letter threatening to sue for defamation if he did not pony up $20,000. Inman posted the letter with some snarky commentary and set up a fundraiser on IndieGoGo to raise $20,000. His plan is to send a photo of the money, together with a rude cartoon about the mother of the FunnyJunk owner, to Carreon and donate the cash to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. More than $200,000 has already been pledged in the fund-raiser. But on Friday, Carreon sued Inman, IndieGoGo, and both charities.
Here's a quick roundup of recent developments:
• For those who like to go straight to the primary source, Lowering the Bar has posted Carreon's full complaint.
• Ken at Popehat posts a detailed takedown of Carreon's complaint, along with links to some of Carreon's rather bizarre photoshop creations.
• At Ars Technica, Casey Johnston also takes a hard look at Carreon's claims and reveals that he has offered a $500 reward to anyone who unmasks the creator of a fake Twitter account that was created in his name.
• At The Legal Satyricon, commenters speculate on what's causing Carreon to push this case to the limit. Blogger Marc Randazza, who tried to talk Carreon out of it, says:
I’ve always known him to be a reasonable, intelligent, and speech-protective type of guy. So, I really can’t tell what is going on in his mind. On a personal level, I am tremendously disappointed in him. On a professional level, I’ll be very disappointed in our court system if he is not crushed as a result of what he’s done here.
• And attorney Jonathan Corbett has written an open letter to Carreon saying he will file a formal complaint with the California Bar regarding Carreon's conduct.
Inman, meanwhile, has responded with an open letter to Carreon suggesting that he step back and take a deep breath — and instructing his followers to knock it off.
And the problem with running an unmoderated site that hosts user-uploaded content is illustrated right here: Inman's original post is on FunnyJunk. (At least for the moment. Enjoy the screen grab!)