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EFF Will Represent The Oatmeal Founder

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EFF logoHere’s a quick update on last week’s post about the ongoing legal kerfuffle between The Oatmeal and Funnyjunk, which has morphed into a lawsuit by Funnyjunk’s lawyer on his own behalf against The Oatmeal creator Matt Inman:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)  has announced that it will represent Inman in the “bizarre lawsuit targeting the online comic strip’s fundraising campaign in support of the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.”

“I have a right to express my opinion, whether Mr. Carreon likes it or not,” said Inman in the EFF’s press release.  “While the lawsuit may be silly, the harm it can do is very real.”

In short, Inman and Funnyjunk were in a back-and-forth Internet battle regarding Funnyjunk’s alleged unauthorized posting of Inman’s comics. Then Charles Carreon, attorney for Funnyjunk, sent Inman a letter requesting $20,000 for what Carreon described as defamatory content against Funnyjunk.

In response, instead of sending any money to Funnyjunk, Inman poked fun of the letter at The Oatmeal and started a campaign to raise money for the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation, which pulled in over $220,000 at IndieGoGo.

Carreon, in turn, on his own behalf, sued Inman, IndieGoGo, the American Cancer Society, and the National Wildlife Federation for allegedly inciting “cyber-vandalism” and violating Carreon’s trademark in his name.

“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 what do you think of this ongoing legal kerfuffle? Will it really end up in court?

(Sorry, I just can’t get enough of the word “kerfuffle,” particularly as it applies to this case.)

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June 26th, 2012 at 12:38 pm