Hey, Did Somebody Say Something Was Going On With The Oatmeal?

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84 Responses

  1. eddie says:

    I frequently depend on knowyourmeme.com to provide me with executive summaries of lolcat captions.

  2. Owen says:

    Ahh…exactly what I was expecting. Can someone post this on FunnyJunk? I don't want to actually visit that site…

  3. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    The Oatmeal is a GOD. I hope he has a lawyer or three lined up to waffle stomp funnyjunk

  4. Suz says:

    Great post, Ken. I don't often have time to read Matt's comments, but yesterday I made time, and yes I saw you there. Kudos to you! I hope this little kerfuffle (so to speak) goes down as one of the Great Moments in the History of Bitch-slapping Stupid Bullies.

  5. Narad says:

    Something tells me The Oatmeal's response will not be transcended in my lifetime. I honestly cannot remember the last time I've laughed this long and hard.

  6. Scott Jacobs says:

    Hey Ken… Have you heard what is going on with The Oatmeal?

  7. Reuven says:

    "I found people supporting The Oatmeal by saying that the FunnyJunk moderator was acting like "a Jew.""

    Well, then, there are no clean hands in this and I'm not going to have a dog in this race.

  8. dullgeek says:

    Do not forget, sir, that *you* have a well deserved award for badassery. You are a legend in your own right. And, as one who reads both of you, I immediately thought that the combination of the pope-meal-oat-hat would be all kinda previously unmeasured awesome.

    So don't be so humble. (A phrase I suspect you rarely hear.)

  9. Dan says:

    As a reformed habitual cartoon doodler and a fellow Sriracha zealot, I love and admire The Oatmeal. I strongly recommend reading The Oatmeal's take on the zombie apocalypse.

  10. joe says:

    That is some funny shit. The Oatmeal sounds like a bit like a non-lawyer version of Ken and he certainly has the appropriate level of snark in his response to FunkyJunk’s lawyer.. The only thing missing was a light swizzle of some legal precedents at the end explaining exactly how they were going to get waffle stomped to the curb if they pursued a lawsuit against The Oatmeal. I also noted in the demand letter from Charles Carreon the statement “Your false statements injured FunkyJunk in its trade, business, or profession.” I have yet to figure out exactly how or to what extent or if in fact such a thing were even possible given FunkyJunk’s audience/user base and business model.

  11. perlhaqr says:

    Wow. That response from the Oatmeal is pretty amazingly badass and awesome. :)

    I really hope I never end up a target of his squirrely wrath. Then again, I try to avoid acting like that much of a sawtoothed douchnozzle, so I probably don't have to worry about it all that much.

  12. Scott Jacobs says:

    I have yet to figure out exactly how or to what extent or if in fact such a thing were even possible given FunkyJunk’s audience/user base and business model.

    Well, duh… Calling out theft does tend to make it harder to steal…

  13. Rob says:

    This post is almost as funny as The Oatmeal's response to the lawsuit, which is high praise indeed, as The Oatmeal's response was fucking hilarious.

    By the way, I think you missed a NOT in this sentence:

    I will note, however, that Mr. Carreon and FunnyJunk are by far the first people to try the "you named me when you said mean things about me; that's a trademark violation" gambit…

  14. ShelbyC says:

    Unfortunately, the streisand effect works to funnyjunk's advantage here, I'm sure they're getting loads of traffic in response to all this.

  15. Bill H says:

    "I found people supporting The Oatmeal by saying that the FunnyJunk moderator was acting like "a Jew.""

    Well, then, there are no clean hands in this and I'm not going to have a dog in this race.

    Pretty good bet that was a moby, Reuven. We had a similar problem even more despicable than that about a year ago at AoSHQ, when a commenter for LGF came to a thread, planted a couple of racism bombs, then when they weren't removed immediately (it was the middle of the night), LGF claimed it spoke to how racist Ace and the Moron Herd really was.

    So, I would take the alleged anti-Semitism of The Oatmeal and it's so-called "defenders" with a shaker of salt.

  16. joe says:

    Scott – actually what I meant was it did not appear that users/audience of FunkyJunk altered their use of the FunkyJunk site as a result of The Oatmeals request asking the FunkyJunk to remove his stolen content. Therefore I couldn't see how The Oatmeals request could have injured or damaged FunkyJunk's business. And, was commenting to the effect their lawyer was spouting nonsense with no proof of damages to back it up.

  17. Scott Jacobs says:

    I know, Joe…

    I just wanted to call them thieves. :)

  18. SPQR says:

    That response was as good as the old legendary "Some moron is writing letters using your name" response.

  19. Chris says:

    I really hope someone posts the letter comic response to funnyjunk

  20. Jesse says:

    I wonder if Washington state has a SLAPP statute that provides for attorney's fees. If so, this lawsuit could be funny.

    Also, I really want a t-shirt that reads: "THE INTERNET IS AN ARCHIVE, IDIOT."

  21. Bret says:

    Jesse,

    A summary of Washington's anti-slapp statute is here:

    http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/anti-slapp-law-washington

    It appears to be modeled after the California statute and does allow for "your attorneys' fees, your court costs, and an automatic statutory damage award of $10,000".

  22. Pete says:

    people who would need others to provide them with an executive summary of a lolcat caption

    Oh. Oh my. It's like Ferrari and Audi and Porsche got all their engineers into a warehouse (with A/C and refreshments) and said to them "You do not make engines now. You make words."

    And lo the entire team did labor for weeks and months, and then gave up all hope and entered into deepest despair upon seeing this one snippet of brilliance.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Okay, http://www.petulantamoralcensoriousdouchebaggery.com now created and pointing to Charles Carreon's website. (As soon as DNS propagates.)

  24. Jack B. says:

    If Inman would illustrate Marc Randazza's quotes in this post, it would probably add up to something deserving of being displayed in The Louvre, next to the Mona Lisa.

  25. Michel says:

    So, when is this fellow going to join Jack Thompson in the ineffably incandescent hell that is reserved for disbarred and defrocked attorneys and barristers?

  26. Matthew Cline says:

    To be fair, about him taking a shot at the fund raising: the fund raising is tied into an insult about his mother having sex with a bear, so he might not be entirely rational about it.

  27. flip says:

    I am not surprised that there are people out there on the net who don't understand copyright. In fact, I deal with plenty of plagiarism from people who you'd think would know better, let alone those who are ignorant on the subject. I even had one person accuse me of lying simply because I was younger than them. What is it with people who think that just because something is on the net it's ok to use it for their own purposes?

  28. jess says:

    Gottta love Randazza's comments — – - -

    "But taking a shot at the fundraiser would not do that – it would just be lashing out to hurt bears and cancer patients? Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that's more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns' undergarments."

    Here is to hoping Carreon has in fact (1) realized the error of representing this particular cause/client and (2) not gotten into a pantywhuffle over The Oatmeals charity and tried to shut it down.

    Otherwise I can see Ken and Marc's comments of " petulant, amoral censorious douchebaggery" and "more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns' undergarments" being forever burned into the "internet archive" alongside the image of
    http://www.naderlibrary.com/chasflag4.jpg

  29. Max Kennerly says:

    As I wrote at my site, there's a lurking half-legitimate issue in there about whether making accusations of intentional infringement is something separate and apart from filing a DMCA notice, and thus could in theory expose content creators who make public accusations of intentional infringement against user-generated-content sites to liability. I just don't think this case, factually, is really set up to raise that issue, this is pure trolling of a party (The Oatmeal) with a legitimate greviance.

    I really do wonder what FunnyJunk and Carreon expected out of this.

  30. ElamBend says:

    I think I may have to memorize Randazza's eloquence as a model example of effusive shock and aspire to come sorta close.

  31. Hal_10000 says:

    "Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that's more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns' undergarments."

    I rarely actually laugh out loud but good gravy! It's almost lyrical.

  32. Gonzo says:

    Hooray! I just like that something I sent to Ken got mentioned, even at 1/31 diffusion! Good lord, i hope that when I'm a guy with a paunch i'm this popular.

  33. Hank Roberts says:

    > Given the sort of people who hang out on FunnyJunk …
    > much of what is posted there is other people's work,
    > scraped and slapped up without permission or attribution.

    These Internet users are a series of tubes, you know.

    Tubes are users who are long, hollow, and empty.

    They are pipes — they copypaste from one webpage to another, without attribution, without citation, and without thinking.

    But why?

  34. HK says:

    ShelbyC • Jun 12, 2012 @1:35 pm

    Unfortunately, the streisand effect works to funnyjunk's advantage here, I'm sure they're getting loads of traffic in response to all this.

    Except that curious clicks to confirm that you are a thief and a douche bag is not the same as traffic that grows your site. In other words, you have to keep the new visitors, or you just have a one day spike because you're a jerk.

  35. James Salsman says:

    Forget the sites' squabbling. We need an opinion on who can reliably insure the expected $1 million in cash for the photo shoot.

  36. ReadCarefully says:

    > Well, then, there are no clean hands in this and I'm not going to have a dog in this race.

    If you'd read more carefully you would've realized this was FUNNYJUNK users who were saying this.

  37. DiMono says:

    Hey, I thought you should know that I did some search digging on funnyjunk, and I found that not only is the site ripe with stolen material, but the search results are literally hardcoded to provide no results if you search for it by name. Search for cyanide happiness and you get nothing; search for cyanide on its own and you get over a thousand C&H comics, many of which say cyanide & happiness right in them. So FJ is more interested in hiding the fact that they're stealing copyrighted content than they are with removing it.

    I wrote a detailed article about it here, complete with screenshots since it's likely they will have suppressed the results of the searches I used as well by now.

    That they're trying to get the fundraiser shut down is despicable and new, though, so now I'm off to edit that information into my article.

  38. Scott Jacobs says:

    Welcome from RT, DiMono!

  39. T. J. Brumfield says:

    It is a logical fallacy to say that Inman's cause isn't just because one random asshat on the internet made a racist comment and agrees with Inman. That doesn't mean that Inman is a racist, nor that his cause is predicated on racism.

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/guilt-by-association.html

  40. TexasSwede says:

    Teh funny thing is that Charles Carreon has a blog (comments only for registred users), where he seemingly is critical of Youtube being able to host illegal/copyrighted content and not being sued:
    http://www.charlescarreon.com/notable-cyber-law-cases/caveat-creator-dmca-google/2010/06/23/

    "That’s a distorted reading of “right and ability to control.” Google has the right and ability to delete every single video on the whole site, or to just turn it off altogether. Google has the right and ability to delete every single video on the whole site, or to just turn it off altogether. To say they have no “ability to control” infringing videos until they know that they are infringing is like saying I can’t control my appetite until I know the caloric content of my food. If I were Viacom, not that I want to be Viacom, I would tell my lawyers to appeal on the grounds that the district judge distorted the meaning of the statute here."

    and

    "Please don’t take me for a copyright hawk, but this seems like a ruling that benefits a company that has made a habit of turning other people’s work into their payday, and is being encouraged to keep on doing it."

    and finally:

    "Google’s general knowledge that there was a whole lot of infringement happening on YouTube didn’t mean that it was obligated to start screening for infringing content or hunting it down once it was posted, because their job is just to have an effective takedown system to remove content once the creator tells them it’s infringing. The burden of discovering infringing content never shifts to the Online Service Provider, and it’s always the copyright holder’s job to find it and identify it by URL."

  41. Ken says:

    Make sure to view the latest updates to the post.

  42. Kevin says:

    As a recent law school grad struggling to find a job an IP, I'm pretty disappointed that nobody has even moved for Chapter 10 sanctions against Carreon. It's a shame the state Bars are so shy about sanctioning(or even disbaring) attorneys for non-stealing-your-clients'-money ethical violations. I don't mind losing out to seasoned attorneys with more skills and experience than I have to offer, but it does bother me that men like Carreon, whose main talent seems to be knowing how to be just thuggish and unethical enough to be effective and avoid prosecution, are out there taking a large share of the business all while making the profession look bad.

  43. Ken says:

    Well, Kevin, one impediment would be that no one has filed suit yet, preventing anyone from moving for anything. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by Chapter 10 sanctions. Do you mean under Texas' code of civil procedure? Because I'm not aware of any connection of the case to Texas.

    I agree, though, that State Bars should be more vigorous.

  44. Niedermeyer's Dead Horse says:

    Oh my! For a moment there I thought you were talking about the head Ewok, Ace from Ace of Spades.

  45. Patrick says:

    What is Chapter 10? Is this some Canadian thing?

  46. SPQR says:

    Unless he means Fed rules FRCP 10 … err, plus 1. Yeah, that's the ticket.

  47. Inuzuka says:

    Heh, gotta say I'm one of the Darths & Droids fans.

    This is an awesome story and I hope the money The Oatmeal manages to collect doubles and is put to good use.

  48. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the catch, I did actually mean Rule 11. I've been reviewing my bankruptcy code for an interview, and got it a bit mixed up in my head.

    Your point is well taken that the rules governing complaints can't take effect until a complaint is filed, even when a letter is deliberately filed to give the impression that one has been. I was assuming, given Carreon's ballsiness and apparent complete lack of self-awareness, that he must have acted on one of his threats at some point in his career and actually filed one of these baseless suits. Having read a bit more about him, I realize he's probably a lot smarter than I give him credit for, and that his scheme probably still works even if he has to backs down every time a potential defendant is ready to go to trial.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Oh, he went and changed his website. Now it's just forwards to an ad for his book, along with an "apology"(?) at the top, and a link to download it for free.

  50. SuperExec says:

    What's a lolcat? Please Cc my super-hot new secretary.

  51. Jesse says:

    Okay, if somebody could retcon the infamous ex parte graphic into a super-heroic ewok, my life would be complete ….

  52. Bravo, sir.

    Am I the only one who reads "Carreon" as "carrion"?

  53. Menachem says:

    So, in supporting The Oatmeal, the "valiant" and "righteous" of the internet find it ok to make fun of Jews.

    Irony, except to those of us who are Jewish who would have otherwise sided with The Oatmeal.

  54. Menachem says:

    Note – My above post is not saying all people, or even all supporters of The Oatmeal, are anti-Semitic. I'm just really exasperated at how easily people in general feel that they can make fun of Jews for no other reason than to get a laugh or make a point that has nothing to do with us.

  55. Ken says:

    Note – My above post is not saying all people, or even all supporters of The Oatmeal, are anti-Semitic. I'm just really exasperated at how easily people in general feel that they can make fun of Jews for no other reason than to get a laugh or make a point that has nothing to do with us.

    Menachem: I'm not sure I follow. I see something in my post calling out FunnyJunk for having anti-Semitic material, but I don't see anything mentioning Carreon's ethnic or religious heritage. Where are you seeing this making fun of Jews?

  56. Grifter says:

    I'm guessing it's the reference to "I found people supporting The Oatmeal by saying that the FunnyJunk moderator was acting like "a Jew.""

  57. Ken says:

    Yes. In a paragraph condemning FunnyJunk and the things people post there. Isn't it completely clear, between the sentence, the context, and the quotation marks, that the reference is condemning racism, not condoning it?

  58. Grifter says:

    Right. But it was a comment from someone defending theOatmeal, so I believe the commenter was expressing frustration about that; the comment wasn't a dig on you or the article. At least that's how I read it.

  59. Menachem says:

    Grifter has it spot-on. I love your article(s) on the subject, and love The Oatmeal. I'm just tired of seeing my culture and people made fun of even by people who are standing up for what otherwise is the "right" thing. Not a dig on you or a defense in any way of how moronic Funnyjunk and Carreon are acting.

  60. i love a good tale of ass-hattery says:

    how could a winner like charles carreon (or is it carrion) have fallen so far into the mire?
    hmm… seems he has issues with comingling – twice he has been disciplined for "for violating his duty to maintain client funds in trust"
    maybe he needs money to pay his visa bill?

  61. You can still have a perfect meal at oatmeal.

  62. M. says:

    You have a legal department? The mind boggles.

  63. M. says:

    The Internet is a truly invaluable entertainment tool. I wonder if, before the WWW, your average suburbanite would even have an inkling that people like this exist – not only from lack of exposure to the greater world, but because the Internet itself seems to provide your garden variety egomaniacal nimrod with an irresistible platform upon which to hoist himself from his own petard. Really, it's a freakshow with no admission charge.

    It's not that I don't care about the deeper issues here, mind you, just that I don't think there's anything left capable of surprising me.

  1. June 12, 2012

    [...] saga continues: FunnyJunk Issues Bogus Legal Threat To The Oatmeal, Hilarity Ensues | Popehat __________________ "You broke the rules! Now I pull out all your pubic hair!" – [...]

  2. June 13, 2012

    [...] Inman's retort to attorney Charles Carreon is already assuming mythical Internet status. [Popehat, BoingBoing, Kennerly, Lowering the Bar] [...]

  3. June 13, 2012

    [...] Some lawyer sent The Oatmeal a letter telling them to stop saying funnyjunk.com steals intellectual property and makes money from it. And that The Oatmeal should send him $20K. In response, The Oatmeal raised $100K from fans in less than 24 hours. The Oatmeal has a lot of fans. Bonus: shady lawyer goodness. [...]

  4. June 13, 2012

    [...] Ken at Popehat has a great post about one lawyer's surprise when the targeted blogger didn't just roll over. (H/T, [...]

  5. June 13, 2012

    [...] There is a good summary of what happened over here. The incident was picked up over at Popehat, here and then here. My conversation, which began on twitter, migrated over to the comments section of [...]

  6. June 14, 2012

    [...] Ben read "The Dummy's Guide to the 2012 Republican Primary," "All Your Creche Are Belong to Me," a poem that starts "She was the oracle of the boudoir…," and the following found poem: "Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that's more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns' undergarments." (Ben found the poem while reading about this situation.) [...]

  7. June 17, 2012

    [...] FunnyJunk Issues Bogus Legal Threat To The Oatmeal, Hilarity Ensues – The first in a series of posts about the Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk insanity on Popehat. Excellent look at the legal matters of this case. [...]

  8. June 17, 2012

    [...] Hey, Did Somebody Say Something Was Going On With The Oatmeal? [...]

  9. June 18, 2012

    [...] fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon's actions which include statements like "Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, [...]

  10. June 18, 2012

    [...] that tastes good, and is very entertaining. I highly recommend you head to Popehat, and read Part I, Part II, Part III, and finally, Part [...]

  11. June 18, 2012

    [...] make fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon’s actions which include statements like “Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, [...]

  12. June 18, 2012

    [...] So for those unaware, some idiot lawyer went and demanded money from The Oatmeal because The Oatmeal pointed out in a blog post that his client was stealing copyrighted material.  The Oatmeal replied in classic Oatmeal fashion.  You can also read a legal synopsis and prediction from the opening shots here.  [...]

  13. June 19, 2012

    [...] Some lawyer sent The Oatmeal a letter telling them to stop saying funnyjunk.com steals intellectual property and makes money from it. And that The Oatmeal should send him $20K. In response, The Oatmeal raised $100K from fans in less than 24 hours. The Oatmeal has a lot of fans. Bonus: shady lawyer goodness. [...]

  14. June 19, 2012

    [...] make fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon’s actions which include statements like “Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, [...]

  15. June 19, 2012

    [...] is some pretty interesting legal commentary available from popehat.com – Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV and some interviews from the man (Charles Carreon) himself [...]

  16. June 20, 2012

    [...] contemptible behavior on behalf of his client, FunnyJunk, against The Oatmeal can be found here at Part I, Part II, and Part [...]

  17. June 20, 2012

    [...] The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part I: Hey, Did Somebody Say Something Was Going On With The Oatmeal? (He… [...]

  18. June 21, 2012

    [...] make fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon’s actions which include statements like “Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, [...]

  19. June 25, 2012
  20. June 26, 2012

    [...] Part 1: What's Going on With FunnyJunk v. The Oatmeal? [...]

  21. July 3, 2012

    [...] Internets stood up and cheered, the campaign on Indiegogo met its initial goal of $20,000 in 64 minutes, and over $100,000 in the [...]