Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:38 pm

In Which Charles Carreon Says Mostly True Things About Me In A Footnote
Mar 20, 2013
By Ken White.
Law

Last year I blogged quite a bit about the saga of the saga of attorney Charles Carreon's disputes with Matt Inman of The Oatmeal. I have an update. It is a minor one.

You may recall that Carreon uttered extravagant threats against a satirical blogger, only to settle the case in the blogger's favor when the blogger — aided by Public Citizen — sued for declaratory relief.

That case is now embroiled in a dispute over the blogger's request for attorney fees. Mr. Carreon, resisting any award of fees, served me with a subpeoena for communications with the blogger and the blogger's attorneys of record. I objected. Mr. Carreon has now filed his opposition to the motion for fees; you can read about his arguments at Techdirt or Adam Steinbaugh's blog.

I write not of the substance. I confine myself to noting footnote one of Mr. Carreon's brief:

White, a criminal defense lawyer with a Libertarian following, derides other lawyers at Popehat.com as “Censorious Asshats.”

http://www.popehat.com/2012/12/26/vote-in-the-secondannual-popehat-censorious-asshat-of-the-year-poll/ White conceived a special dislike for the Lawyer, recruiting readers to play a “Twitter hashtag game: #charlescarreonnewcareers,” and recruited them as an “Army of Davids” to “take a screenshot or print … to pdf [any] web page” showing that the Lawyer had made “an inconsistent statement [or] shows hypocrisy.” (Carreon Dec. ¶ 5; Exhibit 1.) When served with a subpoena for documents in this case, White responded with the disclosure that he had exchanged over 200 emails with the Gripesite Operator, and refused to produce anything, claiming that the Lawyer possesses “animus” towards White. (Carreon Dec. ¶ 5; Exhibit 2.)


Much of the footnote is true. I am a criminal defense attorney. I have a libertarian following. I deride attorneys, including Mr. Carreon, as censorious asshats. I conceived a special dislike for Mr. Carreon. I made up a hashtag game about him, and recruited people to point out where Mr. Carreon and his wife had engaged in rhetoric that was inconsistent with his contrived pearl-clutching horror over the contents of Mr. Inman's blog.

But Mr. Carreon's last sentence suggests that I refused to produce documents a subpoena in a federal case on the grounds that the lawyer issuing it had animus against me.

That is, at the most charitable interpretation, misleading.

Here are the objections I filed to Mr. Carreon's subpoena. As you can see, I objected to the subpoena, and declined to produce documents, on the grounds that (1) some of the communications Mr. Carreon sought were protected by the attorney-client privilege, or by the attorney work product doctrine, and (2) some of them didn't exist and never, so far as I knew, had existed.

The only mention of animus came in the paragraph in which I refused to produce a privilege log. A privilege log is a time-consuming document that would identify each email, its date, its subject, its sender, its recipient, and the basis for the assertion of privilege. It is a burdensome task. In my objections, I refused to produce such a log, on the grounds that Mr. Carreon had no good faith basis to demand the documents, and that the demand was likely made to harass, in light of his animus against me. The point about animus is located in the discussion of the privilege log, after I have refused to produce the documents based on the privilege.

Mr. Carreon's suggestion that I refused to produce documents based on an argument about his animus is, therefore, misleading at best. At worst, it is a deliberate lie to a United States District Judge. Or perhaps it merely represents a failure of even minimal reading comprehension. Mr. Carreon attaches my objections as an exhibit, as the footnote quoted above suggests; whatever this is, it's clumsy.

I leave the decision about which one it is to the reader — and to the judge.
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:39 pm

Charles Carreon Encounters Actual Legal Consequences
Apr 12, 2013
By Ken White.
Effluvia

All of my coverage of the saga of Charles Carreon, his threats against Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, and his dispute with a satirical blogger are collected here.

When I write about prolonged bad behavior in the legal system, I often get angry comments from people who say "when will the system impose consequences on people who act this way?" Take heart, I respond. The wheels grind slowly, but they grind. "Bullshit," comes the response. "Prove it."

Very well. How about an order requiring Charles Carreon to pay $46,100.25 in attorney fees?

Charles Carreon became infamous when he rashly threatened Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, leading to infamy and spectacle. Later he made very foolish and extravagant threats against a satirical blogger, leading to a declaratory relief action against him. He evaded service for a while, then capitulated in that case, but has been fighting over whether he should have to pay attorney fees.

Today a federal judge in the Northern District of California granted the motion for fees by the satirical blogger, granting $46,100.25 in fees to the blogger's attorneys, Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen and attorney and blogger Cathy Gellis. They had been seeking a total of $77,765.25.

Judge United States District Judge Richard Seeborg's order awarding fees is devastating to Carreon. Judge Seeborg rejects Carreon's arguments one by one, and finds Carreon's litigation conduct rendered the case exceptional, justifying a partial award of fees under the Lanham Act:

While defendant’s threatened claims were not “exceptional” at the outset of this case, defendant’s actions throughout the litigation certainly transformed this case into an “exceptional” matter, deserving of an award of attorney fees. The Ninth Circuit has stated that “bad faith or other malicious conduct satisfies the exceptional circumstances requirement.” Boney, 127 F.3d at 827. Evidence supports a finding of malicious conduct during the course of this case. Defendant first went to great lengths, imposing unnecessary costs on plaintiff, to avoid service. Then, in response to this motion for attorney fees under the Lanham Act, defendant engaged in unnecessary, vexatious, and costly tactics in preparation of his opposition to the motion. The Ninth Circuit discourages major litigation with respect to attorney fees. See, e.g., Camacho, 523 F.3d at 981; Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 437 (1983) (“A request for attorney’s fees should not result in a second major litigation.”). Defendant’s serving of interrogatories and taking of plaintiff’s deposition amounted to a mini-trial on plaintiff’s motion for fees. Indeed, plaintiff incurred an additional $37,650.25 in fees and costs after his motion was filed. Despite this additional discovery, defendant has presented no evidence to support his initial contention that plaintiff’s attorney is on a mission to “turn Internet gripe sites into profit centers for him and Public Citizen Law Group.” Doc. #45, at 4. Defendant has failed to show that his additional discovery efforts led to anything other than additional frustration for plaintiff and his attorneys. Accordingly, plaintiff’s efforts to respond to defendant’s litigation tactics merit the imposition of a fees award.


Judge Seeborg rejects Carreon's argument that the settlement precluded an award of attorneys fees. Carreon drafted his own offer of judgment. He could have made it clear that the offer precluded fees. He didn't.

Defendant cannot now escape the consequences of his inartful drafting.


Charles Carreon could have escaped with a much lower award, or no award at all. The court declined to award fees for the filing of the declaratory relief suit itself, or for the brief litigation of its substance, finding that Carreon's initial threats did not render the case exceptional under the Lanham Act. The bulk of this order — $37,650.25 — results from Carreon's bizarre discovery demands in response to the motion for fees itself, which the court described as "unnecessary, vexatious, and costly." Most of the rest of the order — $8,450 — results from Carreon's evasion of service. So, instead of facing a costs bill for a few thousand dollars at most, Charles Carreon is facing a bill for $46,100.25. Character is destiny.

There are consequences for bad behavior. They come slowly. But they do come.

Note: I was going to wait for Paul Alan Levy to write about this first, since it's his win based on his work. But Adam Steinbaugh and Mike Masnick scooped me.

Edited to add: Paul Alan Levy offers his thoughts, plus some very kind words for which I am grateful.
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:41 pm

In Which I Offer Apologies
Aug 3, 2013
By Ken White.
Effluvia

It has been brought to my attention by Charles Carreon — the attorney of Oatmeal v. Funnjunk fame — that I have victimized the following persons and entities in a reign of terror:

Thomas Menino, Mayor of the City of Boston
The Legislatures of Arizona and Connecticut
Michael Meehan, Chief of Police of the City of Berkeley
Meghan McCain
The Federal Trade Commission
Imaginary Lawyer David Blade

. . . . and many others.

In these depredations I have been aided by persons and entities identified by Mr. Carreon as "rapers," including but not limited to PZ Myers, Marc Randazza, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the University of Reading Atheist, Humanist & Secularist Society.

This is because of Plato.

I would like to apologize sincerely to everyone I have tyrannized (Except for the legislature of Arizona, because fuck you, fascist nutjobs. )
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:42 pm

An Open Letter To Charles Carreon
Aug 7, 2013
By Ken White.
Effluvia

Dear Mr. Carreon,

I've written some harsh things about you here in the course of covering the dispute that erupted when you sent a cease-and-desist letter to Matt Inman of The Oatmeal. You, in turn, have had some strong language about me at various locations including your site "Rapeutation.com." You accuse me of a "reign of terror" on this blog against people I criticize. You also assert that there should be a tort of "Distributed Internet Reputational Attack" allowing plaintiffs to sue when they experience a sustained online attack on their reputation.

I propose an online public debate on these topics.

May I suggest the following:

1. We will each pick one nominee, and those two nominees will agree on a moderator.

2. The moderator will choose where online to post our respective input in the debate.

3. Once a week, for six weeks, one of us will pose a question to the other, or make an assertion. The other will then have a set time to respond — shall we say four days? — and then the initiator of that cycle may reply within two days.

4. We will trade off on initiating questions or assertions. You may go first if you want.

5. We will email our input to the moderator, who will post it and have sole control over it, so that neither of us might fear a biased forum.

6. We can allow comments, or not, at your option.

7. The moderator can be empowered to delete personal attacks, or not, at your option.

8. We will agree not to pose questions that would require the other to breach attorney-client confidences or otherwise interfere with professional duties. So, for instance, I would not ask you to reveal communications between you and your client, FunnyJunk, nor would I seek your evaluation of a ruling against you in a pending case.

9. We will agree that the topics will relate to the intersection of free speech, reputation, online culture, and the role and duties of an attorney. If you agree, the permitted subjects may also include the statements we have made about this public dispute.

10. I will offer two examples. The first is this: "Submitted: the tort of Distributed Internet Reputational Attack, as proposed by Mr. Carreon, cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment as interpreted by modern courts, nor with the value of freedom of expression." The second is this: "Mr. Carreon: on your web site Rapeutation.com, you list 'David Blade,' Craig Brittain, and Chance Trahan as 'victims' of my 'reign of terror.' Can you explain in what sense they are 'victims,' and in what sense my writing about them is a 'reign of terror?'

Mr. Carreon, I would be happy to entertain proposals from you for amendments to this debate procedure.

Very truly yours,

Ken White
www.popehat.com
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:48 pm

63 Comments (Hey, Did Somebody Say Something Was Going On With The Oatmeal?, 6/12/12)

eddie • Jun 12, 2012 @10:37 am I frequently depend on knowyourmeme.com to provide me with executive summaries of lolcat captions.


Owen • Jun 12, 2012 @10:39 am Ahh…exactly what I was expecting. Can someone post this on FunnyJunk? I don't want to actually visit that site…


Mad Rocket Scientist • Jun 12, 2012 @10:40 am The Oatmeal is a GOD. I hope he has a lawyer or three lined up to waffle stomp funnyjunk


Suz • Jun 12, 2012 @10:46 am 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.


Narad • Jun 12, 2012 @10:55 am 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.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 12, 2012 @11:18 am Hey Ken… Have you heard what is going on with The Oatmeal?


Reuven • Jun 12, 2012 @11:18 am "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.


dullgeek • Jun 12, 2012 @11:42 am 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.)


Dan • Jun 12, 2012 @11:57 am 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.


joe • Jun 12, 2012 @12:00 pm 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.


perlhaqr • Jun 12, 2012 @12:05 pm 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.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 12, 2012 @12:24 pm 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…


Rob • Jun 12, 2012 @1:27 pm 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…

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.


Bill H • Jun 12, 2012 @1:49 pm "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.


joe • Jun 12, 2012 @1:52 pm 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.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 12, 2012 @2:51 pm I know, Joe…

I just wanted to call them thieves. :)


SPQR • Jun 12, 2012 @3:03 pm That response was as good as the old legendary "Some moron is writing letters using your name" response.


Chris • Jun 12, 2012 @3:09 pm I really hope someone posts the letter comic response to funnyjunk


Jesse • Jun 12, 2012 @3:21 pm 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."


Bret • Jun 12, 2012 @4:02 pm Jesse,

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

http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/ ... 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".


Pete • Jun 12, 2012 @4:20 pm 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.


Anonymous • Jun 12, 2012 @6:15 pm Okay, http://www.petulantamoralcensoriousdouchebaggery.com now created and pointing to Charles Carreon's website. (As soon as DNS propagates.)


Jack B. • Jun 12, 2012 @6:22 pm 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.


Michel • Jun 12, 2012 @6:37 pm 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?


Matthew Cline • Jun 12, 2012 @7:32 pm 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.


flip • Jun 12, 2012 @7:36 pm 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?


jess • Jun 12, 2012 @8:13 pm 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


Max Kennerly • Jun 12, 2012 @8:19 pm 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.


ElamBend • Jun 12, 2012 @8:47 pm I think I may have to memorize Randazza's eloquence as a model example of effusive shock and aspire to come sorta close.


Hal_10000 • Jun 12, 2012 @9:58 pm "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.


Gonzo • Jun 12, 2012 @10:57 pm 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.


Hank Roberts • Jun 13, 2012 @8:17 am > 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?


HK • Jun 13, 2012 @12:04 pm 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.

James Salsman • Jun 13, 2012 @2:18 pm Forget the sites' squabbling. We need an opinion on who can reliably insure the expected $1 million in cash for the photo shoot.


ReadCarefully • Jun 14, 2012 @4:58 am > 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.


DiMono • Jun 14, 2012 @6:00 am 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.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 14, 2012 @6:47 am Welcome from RT, DiMono!


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 14, 2012 @7:29 am 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/fallacie ... ation.html


TexasSwede • Jun 14, 2012 @10:31 am 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-c ... 010/06/23/

"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."


Ken • Jun 14, 2012 @12:53 pm Make sure to view the latest updates to the post.


Kevin • Jun 14, 2012 @1:41 pm 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.


Ken • Jun 14, 2012 @1:45 pm 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.


Niedermeyer's Dead Horse • Jun 14, 2012 @1:46 pm Oh my! For a moment there I thought you were talking about the head Ewok, Ace from Ace of Spades.


Patrick • Jun 14, 2012 @3:21 pm What is Chapter 10? Is this some Canadian thing?


SPQR • Jun 14, 2012 @3:55 pm Unless he means Fed rules FRCP 10 … err, plus 1. Yeah, that's the ticket.


Inuzuka • Jun 15, 2012 @1:26 am 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.


Kevin • Jun 15, 2012 @3:20 am 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.


Anonymous • Jun 15, 2012 @7:57 am 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.


SuperExec • Jun 15, 2012 @8:14 am What's a lolcat? Please Cc my super-hot new secretary.


Jesse • Jun 15, 2012 @11:38 am Okay, if somebody could retcon the infamous ex parte graphic into a super-heroic ewok, my life would be complete ….


Joan of Snark • Jun 17, 2012 @7:52 am Bravo, sir.

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


Menachem • Jun 17, 2012 @11:53 pm 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.


Menachem • Jun 17, 2012 @11:58 pm 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.


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @7:13 am 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?


Grifter • Jun 18, 2012 @7:30 am 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.""


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @7:33 am 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?


Grifter • Jun 18, 2012 @7:40 am 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.


Menachem • Jun 18, 2012 @9:02 am 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.


i love a good tale of ass-hattery • Jun 20, 2012 @8:57 am 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?


Sample Statements • Jun 21, 2012 @11:10 am You can still have a perfect meal at oatmeal.


M. • Jun 29, 2012 @1:19 pm You have a legal department? The mind boggles.


M. • Jun 29, 2012 @5:53 pm 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.
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:50 pm

PART 1 OF 2

149 Comments (How Dare You! That's The Wrong Kind of Bullying!)

Garrick • Jun 13, 2012 @5:01 am Well-said, Ken. Thanks for shining a light on this nasty little corner of the internets.


John Kindley • Jun 13, 2012 @5:46 am As a contrarian, let me nevertheless say that I in general approve of the tactic you describe, of jumping on the bandwagon so to speak. But it is imperative on the jumper before he jumps to exercise some independent thought. It is not enough to simply say that the enemy of my friend is also my enemy. Sometimes our friends are wrong. In this post for example you say that Crystal Cox attacked the child of her enemy. In my opinion this isn't true. She registered the domain name containing the name of the child of her enemy. One can speculate that she intended to use the domain name to attack the child, but to my knowledge she has never done so. Registering that domain name was indeed a bad move on her part, because it allowed her enemies to portray her as a monster who goes after the children of her enemies. All of a sudden the events that led her to become so angry become irrelevant, because nothing justifies attacking the child of one's enemy, even though she had not attacked the child of her enemy.


TomB • Jun 13, 2012 @5:55 am John, there is a simple, universal rule in this world. When in the middle (or beginning, or end) of a dispute, you never, ever, EVER involve children. Registering a domain name with a child's name and waving it in front of the parent is, by definition, involving a child in a dispute amongst adults.

It. should. never. be. done.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @6:15 am John, I think you can only adopt that interpretation of Crystal Cox's actions by willfully ignoring her past actions — like her written, proven extortion. And I can see no possible non-thuggish reason to register the domain name of an enemy's child. But if you prefer, I can re-open comments on the Cox post to discuss it.


TJIC • Jun 13, 2012 @6:15 am > If this were an 80-year-old probate lawyer, I could write this off as culture shock.

Been there, done that.

http://www.daily-nonsense.com/Blog/copy ... ity-ensues


Grandy • Jun 13, 2012 @6:15 am John, your grand show of saying nothing was almost as good as Prometheus'.


TJIC • Jun 13, 2012 @6:16 am @JohnKindley:

> One can speculate that she intended to use the domain name to attack the child, but to my knowledge she has never done so.

If a woman pulled a pistol on my child, it's POSSIBLE that it's actually unloaded and she intend on using it to brush a bee that's just landed off the child.

On the other hand, that's not how I'd interpret it.


TJIC • Jun 13, 2012 @6:17 am @Grandy

> John, your grand show of saying nothing was almost as good as Prometheus'.

Prometheus' visuals were better.

John's character motivations made more sense.

It's a tie.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @6:21 am I agree with everything you've said, including this: "There's no reason to exalt Carreon's power and condemn The Oatmeal's."

What I don't understand is, given your premise, why you think it is okay to exalt The Oatmeal's power and condemn Carreon's. We need to be careful about excusing conduct simply because we like the person doing it or find their comics humorous.

"Bullying" shouldn't be condoned regardless of the form it takes or the person who does it.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @6:26 am Justin: well, for one thing, Carreon's power represents the ability to use the force of the state against an individual for his speech, and take advantage of a system that does a poor job of protecting defendants from extortion and of separating merit from not-merit.

By contrast, The Oatmeal's power involves only encouraging readers to express themselves. No state power is involved. The Oatmeal's readers' speech cannot force Carreon into a distant court, force him to surrender papers, force him to answer questions under oath, or force him to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.


G Thompson • Jun 13, 2012 @6:28 am @John, I seem to remember a month or so that you stated unequivocally that you were going to stay neutral on this whole sordid affair about Crystal Cox so that you too don't get forced down the rabbit hole or something to that effect? Or was that my imagination? http://www.peoplevstate.com/?p=1989 – nope seems it was real

Your intelligent, you understand about intent, you understand about maliciousness and threats that people like Crystal keep doing and how they try to socially engineer through subtlety acts of extortion and fraud whilst acting like they themselves are so altruistic so that some people who should know better and should know all about the psychology of con artists all of a sudden think that these malicious individuals (who are also bat shit crazy and slightly psychotic) are so hard done by just because they have taken the time to stroke the ego's of the fools they have now conned.

As for the topic of this post, I suspect this lawyer is now understanding that maybe the law is beginning to evolve into it's original premise of "no fear nor favour" and what the owner of the Onion wrote back and did is up there, and might be even the US (or Internet at least) equivalant of that famous reply in Arkell v. Pressdram (1971) [unreported UK ] http://www.nasw.org/users/nbauman/arkell.htm


TJIC • Jun 13, 2012 @6:41 am @Ken:

> Carreon's power represents the ability to use the force of the state against an individual for his speech…The Oatmeal's power involves only encouraging readers to express themselves.

This.

In my legal contretempts 18 months ago, I bore no ill will to customers who found my opinions objectionable and decided not to do business with me. Good for them! Spend your money where you will – that's freedom.

On the other hand, I have nothing but seething rage for the armed statist bullies who threatened me, lied to me, implicitly held incarceration over my head, tried to trick me, tried to use bull crap laws against me, etc.

The power of social disapproval and loss of commerce is just and good. It's part of society.

The power of government intimidation is illegitimate, immoral, and evil.


Mad Rocket Scientist • Jun 13, 2012 @6:50 am Bullying is about power. A bully has power, knows he has power, knows how much power he has, is secure in that power, & most importantly, is willing to exercise that power to his own ends.

An attorney who knows how to use the power of the law and, due to the nature of our legal system, is secure in the knowledge that the law will most likely work for him whether he be right or wrong, can be a bully.

An internet artist/comedian has only his talent & his pulpit/website. The power of The Oatmeal lies not in his knowledge of the law & how to manipulate the system, but rather in his wit, and the willingness of his fans to rally to him. Until now, that willingness has never been tested. His cause is (IMHO, righteous), and thus his fans rally in his defense. If he tried to rally his fans again for a different reason, one not so righteous, he may find himself bereft of power. The power of The Oatmeal is fickle & not secure.


Mannie • Jun 13, 2012 @6:57 am There's a proverb that dates back to the Good Old Days(tm) (Oh, how I miss the Diptheria!) when these battles were fought out in the Letters to The Editor column.

"Beware of getting into a letter writing battle with someone who buys ink by the barrel."

We buy our pixels by the barrel. :-)


W. J. J. Hoge • Jun 13, 2012 @7:03 am Lawyers might want to remember the motto on the masthead of my website: Never pick a fight with a man who buys pixels by the terabyte.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @7:19 am @Ken:

First, you're engaging in some serious hyperbole. Carreon isn't Emperor Palpatine. He's an attorney. There are literally hundreds of thousands of attorneys, and anyone can hire them. He's not a member of some elite class afforded special powers reserved for only a few. I certainly understand that there can be imbalances of power when dealing powerful corporations and small individuals. But that's clearly not the case here. In fact, we know that The Oatmeal has had access to legal counsel during this specific situation.

Second, you write: "By contrast, The Oatmeal's power involves only encouraging readers to express themselves. No state power is involved. The Oatmeal's readers' speech cannot force Carreon into a distant court, force him to surrender papers, force him to answer questions under oath, or force him to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees."

You seem to be suggesting that the response The Oatmeal elicited was unexpected and merely fortuitous. This flatly contradicts the whole premise of the post, i.e., that Carreon was an idiot for messing with the power of the Internet. True, The Oatmeal can't assert any force in the legal arena (though he could, of course, hire an attorney to do so on his behalf). However, he could disparage the man professionally, cause him to be inundated with hateful speech, and cripple his on-line presence.

Ken says, "Perhaps some rude Oatmeal followers did actually send true threats or abuse to Charles Carreon's office — which I condemn." While it might be contemptible, it was not unexpected.

Look, I like The Oatmeal. Ironically, I'd never heard of FunnyJunk before this nonsense. I understand that this response should have been obvious to Carreon. However, what would have happened had The Oatmeal merely responded with a private letter responding to Carreon's claims?


JRM • Jun 13, 2012 @7:20 am But Mr. Carreon's feelings were hurted. The Oatmeal is some sort of Internet Thing, which doesn't have feelings and just acts hurtful. Words can hurt just as much as stepping on shattered glass. (FN1)

Even if Oatsy didn't call for a direct attack of the clones, its words were hurtful enough. Self-esteem is very important to self-actualization, and injuring the self-esteem of Mr. Carreon – which he has so clearly tried to develop – is not good for society. He should, of course, sue Oatsville personally:

Count 1: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. It could not be more clear that Oatguy is deliberately feeling-hurting.

Count 2: Libel. It's a deliberate lie to say someone isn't competent just because some of the legal or factual assertions they make don't completely match your precious objective reality.

Count 3: Interference with Prospective Business Advantage. How will Mr. Carreon get paid from any of his employers if people think he's a marginal, whinging idiot? How is this fair?

Count 4: Mendacity Corum Nobis. "Corum Nobis" is Latin, and you should always have one charge in Latin. I bet Oatmuffin doesn't even know Latin and he'll have to hire a lawyer and then at least poor Mr. Carreon won't have to deal with Oats4breakfast.

Anyway, I hope this helps Mr. Carreon.

FN1: In my actual experience, stepping on glass is much more painful, but my mother assured me it's words that are hurtful.


JRM • Jun 13, 2012 @7:28 am Justin/7:19 a.m.:

Carreon would have felt free to make more baseless allegations against less-savvy individuals and extort settlements. (Not Crystal-level extortion, but legal extortion.)

I'm not against legal threats with some basis to them, but completely baseless legal threats deserve to be crushed. Sunlighting nonsense legal claims is a good thing.

And Oatmeal didn't want people to personally pester Carreon, I don't think. I think he did want Carreon to be shamed. Getting hammered in the press is a legitimate result of this, and Oats' actions in getting that to happen serves as a solid deterrent to further nonsense by Carreon and others who would be him.

(Or maybe Carreon should sue. See above for my true feelings. Or not.)


Patrick • Jun 13, 2012 @7:38 am However, what would have happened had The Oatmeal merely responded with a private letter responding to Carreon's claims?
He'd have gone to his client and asked, "Do you want to file suit at my hourly rate?"

On Monday Carreon was credibly threatening litigation. Do you believe Carreon wants to sue The Oatmeal now that he's had a taste of this very bitter medicine?

Do you believe that even an astronomic fee could convince him to file suit against The Oatmeal, today?


Jordan • Jun 13, 2012 @7:38 am All the instances of FunnyJunk reproducing the Oatmeal's content are broken.

I hope FunnyJunk's lawyer didn't instruct them to delete those links, as doing so could be instructing a client to destroy relevant evidence…


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @7:51 am @JRM:

There are two separate issues here: The tactics deployed by both parties, and the substantive legal issue. I've been avoiding the latter one like the plague. I note that Ken hasn't really addressed this either. But, I will say this: The allegations are not nonsense, and they are not patently false.

If we set the Wayback Machine to 1984, we used to have something called the Betamax, which was among the earliest VCR's. Universal Studios sued Sony (the makers of the Betamax), alleging that the device was nothing more than a machine for infringing on copyright. The Supreme Court issued an opinion that rejected the argument under the idea that it could be used for the valid purpose of "time-shifting". This landmark decision has been called on recently to defend file-sharing sites such as YouTube, BitTorrent, and, yes, FunnyJunk. (I don't expect a lot of you take issue with BT; how many of you have used it?)

The basic argument is this: FunnyJunk (and similar sites) do not post original content but merely provide a platform for others to do so. This has generally been found to be an acceptable method provided that the site takes down offending content when it is noted. Whether or not FunnyJunk is doing this or not, I don't know. However, they claim that they are. Ironically, they did take down everything with "Oatmeal" in it, which the Oatmeal complained of because it only left unattributed material. He then notified them of specific pages where his content remained. It appears that FunnyJunk has now removed those pages as well. Based just on these facts, FunnyJunk would appear to be acting properly. (Whether or not they did so in a timely manner, I don't know.)

The primary issue complained of in Carreon's initial letter is that The Oatmeal made a false accusation of willful copyright infringement. If the allegations are true, it is indeed defamation. In my opinion The Oatmeal's statement that "[FunnyJunk has] practically stolen my entire website and mirrored it on FunnyJunk" does not rise to the level of defamation. But it would be wrong to say the claim is baseless, nonsense, or patently false.


Xenocles • Jun 13, 2012 @7:53 am "He's an attorney. There are literally hundreds of thousands of attorneys, and anyone can hire them. He's not a member of some elite class afforded special powers reserved for only a few."

Really? The license to practice law confers no privileges?

As for the rest, the "I'm only representing my client" bit only works for defense attorneys. When a plaintiff's lawyer takes a case he has the moral duty to evaluate its merit and its effects on the defendant, just as mercenaries don't evade responsibility for murdering people because that's what the job was.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @8:00 am @Patrick:

That proves the point. If the lawsuit were indeed credible or, let's say for sake of argument, even fully appropriate. The fact that he has been bullied into not pursuing it because of Internet pressure seems wrong to me.

@Jordan:

Now they're in trouble for taking down the offending material as The Oatmeal requested? In any case, it wouldn't be any kind of spoliation problem for taking down the pages provided they have preserved the material elsewhere.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @8:08 am @Xenocles:

I was addressing Ken's hyperbole. Of course a license to practice law confers authority. But we're just attorneys–not super-villains.

Yes, an attorney must act ethically even in the zealous representation of his client. But, "murdering people"? We're awfully close to Godwin's Law territory, people.


Patrick • Jun 13, 2012 @8:10 am Justin, what precisely do you propose to be a remedy for inappropriate bullying of attorneys by the internet? Gag orders as prevail in the United Kingdom?

Note that I don't share your assumption, for the sake of argument, that this claim was fully appropriate. I drew my own conclusions after reading Carreon's letter and The Oatmeal's response. The case has been tried in the court of public opinion, and Carreon and Funnyjunk have lost. This is fully appropriate.


Ugh can not remember • Jun 13, 2012 @8:19 am TJIC • Jun 13, 2012 @6:15 am – unfortunately, the link you provide has lots of dead links on it, so it is difficult to follow the story. I read it when it happened, but I wish the links there still worked. I was a good read.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @8:19 am That's a great question, Patrick. I'm not proposing a remedy at all. I certainly do not propose gag orders or censorship. On the other hand, resorting to the court of public opinion is itself problematic. It's great when the court of public opinion is on your side. But the public is often on the "wrong" side. It ends up as merely a different sort of bullying.

What I'm proposing is simple: civility–in both directions.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @8:25 am He's an attorney. There are literally hundreds of thousands of attorneys, and anyone can hire them. He's not a member of some elite class afforded special powers reserved for only a few. I certainly understand that there can be imbalances of power when dealing powerful corporations and small individuals. But that's clearly not the case here. In fact, we know that The Oatmeal has had access to legal counsel during this specific situation.
The existence of hundreds of thousands of attorneys does not ease the abusiveness of the legal system. It enhances it. It means that, because of the competition for legal work, it is easier to find an attorney to do something malicious, frivolous, meritless, or unethical.

Also, the very problem with the legal system is that the freedom to hire a lawyer does not protect you from the defects in the system. Hiring a lawyer is important — often essential to protecting your rights — and I usually highly recommend it. However, it's a gigantic cost. A lawyer, in our system, means that you may eventually prevail — or that the amount of tribute you're forced to pay to bandits is moderated. But in a system that does a bad job at terminating meritless suits early, does a poor job at making plaintiffs and plaintiffs' lawyers pay the costs of meritless suits (thus offering little incentive not to file them), and a bad job at managing the costs of litigation as it is ongoing, getting the best lawyer in the world doesn't mean you won't get screwed, even if you win.

You seem to be suggesting that the response The Oatmeal elicited was unexpected and merely fortuitous. This flatly contradicts the whole premise of the post, i.e., that Carreon was an idiot for messing with the power of the Internet. True, The Oatmeal can't assert any force in the legal arena (though he could, of course, hire an attorney to do so on his behalf). However, he could disparage the man professionally, cause him to be inundated with hateful speech, and cripple his on-line presence.
No, nothing I said can be reasonably read to imply that the result The Oatmeal elicited was unexpected to him. Tell me — why should one not disparage someone professionally if they do something professionally disgusting?

Ken says, "Perhaps some rude Oatmeal followers did actually send true threats or abuse to Charles Carreon's office — which I condemn." While it might be contemptible, it was not unexpected.
Yes, if many people read you on the internet, and you point out somebody's bad behavior on the internet, some small percentage of them is going to act badly. (What percentage is open to dispute: I see no reason to take at face value the characterizations of the butthurt, like Carreon, and false flags are always an issue.) However, I see this truism increasingly deployed to suggest "you shouldn't call out bad behavior because some people will act badly when you do" — in other words, "shut up and take the bad behavior." I don't agree.

However, what would have happened had The Oatmeal merely responded with a private letter responding to Carreon's claims?
Carreon, seeing success, would have continued to threaten and bully. The Oatmeal, if he responded through an attorney, would have unfairly incurred not insignificant costs.

But tell me — why do you ask that question? Why not ask "what would have happened if the attorney had taken a different approach?" Why not ask why the attorney didn't send a letter saying "my client has taken great strides to eliminate copyrighted material, and feels your cartoon is, based on those strides, harmful and unfair. Could we please discuss it?" rather than opening with a demand? Had he done that, and The Oatmeal published it and ridiculed it, I would have thought The Oatmeal was being a dick.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @8:33 am Also, any discussion of The Oatmeal's year-old post that generated Carreon's legal threat is not complete without a reminder of how FunnyJunk responded to that post.

I would summarize it thus:

1. The Oatmeal makes post complaining about FunnyJunk being run on a profit-from-infringement model.
2. FunnyJunk posts, to its flying monkeys, a "he wants to shut us down! contact him anyway [sic] you can!" post.
3. A year later Carreon threatens to sue The Oatmeal for his post, demanding that he take down his content.
4. The Oatmeal posts a public response.
5. Now some are saying "that was wrong to call FunnyJunk and its lawyer out publicly!"

You can see why I am unimpressed by #5.


John Kindley • Jun 13, 2012 @8:35 am GThompson, I am the only blogger I'm aware of who appeared to "sympathize" with Crystal Cox (unless you count her own attorney, whom Ken recently rightly referred to as a First Amendment "demigod"), so I felt prompted to respond to the post's reference to her sympathizers.

Grandy, You say my comment said nothing. I am on record as being skeptical of internet circle-jerking and "internet-mobbing." My comment was intended as something of a corrective to that. I generally approve of and applaud Ken's Popehat Signals and his rallying of the internet troops to worthy causes, with the stated caveats. It's effective. It can counter genuine bullying. If I hadn't been slacking off on blogging over the last month or so I would have or probably should have lended what little support my little blog could offer to these efforts. Sometimes mobbing is warranted and justified. (Circle-jerking, on the other hand, is usually never a good idea.)

Ken, I have to take exception to the suggestion that I am "willfully ignoring" her past actions, although admittedly I haven't done an in-depth study of everything she's ever done. But if we're talking about the same two alleged instances of extortion, the letter to one attorney and the email to another attorney, I would find her "not guilty" of extortion if I was on a jury, based on that letter and that email. That means I have a reasonable doubt it was extortion. That's not willful ignorance. I understand that meeting that standard is not required in order to opine on the internet that something looks like extortion.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @8:37 am @Ken: You're not making any distinction between FunnyJunk and Carreon. The lawyer's C&D was not public. The Oatmeal escalated as to Carreon when he went public.

This was my point from the outset: Why is 99% of the venom directed at Carreon and 1% at FunnyJunk?


Grandy • Jun 13, 2012 @8:39 am Jordan, the following is mere speculation on my part, that said what I took from the response posted at TheOatmeal was that said links were live when it was posted (And it has since been updated to note that the links are now broken, strengthening my belief). I can't speak to the legal ramifications.


Jordan • Jun 13, 2012 @8:42 am @Justin

"Now they're in trouble for taking down the offending material as The Oatmeal requested? In any case, it wouldn't be any kind of spoliation problem for taking down the pages provided they have preserved the material elsewhere."

FunnyJunk is threatening a lawsuit for defamation. Truth is a defense to defamation. If FunnyJunk in fact linked to the Oatmeal's content, wouldn't you agree that is relevant to a defamation suit…?


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @8:42 am Justin: again, I don't see why the recipient of a censorious threat letter has any obligation, moral, legal, or etiquette, to keep a threat private. Keeping it private enhances its effectiveness. By contrast, publicizing threat letters helps the public recognize that it not necessary to yield to them, eroding their general effectiveness and eroding attorney power to bully.


Jordan • Jun 13, 2012 @8:43 am "You're not making any distinction between FunnyJunk and Carreon. The lawyer's C&D was not public. The Oatmeal escalated as to Carreon when he went public. This was my point from the outset: Why is 99% of the venom directed at Carreon and 1% at FunnyJunk?"

1. Not public? When you write a letter, unless it's privileged, it's public.

2. Because lawyers are supposed to counsel their clients and say "Gee, threatening a defamation suit where you linked to a bunch of their stuff is probably a stupid idea. It will get you into more trouble than it's worth, and you'll look silly."

Kind of like what happened here…


strech • Jun 13, 2012 @8:45 am The Oatmeal … could disparage the man professionally, cause him to be inundated with hateful speech, and cripple his on-line presence.
Ken says, "Perhaps some rude Oatmeal followers did actually send true threats or abuse to Charles Carreon's office — which I condemn." While it might be contemptible, it was not unexpected.
1) God forbid the Oatmeal "disparage the man professionally" … it's not an illegitimate exercise of power to criticize someone for sending you half-baked legal threats.

2) The Oatmeal did not "cripple his on-line presence". He did. As Ken put it when talking about political correctness,

But if you act like a jackhole and people call you on it, you are not a victim of political correctness. You are a victim of being a jackhole.
What's crippling his online presence is people talking about his behavior.

3) The behavior of asshats would not be unexpected, if it happened. That doesn't mean The Oatmeal would be responsible for it. He didn't send threats. He didn't call for threats. He didn't even ask people to contact Carreon or FunnyJunk.
To hold him accountable for the predictable behavior of asshats would give asshats a bizarre reverse heckler's veto. (I'm talking in a moral sense here – you seem to be critical of the Oatmeal fighting back the way he did because of the actions of 3rd parties).


Jordan • Jun 13, 2012 @8:52 am Delicious irony:

FunnyJunk tried to pull this on the Oatmeal -

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/funnyjunk2


Grandy • Jun 13, 2012 @8:52 am Yes, John, I did accuse your post of lacking substance. Because while the words all mean something together they are less than the sum of the parts. Reading the registration of a child's domain name as innocuous or even somehow "neutral" is absurd and possibly disingenuous (I extend you the benefit of a doubt here and don't assume the latter). There is no getting around this. That particular comment is rhetorical nonsense.


Dan Weber • Jun 13, 2012 @8:54 am I do worry about the power of the mob. Just because The Oatmeal wasn't using state power doesn't mean there's nothing to worry about.

But I was impressed that Oatmeal blocked out the lawyer's personal information when he reposted the letter. (I saw it within about 45 minutes of the original posting so I assume I saw the original version.) If any schmuck wanted to track the lawyer down to harass him, Oatmeal at least made them work to do it.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @8:57 am That proves the point. If the lawsuit were indeed credible or, let's say for sake of argument, even fully appropriate. The fact that he has been bullied into not pursuing it because of Internet pressure seems wrong to me.
Why?

He's only being "bullied" from filing in the sense that people are lambasting his threat, and any filing would be highly unpopular. Why should a client — or a lawyer — be free from social comment on their lawsuit?

I remember a few years ago there was a couple — the husband a pastor — who encountered a little blind girl in public. The wife deliberately stood in front of the girl, who walked into the wife. The husband and wife sued, claiming negligence by the girl's parents, as I recall. The media picked it up, and the public reaction was swift and merciless. The couple withdrew the suit.

Was that bad? Was that wrong?

Sometimes the public's condemnation of a lawyer's behavior will be wrongheaded and evil. A good example is one I believe you brought up on twitter — the contemptible and un-American attacks on lawyers who represented Gitmo detainees pro bono. But the remedy for that is more speech. If people believe that Carreon's actions are actually praiseworthy, they can say so, and counter the speech of The Oatmeal's supporters. But that does not mean that the process of public comment on lawyer behavior is "wrong."


joe schmoe • Jun 13, 2012 @8:58 am @ John Kindley

"In this post for example you say that Crystal Cox attacked the child of her enemy. In my opinion this isn't true. She registered the domain name containing the name of the child of her enemy."

You have obviously never been stalked before.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @9:06 am Oh boy. This is quickly spinning out wider than I can manage. Let me just reiterate my points in a more succinct manner:

1) Oatmeal's fundamental complaint about FunnyJunk is perfectly valid. The site contained improperly posted material. He had a right to be upset about it and respond.

2) The Oatmeal's initial response was reasonable. However, it contained language that would naturally be troubling to FunnyJunk, i.e., the accusation of theft on the part of FunnyJunk.

3) FunnyJunk's response, i.e., to disparage The Oatmeal to its users, was improper and unnecessarily escalated the situation.

4) Carreon's letter was generally reasonable and well within the norms for legal practice. However, it too was unnecessarily heavy-handed and escalated the situation. (In particular, I think the demand for money was a step too far.)

5) The Oatmeal was understandably angered by Carreon's escalation. However, The Oatmeal's response further escalated the situation by personally attacking Carreon in an inflammatory way.

6) The response to FunnyJunk, Carreon, and The Oatmeal is driven more by identity than by their respective actions.

That's my take.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @9:12 am John: I'm torn between wanting to respond and not wanting to derail further. Let me just ask this: when you elect to reserve judgment on whether or not Crystal Cox's registration of domains in the name of Randazza's wife and three-year-old daughter was part of an attack on Randazza through them, do you take into account the sorts of things she had previously written about Randazza's wife?

I can see an advocate for Crystal Cox, seeking to defend her, constructing an argument about how it requires speculation to determine why Cox registered those domains, and that we shouldn't speculate. But I find it very difficult to understand how anyone not acting as her advocate can reach that detached conclusion, given her past actions.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @9:13 am @Ken

Short version: A lawsuit should be judged on its merits by an impartial arbiter–not based on the the popularity of the parties. I'm wary of considering summaries of cases for which I do not know the facts, but Carreon's response in this instance is not equivalent to the woman suing the blind girl's parents.

Let me put this another way: Do you think The Oatmeal did anything wrong in this situation?


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @9:19 am Short version: A lawsuit should be judged on its merits by an impartial arbiter–not based on the the popularity of the parties.
But it will be — if he files suit. It will be "judged" — in the sense of "adjudicated" — by a (purportedly) neutral party, the judge and jury. You seem to be implying that there is a public obligation not to form opinions of cases. I think that sometimes the public judges badly, and that critique of the public's judgments are to be encouraged, but I don't believe anyone has an obligation not to speak their mind on the merits of a case.

Let me put this another way: Do you think The Oatmeal did anything wrong in this situation?
In the sense of morally or ethically wrong or non-frivololously legally actionable? No. Not that I have seen so far.


perlhaqr • Jun 13, 2012 @9:24 am "You're a jerk, Carreon. A complete kneebiter."


Grandy • Jun 13, 2012 @9:28 am Dan Weber, yes I agree it's an issue. Ken has touched on the issue many times here as you well know. Here's the thing, I'm not really interested in just saying "beware the mob" and making the evil eye every time a situation like this comes up (I don't think you are doing this, mind).

I can't speak to all the particulars here but TheOatmeal can and should encourage people not to be douche bags (he may know his audience well enough that he doesn't feel it's necessary; I might argue that since there is always the lunatic fringe, it's a good idea to do it anyway). That said, Camereon deserves public ridicule. We can deal with the "pro Oatmeal" (or Anti Cameron, as it were) lunatics as they come up. And we can do all of these things at the same time and should.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @9:30 am I feel like this is winding down. I wanted to thank everyone for the high level of discourse. You guys have given me lots to think about, and I've modified my position based on it. I hope I've done the same. See, it is possible to argue civilly on the Internet!


joe • Jun 13, 2012 @9:31 am Sorry Justin – not buying it.

In large part because I cannot see how FunkyJunk was actually harmed by The Oatmeal’s statement that FunkyJunk “practically stole his website” To ask for $20,000 in damages assumes there are actual damages. Where are those damages enumerated? I saw nothing in Carreons letter describing any specific or provable loss of advertising revenues or other damage to FunkyJunks business. The former was never provided and later would have to assume the 12 year old boys and other monkeys that participate on FunkyJunks site actually understand copyright infringement or that if they did that they actually give a damn – clearly they don’t and didn’t. Seems to me no provable damages no lawsuit.

Furthermore, to send out such a letter, which was liberally sprinkled with other false accusations – such as SEO manipulation, etc. was clearly designed to do nothing more than create fear that The Oatmeal was in serious trouble and that he should cave in (I mean allow himself to be extorted) out of $20,000. Such action by any lawyer deserves to be publicly called out and ridiculed in hopes they will actually learn not to do it again.


joe • Jun 13, 2012 @9:32 am Cool – I hit the post button on my last comment before your post – so don't take it the wrong way please.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @9:37 am Justin: thank you for your willingness to argue an unpopular position politely.

And let me modify my last answer to you just slightly. I would have been happier if The Oatmeal had added an explicit "don't go be asses like FunnyJunk asked its crew to do" at the end. Nice, though not required.


alexa-blue • Jun 13, 2012 @9:38 am @ Justin: "Escalation" is pretty vague. Everyone on the internet seems pretty willing to escalate by calling someone a "fag" or "son of a bearlover" (obviously some have more panache than others). Whining, mocking, gnashing of teeth is mundane and if that's all this had been it would been quickly forgotten and ignored by pretty much everyone.

Heavy-handed, censorious demands for $20,000 cash or face lawsuit probably deserve a different verb.


Xenocles • Jun 13, 2012 @9:43 am "But, "murdering people"? We're awfully close to Godwin's Law territory, people."

You can use any act in their continuum of force if you're squeamish. Except by degree, how does it differ from Carreon's demand that The Oatmeal stop complaining and pay $20K or face a potentially ruinous lawsuit? There's no such thing as absolution by way of job description, as you seem to recognize.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @9:53 am Not at all, Joe.

Let's be super practical for a minute here. Obviously, I don't know with certainty, but I can all but guarantee Carreon's thinking was along these lines: He sends the letter, The Oatmeal takes down the bit about theft, and the two parties never talk to each other again. Everyone goes on their merry way. I'm sure Carreon had no expectation of actually filing a lawsuit. I'm sure he had no expectation of actually getting paid.

Yes, that's the way this stuff usually goes. No, it's not a great way of handling things. I do have some sympathy for Carreon, as he got a shitstorm he clearly was not expecting–even though he brought it on himself with his heavy-handedness.

As a separate, technical matter. Defamation is an intentional tort. Even if a plaintiff cannot demonstrate actual damages, they could be awarded nominal damages and punitive damages. And the real issue of actual damages would not be with the users anyway; it could be as simple as loss of advertising revenue.

(NOTE: I am not asserting that FunnyJunk's case was a winner or that they would be able to sustain any such claim for damages. I'm only discussing in the hypothetical here.)


Xenocles • Jun 13, 2012 @10:01 am But here's the thing, Justin: if I hold a gun to your head it doesn't matter if I know it's not loaded. When you issue a threat it's entirely reasonable for the target and any observers to take it at face value. Arguably the threat is intended to be taken at face value – if not, what purpose does it serve? I mean, you don't go all in and immediately turn over your 2-7.


mojo • Jun 13, 2012 @10:09 am The Normal curve applies to lawyers too. And I'd say we're into "low-end tail" territory here.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @10:13 am @Xenocles:

It's not like a gun to the head. It's just not. In the same way it's not like merely threatening to take away a child's toy. It's somewhere in between best described by what it actually is: A threat to file a lawsuit.

The Oatmeal could have responded directly to the lawyer along these lines: I disagree with your letter. Nevertheless, I have modified the language in my post to make clear that I am not accusing FunnyJunk of willful trademark infringement. However, I do not believe your client has adequately addressed my concerns as outlined in my initial post. Please take down the following improperly posted material.

No, it wouldn't have been as funny. That's why I'm a lawyer and not a web comedian.


Xenocles • Jun 13, 2012 @10:24 am Some people respond to threats with full compliance. Some try to negotiate a compromise. Some will spit in your face. If Carreon truly didn't think that third path could happen then he's a fool.

You seem to be uncomfortable with my hyperbolic analogies, and I can understand that. But I don't know what kind of lawyer you are if you don't understand that even defeated litigation can ruin a defendant. It's the very reason why settlements are so popular. Then again, some people are willing to look past the Pyrrhic part of a victory, and it seems like The Oatmeal is one of them (for now!).


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @10:31 am This discussion reminds me of a quote from an email I received from a defamation-threatener who was outraged that I wrote about his threat:

You are supposed to shut down your articles out of respect and protocol. Then we discuss. I did my part as far as giving you proper notice.
I'll let people guess who that was.


Grifter • Jun 13, 2012 @10:36 am If I recollect, Justin, the Oatmeal gave them a list of links to examples of unattributed the Oatmeal comics, which they ignored and left up. They deleted only ones that attributed the Oatmeal, and have since had anything tagged "the Oatmeal" changed to "the fag", in addition to originally making false claims about the Oatmeal wanting to sue them. That seems as though it makes the Oatmeal's claims legit and non-defamatory?


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @10:41 am @Grifter

The issue, as I understand it, is that there would be no way for them to feasibly identify the offending, non-attributed posts. The Oatmeal did post a list of non-attributed links remaining, and those too have now been removed. There is a "copyright removal request" link on their site.

I certainly agree that FunnyJunk's response was improper. However, it would not make any potential defamatory claims non-defamatory. (Again, not that I think The Oatmeal's comments were, in fact, defamatory.)


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @10:43 am Imagine, for a moment, the amount of time The Oatmeal would have to spend — or pay someone else to spend — to police FunnyJunk for misappropriated content, which is driving their traffic, which is making them money.

It's not feasible. Which is their business model.


Grifter • Jun 13, 2012 @10:44 am "have now been removed". But they weren't removed from the initial request, they were removed much later. During the time between the links were provided and they were still up, it was a fair comment to make.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @10:45 am @Xenocles:

Maybe Carreon is a fool. I'm not ready to make that judgment, but that's not what I'm arguing in any case.

Yes, litigation can be ruinous. But those are outliers into which movies are made. See, A Civil Action. By and large, it is not ruinous. Inconvenient, yes. Expensive, sometimes. But, in this particular instance, would not have been ruinous to The Oatmeal. He acknowledged his access to quality, free legal services.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @10:47 am @Ken:

I get that. But the Betamax case says that's okay. I'm not sure what the point of that argument is. Do you think FunnyJunk should be shut down? If so, you'll have to shut down YouTube first. Of course, we love videos of piano-playing cats, so that's awkward.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @10:51 am @Grifter:

I haven't been able to deduce the timeline between The Oatmeal's listing of the specific offending posts and their removal. Certainly, any unreasonable delay on FunnyJunk's part would warrant a response.

Again, this goes back to the conflation of Carreon with his client. An attorney should never be tarred by the independent actions of their client.


Linus • Jun 13, 2012 @10:56 am If you threaten me "privately", and I believe the threat is merit-less and assholy, and then I say so publicly, I'm guilty of "escalation"? What ethical duty, what moral duty do I have to not comment publicly on it? All I can hear in my head is "ooh, bad form Jack." The idea that unless you lie back and think of England you are exhibiting poor manners and "escalating" is mewling silliness.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @11:03 am @Linus:

It's objectively escalation. I'm not saying it's always wrong to "go public", but it is an escalation. I'm not saying it's bad manners. I'm saying it makes the situation bigger and less likely to be resolved, which is bad. That can be outweighed by benefits, as others have pointed out, such as discouraging bad behavior in the future. The problem, which is a potential issue in this case, is that the public assessment can be driven by the identity of the parties not by the merit of their respective positions. I.e., Carreon is a douchebag attorney, and The Oatmeal is hilarious.


John Kindley • Jun 13, 2012 @11:07 am Ken: Here's where we get to the "rabbit hole" in this conflict, down which I hesitated and hesitate to go further, and therefore declared my "neutrality." If this post by Cox was "beyond the pale," earlier actions by Randazza, which preceded and prompted this post, were arguably also beyond the pale. I interpret the post you linked to as an attack on Randazza, and on his decision to describe the event described in it, and about how that related to his "defense" of Limbaugh, rather than an attack on his wife. The way CC looked at it, according to her, Randazza had already put this story out there. CC obviously put a different spin on it, to make a rhetorical point related to Randazza's defense of Limbaugh. I personally think that rhetorical point is tenuous and strained. Honestly I don't see the harm done to Randazza's wife by that post, other than CC using a derogatory word to describe conduct already described by Randazza. It's not even clear from the post that CC herself believed that word should be used to describe that conduct. As far as the registration of the child's name, this was without a doubt intended as a giant Fuck You to Randazza, as in you were too damn dumb to register this name, as she has described her intent multiple times. But I seriously doubt that CC would ever have taken it a step further and used that domain name to talk about what she talked about in the post you linked to. After all, that post, as ugly as it was, didn't name the child.

I don't relish "defending" either that post or CC's decision to register the domain name of the child, both of which I recognize were misguided and distasteful. But if we look at that post and that decision fairly and as not so beyond the pale as precluding any consideration of what went before, we can consider what went before. As CC saw it, her former potential counsel was cooperating with opposing counsel and trying to get her thrown in jail. That's pretty damn serious, and likely to really piss off even the sanest among us. But I don't know the details and the correctness of CC's perceptions on that score. This is why I described this situation as a rabbit hole, and a situation I'd rather not weigh in on. Honestly I'm not taking sides. I think there's two sides to this story. This wasn't going to be a bandwagon I was going to jump on. If that makes me a "sympathizer" of Cox, so be it.


EH • Jun 13, 2012 @11:15 am Justin: A threat to file a lawsuit…unless they receive money. Why isn't that barratry?
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:51 pm

PART 2 OF 2 (How Dare You! That's The Wrong Kind of Bullying! Cont'd.)

4) Carreon's letter was generally reasonable and well within the norms for legal practice. However, it too was unnecessarily heavy-handed and escalated the situation. (In particular, I think the demand for money was a step too far.)

Do explain how these two statements are consistent. I can't think of any way in which "uneccessarily heavy-handed" and "generally reasonable" coexist, and in fact the (weasel) words used would seem to introduce a bit of the mutual exclusive thing.

John Kindley:
I am on record as being skeptical of internet circle-jerking and "internet-mobbing." My comment was intended as something of a corrective to that. I generally approve of and applaud Ken's Popehat Signals and his rallying of the internet troops to worthy causes, with the stated caveats.

The stated caveat(s) being self-serving in that you have to not see it as circle-jerking?


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @11:16 am John: we're going to have to agree to disagree.


CTrees • Jun 13, 2012 @11:50 am Interestingly, if you search FJ for "oatmeal," you get no results. However, if you search for, say, "bearodactyl," you get TONS of results which blatantly infringe on The Oatmeal's intellectual property.

At least searches for "the oatmeal" no longer redirect to searching for "the fag," as FJ previously implimented.


strech • Jun 13, 2012 @11:58 am Threatening a lawsuit is far greater escalation than anything the Oatmeal has done. That it's in a letter containing numerous transparently stupid statements clearly intended to intimidate while holding no legal force doesn't help this.

Also, how would making it public make it "less likely to be resolved", given FunnyJunk's clear disinterest in doing anything about it without public pressure. And since your preferred solution includes "The Oatmeal takes down the bit about theft", it's explicitly worse, given that it's a historical comment that's pretty clearly accurate about FunnyJunk's business model.

the public assessment can be driven by the identity of the parties not by the merit of their respective positions
"can be"? Can you provide any evidence this actually occurring? And strictly on the merits –

The Oatmeal has made several statements about FunnyJunk, all of which are pretty clearly accurate, started a charity fundraiser, and made a tasteless joke about bear sex.

FunnyJunk has (a) lied about the Oatmeal's intentions and told its users to contact him, (b) had Carreon file an inane legal threat which deserves every bit of scorn it's gotten. Additional, Carreon has tried to interfere with said charity fundraiser.

The merits isn't exactly a hard call here, in regards to any of them.

Additionally, "I.e., Carreon is a douchebag attorney" – you know, I've never heard of Carreon before, and likely very few other people had either, apart from vague comments about sex.com that said nothing about him. If he's ended up as "douchebag attorney", it's because of his actions in this case.


fredzeppelin • Jun 13, 2012 @12:10 pm Justin D. Jacobson wrote:

"The Oatmeal could have responded directly to the lawyer along these lines: I disagree with your letter. Nevertheless, I have modified the language in my post to make clear that I am not accusing FunnyJunk of willful trademark infringement. However, I do not believe your client has adequately addressed my concerns as outlined in my initial post. Please take down the following improperly posted material."

I'm curious if this would typically be the proper or advised course of action. How does spending time and energy and money modifying old posts and writing letters further the cause of The Oatmeal? Does mollifying a bully make them go away or come back for more later?

I think this gets to the heart of bullying (which is how I view sending someone a baseless letter from a lawyer demanding $20k up front or else a lawsuit) and how people feel about it.

"I disagree with you wanting to take my lunch money and trapper keeper. Nevertheless, I have given you half of my lunch money. However, I would still like to be repaid for the lunch money and sweet mechanical pencil you took from me last week."

F#ck that. If the bully picks on someone who punches well above their weight, and gets a black eye for their trouble they deserve every bit of it.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @12:21 pm @EH: It has to be frivolous and for the purpose of profit to be barratry (or SLAPP). That presumes Carreon's allegations in the C&D were baseless. There's enough meat on that bone, I don't think it qualifies.

I don't think my comments are contradictory. By "generally reasonable", I was implying a sort of spectrum of conduct for attorneys in this situation. It ranges from Carreon's heavy-handedness to, "Pretty please, take down the bad stuff you sent about us". Carreon was on the end of the spectrum but within the outer bounds. He would have been better served–clearly!–by a less heavy-handed approach, but that doesn't mean the conduct wasn't within that spectrum of appropriate conduct.

@Strech:

I feel like a broken record on this point, but you are conflating Carreon with his client. I believe that many people are being unduly harsh on Carreon because he is an attorney and because they like The Oatmeal. I'm not sure what evidence I could marshal other than my general experience with human nature. Generally, attorneys are held in lower regard than popular Internet comedians.

I also continue to take issue with referring to it merely as a "charity fundraiser", what with the mother-bearlove vector involved.


strech • Jun 13, 2012 @12:35 pm @Justin:
I don't think I'm conflating Carreon with his client; maybe I'm holding him more responsible for the letter because I think the appropriate response a lawyer should give to a client requesting a legal threat over someone saying something they don't like is usually going to be "no", unless you're certain you can reach the high standard of malicious libel. And any chance Carreon had of being the "my idiot client made me do this" is belied by the actual content of the letter.

The law is not some sort of higher way of saying "Pretty please"; it is much much closer to the gun analogy. Threatening lawsuits to make a point instead of actually making the case is one reason no-one likes lawyers.

Also, re: lawyers. Ken seems pretty well liked, apart from all the crazy people he has to deal with.


Robert • Jun 13, 2012 @12:38 pm "I really did not expect that he would marshal an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails," he says.

This is HILARIOUS! Has he ever actually USED the Internet?


Scott Jacobs • Jun 13, 2012 @12:44 pm At least searches for "the oatmeal" no longer redirect to searching for "the fag," as FJ previously implimented.
Tell me you have screenshots of it doing that…


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @12:44 pm The complaints about FunnyJunk's conduct are distinct from Carreon's. When you string them together, it muddies the point as to both. That FunnyJunk relabeled The Oatmeal's content with "fag" has not bearing on whether or not Carreon acted improperly.

As a technical matter, The Oatmeal accused FunnyJunk of theft. If false, it constitutes libel per se, and malice need not be proven.


desconhecido • Jun 13, 2012 @12:47 pm After reading a bit about this controversy yesterday I cruised on over to the subject lawyer's website and found this. Compare what Carreon says about Youtube with what Oatmeal said about Funny Junk. The differences is are in tone and directness, not substance.

This is very rich irony.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @12:51 pm @Strech

"Threatening lawsuits to make a point instead of actually making the case is one reason no-one likes lawyers."

1) Carreon made his case. Parts of it were apparently specious, but there core of it is facially valid. See my post at 7:51 am.

2) Kinda proves my point. The vast majority of lawyers do not do what you suggest.


SPQR • Jun 13, 2012 @12:51 pm Jacobson, I don't agree that labeling FunnyJunk's business model as "theft" is libel per se. I think its protected opinion as most people would realize that the word "theft" is being used in a general sense rather than that of a specific criminal offense.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @12:55 pm @SPQR:

I agree and said so earlier. But it's not nothing. It's a colorable claim even if it might ultimately not hold water.


desconhecido • Jun 13, 2012 @12:59 pm "As a technical matter, The Oatmeal accused FunnyJunk of theft. If false, it constitutes libel per se, and malice need not be proven."

Of course it's false. Everybody knows it's false. It's hyperbole and metaphor and insult, not an actual accusation of criminal conduct. For a statement to be defamatory doesn't there have to be the possibility that someone being exposed to it might reasonably believe it?


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @1:02 pm Alright, I've avoided today's workload long enough. I've got to check out. Thanks again, everyone.


SPQR • Jun 13, 2012 @1:05 pm In the mid '90's, in the early days of the WWW, I was working for a large, national law firm in their entertainment law / IP group. The firm had large toy and entertainment conglomerates as clients. At a meeting discussing some heavy handed cease and desist threats being proposed against various supposed "infringers" like fan sites, I pointed out the dangers of inciting mass backlash responses.

I remember the incredulous looks I got from the senior attorneys in that group, both incredulous that there was any chance of people being able to muster such support and incredulous that anyone would "dare" to publish a C&D letter. I was scolded for my silly notions. About a year later, after one hilariously panic'd client responding to what would today be seen as a tiny backlash, the group learned to write C&D letters that would be published …


strech • Jun 13, 2012 @1:55 pm @Justin:
I find it hard to read the Oatmeal's part there as saying anything other than "FunnyJunk's business model involves making advertising off of other people's stolen material by letting users upload it and claiming ignorance". I don't find a legal claim on this particularly plausible; I guess a lawsuit on the Oatmeal's words is legally colorable, but I don't think it's enough to threaten a lawsuit. I suppose that's different standards on what kind of situations justify involving lawyers.

I probably would have shrugged off Carreon's involvement as distasteful but unimportant if the letter had more or less stopped and summed up at the "In addition to the above quoted false statement …" sentence, but here that would ignore:
a) The rest of Carreon's letter, which is inexcusable;
and (b) the evidence that the Oatmeal is accurately describing his business model.


Via • Jun 13, 2012 @1:57 pm @Justin
Ok I know this argument has died down but I wanted to point something out.
"Let's be super practical for a minute here. Obviously, I don't know with certainty, but I can all but guarantee Carreon's thinking was along these lines: He sends the letter, The Oatmeal takes down the bit about theft, and the two parties never talk to each other again. Everyone goes on their merry way. I'm sure Carreon had no expectation of actually filing a lawsuit. I'm sure he had no expectation of actually getting paid."
In the letter Carrion sent The Oatmeal he doesnt just ask for the comic against funny junk to be taken down, he asks for that AND twenty thousand dollars. There was no "or"


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @2:05 pm As a technical matter, The Oatmeal accused FunnyJunk of theft. If false, it constitutes libel per se, and malice need not be proven.
This is a bit misleading. Libel per se means that, when calculating damages, the plaintiff need not prove specific damages, because harm is presumed. It does not free the plaintiff from burdens of proof imposed by the First Amendment with respect to liability — including, in some cases, actual malice.


Charles • Jun 13, 2012 @2:06 pm @ Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @12:51 pm

@Strech

"Threatening lawsuits to make a point instead of actually making the case is one reason no-one likes lawyers."

2) Kinda proves my point. The vast majority of lawyers do not do what you suggest.
Yes, but neither will the vast majority of lawyers stand up and voice disapproval of such bad behavior by their supposed peers (Ken here is a refreshing change of pace). There is either telling silence or a notable circling of the wagons from the legal community. This is quite noticeable and does nothing for the outside observer but give the impression that such behavior is tolerated (as you clearly tolerate Carreon's actions, by your statements here) if not approved of.

Lawyers as a class have a bad reputation in our society specifically not because so many of them are genuinely bad actors, but because genuinely bad actors must go to absurd extremes before they face any real professional repercussions.

I must ask this: if anyone other than an attorney had sent a letter stating, in effect, "hand over $20,000 or I will devote my time and energy to making your life difficult", would you be defending that writer? How does saying that Carreon's actions fall within the "spectrum of conduct for attorneys in this situation" make such a stance acceptable? It is a naked threat, not an attempt to resolve a dispute peaceably.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @2:07 pm desconhecido, that's a wonderful find. Amending the post.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 13, 2012 @2:25 pm @Ken:

You're correct, I was mixing up my issues. The libel per se obviates the need to prove actual damages. As I said elsewhere, it alone would support an award of nominal damages and, as an intentional tort, punitive damages.

The issue of malice is a separate one. Under NYT v. Sullivan, to make a case for defamation the plaintiff must show actual malice if they are a public figure.

My apologies for the confusion.


jetaz • Jun 13, 2012 @2:55 pm Perhaps I am confused, but why is Carreon's conduct not extortion? The essence of his letter is "pay me twenty grand or I will sue you."

Am I the only one who feels like the subtext of this letter is "If you don't pay, it will cost you more to fight it, even if you win. And if I win, I get to use the guns held by the state to force you to pay me. So you should just yield; cause it is gonna cost you either way." Or is that just my layman mind thinking?


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @2:59 pm jetaz, I'd answer, but the response would be either (a) so generic as to be useless, or (b) highly tl;dr.

Get a flavor here.


jetaz • Jun 13, 2012 @3:57 pm Ken, I think I am even more confused. Perhaps I miss understood that ruling, but it seemed like the court said, "You can't prevail in an anti-SLAPP motion if the conduct you are being sued for was illegal. And in this particular case, Mauro did commit extortion, which is illegal, so we are going to agree with the lower court and dismiss Mauro's anti-SLAPP motion."

But how does that relate to whether or not Carreon's conduct was extortion?

Extortion has been defined by the Washington Legislature as "knowingly to obtain or attempt to obtain by threat property or services of the owner, and specifically includes sexual favors." (RCW 9A.56.110)

Threat has been defined by the Washington Legislature in RCW 9A.04.110(28), specifically relevant is paragraph (j) "To do any other act which is intended to harm substantially the person threatened or another with respect to his or her health, safety, business, financial condition, or personal relationships;"

Carreon is attempting to obtain Matthew Inman's property, specifically $20,000 of it, by threatening to file a frivolous lawsuit which is going to harm Mr. Inman with respect to his business, financial condition, and probably his personal relationships. How is that not extortion? I am not trying to be difficult or internet lawyer-y, but I am honestly confused.


Ken • Jun 13, 2012 @4:18 pm jetaz, that cite was my quick reference for the proposition "the line between legitimate negotiation and extortion is not perfectly clear or bright." Ignore the SLAPP elements and focus on Sections B2 and B3, which discuss whether the methods there were extortion and why.


Edward Green • Jun 13, 2012 @6:52 pm Justin, you said:

"It's objectively escalation. I'm not saying it's always wrong to "go public", but it is an escalation. I'm not saying it's bad manners. I'm saying it makes the situation bigger and less likely to be resolved, which is bad."

If I get a C&D Letter with a demand for 20k, and I hire a lawyer, isn't that an escalation as well?

Or are you suggesting that as a non-lawyer, I should enter into a private discussion with someone who's trained in the law? That sounds rather foolish to me.

The only way for it not to be an escalation is to pull the comments and cut a check.


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 13, 2012 @9:14 pm Ken, I've really enjoyed these posts. They're both enlightening and enjoyable. IANAL, and I imagine it is fair to say that the light between legitimate negotiation and extortion isn't always clear, but isn't the flip side of that statement that sometimes it is?

Isn't "give me money or I will do bad things to you" the very definition of extortion?


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 13, 2012 @9:22 pm And not only should an "internet lawyer" be familiar with internet bullying (and the Streisand Effect), but he should be aware his client leveraged the same tactic last year when FunnyJunk emailed all their members asking them to harass Inman.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @5:53 am @T.J.:

"[T]he light between legitimate negotiation and extortion isn't always clear, but isn't the flip side of that statement that sometimes it is."

You've stated the fundamental issue far more clearly and succinctly than I did. That is absolutely true. In my opinion, while a close call, Carreon's conduct is in that acceptable range. That's pretty much what I've been taking about 120,000 words to say.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @6:01 am To clarify: It's not extortion to try to settle a claim prior to bringing a lawsuit.

If your response is that the threatened lawsuit in this instance was frivolous, I would say: (a) it's not extortion to try to settle a frivolous claim prior to bringing a lawsuit, and (b) the claim in this case was not frivolous.

There is clearly a disconnect between the lay use of the term "frivolous" and its use in the legal context. In the legal context, there is a much higher standard. You might decry that, but the alternative would give rise to a serious chilling effect in bringing lawsuits generally, particularly against well-funded defendants, which seems to be precisely the sort of thing you are actually concerned about.

I would also point you to the McDonald's coffee case, of which there is a great summary here.


Patrick • Jun 14, 2012 @6:41 am In my opinion, while a close call, Carreon's conduct is in that acceptable range.
The lawyers I admire (and I've been doing this for close to 20 years) don't skate onto thin ice. There's a vast gulf between the ethical practice of law and avoiding Rule 11 sanctions.

If it seems to be a close call, it isn't. It's wrong.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 14, 2012 @6:43 am But Justin, it is extortion to do so when your claim is absolutely without merit.

He knows it is, because prior to this letter, he is on record claiming that conduct such as funnyjunk's is not valid (see quote by another commentator).

He sent a bullshit letter where he threatened painful, lengthy, expensive litigation unless he got paid off.

He then cried about having th3 mob sent after him when a) the Oatmeal didn't send people after them, he just asked for donations b) his client had ACTUALLY sent a mob of mouth-breathers after the Oatmeal after the first run-in, and did so by lying about the issue c) and then his client, clearly knowing Oatmeal content remained, redirected all searches for the Oatmeal's stuff to "the fag".

How the unholy monkeyfuck is HIS conduct the stuff you are OK with?

The only possible explination I can think of (and I have tried to come up with others) is that you are either associated with the lawyer, or with Funnyjunk.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @7:11 am @Patrick:

I agree with you in principle. However, as a logical necessity, there must be some conduct that is close to the line but acceptable. Otherwise, the area of acceptable conduct ultimately shrinks to nothing. I maintain that the conduct here was acceptable. We can disagree about that. Do you think it is obviously improper or patently frivolous as others have said? Do you think FunnyJunk's claim of defamation for The Oatmeal's comment that they were committing theft is "absolutely without merit"? (See below.)

@Scott:

I've addressed what you've said in your post elsewhere on a couple of occasions. The claim is not absolutely without merit. It was not a bullshit letter. He did not demand a "pay off", which implies something nefarious. The independent acts of his client should have no bearing on how we judge his conduct.

And, no, I am not associated with Carreon or FunnyJunk. As I've said previously–did you read my prior posts?–I'd never heard of either of them prior to this situation.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @7:14 am I'd like some lawyers to weigh in on this fundamental issue:

I understand you might not like FunnyJunk's business model, but do you believe that FunnyJunk is acting illegally in the operation of their website?

If the answer to that is "no", then I don't see how you can say that Carreon's claim of defamation per se is patently frivolous. I don't think it would ultimately hold up in court, but it's not patently frivolous.


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 14, 2012 @7:16 am On the whole I do see that a lawyer needs the ability to try and negotiate a settlement out of court. Asking for money to avoid a suit isn't inherently wrong in my opinion (I'll avoid the terms legal and illegal). I think I get where Justin is coming from.

But I agree with both Patrick and Scott's counter-points. Carreon has a track record of comments that suggest he knows this potential lawsuit has no merit. He isn't negotiating in good faith. He's shaking Inman down for money.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @7:20 am That's certainly possible. I don't know Carreon at all. I am unaware of hsi prior dealings in these sorts of situations. I was merely addressing the facts of this situation objectively.

Even that's not possible. To be honest, what really triggered my response was a sense of sympathy for an attorney acting in the scope of their representation and getting hammered for it. I'm a debt collection attorney, so there is a greater than zero chance I'm overly sensitive to this sort of thing.


JRM • Jun 14, 2012 @7:25 am Scott:

I think your thinking powers lack range on this subject. I think Justin's wrong on this thread, but he's engaged his audience and articulated a position in a way that shills historically don't do. (Clues: Apparent real name of poster, willingness to change view, politeness, failure to call opponents names.) This is not behavior consistent the swarm of locusts FJ tried to send out the first time.

As to affiliation with Carreon, it doesn't make a lot of sense for some of the same reasons (and their geographic lack of proximity and lack of other apparent ties).

In short, I think this is a cheap shot of the "everyone who disagrees with me must be corrupt because I am so obviously right all the time," variety. Bad call, friend.

–JRM


ShelbyC • Jun 14, 2012 @7:27 am Dear Charles Carreon,

On an interview with MSNBC, you claimed that the Oatmeal "marshal[led] an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails," he says. This claim is clearly false and defamatory, and done with actual malice. To avoid a lawsuit, please send a check for $20,000 and a drawing of your mom attempting to seduce a Kodiak bear, to the American Cancer Society and the World Wildlife Federation.


JRM • Jun 14, 2012 @7:27 am Ah, during composition of this lots of other posts here. Anyway, my point still stands about the cheap shot.


ShelbyC • Jun 14, 2012 @7:57 am @Justin, "I understand you might not like FunnyJunk's business model, but do you believe that FunnyJunk is acting illegally in the operation of their website?

If the answer to that is "no", then I don't see how you can say that Carreon's claim of defamation per se is patently frivolous."

Not a lawyer, but I don't get it. Did Carreon claim that the oatmeal said that funnyjunk's business model was illegal? The statement Carreon claims is false is a perfectly accurate description of at least a portion of funnyjunk's business, which, as you say, we may not like, no?


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @8:24 am Sometimes defamation claims are obvious: "John stole my iPhone." (assuming he did not actually steal it.

A lot of times, they are not. Ultimately the trier of fact must look at the totality of the communication for context. That Mauro case, cited earlier, is a good example. You'll note that the court stresses that it's finding is based on the specific facts of the case. They always are.

In this instance, The Oatmeal's comment that FJ "practically stole my entire site" combined with the rest of the post could reasonably be read as a stating that they intentionally violated his trademark. If false (and I think it is based on Betamax), it establishes a non-frivolous claim of defamation.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 14, 2012 @8:33 am And while you would be correct were the claims false, the links provided by the Oatmeal easy suggest they they are not, on their face, false. If you go there now, you will still find Oatmeal comics.

The Oatmeal makes no money from them posting his content, while funnyjunk does.

Sounds like theft to me.

Please, besides the bullshit of "he called us mean names make him stop", what in the letter the Oatmeal received was either accurate or actionable?


Scott Jacobs • Jun 14, 2012 @8:35 am And to address another point – yesthere are areas near the unethical line. Means to an end that are questionable, but not actionable.

What Patrick meant, I believe, is that the lawyers he respects – the ones the should be respected – never have to go that far. Their actions are always clearly ethical, no "close" about it.


perlhaqr • Jun 14, 2012 @8:38 am Justin: I think everyone here is sort of arguing at cross-purposes. I get the impression your point is mostly that Carreon didn't deserve to be mocked (and receive 10k+ emails calling his mother a bearlover) for "doing his job", as it were.

That because Carreon is a lawyer, and not an internet humorist, he deserved to have his legal instrument addressed by another legal instrument, and not merely subjected to public ridicule.

The problem with this theory (if it is actually how you feel) is that a lot of people think lawyers who send outrageous C&D letters are jerks. And sending an outrageous C&D letter to someone who is not a lawyer, but rather an internet humorist, is likely to elicit a response of the form the person receiving it is most comfortable with. Not being a lawyer, The Oatmeal didn't respond with a legal instrument, he responded with, well, internet humor. And other people, having read both the original C&D, and The Oatmeal's response to that C&D, decided that the original C&D was outrageous, and that this makes Carreon a jerk, and then decided on their very own to let Carreon know how they felt.

Think of it as the egalitarian tendency of the internet; ain't none of us safe from being called a jerk if we act like a jerk in public. From the lowest SEO marketroid to the very President of the United States, if you kick a puppy and people find out about it, it's going to get you called all sorts of very exciting and probably misspelled names on the internet.


ShelbyC • Jun 14, 2012 @8:44 am @Justin: "In this instance, The Oatmeal's comment that FJ "practically stole my entire site" combined with the rest of the post could reasonably be read as a stating that they intentionally violated his trademark."

I'm not sure how. Isn't it perfectly clear, in context, that the "stole" refers to other users uploading the oatmeal's content, and funnyjunk claiming ignorance? It appears, in context, two lines after a numbered list describing such activity.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @8:51 am @ShelbyC, you need only look at Scott's post three up to see that's not the case. Scott thinks that FunnyJunk is committing theft because user's are posting Oatmeal content on their site and they are making money. It seems clear that he thinks this because of The Oatmeal's post.

He's wrong. It's objectively not theft. (Seriously, Scott, look at the Betamax case.) But it demonstrates with remarkable clarity the basis for Carreon's defamation claim.


perlhaqr • Jun 14, 2012 @8:52 am ShelbyC: In addition to that, on Carreon's website, at http://www.charlescarreon.com/temporarily-unavailable/ (referring to his contact page) Carreon states: "Due to security attacks instigated by Matt Inman, this function has been temporarily disabled."

Now, I don't know if there's a legal definition for "instigate", but my basic knowledge of the English language suggests this means that Inman actually told people to attack Carreon.

Since Inman has, to the best of my knowledge, said no such thing, would this also count as defamation? An implication that Inman engaged in illegal behaviour to rile the crowd to harass Carreon? (In my very limited understanding of legal details, I believe it to be the case that there's no First Amendment protection for inciting a riot or inciting a lynch mob.)


Victor • Jun 14, 2012 @8:58 am Statute of Limitations for defamation in the state of Washington is 1 year. Should this actually make it to trial this will most likely get thrown out of court since the post by Inman in question if my facts are right was made on May 2011. Carreon feeder serves a demand letter to Inman on June 2012.

Man so many strikes against Funnyjunk, why they wait so long to make this demand? Did the Admin wake up one morning and said oh shit I need more money, let's see if I can pick on this guy who complained about me almost a year ago? Disgraceful.


desconhecido • Jun 14, 2012 @8:59 am Two points:

1. In a rather interesting, and in my opinion, well written and reasoned, article posted on his website, Carreon discusses the Google/YouTube business model in essentially the same way that Oatmeal discusses FunnyJunk's business model. No, Carreon is not insulting or comically crude, but as I noted before, the differences between Carreon 's comments about Google and Oatmeal's comments about FunnyJunk are in style, tone, and directness, not substance. This is a pretty good indication that Carreon understands that what Oatmeal posted about FunnyJunk is reasonable and fair comment.

2. It is common to refer to those who willfully violate copyright law, and those who profit from that violation, as thieves and to refer to improperly used material as stolen. Of course, it's not theft and the material has not been stolen and everybody understands that. The references to property crimes are metaphorical and are used to express the opinion that those who violate copyright laws, and those who profit, are reprehensible; morally no higher than common thieves. It's sort of like referring to Bill Clinton as Chelsea's pimp. Nobody would think that an accusation that they are engaged in prostitution.

So, Carreon understands all this. He understands criticism of the business models of entities like YouTube and FunnyJunk — he's engaged in it himself. He's a self-proclaimed internet lawyer so he should be expected to have some understanding of the use of metaphorical and insulting expressions of opinion with respect to copyright violators and those who profit from those violations.

Finally, would casual reference to a lawyer as an "ambulance chaser" be considered an accusation of the crime of barratry or would it be protected opinion that the lawyer in question is reprehensible?


ShelbyC • Jun 14, 2012 @9:00 am "@ShelbyC, you need only look at Scott's post three up to see that's not the case. Scott thinks that FunnyJunk is committing theft because user's are posting Oatmeal content on their site and they are making money. It seems clear that he thinks this because of The Oatmeal's post."

You're suggesting that, had Oatmeal not said that funnyjunk "practically stole" his website, Scott would not believe that the activity described in the Oatmeal's post was theft? I don't see any support for that at all. I think people believe it's theft because making money off other people's content without payment or attribution sounds alot like theft, not because of any particular statements Oatmeal made,


Scott Jacobs • Jun 14, 2012 @9:03 am The betamax case is a BS counter. The Oatmeal owns his own stuff. It is taken, without just compensation, and posted elsewhere. This elsewhere makes money off of advertising, which means posting popular things makes them more money.

How, on this or any planet, is the taking of one's property – without ANY just compensation, I would remind you – not theft?

And I have thought Funny Junk has been stealing content – property – from many artists without compensating them for some time. Yes, I first became aware through the original Oatmeal post, but regardless, posting of the content of another is theft. Period.


perlhaqr • Jun 14, 2012 @9:08 am Oh, even better. Carreon has engaged in cyber-mobbing himself.

http://www.charlescarreon.com/charles-c ... 012/01/23/


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @9:11 am @ShelbyC:

You're correct. I didn't mean to imply that his opinion was based solely on The Oatmeal's post. That would be silly. Scott's assessment is that FJ is committing theft because user's are posting Oatmeal content on their site and they are making money. That's essentially the same as the content of The Oatmeal's original post.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 14, 2012 @9:13 am @desconhecido – dude would be right, if those two didn't take down copyrighted material when made aware of it, reacted like posted the copyrighted material was actually a FAVOR to the creator, and then made searches for that creator's stuff still there despite knowing it was stolen resolve to "the fag".

Google might be tools, but they at least try, sometimes, to not be fucking thieves.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @9:21 am @Scott, you're just simply wrong on this. What the Betamax case held was that a technology that has significant non-infringing uses is valid. FJ is not appropriating or uploading the content; their users are. You might not like the implications of that, and indeed the Betamax case is being re-examined in light of file-sharing sites like FJ. However, under the law as it is now, it's not theft.

Is YouTube committing theft?


Scott Jacobs • Jun 14, 2012 @9:24 am Sure Charles is an internet lawyer…

But does he wwebsite as on the internet?


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @9:25 am My third and final thanks for a great and civil conversation. I'm checking out for good. (This thread, that is. I'm not like dying or anything.)


SPQR • Jun 14, 2012 @9:48 am Justin, first of all I don't think that the interpretation of the word "theft" by Inman is going to turn on a copyright case. But if it did, Betamax is very far from the applicable case when you have cases like Grokster out there.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @9:56 am It's like the Godfather: Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

On the contrary, they're both applicable. SCOTUS had the opportunity to recede from Betamax (actually, "Sony"), but they didn't. What they did was establish a test by which a person might be excluded from the protection of Sony. Among other things, the Grokster Court said that the mere absence of affirmative steps to prevent copyright infringement was not sufficient to avoid Sony and establish liability.

I haven't seen anyone–including The Oatmeal's original post–suggest that FJ intended to promote copyright infringement.


desconhecido • Jun 14, 2012 @10:05 am "Is YouTube committing theft?"

Literally or legally, no. Metaphorically, yes. They are like thieves, they are like receivers of stolen property. Read Carreon's piece about Google for interesting comment on the Google/YouTube business model.

Of course, everyone is probably thinking about the famous "shocked!" scene in Casablanca.


ShelbyC • Jun 14, 2012 @10:09 am @Justin: "Scott's assessment is that FJ is committing theft because user's are posting Oatmeal content on their site and they are making money. That's essentially the same as the content of The Oatmeal's original post."

Still not seeing the colorable claim. Scott and Oatmeal are free to characterized FJ's model as "theft" or stealing if they wish. In context, such a characterization may or may not imply that FJ is breaking the law. In context, I just don't see how Oatmeal's use of "stole" can reasonably be interpreted to suggest that FJ is willfully infringing on Oatmeal's copyright or trademark. Oatmeal is very clear about what conduct FJ is engaging in that he is characterizing as stealing, and he is indeed entitled to a legal remedy for such conduct, that is, a DCMA takedown.


desconhecido • Jun 14, 2012 @10:11 am "I haven't seen anyone–including The Oatmeal's original post–suggest that FJ intended to promote copyright infringement."

Ohmygod. That is the substance of Carreon's letter. Oatmeal describes FJ's business model in unflattering terms and Carreon states:

"this is a false accusation of willful copyright infringement." So, if Oatmeal didn't intend to accuse FJ of copyright infringement, what is the basis for the defamation suit?


Ken • Jun 14, 2012 @10:12 am Today Randazza links to The Oatmeal's response-via-lawyer, as opposed to its response-via-internet.

That letter cites relevant defamation precedents helping to explain some (though not all) of the reasons that I strongly disagree with Justin.

Some of the familiar doctrines in play, grossly oversimplified: (1) when a statement is capable of a defamatory and a non-defamatory meaning, the courts treat it as having the non-defamatory meaning, (2) defamation is determined not by the literal, precise truth of the statement, but by the "gist" or "sting" of the statement (so, for example, if Justin said "Ken was disbarred for molesting squirrels," and I was actually just suspended for abusing chipmunks, that would likely not be defamatory), and so on.


Ken • Jun 14, 2012 @10:19 am In the same vein, Carreon's whine that Inman "instigated" attacks on Carreon's web site is almost certainly not defamatory, even though it's perfectly clear that Inman did not say "go attack his web site."


SPQR • Jun 14, 2012 @10:37 am OK, its not a bad letter … ;-)

And I think it illustrates well why Carreon's claim is simply frivolous and not colorable.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 14, 2012 @10:42 am That is indeed a great response. Thanks for sharing, Ken.

We don't disagree about everything. I said from the outset that I thought FJ's claim was ultimately insufficient. I just don't think it's frivolous.


Grifter • Jun 14, 2012 @11:12 am While we may agree that Carreon's comments were not defamatory for the same reason the Oatmeal's weren't, it's pretty hypocritical of someone who claims to think that the Oatmel's were, isn't it?


Sarahw • Jun 14, 2012 @1:38 pm Ken, it's very annoying nonetheless and rather a big fib. Inman instigated laughter and charity donations. Maybe that might lead to more bear attacks and hacked oncogenes but really, way to puff, Carreon.


Chris • Jun 14, 2012 @5:45 pm I have had an email exchange with Charles Carreon. Until today I thought he may be misguided but an okay fellow. However after accusing Matthew Inman of instigating attacks against him I find him disingenuous. Privately he has said he enjoyed the attention and made fun of advice I gave him that the internet could get weird on him really quickly. He doesn't seem concerned at all. Publicly of course he and his wife are acting very differently. She accused Inman of being a Killer Clown Psychopath from outer space, or something of the sort. Here is a quote from Mr. Carreon from an email:

"Ironically, I am sufficiently well-positioned that what might seem like a debacle and force others into hiding has quite the reverse effect on me. I have plans and plans, and I love talking to the media. "


Ken • Jun 14, 2012 @6:47 pm Trying to investigate whether the various comments posted online in the name of Mr. Carreon's wife are genuine or not.


Chris • Jun 14, 2012 @6:50 pm @Ken

I asked Charles in email (a long one with numerous subjects) and he did not reply to that specific point.


Sarahw • Jun 15, 2012 @6:03 am I'm not usually one to make personal remarks but I hope Carreon plans to get a better hat.


Justin D. Jacobson • Jun 15, 2012 @6:25 am In light of recent events, I feel like I need to come back to state clearly: While I maintain my position regarding Carreon's initial demand letter, I don't in any way condone his subsequent conduct, which I find to be unprofessional and reprehensible.


V • Jun 15, 2012 @10:58 am There's another interview with Charles Carreon on Forbes.

I get the feeling he's walking right up to a line, in one of the quotes, pretending he's losing his balance and in danger of falling over the line and then recovering with a smile;

So someone takes one of my letters and takes it apart. [...] and douchebaggery,
'Someone' could be anyone right, it's not like he's actually saying he means Inman.


Ken • Jun 15, 2012 @11:02 am Working on a new post about that now, V.


AlphaCentauri • Jun 15, 2012 @4:54 pm I don't think the Betamax case applies, because once the cassette recorders and cassettes left the factory, Sony had no control over how they were used. It's not like they were hosting an online marketplace of pirated videos.

Funnyjunk has direct control over content. They have given users the ability to upload it without pre-approval, and no one is saying that should stop. But if a content owner contacts you and shows that your users violating his copyright, and not only that but his content is so popular that large numbers of your users are violating his copyright, you don't mock him. You talk to him about how to remove his content quickly with the least inconvenience to both of you, or better, you talk about how you can mirror his content with attribution and both get in on additional revenue.

Funnyjunk has put themselves in a position where they have to respect the rights of copyright holders while allowing the most freedom to their users, and showing such a lack of maturity raises questions about whether they're up to the task.


TexasSwede • Jun 16, 2012 @7:17 am Interesting enough, Charles Carreon have taken down his blog (or at least the entry when he accuse Youtube of doing exactly what his cleint FunnyJunk is doing).

Google still have it cached at http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... 010/06/23/

Here is the text, as copied from Google cache:

—————————————————–

All Google Needed Was An Effective Takedown System to Reach the Safe Harbor

In granting summary judgment against Viacom on the grounds that Google was a legitimate Online Service Provider with an effective takedown system, and therefore entitled to receive the benefit of the DMCA “Safe Harbor” under 17 USC 512(c), the District Court cites copious amounts of legislative history establishing that without the safe harbor, the Internet might not grow robustly. (Download PDF) 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. The court said:

Mere knowledge of prevalence of such activity in general is not enough. That is consistent with an area of the law devoted to protection of distinctive individual works, not of libraries. To let knowledge of a generalized practice of infringement in the industry, or of a proclivity of users to post infringing materials, impose responsibility on service providers to discover which of their users’ postings infringe a copyright would contravene the structure and operation of the DMCA.

YouTube Is DMCA-Friendly, Napster Was Not

The court also held that even though YouTube technology made it easy to infringe, that didn’t make it like Grokster or Napster, because those were systems that were designed to foment piracy. This is an interesting distinction, because creating a video bazaar where everyone knows you can find stolen content doesn’t seem that different from creating a file sharing system where everyone knows you can create stolen content, but it’s different in one important way — Napster and Grokster never went around deleting content, and had no mechanism that would allow a copyright holder to locate where the content was and send a takedown notice. This really means that some technology is DMCA-friendly (YouTube-style video communities) and some is not.

Ad Revenue From Tainted Traffic Is Pure

The court rejected the argument that Google should lose the DMCA safe harbor because it was generating ad traffic by having a site that in general, contains a lot of infringing content. This part of the opinion isn’t very satisfying. The court seems to be finessing the issue when it says:

The safe harbor requires that the service provider “not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service provider has the right and ability to control such activity ” § 512(c) (1) (B). The “right and ability to control” the activity requires knowledge of it, which must be item-specific.There may be arguments whether revenues from advertising, applied equally to space regardless of whether its contents are or are not infringing, are “directly attributable to” infringements, but in any event the provider must know of the particular case before he can control it.

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. After all, the court admitted that Google was working the system:

From plaintiffs’ submissions on the motions, a jury could find that the defendants not only were generally aware of, but welcomed, copyright-infringing material being placed on their website. Such material was attractive to users, whose increased usage enhanced defendants’ income from advertisements displayed on certain pages of the website, with no discrimination between infringing and non-infringing content.

Let The Creator Beware

If Google can generate ad revenue by taking in every kind of content without distinction, and make money on the infringing attractions, then Google can “work the float,” and always have enough infringing content to keep its blood pressure up at the expense of copyright holders. The only way that content owners can act proactively is by implementing digital “fingerinting technology” through the “Claim Your Content” system that Google uses as its only screening mechanism. Fingerprinting your content is not, however, cheap. So what this opinion seems to announce is a doctrine of “Caveat Creator,” let the creator beware.

Will The Real Free Speech Provider Please Stand Up?

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. Meanwhile, real free, nonprofit libraries that have no advertising revenue, are discouraged from putting the works in their archives on the Internet where scholars and researchers can use it for fair use purposes, because publishers do not respect the fair use protections of 17 USC 107 (the Library Exemption from copyright infringement liability). I am currently defending the American Buddha Online Library against a suit from Penguin, and although I won on jurisdictional grounds in New York District Court, Penguin appealed, and the Second Circuit court of appeals is now asking the New York State Appeals Court to take a look at the issues and see if something better can be worked out for Penguin by tweaking New York state law. I am doing this case pro bono, because I’ve been well acquainted with the director for many years, but few libraries have a handy intellectual property lawyer to handle their cases. So true freedom of speech on the Internet is getting suppressed by copyright lawsuits while Google gets to keep minting money by working the DMCA like a money pump. Nice work if you can get it.


AlphaCentauri • Jun 16, 2012 @7:26 pm "I am doing this case pro bono, because I’ve been well acquainted with the director for many years"

I will refrain from making jokes about working "pro boner."
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:53 pm

76 Comments (The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part III: Charles Carreon's Lifetime-Movie-Style Dysfunctional Relationship With the Internet)

Piper • Jun 15, 2012 @12:18 pm Your wife beds down with ocelots? Ouch.


Piper • Jun 15, 2012 @12:19 pm Where do you get this stuff? I'm going to have to clean off my monitor from the spit-take.


Todd Knarr • Jun 15, 2012 @12:20 pm There's also the question of whether someone actually attacked Mr. Carreon's web site, or whether he just got Slashdotted (by The Oatmeal's audience asking "Who is this guy anyway?", finding his web site and going poking around) and mistook his server being overloaded by ordinary traffic for an attack.


Grifter • Jun 15, 2012 @12:20 pm I suddenly got a sick feeling in my stomach when you reminded us " Speech is only actionable incitement when it intended to create, and likely to create, a clear and present danger of imminent lawless action." … Everyone's been making fun of him for not understanding the Streisand effect, but I wonder if he's going to try to claim that anyone who criticizes someone on the internet who has a large following knows some of that following will commit a lawless action based on that, and so therefore are culpable (I'm not saying it, I'm saying I'm afraid he'll try to say it), because of the well known Streisand effect?


Scott Jacobs • Jun 15, 2012 @12:32 pm While his blog statement could be read in a non-defamatory context, how could "that doesn’t mean you can encourage people to hack my website" be read that way?

I mean, it looks to me like he just went and fucked the chicken, and didn't even lube up first…


Coyote • Jun 15, 2012 @12:34 pm To the hacking bit, I find that most folks who don't really know anything technical about the Internet (and I would put Mr. Carreon in this category) often mistake "I bought the cheapest Godaddy server account which works just fine for the 12 visits a day my site usually gets but crashed when hit with 30,000 visits in an hour that this case inspired" for "hacking"


Coyote • Jun 15, 2012 @12:37 pm Also, I find it moderately hilarious that Funnyjunk is now hosting the Oatmeal images taking apart their attorney's letter: http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures ... s+Oatmeal/

My guess is that the Oatmeal will not send a takedown request on this one.


GabrielHounds • Jun 15, 2012 @12:45 pm So – was that ____________ ____________ everywhere? I'm guessing you never ___________ _____________. If it was _________ thats a whole new dimension to this thing. I'm mesmerized.


Patrick • Jun 15, 2012 @12:50 pm Gabriel, I approved your comment with some redactions, because while it did not violate the letter of Ken's injunction, I felt it violated the spirit.

Please advise if you disagree with my decision.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 15, 2012 @12:53 pm … I wonder if he's going to try to claim that anyone who criticizes someone on the internet who has a large following knows some of that following will commit a lawless action based on that, and so therefore are culpable (I'm not saying it, I'm saying I'm afraid he'll try to say it), because of the well known Streisand effect?
Well, he could certainly try, but I'm only aware of one judge in the US who's that fucking stupid as to buy the argument…


Grifter • Jun 15, 2012 @1:01 pm Scott Jacobs, the fact that there's even one who might/would is what's scary to me…


eddie • Jun 15, 2012 @1:02 pm I know someone who was raised by ocelots.


Scott Jacobs • Jun 15, 2012 @1:04 pm On the other hand, Grifter, said judge supports and advocates getting a bunch of friends together to "take care of the problem"…

So there's that…

Also, I have been wondering… You a fan of WildC.A.T.S comics?


eddie • Jun 15, 2012 @1:06 pm Popehat needs more mad libs.

"applesauce flying"
"fondled sandpaper"
"purple"


EH • Jun 15, 2012 @1:26 pm These jackasses always say their site was hacked. Nothing ever comes of it.


Chris • Jun 15, 2012 @1:32 pm He won't back down. He'll have to be crushed through the course of actual legal actions. I do not think anything anyone says or does really matters to Charles. I am sure his friends have implored him to look at what he's doing. I know I have, and I only contacted him to be one of the few non-douchebags who emailed him. When I asked him about all the hate coming his way he only linked me to this: http://sergebirbrair.com/
He believes by making people angry, he has already won.


Grifter • Jun 15, 2012 @1:36 pm Scott Jacobs, that's +5 points to you!


Chris • Jun 15, 2012 @1:50 pm I think the part of this whole case that blatantly bothers me is that FunnyJunk LLC seemingly is a faceless entity. That also works against Mr. Carreon as Oatmeal supporters really have only him to express their displeasure with. Everyone knows The Oatmeal is Matthew Inman, but no one knows who is behind FunnyJunk.


Oli • Jun 15, 2012 @2:05 pm I'd suggest that Inman now has more of a case for defamation against Carreon than FunnyJunk has against him. I don't see your second reading interpretation because either way Carreon has explicitly (and repeatedly) claimed that Inman has committed a criminal offence (by asking others to illegally hack in his stead). IANAL but hey, if FunnyJunk can do it, why can't he?

This is starting to seem pretty cyclical… Could they not all just agree to pay each other $20k?


Ancel De Lambert • Jun 15, 2012 @2:05 pm I wonder if said judge will ask if Carreon's mother asked the other bear's permission before seducing that sow.


Ken • Jun 15, 2012 @2:17 pm For the record, I am bitterly disappointed. It's been more than an hour, and nobody has yet responded to "this is madness" with a suitable image featuring the line THIS. IS. POPEHAT.


perlhaqr • Jun 15, 2012 @2:24 pm This caused much I'm-an-internet-lawyer speculation about whether the accusation against Mr. Inman is defamatory.

Eeek! That's not what I meant at all. I was trying for "irony", in that it seemed the same level of "defamation" against Inman as Inman had supposedly committed against FunnyJunk.

Damn, Internet tone fail. My bad.


Josh • Jun 15, 2012 @2:25 pm Some of us are still at work, Ken, and our IT departments don't let us have nice toys to play with on our PC's that would normally let us create such an image.

That being said, I'm still giggling about this line:

Charles Carreon is going full Rakofsky. You should never go full Rakofsky.

Wren • Jun 15, 2012 @3:04 pm It also seems that ________ ___________ has __________ ___________ on the _________ ____________ boat. So, a ___________ ____________ of morons has mounted their __________ ___________!


Patrick • Jun 15, 2012 @3:18 pm Mad Libs for all!


Hal_10000 • Jun 15, 2012 @3:20 pm Some people just never seem to learn how to back down when you're clearly in the wrong. They think legal fights can be won if you just shout louder and louder.

Love the Zelda reference


Dan Weber • Jun 15, 2012 @3:26 pm I was kinda-sorta on his side because I hate Internet mobs. But he's kept at it long enough.

That "I don't know what law was broken but I'll find something" broke the camel's back.


David • Jun 15, 2012 @3:26 pm Your mother is a ____ ____ ____ ____Laura Mendsom____ ____ ____Inventive menium____ ____ ____ ____tra goo la____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ hippopotamus____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ Republican ____ ____ ____Daniel Radcliffe ____ ____ ____ ____ with a bucket of ____ ____ ____ ____ in a castle far away where no one can hear you ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ soup ____ ____ ____ with a bucket of ____ ____ Mickey Mouse ____ ____ with a stick of dynamite __________ magical ____ ____ ____ ____ alakazam!


Joe • Jun 15, 2012 @3:31 pm Ken – I've never mastered the comment tags and have no idea how to embed a picture in the comment thread so let's see how this works.



Joe • Jun 15, 2012 @3:32 pm And it cropped the damn pic – was supposed to say "fuck I'm on fire" oh well.


C. S. P. Schofield • Jun 15, 2012 @3:39 pm There is a class of people who can be depended on to engage in monumentally stupid behavior, and to complain bitterly when it has the logically expected consequences. Apparently, Charles Carreon belongs to this class. The person I feel for the most is whoever Mr. Carreon manages to involve in his suicide-by-automobile. In my experience, people who are this stupid and feel this entitled are good bets to do something fatally in violation of Newton's Laws of Motion with an expensive automobile. Usually while jabbering on their cell-phone.

Please, Mr. Charles Carreon, prove me wrong. Be a better driver than you are a lawyer.


AlphaCentauri • Jun 15, 2012 @3:40 pm Love the Twilight Zone reference, too.


Barron Barnett • Jun 15, 2012 @3:43 pm Here's a copy of the letter Inman's lawyer sent.

I busted up laughing at the end of it.


JRM • Jun 15, 2012 @4:18 pm OT, sorta: Popehat's been on a serious roll lately. Good info, good posts, good expertise, good comments, good everything. Granted, some people have gone out of their way to generate material (Thanks, Mr. Carreon!), but the good times have been very good.


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 15, 2012 @4:29 pm If you go full Rakofsky, make sure you know the consequences.

Such as people finding your law license suspension in California and Oregon, for admitted violations of DR 3-101(B) (unlawful practice of law) and DR 9-101(A) (from a comment on the Forbes site on the CA suspension, which lead to Google finding the Oregon suspension)

The full monty:

CHARLES H. CARREON
OSB #93469
Ashland
60-day suspension

Effective Oct. 24, 2005, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Ashland lawyer, Charles H. Carreon, from the practice of law for 60 days. Carreon admitted violations of DR 3-101(B) (unlawful practice of law) and DR 9-101(A) (failing to deposit or maintain client funds in trust).

From Fall 2001 to Spring 2002, Carreon was employed by SEG as house counsel for its U.S. legal matters and business operations in British Columbia, when Carreon was not admitted or licensed to practice law in any province in Canada. Carreon did not apply for or obtain a permit to act as house counsel for SEG, in violation of British Columbia rules.

As counsel for SEG, Carreon held in his trust account settlement proceeds for the benefit of SEG, received in connection with a litigation matter. Without consulting with SEG or obtaining its express consent, Carreon utilized $1,400 of the settlement proceeds to pay a portion of a money judgment that had been entered against Carreon and his wife for a residential lease they signed in connection with his employment in Canada, believing that SEG would ultimately be responsible for his lease obligation.

In the stipulation, Carreon admitted that acting as house counsel in Canada was in violation of regulations of the profession in that jurisdiction, and that by utilizing the client settlement funds, he failed to properly maintain client funds in his lawyer trust account.

Carreon’s sanction was aggravated by a selfish motive, multiple offenses and his substantial experience in the practice of law. Carreon was admitted in Oregon in 1993 and in California in 1987. However, in mitigation, the stipulation recited that Carreon had no prior discipline and that he displayed a cooperative attitude toward the disciplinary proceedings.


ShelbyC • Jun 15, 2012 @4:33 pm Does Carreon have an ethical exit strategy here? The correct thing to do would be to say, OK, OK, maybe the letter was a stupid idea. But wouldn't that harm his client? And you can't just dump a client because some internet cartoonist completely owned yer ass, can you?


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 15, 2012 @4:42 pm ShelbyC: Yes, as a non-lawyer

a: Go quiet. Say nothing publicly. Nothing. "If you are in a hole, stop digging". The Internet has the attention span of a hyperactive chihuahua on Heisenberg's finest crystal meth. If you say nothing, you get forgotten by 99% of the net by tomorrow.

b: Advise your client not to proceed further, because it would be both legally and politically unadvised.

The letter from the Oatmeal's attorney is actually scarier than the Oatmeal's public response, because its, translated in English: "You started this. And you have no ground to stand on. But if you want to continue, hey, just FYI, you didn't actually meet the standards needed for a DMCA safe harbor defense…"


Matthew Cline • Jun 15, 2012 @5:14 pm "If you are in a hole, stop digging"

But this hole is just so awesome! And this shovel, let me tell you, man, I love this shovel so much.


darius404 • Jun 15, 2012 @6:23 pm I would go a bit further, Nicholas, and add

c: Apologize to his client for his poor advice, his grandstanding (unless it was at the request of his client, in which case he should apologize for not explaining why it was a bad idea), and the decreased reputation Funnyjunk's owner has suffered because of Carreon's poor advice and actions.


Narad • Jun 15, 2012 @7:14 pm I studied these words for some time, searching for a hidden message or code that would cause me to have an it's-a-cookbook! moment. So far, nothing.
Try gematria. The results are… chilling.


Allen • Jun 15, 2012 @8:38 pm The break in the code is farther down, in the part about the muleskinner's wisdom. Which, when translated means "I haven't a clue!"

Or, from the mule's standpoint, as he looks back over his shoulder, "what the hell are you trying to do."


Joe • Jun 15, 2012 @9:11 pm Does this whole kerfuffle not remind you just a little bit of the whole Paul Christoforo and Penny Arcade situation?

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201112 ... famy.shtml

The key point being "as if he needs to just ride out the storm, rather than fix what he did wrong"

Taking bets on Carreon basically ending up doing the same thing and remaining as narcissistic and clueless about what actually happened.


perlhaqr • Jun 15, 2012 @9:19 pm Matthew: It's the jet-powered mole-machine I sold him, isn't it? He just can't get enough of how deep that hole can really go!


Jess • Jun 15, 2012 @9:36 pm We are talking about an attorney who sent an equally ridiculous threatening letter to Google see here

http://www.american-buddha.com/ambu.ltr ... oogle1.htm

This guy really is a first class douchebag.


Jess • Jun 15, 2012 @9:48 pm I should note the demand letter referenced above was issued to Google when his wife's web site seemed to disappear from Google's index sometime in 2007 for reasons I can as best determine are due to most of the content of her site being copied and pasted articles and screen shots with no proper attribution or back links, or relevant original content. Try not to choke on that irony of that BTW.


Mike • Jun 15, 2012 @11:44 pm When I was glancing at the link Jess posted, I happened to see another case where they were suing a city.

http://www.american-buddha.com/ambuvs.city.toc.htm
To me keeping all that information up makes it seem like they are proud of losing the judgment. Is that a fair statement, or is it more likely that they just never bothered to take it the page down after they realized they were losing?
I'm also kind of curious about something else. Is the image referenced in that case something that would be considered truly pornographic and requiring of disclaimers and other (ineffective) protections for minors? I mean it's clearly fake, but a site claiming to be a library purposely hosting and defending such an image seems … dirty.

I also find it funny that the lawyer's email address is listed in some of the documents posted on that site making it incredibly easy for people to continue emailing him, despite taking his site down. I also apparently need to sleep because my penchant for random words is rearing its ugly head.


Chris • Jun 16, 2012 @12:56 am Jess, reading some of that site was like pushing shards of glass through my brain.


W Ross • Jun 16, 2012 @6:28 am http://www.american-buddha.com/poet.god ... ocrite.htm

Also, his song here is ridiculously ironic now. If this version of Charles Carreon met his future self, I think he might punch himself out.


Chris • Jun 16, 2012 @7:48 am Ken,

I'm inclined to agree with everything you said (as usual) except for one thing. I really wish you would replace the word "illegal" with "immoral" in your piece when referencing who are friends of freedom of speech.

There are too many laws period. It is nigh impossible to know if you are in compliance with them all as I'm sure you know. Just because someone breaks a malum prohibitum law does not necessarily mean they acted in either bad faith or immorally.


TexasSwede • Jun 16, 2012 @7:57 am Charles Carreon took down his blog entry, where he critizies Youtube for doing exactly what FunnyJunk does.

But since internet never forgets, Google got it cached:
http://​webcache.googleusercontent.​com/​search?q=cache%3Az9UHSdTm6D​4J%3Awww.charlescarreon.co​m%2Fnotable-cyber-law-case​s%2Fcaveat-creator-dmca-go​ogle%2F2010%2F06%2F23

Quotes:
"If Google can generate ad revenue by taking in every kind of content without distinction, and make money on the infringing attractions, then Google can “work the float,” and always have enough infringing content to keep its blood pressure up at the expense of copyright holders. The only way that content owners can act proactively is by implementing digital “fingerinting technology” through the “Claim Your Content” system that Google uses as its only screening mechanism."

"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."

Wow. Not surprised that Charles Carreon does not want that up anymore…


W Ross • Jun 16, 2012 @8:06 am He may really not understand infringement. His wife's site is basically distributing this Marilyn Manson song here:

http://www.american-buddha.com/ambu.wew ... ethigh.htm

(As for him never having seen this awful level of discourse before, on the site he shares with his wife we have:

http://www.american-buddha.com/mondo.sceptre.htm
Bush and Condaleza Rice having sex (NSFW)

And a poem about Condaleza Rice with a photoshopped nude of her by the lawyer:
http://www.american-buddha.com/poet.con ... CONDOLEEZA (Also NSFW)

This has reached tragicomic proportions at this point.


Ygolonac • Jun 16, 2012 @9:18 am So, by Mr. Carreon's apparent logic, if I, as an individual exposed to his logic, make a decision to carry out a (pitifully lonely) hack against The Oatmeal, that as such *he* would guilty of incitement to commit said act.

That's…

…possibly a sign that an appointment with the neurologist is required, to loosen the metal plate.

I myself subscribe to the "cheap server/provider got wanged" theory, although the "here's my book for free" offering does seem a mite suspicious.


Ann • Jun 16, 2012 @11:37 am Well, Carreon promised he was going to produce a longer statement over the weekend. We didn't have to wait long. Not exaaaaaaactly what I thought he would write, but…. O_o

http://www.american-buddha.com/poet.don ... mother.htm


Jordan Rushie • Jun 16, 2012 @11:55 am
THIS IS POPEHAT!!!


Jordan Rushie • Jun 16, 2012 @11:55 am http://i50.tinypic.com/n2k48j.jpg


Egg • Jun 16, 2012 @11:59 am Check out The Oatmeal lawyers response! http://www.scribd.com/doc/96850920/Funn ... l-Response


W Ross • Jun 16, 2012 @2:11 pm @Ann Wow… There are a lot of next moves I was guessing at but "Battle Rapping" wasn't one of them.

Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I can hardly stand it…


Sarahw • Jun 16, 2012 @2:20 pm J. Rushie Yay, I like that one.


Joe • Jun 16, 2012 @4:00 pm On another note, if you check the copyright office's registry of designated agents, FunnyJunk doesn't have one listed, so they have a "strict" policy, but aren't in strict compliance with the law. Could end up biting them in the butt if The Oatmeal countersues.


max • Jun 16, 2012 @4:57 pm from http://www.american-buddha.com/poet.don ... mother.htm:

"You make fun of my name,
The noble Carreon,
We came here with Cortez,
And our legacy lives on."

How can someone be a conquistador, and at the same time, be noble?


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 16, 2012 @7:16 pm Joe: That was one of the big points of the official lawyerly response letter written by Venkat “The Pterodactyl” Balasubramani: FunnyJunk started it, but if they wanted to continue, oh, BTW, you never met the criteria required to claim the DMCA safe harbor….

What was written:

Without taking a position
on the other issues, I’ll note simply that FunnyJunk does not appear to have a notice of designation on file with the Copyright Office. This alone would be enough to undermine any defense of immunity to claims of infringement that The Oatmeal (or third parties) may assert.

Joe • Jun 16, 2012 @7:25 pm Nicholas – sorta figured you of all people knew that one given what you uncovered about his past. I dug up the data on his suspension just about 15 minutes before you posted on it. Nice to see someone else really knows how "find" stuff :-)


Chris • Jun 16, 2012 @7:40 pm How did Matthew Inman become the third member of ICP?


darius404 • Jun 16, 2012 @7:45 pm Really, finding stuff isn't that hard has long as you know how to use Google. Case in point, my very first search just now was "charles carreon violations". The Oregon State Bar's record of his suspension is (or was at the time of this posting) the 5th link down.

On the other hand, it's possible that the relevant search result would not have been as high in the results as it is, if people weren't actively searching for variations of "charles carreon". Fortunately, people searching for something on Google helps OTHER people searching for something on Google to find what they're looking for. Which is sort of the point really, but it's surprising what a research aid Google can be when properly finessed.


Joe • Jun 16, 2012 @8:03 pm Darius – exactly. After all ‘the internet is an archive” ha ha – just kidding – anyway I have other ways of finding things but it amazes me how many people are lazy and don’t realize the power of Google, online search engines, caching, wayback, etc.

Chris as far as ICP – "Insane Clown Posse" I have not looked into how Inman became a member only that he is – and that in my opinion Carreon’s parody of this on his site does not rise to the level of hilarity and intellectual snark of The Oatmeal. Seriously Carreon is "trying" too hard.


SPQR • Jun 16, 2012 @10:33 pm Not making sure that your client is in compliance with DMCA's safe harbors before writing a C&D letter would indicate some fundamental incompetence and malpractice.


Joe • Jun 17, 2012 @7:34 pm SPQR

I don't have a copy of it so cannot verify but someone commented taht Carreon tweeted a picture of filing paperwork (and payment, dated 25th of May, 2012) to the copyright office. Interesting that it predated his letter to The Oatmeal on June 2nd 2012 by only a week.

However while there appears to be a delay in updating those notices of designation at the Copyright Office, FunnyJunk's appropriation of The Oatmeal's content occurred well before then. I'm not a lawyer so not sure how all of that plays in on the timing. At this point I can only assume Carreon told FunnyJunk to file the paperwork and then sent off his demand letter.


Rob T. • Jun 17, 2012 @9:51 pm Really enjoying your take on this saga. Quick blue pencil note – in the hypothetical situation about the diseased ocelot letter, shouldn't it be the "you" instead of the "I" who is held legally responsible under the Carreon theory?


Ken • Jun 17, 2012 @9:53 pm Yep. Got lost in the pronouns. Thanks.


mojo • Jun 18, 2012 @7:44 am "Let's put five bullets in the gun. FIVE."
– The Deer Hunter


Chris • Jun 18, 2012 @9:41 am So if Inman has brutal ideology for creating a pterodactyl comic what would Carreon's ideology be for creating pictures of Condolezza Rice and G.W. Bush fornicating be? Or his image where G.W. is a boy molestor? Does that mean by Carreon's own logic, he has a ideology of deviant sexual acts?


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @9:43 am If "Brutal Ideology" isn't the name of an Emo band it, it should be.


Speakertweaker • Jun 18, 2012 @11:06 am Indeed, under Mr. Carreon's apparent theory, if he criticizes The Oatmeal's response to him as vulgar or unprofessional or uncivilized, he's legally responsible for people agreeing with him. This is not law, this is madness. And bear in mind that Mr. Carreon markets himself as a First Amendment champion.

It is at this point that I asked myself, "Does this douchebag think he's the only attorney on the planet with an internet connection? Does he really think that he can wow and scare the entire internet with his legal ball-juggling without so much as a single attorney jumping out of the crowd and calling bullshit?"

Makes one wonder. He doesn't think he's an internet lawyer. He thinks he's the internet lawyer. What a loser.


Jesse B. Hannah • Jun 18, 2012 @1:17 pm I'm sorry, but I'm stealing the line "going full Rakofsky." I hadn't heard of that case, but after reading up a bit it seems too perfect for this. I promise to use it well and give credit where it's due.

As for the situation overall, I for one am sitting back and laughing and that dimwit. He makes Jack Thompson sound almost reasonable…not unlike how a schizophrenic makes Mel Gibson sound almost reasonable. Clearly he's never heard of anti-SLAPP laws, blogs, or the Internet itself. There are so many demonstrably false statements in his filing, plus the ridiculousity of including the NWF and ACS as defendants, that I can't think of any judge who wouldn't laugh openly in his face in court and tell him to GTFO. My only regret is that providing defense pro bono leaves no opportunity to bleed the jackass dry for legal fees.


Jay • Jun 18, 2012 @9:11 pm I read this yesterday and I'm still giggling at "you should never go full Rakofsky." Could there be a more fitting tribute than to see that term become internet jargon for this particular litigation strategy?

On the downside, if Popehat isn't already in the Rakofsky suit, I think he just might find his way into the next amended complaint.


Squirrels • Jun 19, 2012 @1:54 pm Mr. Carreon certainly sounds like an egomaniac, what with all the grandiose offerings of gifts "TO THE PEOPLE OF THE INTERNET" and heroic assertions of epic battle against "where the world is going”!
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:56 pm

PART 1 OF 3

326 Comments (The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part IV: Charles Carreon Sues Everybody)

Miya • Jun 17, 2012 @3:45 pm WOW!
The crazy level has been impressively elevated. I can't wait to see this guy get spanked in court.


VPJ • Jun 17, 2012 @3:49 pm Wow. This is Marc Stephens-Josefph Rakofsky-love-child level crazy.

Well, maybe not that crazy, but lord, it ain't sane.


John David Galt • Jun 17, 2012 @3:51 pm This guy makes Charlie Sheen sound normal.


TJIC • Jun 17, 2012 @3:55 pm This is awesome.

The Oatmeal tweeted a few days ago:

> https://twitter.com/Oatmeal/status/213350365314289665
>
> It's interesting to watch a man with his dick in a hornet's nest try
> to solve the problem by tossing his balls in as well.

What are we to make of this lawsuit? And by that, I mean "how can we extend this analogy?"

I propose "we're now watching a man treat the hornet stings on his dick and balls by applying a soothing woodchipper".

OM*G.


Linus • Jun 17, 2012 @4:13 pm Is this the part where someone will come along and suggest that we "are confusing Carreon and his client" and that this is all Inman's fault for "escalating"? Cause that would be awesome.


Gretchen • Jun 17, 2012 @4:14 pm Carreon bloviated:

You're right; you haven't– and you still haven't, because that isn't "inciting people to violence."
Isn't a lawyer supposed to know this shit?

Gretchen • Jun 17, 2012 @4:15 pm Ah, damn. That was supposed to include the quote: "I don't know if you're familiar with his cartooning–people having their heads thrown in a chipper, his character of a pterodactyl consuming blended brains with gusto–I've actually never seen anyone incite people to violence in that fashion."


Matt James • Jun 17, 2012 @4:34 pm Random thought – is it possible that Carreon is suffering from some form of dementia – Alzheimer's perhaps? Right now this is just sad to watch – like a round Russian roulette with one player.


A Nonny Moose • Jun 17, 2012 @4:37 pm So it appears that Carreon, when his website was under heavy load, put up a simple page saying "Due to security attacks instigated by Matt Inman, this function has been temporarily disabled."

Now, I imagine that Carreon had about as much evidence for this as he has had for the rest of his claims (which is to say, NONE AT ALL). By claiming that Inman instigated the attacks, has Carreon opened himself up to a counter-suit for defamation, libel, or the like?


jb • Jun 17, 2012 @4:43 pm Is there any chance this lawsuit qualifies as a SLAPP, and thus Carreon is exposing himself to the consequences thereof?


Epona Harper • Jun 17, 2012 @4:44 pm Great googly-moogly! Batshit insane doesn't begin to cover this.

Stop digging, dude. Forget China. You're 100 feet above Bejing from your digging and about to hit escape velocity.

I hearby raise a glass of my homebrewed cherry mead in hopes he gets the legal dope-slapping of the century.


Teratoma • Jun 17, 2012 @4:46 pm No mention of Funnyjunk's participation – must mean they wised up and are distancing themselves from Carreon.


Ken • Jun 17, 2012 @4:51 pm jb: I will (probably) comment on the SLAPP issues once I read the complaint.


Turk • Jun 17, 2012 @5:07 pm The eagerness with which people will throw away a career is astounding.

A classic example of why you shouldn't represent yourself…you need someone to talk you down off the ledge.


Joe • Jun 17, 2012 @5:16 pm LOL &
POPE-ORDER

Censorious Asshat Investigations Unit

In the internet system of Great Justice, crimes of censorious asshattery are considered especially heinous and investigated by an elite squad known as the Popehat Censorious Asshat Unit which is divided into two separate but equally important groups – the members who investigate the censorious asshat’s shenanigans and the members who LOL @ the offenders and their butt hurt.

These are their stories.

http://s1063.photobucket.com/albums/t51 ... ide1-2.jpg


Dr. Flippin' Zeus • Jun 17, 2012 @5:18 pm For some crazy reason, I have a prurient interest in watching members of the Bar set themselves on fire . . . A strange fetish, I know, butt immensely pleasurable, nonetheless . . .

This story is at least the script material for a made-for-TV movie, if television still exists, or maybe even direct to DVD, if DVDs are still relevant . . .

This Carreon character is something special (I never had heard of him before I stumbled across this website today while preparing for a hearing an Anti-SLAPP Motion I filed in "Pro Per") — can you say A-S-S-H-A-T?? I knew you could . . .


Chris • Jun 17, 2012 @5:40 pm Quite frankly on the level of crazy, I am going to have to quote Dragonball Z:

"HE'S OVER 9000!!!!!"


Ann • Jun 17, 2012 @5:45 pm As a non-lawyer, may ask what the chances of his disbarment for this behavior are? It's very frightening for a blogger/writer/social media marketer when an attorney can force you into having to spend money on an attorney, even just to respond to a letter, let alone a suit. His family members are now making threats towards commenters on Twitter and news articles that if they keep criticizing him they will be subpoenaed. It's gone from funny to frightening and tragic. I'd like to blog about the issue, but I also don't have the money to be retaining an attorney if I were to become one of the Does. Advice?


David Sugerman • Jun 17, 2012 @5:45 pm What a fricking pinhead. I am not admitted in Ca. but am willing to help pro bono if any of the defendants need additional help


Jess • Jun 17, 2012 @6:05 pm From Carreon's site – When the going gets weird the weird turn pro. Ugghh.

A little poem to lighten the day – now think of this to the music/tunes of Will Smith and the Fresh Prince of Bellair.

Now this is a story all about how
Carreon tried to turn the internet upside down
And I’d like to take a minute so just sit right down
And I’ll tell you how he became the prince of asshat town

In Los Angeles with a degree from U-C-L-A
Filing lawsuits is where he spends most of his days

Chillin out, maxin, relaxing and all drool,
Throwin down legal-shit hoping to get in a duel

When a guy named Oatmeal whose comics were good
Pissed off some wanks in Funnyjunks neighborhood

A lawsuit was filed but Oatmeal wasn’t scared
He made fun of Carreon, his feelings not spared

The lawsuit against The Oatmeal clearly was not right
And of any reason, Carreon soon lost sight

If anything you could say that this case was wrong
That surely Carreon’s mind must be gone

He pulled up to the courthouse about seven or eight
His case had no merit, so sad, too late

He yelled to the cabby "Yo, homie smell you later"
I gotta go show people that I’m such a hater

He looked at his kingdom which he had brought down
Sittin on his throne as the prince of asshat town


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 17, 2012 @6:06 pm He could have walked away. He should have walked away… We would have forgotten about this douchebag laywer already…

He's not walking away. So as a non-laywer, sitting back with the popcorn, I hope he gets SLAPPed silly in court.

Oh, one question, if he's filing it Pro Se, but claims that it was an act to defame "himself and his client", would this potentially get him in trouble if his client didn't authorize him to file this suit?

Because FunnyJunk, unlike Carreon, has gone radio silent, realizing just how bad the Streisand effect is.


Sarahw • Jun 17, 2012 @6:20 pm This is really too bad. He can't be right in the head.


Kristen • Jun 17, 2012 @6:24 pm All I can say is this guy has gone to plaid. This level of overreaction has to be breaking some fundamental laws of nature.

Question: can a person ever outlive the stigma of having sued a *charity* because their feelers are hurt? I'm pretty sure that automatically labels one as an absolute tool for all eternity.


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 17, 2012 @6:29 pm Oh, ken:

(Maybe. As I said before, it may be more instructive for Mr. Carreon to learn about those by finding himself on the business end of them.)
Tell us… Please. You've already warned him, telegraphed him in just what ways he could be hurt in court, turning his Butthurt in the First Degree into Butthurt in the Nth Degree. Not just you, but Randazza and others have told him, publicly and I'm assuming privately to just STFU and let things blow over.

Thus its actually more entertaining at this point to discuss, in every little detail, the oncoming freight train that Mr Carreon has chosen to play chicken with. Especially since you aren't going to be really giving him anything he can use (except, perhaps, for an anticipatory feeling of dread and doom), since the advice he could use he already ignored, but for the rest of us, we can sit back with the popcorn and giggle…


Jack B. • Jun 17, 2012 @6:35 pm Joe @5:16 – as a fan of L&O in all its incarnations, gotta say I love the graphic.


Joe • Jun 17, 2012 @6:53 pm Thanks Jack. On another note a poster by the name of Humble Oatlet on The Oatmeal’s site posted a commentI thought was very apropos – - – - -

“After reading the very erudite response by The Oatmeal's lawyer, I wonder if I'm the only one who opines that whatever past glory Charles Carreon may have from litigating sex.com will be forever eclipsed by the following headline if this really goes to trial:

"Like a giant pterodactyl, counsel for The Oatmeal swoops upon and devours Funnyjunk's carrion ("Carreon") counsel for lunch in Court."


SPQR • Jun 17, 2012 @7:10 pm The incompetent double down on a losing hand and tell everyone what brilliant poker players they are.

The really crazy ones do it with an incoherent pleading.


W Ross • Jun 17, 2012 @7:31 pm Any chance you'll start a legal defense fund (maybe with the EFF?) It wouldn't take a lot of people kicking in $5 or $10 to cover the things that you guys can't do for free. Not just because we don't want to see you guys bear the brunt of that, but because I think a lot of us want to see you guys break your (legal) foot off and establish some Internet law precedent that will protect the rest of us (I do satire too, and people like this are terrifying.)


nwhepcat • Jun 17, 2012 @7:45 pm I find myself sorta hoping Condoleezza Rice hires him to sue himself. I think he'd take the job.


Marguerite Kenner • Jun 17, 2012 @8:20 pm Hey guys, just letting you know I'm a intellectual property paralegal in California and if you're looking for pro bono assistance, drop me a line. I'd LOVE to help.

Also, if you haven't already, DEFINITELY contact the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.


DrDuran • Jun 17, 2012 @8:37 pm I have jury duty at the federal court In Oaklabd in the morning, too bad this suit won't be the one I'm there for!


Dan Z • Jun 17, 2012 @9:03 pm Wow…I've never seen anyone infinity down on stupid before this.


Gabriel Chapman (@Bacon_Is_King) • Jun 17, 2012 @9:05 pm so what judge wouldn't sanction this clown besides Vaughey?


Jayson Elliot • Jun 17, 2012 @9:14 pm I'd like to propose "Carreon" as a new verb:

Carreon
Verb

1. To lash out blindly, yet only succeed to cause harm to oneself.
He became so enraged, he lost control and began to carreon wildly, until he was covered in self-inflicted bruises and passers-by began to back away slowly.


Chris • Jun 17, 2012 @9:24 pm Also in his complaint he says that theoatmeal.com is not copyrighted and his comics are due no protection under copyright law. Someone needs to tell this guy to do a google search or something. Matthew Inman has many of his comics in his original book "5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth" which was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. I pretty sure that is clear indication of a copyright.


Chris • Jun 17, 2012 @9:26 pm Pardon me, he said that in an interview. Not in his complaint.


Pen • Jun 17, 2012 @9:37 pm Directly from the copyright.gov site: "Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

This is basic copyright law, and not even up for debate. How can Carreon not understand that the simple act of creating his comics was all he needed to to for them to be under copyright?

Carreon really dove off the deep end on this one, hasn't he?


Adam Steinbaugh • Jun 17, 2012 @9:45 pm I take that to mean that Oatmeal cannot counterclaim for copyright (if FunnyJunkmwere to sue — which, by all indications, it hasn't done so) because you have to register a work with the copyright office before suing on it.

But that's easily remedied by… filing the work with the copyright office.


Chris • Jun 17, 2012 @10:00 pm Still all works previously published in his book would be filed already. So there would be no getting around that.


Perry G Buote • Jun 17, 2012 @10:14 pm Matt James • Jun 17, 2012 @4:34 pm
was right its like roulette but with 5 bullets one player


Clay Graham • Jun 17, 2012 @10:34 pm http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3pr3iu/


Christopher Ambler • Jun 17, 2012 @10:59 pm We're sending Carreon an indulgence for being a petulant, amoral, censorious douchebag. Hopefully it'll help his immortal soul, though we suspect it won't do much good for him in the here-and-now. Please note, we're sending this as a gift, no strings attached.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... e=1&ref=nf


Silver • Jun 17, 2012 @11:24 pm Adam and Chris, as per Pen's post, the current copyright law does not require material to be registered.
Copyright is confered at the point of creation.
Registration was removed from the law many years ago.

The U.S. Copyright Office has a great fact sheet on copyright at http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf.


W Ross • Jun 17, 2012 @11:31 pm http://www.charlescarreon.com/ looks… uh… different.

I think it may have cracked under the strain of lookieloos. Anyone else getting an animated gif and something about undergoing scheduled maintenance?


Max Swisher • Jun 17, 2012 @11:34 pm I love the oatmeal, and I've been a fan for years and years.

The fact that this jackass is doing this is just disgusting. I mean, it's bad enough to sue the oatmeal – but seriously, suing the wildlife foundation and cancer society? That's just not right.

I hope he dies in a hole.


resonanteye • Jun 17, 2012 @11:37 pm Man oh man, I love butthurt.

This guy is a good one, too.


resonanteye • Jun 17, 2012 @11:38 pm …and by "good one", I mean "wingnut".


Not what he seems • Jun 18, 2012 @12:37 am (Tune: Kansas's "Carry On, Wayward Son")

Chorus:
Carreon, you hired gun,
your career is over and done,
lay your stupid case to rest,
don't you try no more.

A child could see right through your noise and confusion
No one's gonna buy your flimsy illusion.
Such a careless writer, were you much too high?

To the law it seems you're totally blind, man
Thought your threats would work, you must be a mad man
You're hearing voices, or you're dreaming if you thought you could win

(Chorus)

Should have spoken to someone who could reason
cause your logic has just zero cohesion
claim you're internet lawyer, you ain't got a nano-clue

In your stormy wrath of childish emotion,
tossing idle threats and verbal explosions
Who'll you blame for your misfortune, besides the voices in your head?

(Chorus)

Bridge:
Carreon: You should always remember
Carreon: You're unmasked as a puffed-up pretender
When a hip blog, you bluff and bully
you went viral, now you're owned

Carreon, you hired gun,
your career is over and done,
tuck your tail between your legs,
and say goodbye to the law.


Chris Sherlock • Jun 18, 2012 @1:01 am May I suggest that you be careful in what you say about Carreon… there is no real evidence to support the fact that he runs or publishes the American Buddha website. In fact, a previous blog post that he has recently taken down but that is still accessible via Google cache has him stating that

I am doing this case [for American Buddha] pro bono, because I’ve been well acquainted with the director for many years…

Thom • Jun 18, 2012 @1:55 am If this even makes it anywhere near a court it's a travesty.


That Anonymous Coward • Jun 18, 2012 @2:26 am You've heard of the Streisand Effect, it seems sort of fitting a new phrase was coined and voted funny in the last week on TechDirt.
The Carreon Effect: The act of doubling and then quadrupling down on an untenable position.

And that was before this lawsuit was mentioned…


Chad Alan • Jun 18, 2012 @2:47 am I love how Carreon tries to assert that the satirical representation of Japanese (however politically incorrect and offensive they were) by Walt Disney and Co was in any way related to the bombings in Japan by the US. Like Pres. Truman was watching a Disney cartoon and said, "You know, I wasn't sure what to do about this Japan problem. We've pretty much beaten back the Germans, but I've been wringing my hands. However, now that I've seen this cartoon. I say let's bomb the ponytailed, buck-toothed short guys I saw in that cartoon. They've been sufficiently de-humanized to me." What a joke.


Nate • Jun 18, 2012 @2:52 am What a douche canoe. Only the lowest of the low would sue a charity, I'm not sure what kind of status you acquire from suing TWO charities, possibly guaranteed entry into the inner circle of hell!

He still seems to be under the impression that the cartoon of the bear love was 'his' mom, when in fact it was FunnyJunk's mom. so either Charles Carreon either fails at reading comprehension OR he's admitting that he's the douche behind FunnyJunk. Either way, it's kinda sad.


kagurazaka77 • Jun 18, 2012 @3:16 am It doesn't matter if your work is registered at the copyright office. As mentioned before, copyright exists – and you can enforce it – as soon as the work is created.

Registering it just makes it a whole lot easier.


Guest • Jun 18, 2012 @3:35 am >which has caused people to hack Inman's computer and falsely impersonate him

So… Carreon is suing Inman because people hacked into Inman's computer?

Surely there should be limits to testing the limits of sheer idiocy.


andrews • Jun 18, 2012 @3:39 am Looks like Carreon has forgotten the First Rule of Holes.


blixco • Jun 18, 2012 @5:15 am He hosts mp3s that anyone can download, breaking a few copyright laws. Anyone want to sic the RIAA on him?
http://www.american-buddha.com/childoffortuneindex.htm


blixco • Jun 18, 2012 @5:18 am More illegal music sharing: http://www.american-buddha.com/music.toc.htm


Jay Maynard • Jun 18, 2012 @5:23 am Dumb question time. Why is Carreon suing on his own behalf instead of on behalf of funny junk.com? Is it, perhaps, that the folks behind funnyjunk.com don't want to go on the record as to who they are? Or is it that he is behind funny junk.com? Enquiring minds want to know.


Jordan Rushie • Jun 18, 2012 @5:26 am One should never go FULL Rakofsky.


Zecc • Jun 18, 2012 @6:03 am Nothing to sue here, Carreon.


perlhaqr • Jun 18, 2012 @6:17 am Wow. Double Rakofsky. I never thought I'd see it.

"He's gone plaid!"


medlaw • Jun 18, 2012 @6:24 am Another festering sore on the legal profession. Hey wait, maybe I'm one of the "Doe's" on the complaint?


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @6:48 am "Carreon tells Comic Riffs one of his goals is to become the go-to attorney for people who feel they have been cyber-vandalized or similarly wronged on the Internet."

I know I'd hire him; he's doing just a super job so far! >:D

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/com ... _blog.html


Costner • Jun 18, 2012 @6:49 am Carreon is having an incredible few weeks. First he is introduced to the Streisand effect at levels previously only witnessed by Streisand herself (and perhaps Marc Stephens), and now he has been officially voted in as the mayor of Doucheachusetts… primarily because he seems to have ran unopposed.

Congratulations Charles – you make the cast of Jersey Shore look like Rhodes Scholars.


David • Jun 18, 2012 @6:53 am In what central-american country did carreon study for his degree? did he sleep through jurisprudence? did he bunk tort law?

"if for not the actions of…" carreron fails to realize that if not for the actions of his client – FJ – then none of this would have occurred. To rectify his shortcomings as an ambulance chaser he decides to sue the receiving charities themselves to broaden his ickiness to unfounded depth of depravity.

It is my hope, and my wish for christmas, that carreon gets bitch-slapped so hard by the ACS and the NWF and Inman's lawyers that he wishes he never hung a lawyer shingle outside his cave…

Bears good! Cancer bad! Carreon worse!


jess • Jun 18, 2012 @6:54 am Indiegogo stated in an e-mail. The company was working with its lawyer "to make sure everything was legit about the campaign," and determined it hasn't "seen any behavior to cause them to believe that this campaign doesn’t comply with their terms of service."

It would seem to me that Carreon cannot succeed in pursuing Indiegogo since they are nothing but a service agent. Compliance with IRS and State reporting rules falls clearly on the charity itself not Indiegogo – to state otherwise would be like holding Google responsible if someone sent out a threatening email – Google may have to reveal the details of the sender but they themselves are not responsible.

Also, I’m wondering why Carreon is droning on about Inmans charity not apparently being registered in California when Inman lives and works out of Washington State. Washington State rules state you only need to register with the Charities Program in the Office of the Secretary of State and provide an annual solicitation report if both of the following are true:

1. Someone receives any salary or fees for performing the activities for which the funds are raised (there is no evidence Inman is taking a cut of anything and he has indicated all of the proceeds will go to charity – Indiegogo would also not qualify under this provision since they are not performing “activities for which the funds are raised”

2. The total amount raised in a year does not exceed $25,000. Clearly based on his original posting stating he was looking to raise $20,000, Inman did not think he would raise over $20,000 which would have meant he would not have needed to register with Washington State or any other states with rules similar to Washington so long as he did not exceed their cap on funds raised.

Where I’m a bit fuzzy is that the Washington State law is about where the “donor” is located and not where the charity is located. So if the $ value of donations per state falls under the reporting guidelines for each state, it’s possible Inman may still not need to fill out any paperwork or register. Somehow I’m confident that if he does, he will be able to file any necessary “registration” paperwork after the fact and not get into any trouble since it was clear up front he was not expecting the level of success he has seen.

Carreon seriously thinks he is going to get some DA to “charge” Inman (with what appears to be a misdemeanor at best)for being successful in raising money for a charity he needs to have his head examined. I can’t see a DA anywhere that would want to go near that political time bomb seeing how Carreon is currently being crucified in the media.


Max Kennerly • Jun 18, 2012 @6:56 am Good for him! He's totally got a valid cause of action for Streisand Effect. I'm tired of wildlife and cancer patients getting all the attention. All of society's resources should be directed towards building some douchebag lawyer's ego.


Jordan Rushie • Jun 18, 2012 @7:02 am "Carreon tells Comic Riffs one of his goals is to become the go-to attorney for people who feel they have been cyber-vandalized or similarly wronged on the Internet."

I'm fairly certain that "butthurt" isn't a tort…


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 18, 2012 @7:03 am Ken, to quote myself:

Oh, one question, if he's filing it Pro Se, but claims that it was an act to defame "himself and his client", would this potentially get him in trouble if his client didn't authorize him to file this suit?
It gets worse. The Slashdot posting on this has it as FunnyJunk suing the Oatmeal over Trademark and incitement etc… Not Cameron, but FunnyJunk.

If it turns out Mr Cameron is purely Pro Se, does this mean that FunnyJunk may have cause to sue its own (perhaps now ex) lawyer for taking actions which said lawyer either knew or should have known would damage his client's reputation by proceeding in ways which were both legally and publicly unsound, especially after being warned by council for The Oatmeal about the dangers of proceeding?


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @7:06 am Nicholas, we'll see for sure when the complaint is available. But the Slashdot summary was, I think, just a non-lawyer's general take, and therefore imprecise about the parties.


Kevin • Jun 18, 2012 @7:09 am Am I the only one seeing this as just another example of Ocean Marketing's PR fail?


Ann Bransom • Jun 18, 2012 @7:22 am annnnnnnd he's posted the freaking lawsuit on his website. *grabs popcorn*


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 18, 2012 @7:24 am Ken: Right. But the point is that Cameron either knew or should have known that this filing would damage his client, even (and especially) if his client is NOT a party to this suit, and the Slashdot post is one example, as he's still "FunnyJunk's Lawyer" everywhere on teh Internet, causing reputation damage not just to himself but to his client.

Oh, and one more possible hint of a future dbag-ish move from Mr Cameron: The Comic Riffs blog at the Washington Post managed to talk to Cameron:

Carreon tells Comic Riffs that he himself has donated to the "BearLove" campaign. He also says he found the drawing to be disgusting. "I think satirical content is fine," Carreon tells us, "but him accusing my mother of bestiality is revolting, and I will not forgive it."
I wonder if that is so Carreon now believes he has standing to sue IndyGoGo, the National Cancer Foundation, etc… Because hey, he goes "I gave, then oops, I realized I was duped, because it wasn't an official fundraiser registered in California?"


Kris • Jun 18, 2012 @7:27 am One of the many things about this case I don't understand is where Carreon gets off saying that Inman directly insulted HIS mother. Inman stated it was directed towards FJ's mother, and yet it's one of the (many) things that's ruffled his feathers to the point of action.

(Not a lawyer nor even an avid reader until this fiasco. Thanks for the great commentary, the pro bono offer, and keeping us informed. Much appreciated!)


Ann Bransom • Jun 18, 2012 @7:33 am Here's a link to the complaint Carreon filed. Pull up a chair and sit a spell. It's a doozy. FORTY FIVE PAGES.

http://charlescarreon.com/Carreon.v.Inm ... dacted.pdf


Dangerboy • Jun 18, 2012 @7:34 am Ken, he has the lawsuit up in PDF on his website now (Carreon), and it is pure comedy GOLD.


Grifter • Jun 18, 2012 @7:38 am Oh, god, apparently Carreon lives in my city. I apologize on behalf of Tucson to everyone!


Ann Bransom • Jun 18, 2012 @7:38 am Has a pterodactyl ever appeared in a court document before Friday? EVER?


perlhaqr • Jun 18, 2012 @7:43 am 1. To lash out blindly, yet only succeed to cause harm to oneself.

"For some reason I was reminded of my first fight with Tyler."

——

What a douche canoe. Only the lowest of the low would sue a charity, I'm not sure what kind of status you acquire from suing TWO charities, possibly guaranteed entry into the inner circle of hell!

Douche catamaran, of course.

——

Ken: I too was curious about whether the CA Anti-SLAPP law would apply to a Federal case filed in CA.

Also, you said: Further analysis must await review of the complaint, which should be available to the public soon. Note that there is no way to tell yet — without the complaint — the causes of action he has levied against the charities. He may have sued them only for injunctive or declaratory relief.

What does that last part ("injunctive or declaratory relief") mean?


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 18, 2012 @7:45 am Ann: Wow wow wow…. I'll leave it to the real lawyers to read in detail, but in just a skim…

WOW. Cameron's doubling-down on the Pterodactyl!

25. Inman has announced his vindictive response to his real and imagined enemies by posting, within the source code of all of the webpages on his main website, http://www.theoatmeal.com, the following image and text, depicting himself as a pterodactyl that will “ptero-you a new asshole.” A screencapture of the core of the source-code appears as follows:
I hope The Oatmeal's lawyers really do p-tero Cameron a SLAPP-related new asshole.

32. Inman made his intention to utilize the Charitable Organization defendants as a “human shield” for his assault on Plaintiff and his client FJ clear when he summed up his attack with the statement addressed to FJ:
{The "consdire this my philanthropic…" reply}
And YES, it is "I contributed" standing claim! HA, I knew it…

38. Plaintiff is a contributor to the Bear Love campaign, and made his contribution with the intent to benefit the purposes of the NWF and the ACS. Plaintiff is acting on his own behalf and to protect the rights of all other contributors to the Bear Love campaign to have their reasonable expectation that 100% of the money they contributed would go to a charitable purpose. Plaintiff opposes the payment of any funds collected from the Bear Love campaign to Indiegogo, on the grounds that the contract between Indiegogo and Inman is an illegal contract that violates the Act, and its enforcement may be enjoined. Plaintiff opposes the payment of any funds to Inman because he is not a registered commercial fundraiser, because he failed to enter into a written contract with the Charitable Organization defendants, because the Bear Love campaign utilized false and deceptive statements and insinuations of bestiality on the part of Plaintiff and his client’s “mother,” all of which tends to bring the Charitable Defendants and the institution of public giving into disrepute.
And now, we get to the whole "Iman Incited Butthurt in the First Degree" claims…

On June 14, 2012, Doe 1, incited by Inman, or in the alternative and on information and
belief, Inman himself, registered the Twitter name “@Charles_Carreon,” and began publishing fake “tweets” on Twitter that were of immediately attributed to Plaintiff. This was not only an act of trademark infringement, but also false personation in violation of California Penal Code § 529.
Oh, and for the "Charity in trust" part, he wants full attorneys fees…


Grifter • Jun 18, 2012 @7:46 am Continuing to read the suit:

"In order to initiate an Internet jihad against Plaintiff and FJ, Inman unloaded the contents of his “Hitler’s porta-potty” on Plaintiff and FJ,"

Wow.


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 18, 2012 @7:53 am Oh, one thought: The BiFD claims require a conspiracy between Iman and whoever did the fake Carreon twitter account…

But Twitter is notoriously good at saying FOAD to third party subpoenas, as one other little detail Carreon is going to discover going forward. Well, lets see what happens as he decides what is the step beyond woodchipper in the hornet's nest reaction?


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @7:57 am http://charlescarreon.com/Carreon.v.Inm ... dacted.pdf

There's the PDF.

He's asking for:

PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff requests entry of judgment in its favor and against Defendants
as follows:
A. A permanent injunction:
1. Imposing a charitable trust upon all assets in the possession of Indiegogo
collected from Plaintiff and other donors, allocating half to the National Wildlife Foundation,
half to the American Cancer Society, and none to Defendants;
2. Barring Doe 1, or alternatively Inman, from falsely personating Charles Carreon
or using the Charles Carreon registered mark alone or in combination with other words, symbols
or designs including in any manner;
3. Requiring Indiegogo to register as a California fundraiser before proceeding with
any future charitable fundraising;
4. Requiring the NWF and the ACS to affirmatively require written contracts with
all commercial fundraisers in the State of California and to police the activities of fundraisers in
order to prevent future abuses, false advertising, and unfair practices;
B. An award of actual damages suffered by Plaintiff in such amount as shall be established
by proof;
C. An accounting and disgorgement of Inman’s and Indiegogo’s ill-gotten profits, if any,
from the conduct alleged herein;
E. A finding that the infringements by Inman and Does 1 – 100 were willful, and/or that
Plaintiff’s recovery is inadequate based on Defendants’ profits; wherefore treble damages are
warranted pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a); ______________________________________________ _______________________________
COMPLAINT, Page 21 of 22
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F. A finding that this is an exceptional case, and that an award to Plaintiff of its full costs
and reasonable attorney’s fees is therefore warranted pursuant to 15 U.S.C § 1117;
G. An order pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1116(a), requiring Inman, Indiegogo, the NWF, and the
ACS to file with the Court and serve on Plaintiff within thirty (30) days after service of an
injunction order as requested herein, a report in writing under oath setting forth in detail the
manner and form in which they have complied with the Court's Order;
H. Punitive damages against Inman and Does 1 – 100 pursuant to California Civil Code
§ 3294;
I. Such other and further relief that this Court may deem just and proper.
Dated: June 15, 2012


manybellsdown • Jun 18, 2012 @7:58 am I can assume, at the rate he is going, that the Does named in the suit are everyone who has ever read the Oatmeal. Or eaten oatmeal for breakfast. Or is a bear.


Rob Crawford • Jun 18, 2012 @8:02 am Been here, done that.

Dig around for "Pets Warehouse" and the pro se lawsuits its owner indulge(s/d) in. He sued customers for complaining; he threatened suits for people reporting about the lawsuit.


Janet Aldrich • Jun 18, 2012 @8:05 am I think you should consider action under 28 USC §§ 1912, 1927 (I'm from Ohio and the equivalent statute under Ohio law is 2323.51, which allows you to ask for attorney's fees for frivolously filed suits) as well as F.R.C.P. 11.

Granted, if you're successful, he's likely to go Chapter 11 if he can, but it would make you feel better … :S Sorry to see you go through this because you're defending yourself. I'm guessing Mr. Carreon (Carrion?) may have some bipolar issues. I know someone like him and this is just the thing this other person would do.

Good luck.


neilw • Jun 18, 2012 @8:07 am Here's the complaint. Good stuff in there: http://charlescarreon.com/Carreon.v.Inm ... dacted.pdf


Jeremy • Jun 18, 2012 @8:13 am I often wonder just how many smaller comic sites/blogs get suppressed by people like Carreon for every Oatmeal who is popular enough to stand up to them. Oatmeal has some amount of fame, which is not easy to attain on the internet. How many perfectly reasonable, but low-rank blogs have their freedoms impaired by people like this that we just never hear about?


Raya • Jun 18, 2012 @8:14 am WHAT. I clicked that first link to Carreon's "humor" website (the poorly Photoshopped sexual encounter between Bush and Rice). Wish I hadn't. That's the most racist thing I've seen on the Internet since the "hilarious" pics of Obama as a witch doctor. Sexist, too. And, you know, unbelievably tasteless.

But The Oatmeal has crude line drawings of pterodactyls eating brains, so the moral high ground is all Carreon's for sure!


huhmaster • Jun 18, 2012 @8:14 am It would be interesting the to watch the legal battle in the courtroom. It should be telecasted live.


Morakyr • Jun 18, 2012 @8:21 am Soooooo using Charles Carreon own logic, if The Oatmeal added Charles Carreon as a beneficiary of the fund raising Charles would have to sue himself….


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @8:22 am "30. In order to initiate an Internet jihad against Plaintiff and FJ, Inman unloaded the contents of
his “Hitler’s porta-potty” on Plaintiff and FJ, drawing a misogynistic cartoon depicting an obese
female dressed in her underwear, with pendulous breasts popping out of her brassiere, an
enormous posterior distended by an overstretched thong, rouged cheeks, and a crudely-lipsticked
mouth, calling out to an apparently disinterested brown bear half her size, “COME HURR AND
LOVE MEEEE!” He described it as a “drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.”
A true copy of the webpage is attached as Exhibit A."


David • Jun 18, 2012 @8:24 am I thought "Bear Love Campaign" would get less funny as it was repeated over and over in a legal document, but it really hasn't.


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @8:27 am 60. This is an exceptional case; wherefore Plaintiff is entitled to an award of its reasonable
attorney’s fees incurred in the prosecution of this action, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117.

Wait a second… so he's the attorney, but he wants to be awarded fees to pay… himself?


Ygolonac • Jun 18, 2012 @8:28 am Uhm, yeah, that comment I left in the previous post regarding "appointment with the neurosurgeon to loosen the metal plate"?

Well, shit.

WET CLEAN-UP IN COURTROOM B…


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @8:30 am 62. As noted above, Doe1 or Inman proliferated Plaintiff’s email address via a fake tweet made by “@Charles_Carreon.com.” Plaintiff had not posted the chas@charlescarreon.com email address anywhere on the Internet except where required by law and Internet regulations."

Except that it's the contact link on this page…
http://www.ragingblog.com/


Jeremy • Jun 18, 2012 @8:38 am 38 Plaintiff is a contributor to the Bear Love campaign, and made his contribution with the intent to benefit the purposes of the NWF and the ACS. Plaintiff is acting on his own behalf and to protect the rights of all other contributors to the Bear Love campaign to have their reasonable expectation that 100% of the money they contributed would go to a charitable purpose

So.. Carreon contributed to the fund… the mind boggles. Is this what Cartman felt like when his funny bone was broken?


Adam Steinbaugh • Jun 18, 2012 @8:44 am Paragraph 38: Carreon donated to the Bear Love charity campaign so he could sue it.

Absolutely reprehensible.


Turk • Jun 18, 2012 @8:47 am "30. In order to initiate an Internet jihad against Plaintiff and FJ, Inman unloaded the contents of his “Hitler’s porta-potty” on Plaintiff and FJ, drawing a misogynistic cartoon depicting an obese female dressed in her underwear, with pendulous breasts popping out of her brassiere, an enormous posterior distended by an overstretched thong, rouged cheeks, and a crudely-lipsticked mouth, calling out to an apparently disinterested brown bear half her size, “COME HURR AND LOVE MEEEE!” He described it as a “drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.”

If he thinks he can win a case based on that, he is sadly mistaken. Jerry Falwell failed on the same subject when he sued Hustler based on a parody ad the magazine printed in which Falwell was having an incestuous encounter with his mother in an outhouse.

A First Amendment lawyer ought to know this case like the back of his hand. For those that don't, here is the Wikipedia version:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hustler_Ma ... v._Falwell


Sarahw • Jun 18, 2012 @8:53 am Wait a minute,wait a minute. Is Carreon not only the attorney funnyjunk hired, but Funnyjunck itself? Because it was "Funnyjunk" to which the "your mom" comedy trope was directed. It made the joke funnier because "Funnyjunk" is a corporation with a non-corporeal mom.
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Re: Charles Carreon: Popehat.com, by Kenneth Paul White

Postby admin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:57 pm

PART 2 OF 3 (The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part IV: Charles Carreon Sues Everybody Cont'd.)

LookingGlass • Jun 18, 2012 @9:18 am Is there a legal reason why the National Wildlife Federation and American Cancer Society are given as defendants but not identified in the Parties section of the filing or is that just evidence of sloppiness in the creation of the filing?


Agent V • Jun 18, 2012 @9:45 am Charles and Dino M. Zaffina ought create a support club for delusional whiney b!tches.


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 18, 2012 @9:57 am Oh, hey, ross, thanks!

That Carreon site shows him specifically advocating mass internet-directed emailing to get someone to change his behavior, in the first post tagged "legal rage". Someone should archive the whole site before Carreon drops it down the memory hole!

Pornographers Infringe Emily Trademark and Mattel Is Silent — How Swell Is That?

I can’t seem to get Michael Moore’s interest, but if some other people, like angry moms, started filling his inbox with complaints, it might make a difference.
This is due to what appears to be a silent treatment response from Mattel from his first attempt to solicit business from Mattel by an email which stated

I practice in the field of domain law, and it recently came to my attention that the EmilyDoll.com website that is sitting atop the Google ranking for the search "Emily+Doll".. {sick of typing, since he just did an image capture}
The email image

And a subsequent email which instead began (IMO, a bit more threateningly) with

I am now pursuing this matter as a legal journalist…
with a bunch of obnoxious questions.

From his petulant posting beyond it, its probable Mattel just ignored him as a crank. Given the 2000-odd comments since August 2009 are spam-bot, we can tell how successful this was…

At this point, not only do I believe that Saul Goodman is a better attorney than this guy, I now believe that Saul Goodman has better character as an attorney than this guy.


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @9:57 am Started a Twitter hashtag game: #charlescarreonnewcareers


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 18, 2012 @9:59 am "There is no better site on the internet for simultaneously teaching and entertaining about the legal system."

…save for Popehat.


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @10:02 am You guys who keep coming up with the examples of falsehood and hypocrisy just rock. You're the Army of Davids.

Do me a favor — whenever you find a good web page showing an inconsistent statement, or an item that shows hypocrisy, take a screenshot or print it to pdf in case he memory-holes it.


Reed • Jun 18, 2012 @10:05 am Paragraph 50: "Plaintiff makes it a practice to engage in tempered speech even on matters of heated debate."

Indeed….


Charles Carreon • Jun 18, 2012 @10:13 am Lol wow, I can't believe the @charles_carreon twitter user made it into the lawsuit. I ran that account until it got suspended. It was fun while it lasted. You can now find me on @charles_carron


Grifter • Jun 18, 2012 @10:14 am Ohh, that ragingblog is a fun place!
The irony of this title:
"New York Times Financial Columnist Shows Dreadful Lack of Common Sense"

I'm sorely tempted to try to find his local info and attempt an in-person interview. But I'm concerned; if he lets me do it, will I catch crazy?


Alaina • Jun 18, 2012 @10:14 am http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012 ... undraiser/


ShelbyC • Jun 18, 2012 @10:20 am So he manufactured standing by contributing, say, $1, to the fundraiser? Would he lose standing if the Oatmeal gave him his dollar back? What if I sent him a dollar on the Oatmeal's behalf?


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @10:23 am @Ken If popehat can work for free, so can we! I'm a satirist and this is bad precedent, so I'm happy to help move information around.

"50. The fake tweets from @Charles_Carreon were abrasive and provoking to other Twitter users, and engendered immediate negative responses, having the effect of intensifying public hostility toward Plaintiff, and causing him irreparable harm in the marketplace for legal services. Plaintiff makes it a practice to engage in tempered speech even on matters of heated debate, and
does not sling insults like “dumbass” and “idiot.” Nor was it Plaintiff’s attempt to use his Twitter account @charlescarreon to engage in verbal combat with other Twitter users."

Provably untrue. He may not on Twitter, but the shops, poems, and his own writings (linked elsewhere in this post and comments) shows he does engage in exactly that type of speech that is equally offensive, outragous, and are even fricken cartoons.

(for example http://www.american-buddha.com/chas.scribble.49.htm )

Also, if you want to wander the stuff of his on american buddha, click the link below and it'll generate the search automatically. Picking through it little by little, but everything he accuses others of doing he seems to do regularly.

(Note that it will make your brain melt both from bad design, general craziness, and poor keening. Long term exposure to Tara Carreon's wrting has also been known to cause flame wars, intercrazies, and typists finger.)

Charles Carreon articles at american budha:
http://www.american-buddha.com/search/? ... Carreon%22


Daniel Hagan • Jun 18, 2012 @10:33 am Anyone know where FunnyJunk LLC is registered? I couldn't find it in CA, WA, OR, LA (D&B hit, but no record), or FL (domain registrar address). Seems odd that when it came time to sue, FJ isn't a plaintiff…


L'lee • Jun 18, 2012 @10:35 am Ok, I can't be the only one whose seen the irony in the similarity of his last name to carrion – the sustenance of wolves, vultures and jackals, can I?


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 18, 2012 @10:39 am Sarahw raises an interesting question. Has anyone identified who owns FunnyJunk?


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 18, 2012 @10:41 am "made his contribution with the intent to benefit the purposes of the NWF and the ACS"

It is clear he donated solely for the purpose of suing. This is evident by the fact that he previously unsuccessfully tried to shut down the campaign and thusly prevent these charities from receiving money. How can he with a straight face say that he is trying to support the two charities he is actively suing?


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 18, 2012 @10:46 am The WHOIS information for FunnyJunk, CharlesCarreon.com and American-Buddha.com are all privacy protected. However, FunnyJunk.com isn't hosted by a US server and doesn't use the same privacy protection company that CharlesCarreon.com and American-Buddha.com use.

CharlesCarreon.com and American-Buddha.com do use the same privacy protection company, but are hosted by two different companies.

http://www.ip-adress.com/whois/funnyjunk.com
http://www.ip-adress.com/whois/charlescarreon.com
http://www.ip-adress.com/whois/american-buddha.com


Richard • Jun 18, 2012 @10:53 am Would this work as an archive in case Carreon memoryholes his website? http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... buddha.com


joe • Jun 18, 2012 @10:53 am I've no idea if it was the real Tara Carreon who posted to Forbes 3 days ago as folllows:

"Did it ever occur to anyone that the reason that Matt Inman is so popular is because he appeals to the degenerate forces which have made all of our lives so miserable in this world? i.e., the rapists, looters, and warmongers who love nothing more than seeing a hipster sadistically put into a woodchipper, a baby being kicked, or a woman being ridiculed?"

If it was her I find her comment about The Oatmeal quite hypocritical considering she seems to have no issuess ridiculing other famous women on her American Budda website by photo shopping their faces to create false pictures with naked mens genitals or womens breasts.

http://www.american-buddha.com/mondo.kathleenturner.htm
http://www.american-buddha.com/mondocannibafeast2.htm


Mike • Jun 18, 2012 @10:56 am I noticed in there that he is requesting a jury. How far can he go to exclude jurors? I have a hard time imagining there being enough people without bias (against him or for the various defendants) to even have a fair jury.

Couldn't Indiegogo just claim truthfully that they are raising money for Inman and not any charity, making it his duty to meet any requirements of fundraising in his location and not where Indiegogo is located? I know that wouldn't be the hilarious result people want to see of the lawyer losing horribly, but still would be interesting.

This stuff makes me think I must be a lot more naive than I thought. It's already gone way beyond where I would have thought logic, common sense, and morality would have allowed it.


Sarahw • Jun 18, 2012 @10:58 am Mr. Clean Hands needs some better soap. Meanwhile I just found out bears can COUNT the number of times Funnyjunk, LLC's mom importunes them for love.


LookingGlass • Jun 18, 2012 @11:06 am There's a FunnyJunk incorporated in Nevada:
"FunnyJunk, LLC"

Managing Member for that LLC is one Bryan Durel of New York.


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @11:06 am That groundswell is happening. His name is generating 200 new mentions an hour in Google. Mashable just picked it up.

http://mashable.com/2012/06/18/funnyjun ... indiegogo/


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @11:23 am http://www.american-buddha.com/ambu.dig ... leteer.htm

"Internet censorship is just the latest outbreak of a disease that government always suffers from — wanting to control what people can say," says Carreon, "We are shining a light on a problem that no one in Ashland knew about — the existence of a censor inside of the City who could, and did, turn off websites for totally improper reasons. In the case of American Buddha, it was a complaint from conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who was the subject of a risque cartoon that was posted on the American Buddha website http://www.american-buddha.com, In other cases, we don't know what the reasons were, but the websites were turned off."

So he hated it, but he also learned how to do it and then did it to others? But here's the really interesting thing. He seems to have a long history of letting his wife (who's appeared in some really disturbing comments mentioned in other threads that seem legit based on her writings) do his dirty work for him.

As he was posting highminded rhetoric, she was posting photoshopped pictures of the woman in question getting orally gangbanged. (VERY NSFW http://www.american-buddha.com/mondo.kathleenturner.htm ).

Now in theory no matter how crazy the wife is she should be off limits, EXCEPT… his POINT in this whole thing is Mathew Inman incited third parties to do his dirty work while he kept his hands clean. So it's semi-related, at least to know what to expect next.


Cass • Jun 18, 2012 @11:29 am Wait. Wha??

First Carreon insinuates WWII was caused by Walt Disney (@chad alan, I was wondering if anyone else would say it…)

And then #38 in his lawsuit states that he, himself, is a contributor to the BearLove campaign, ("…Plaintiff is acting on his own behalf and to protect the rights of all other contributors to the Bear Love campaign…") I don't want him doing on thing on my behalf or bewhole. So can I sue him for misrepresentation since I didn't authorize him to include me?

I, like many others, thought this whole thing would keep me entertained for a few days, and then *poof*. This is one time I am glad to admit I was wrong….


Insane • Jun 18, 2012 @11:36 am This whole thing is completely mind blowing. This is like on of those '40's farce movies where Carry Grant's actions and words are completely misconstrued. And the butthurt people incite all kinds of mayhem over nothing. The only thing that really bothers me is the only girl in this one is from the bear love campaign. I feel sorry for Inman since the hero always gets the girl in the end.

I would like to think that maybe Carreon is some sort of white knight fundraising genius that is willingly falling on his sword to bring in beaucoup bucks for NWF and ACS and that no one is really so stupid to actually sue as a result of not being able to comprehend that a comedian does comedy. Perhaps if the former were the case he would be the hero and get the girl in the end, instead of Inman.


Kendie • Jun 18, 2012 @11:36 am @Mike regarding a jury selection, this carnival of events is not as well known outside the online-comics/internet law circles. Most of my friends are avid consumers of news and memes, but have not heard of this. Imagine jury selection of mostly 40+ year olds, and I doubt anyone would have heard of it, and might be swayed by the childish vulgarity of theOatmeal's drawings (which I'm a huge fan of) and they also might believe the drivel flowing from Carreon's beak.


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @11:38 am http://theoatmeal.com/blog/carreon

The Oatmeal has responded. Very cool, very noble. The #*$&storm is following right behind, though.

https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/ ... %20carreon

O.O


Ann Bransom • Jun 18, 2012 @11:42 am I decided to get some perspective on the situation from my own counsel. My six year old niece. I feel that her perspective on the matter is pretty cut and dry.

http://blog.annbransom.com/2012/06/bear ... arles.html

In other news, I can't believe this week.

Seriously.

And it takes a lot to surprise me anymore.

I know that Pope Hat and Lowering the Bar are not going to provide too much commentary on the suit that has been filed so that Inman's attorney can do his job, but come on guys. Scale of 1-10. What are the chances of this thing actually going to court?


L. Hutz • Jun 18, 2012 @11:43 am Would this work as an archive in case Carreon memoryholes his website? http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... buddha.com
For a little while, but not as permanent as web.archive.org (which has american-buddha.com's robots.txt file blocks). And whoever runs American Buddha could take the pages down and request that Google delete the cached versions.


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 18, 2012 @11:46 am LookingGlass – the address Bryan Durel is using is a rented mailbox at a UPS store.


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @11:54 am https://twitter.com/Popehat/status/214786887666249728

Charles Carreon's fail is so big it's now DDOSing sites with the power of it's own awesomeness.


Sarahw • Jun 18, 2012 @11:57 am I was just going to post that you can look up the Nevada llc info; Carreon isn't listed as an officer or agent or anything.

If the managning member has changed, the latest report on that is due at the end of this month (June 30).

N


Diana Lee • Jun 18, 2012 @11:57 am I'm so glad you guys have his back. This is just ridiculous. Even a totally frivolous lawsuit like this one can cost the defendants a lot of money to make it go away.


Sarahw • Jun 18, 2012 @11:57 am I was just going to post that you can look up the Nevada llc info; Carreon isn't listed as an officer or agent or anything.

If the managning member has changed, the latest report on that is due at the end of this month (June 30).


Jayson Elliot • Jun 18, 2012 @11:58 am In terms of archiving Carreon's sites, there are tools for Mac, PC, and Linux that will download and archive entire sites intact:

Mac: http://www.sitesucker.us/
PC or Linux: http://www.httrack.com/

A question for any lawyers—what would constitute legitimate evidence that an archive or screenshot is real, and the pages haven't been altered?


Scott Jacobs • Jun 18, 2012 @12:00 pm The Oatmeal's response was very good. My favorite part?


Hugs and sexy bear kisses,
It's like a massive, dildo-shaped "FUCK YOU", only funnier.


Ann Bransom • Jun 18, 2012 @12:03 pm oh look, Ken. You got a love letter on Techdirt:

Posted on: Jun 18th, 2012 @ 11:59am by TaraCarreon

I really hope that Ken at Popehat (why is he the Pope's hat?)volunteers to represent Matt Inman pro bono. It'll be so much easier for us to win, then.


Kristi • Jun 18, 2012 @12:04 pm The whole situation is a mess, but it's really a sad day when someone would include two charities in their lawsuit. I mean, how does one look at themselves in the mirror thinking "I'm suing charities that help wildlife and people with cancer. I'm just awesome like that."


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 18, 2012 @12:08 pm On a page by page examination, Carreon's website version appears to match the official one from lowering the bar.

Thus for those wanting to cut & paste goodies from Carreon's complaint where he seems to commit false statements, gross hypocracy, and other such nuggets of joy, use Carreon's web page copy since thats in PDF text form.


grumpasaurus • Jun 18, 2012 @12:08 pm pst… it's "IndyGoGo does too," not "IndyGoGo does to."


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @12:15 pm @Ann Yep, that's the exact kind of behavior I was talking about. Search for "Tara Carreon" or "TaraCarreon" and links in the last week and you can her popping up tons of places doing exactly what he claims is so egregious.


jess • Jun 18, 2012 @12:17 pm Ann – nice post from your year old niece. Sometimes the youngsters know right from wrong and how to play nice with others better than the adults.

On another note, no way to know for sure if that was TaraCarreon on TechDirt but if it was I would pay to see that showdown.


Margaret • Jun 18, 2012 @12:22 pm Not a lawyer (or even a blogger), just a casual fan of the Oatmeal who's finding the whole situation fascinating, and enjoying how informative and understandable Popehat's posts are.

I just have to say, yes to everything else that's been said, but also: How does a guy who is associated with an Internet post containing a photo of some woman's head (a real person whom he apparently dislikes for some reason), Photoshopped with dicks pointing at her mouth, claim he has some kind of MORAL HIGH GROUND?? The mind, she boggles.


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 18, 2012 @12:27 pm Ken, I have a question.

Assuming this does qualify as a SLAPP lawsuit, could Carreon be on the hook for the legal fees of Inman, the NWF, the ACS, IndyGoGo, AND 100+ Does? That would be one hefty bill.


Sarah • Jun 18, 2012 @12:30 pm @guest
"Surely there should be limits to testing the limits of sheer idiocy."
Do you mean we should pass laws? ;) I'm pretty sure that would result in an entire court system filled with equally entertaining cases!!

@jeremy
That's the *truly* important issue here.


Matthew Miller • Jun 18, 2012 @12:30 pm Charles Carreon wrote a rap song about his battle with "The Oatmeal"

http://www.american-buddha.com/poet.don ... mother.htm


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @12:36 pm http://www.techdirt.com/user/taracarreon

The Taracarreon TechDirt article comments (may be some useful information in there.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201206 ... nman.shtml

/|\_ In the article (view "threaded")


Jonathan Corbett • Jun 18, 2012 @12:40 pm My open letter to Carreon (to his chas@charlescarreon.com e-mail address):

Hi Chas,

Just saw your suit against, among others, the National Wildlife Federation and American Cancer Society. You’re going to sue NWF and the Cancer Society? Really?

First of all, you have no standing to sue those organizations and the fundraising platform, which should be obvious. Second, your remaining claims are frivolous against anyone but Does 1 – 100. Any use of your “trademark” was clearly not done to provide legal services and clearly constituted fair use, and you have no evidence to show that Inman attempted to incite anyone.

In short, congratulations on making a name for himself as the man who sues charities, legitimate and lawful Internet content publishers, and anyone else who doesn’t bow to you. As a human being, you should know better, but as a lawyer, your conduct has departed frmo the minimum professional standards requried by you. I will be filing a formal complaint with the California Bar regarding your conduct.

Yours,

Jonathan Corbett


LonePaladin • Jun 18, 2012 @12:47 pm Here's a good one:

37. Inman’s stated intention is to turn over only $20,000 of the amount raised by the Bear Love campaign to the NWF and the ACS, presumably splitting that amount between the two Charitable Defendants.

Actually, he stated that he was going to take a picture of the money he got, then send half to each charity. He didn't say "$10,000 each" or something like that, just that each would get half.


Eponymous Coward • Jun 18, 2012 @12:48 pm Having just read some of the complaint what struck me as odd is that on line 38 Carreon claims to have been a contributor to the Bear Love Good fundraiser. This makes no sense to me unless he did it so that he can make a claim against it as a stakeholder in the charity drive. This gets truly stranger by the minute…


Jack • Jun 18, 2012 @12:52 pm he claims that his personal confidential email wasn't available on the internet, yet anyone that can do a Google search could have easily found it. For example, I found this post which includes his "private" email address http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... ZGb4nStPug


T-Willard • Jun 18, 2012 @12:54 pm This is why we can't have nice things on the internet.


Jack • Jun 18, 2012 @12:54 pm …and his email also appears here: http://www.naderlibrary.com/commonreaderbPREF.htm

and here (in his own press release):
http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/08/ ... RN20090827


Curtis • Jun 18, 2012 @12:56 pm Perhaps a nudge to the left of this situation, but Megaupload owner, Kim Dotcom, is currently under US Federal investigation (and be held by *New Zealand* authorities for US "crimes") for copyright violations identical to FunnyJunk. Kim Dotcom's house was raided by a swat team, all his computers were seized, hundred's of millions of dollars were frozen, and he was initially thrown in jail for weeks without bail…


Adam Steinbaugh • Jun 18, 2012 @1:04 pm Jack: nice catch. I took it one step further and used the search tool on the American Buddha website. That purportedly private email address appears at least 23 times on that website.


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @1:11 pm Woah… from that Tara Carreon Techdirt link. It might be worth it to find out if that's her, since she's threatening people with nuisance lawsuits:
——
Re: Re: Re: Re:

TaraCarreon (profile), Jun 17th, 2012 @ 4:59pm
Since when did you become a copyright chicken hawk? You probably still have MP3s and movies on your hard drive that you got through illegal file-sharing on Napster, Kaaza, and Pirate Bay, you hypocrite. Better delete all of them right now before Charles subpoenas them to prove that you're a media mole.
[ reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]
insightful funny report
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

STStone, Jun 17th, 2012 @ 5:04pm
Subpoena me for what — saying things you don't like?
[ reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]
insightful funny report
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

TaraCarreon (profile), Jun 17th, 2012 @ 5:17pm
For all of that illegal content on your hard drive. You'll have to seek a protective order to keep your porn stash private. What's your preference — het, gay, bi, BDSM?
[ reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]
insightful funny report
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

STStone, Jun 17th, 2012 @ 5:20pm
What law does he plan to subpoena me under? I haven't…

…wait. Did you just vaguely threaten to try and out me to the general public using a subpoena and use that as a tool to embarass and humiliate me?

WOW. You, darling, have sunk lower than your husband.


mojo • Jun 18, 2012 @1:15 pm 90% of lawyers give the other 10% a bad name.


Adam Steinbaugh • Jun 18, 2012 @1:22 pm W Ross: one of her subsequent posts says she's "JK" and that Charles Carreon would NEVER abuse the legal system like that. I'm still not sure whether it's actually her or, if it is her, how it's relevant.


Anarcoplayba • Jun 18, 2012 @1:24 pm Hia, good afternoon to everyone.

I'm a brazilian lawyer who also works with trademarks and litigation and I can only be sad that some people (everywhere) seems to truly corrupt their own legal system and right's protections.

My best wishes for the Oatmeal and all of you who voluntereed yourselves in the defense of not only a website, but also free speech and the right to not be so serious.


MJ • Jun 18, 2012 @1:30 pm Considering how butthurt Charlie is about the comic of the super sexy mom & bear, he wasn't shy about drawing a comic of his own which I thik clearly shows intent for bodily harm against Matt Inman (represented by the Pterodactyl) – http://www.american-buddha.com/poet.don ... mother.htm – also, rap.


Jeff Dover • Jun 18, 2012 @1:35 pm Charles Carreon has been a bad boy. http://www.osbar.org/publications/bulle ... pline.html


Keith A • Jun 18, 2012 @1:37 pm Funny thing is- Carreon has already tried to use these same tactics in his defense of the Emily Doll trademark: http://www.ragingblog.com/2009/05/porno ... l-is-that/

I guess it must be different when those same tactics are used against you!


Jack • Jun 18, 2012 @1:38 pm MJ Nice find.
I think it's hilarious that he thinks that the oatmeal's cartoon was about his mom when the oatmeal stated clearly that the cartoon was aimed at the FJ admin's mother. Unless of course "chas" is actually the admin of FJ, which would explain a lot.


Jack • Jun 18, 2012 @1:43 pm Carreon isn't listed as an agent or managing member of FunnyJunk LLC on the Nevada Secretary of State website, so there goes that theory.


Vinnie • Jun 18, 2012 @1:47 pm Carreon's statements are fallacious and don't deserve the negligible bandwidth it takes to host them. According to Carreon, Inman is guilty of the following:
1) encouraged people to hack his website
2) "brute force" his WordPress installation
3) in turn, he had to change his password.
4) encouraged people to violate my trademark
5) violated my twitter name

Inman never said anything referring to, implying, or suggesting the hacking of anyone's website.
What did he do specifically or encourage people to do to his WordPress, to his "trademark" or Twitter name?
Nothing.
Why? Because most of Inman's readers possess the minute level of Internet savvy it takes to Google someone's name and find some contact information. He never came close to encouraging or soliciting any kind of retaliatory action from his readers, and instead redirected his energy and resources into fundraising for charitable causes. It was completely within Inman's rights to make it known what had happened, and to defend himself in the public eye.
To say that Carreon is grabbing at straws is like saying teenage girls should exercise more prudence with the pictures they upload. Perhaps Carreon should himself find a lawyer.

Oh, and he thinks he had to change a password. I have no words for that statement.

I hope Inman and the whole lot countersues with defamation charges and earns even more money to donate to charity.


Pablo • Jun 18, 2012 @1:48 pm People should try and take a crack at username and password for:

Edited to add: no they fucking shouldn't. Can you read? Take that shit somewhere else, asswipe.


joe • Jun 18, 2012 @1:50 pm

Jack • Jun 18, 2012 @1:51 pm Jeff Dover,
The California bar lists him as being disciplined in 2006 and suspended but it looks like he was punished for the same thing Oregon punished him for http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/127139

Note that his "private" email address is publicly available on the CA State bar website.


Fletcher • Jun 18, 2012 @1:55 pm I am playing armchair lawyer here, but reading the complaint leaves me with some questions. As I follow the story, my understanding is that Matthew Inman, DBA the Oatmeal, has started a fundraiser to do two things: create a photo of $20,000 to send to Charles Carreon, and then purportedly to donate that money to charity. However, at no point either through the blog at oatmeal.com, nor through the indiegogo site have I seen any implication that Inman represents anything but his business, which is not a charity. As I understand sites like kickstarter and indiegogo, they exist so people like me can give money to other people. I see no contracts that say they have to use the money as I see fit, and in this particular case the money is stated to be directed towards Inman taking a picture and then giving $20,000 to two charities. After that first 20k was raised, I saw no implied promise that Inman couldn't just pocket the difference. Since Carreon was not one of the people who donated in the first hour, how does he even see the possibility of a claim? He gave money to a for-profit business, with a promise that a small portion raised would go to two non-profits, but without claiming to even be raising money directly for them. The primary purpose appears to be to raise cash to take a photograph, which would seem to complete the terms of the implied contract. Is Carreon perhaps illiterate? Or just someone who believes lawyer jokes?


Nikropht • Jun 18, 2012 @1:57 pm This guy and his wife are total asshats. His wife took a pic of a well known Washington post writer and photshopped it onto porn. When she asked them kindly to stop they did not. So she went the legal route.
Whole thing is here http://www.american-buddha.com/ambuvs.city.toc.htm

Also for interested parties. The Carreon's home address and phone is posted in those links on their own website.


SamuraiKnitter • Jun 18, 2012 @1:59 pm It's not just – potentially – Carrion's wife. Someone claiming to be his daughter spent the weekend roaming Twitter and randomly calling to task people who were criticizing "her father".

I'm not including the Twitter user name, on the chance it's NOT his daughter but someone else stirring the pot. And also, even with all else, I still hesitate to drag someone's child into a mess, even an adult child apparently begging to be dragged in.

If he REALLY wants to put on the act that he finds this internet shaming so horrible, shouldn't he rein in his own family from doing essentially the same thing? Would their behavior be admissible in court, if this ever got that far? Or is it all just a really big cluster F at this stage?


Anarcoplayba • Jun 18, 2012 @2:02 pm Not really: http://www.indiegogo.com/bearlovegood?c=activity

Matthew Inman posted an announcement 5 days ago

One other note: a lot of people have been asking what I plan to do with the extra money we raised over the initial $20,000. 100% of it is going to charity. I’m going to add 2 more charities to the list, in addition to the ACS and the NWF.


joe • Jun 18, 2012 @2:03 pm Ken may post a reminder and The Oatmeal also said “And to anyone else who is reading this: it goes without saying, but stop harassing Carreon. Be lawful and civil in your interactions with him. If you want to help, go donate.”

Poking fun at Carreon on various blogs and outing his lies = OK.

Posting his home address, contacting him personally, flooding his personal email with nasty grams, or suggesting hacking any of his accounts = not OK.

Remember – we should be the good guys


Nicholas Weaver • Jun 18, 2012 @2:13 pm Keith: It wasn't a trademark "defense", it rather appears to be the petulant response of an ambulance chaser who's attempt to drum up businsess for himself failed miserably, so instead he wanted to encourage people to email-bomb his would be client!


Anita • Jun 18, 2012 @2:16 pm So why would FunnyJunk have hired Carreon to send that original letter to The Oatmeal a full year after their original scrape? Why is it happening now (opposed to a year ago)?

And if one of Carreon's problems with The Oatmeal is that he called him derogatory names (e.g. douchebag), then isn't his behavior proving out that opinion? Someone needs to protect this man from himself.


Jack • Jun 18, 2012 @2:25 pm I really hope that this nonsense results in disciplinary action for Carreon. At the very least he made a false statement in his filing. Doesn't that count as misconduct?


Dave • Jun 18, 2012 @2:31 pm I see his website now comes up on "Web Of Trust" as having a bad reputation!


Adam • Jun 18, 2012 @2:44 pm Anyone else find it fitting that Carreon sounds like carrion?


Kit • Jun 18, 2012 @3:18 pm I know many people have pointed it out before this, but here is the actual quote, written right in the description of the charity, where Inman states that the cartoon of the bearloving mother is directed at the owner FunnyJunk:

"Instead of mailing the owner of FunnyJunk the money, I'm going to send the above drawing of his mother. I'm going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. "

So… what am I missing? How can Carreon include that cartoon in his lawsuit on his own behalf?


William C • Jun 18, 2012 @3:25 pm If one were to search for Charles Carreon here,
http://calbar.ca.gov/
They would find all of his information.
This information is readily available to the public, I wonder if he himself was aware of that?


Thorne • Jun 18, 2012 @3:40 pm [Kanye]
"Yo, Charles, I'm really happy for you and I'mma let you finish, but Paul Christoforo had one of the best Internet meltdowns of all time! One of the best Internet meltdowns of all time!"
[/Kanye]


Kelly • Jun 18, 2012 @3:43 pm Was a huge fan of yours after the Ecologica Malibu fiasco over at Regretsy. When I saw this start with the Oatmeal, I instalty thought of you. (The Popehat signal went up!) Loving your updates and insights, and I'm thrilled to see you offer your help, Ken. You're a freaking legend! I just hope this internet nutjob eventually figures out when to stop.


Huh, would you look at that? • Jun 18, 2012 @3:48 pm While looking at this:

Kit • Jun 18, 2012 @3:18 pm

I know many people have pointed it out before this, but here is the actual quote, written right in the description of the charity, where Inman states that the cartoon of the bearloving mother is directed at the owner FunnyJunk:

"Instead of mailing the owner of FunnyJunk the money, I'm going to send the above drawing of his mother. I'm going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. "

So… what am I missing? How can Carreon include that cartoon in his lawsuit on his own behalf?

It suddenly occurred to me: What if this is a freudian slip of the largest magnitude?


jess • Jun 18, 2012 @4:17 pm Thorne – Joe pointed the thing in III of this series at http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/15/the-o ... -internet/ @ 9:11pm. It does indeed remind me of the Christoforo – Penny Arcade silliness. Christoforo, Ratkofsky, and Stephens are all startingly similar in their petulant pursuit of "fix my internet butt hurt ego". Part of me wants to tell them to put on their big boy pants. Sadly it appears they are all incapable of listening.


Chris • Jun 18, 2012 @4:22 pm joe • Jun 18, 2012 @2:03 pm

"Poking fun at Carreon on various blogs and outing his lies = OK.

Posting his home address, contacting him personally, flooding his personal email with nasty grams, or suggesting hacking any of his accounts = not OK.

Remember – we should be the good guys"

Joe, first off there is no "WE". Second fuck you for trying to be my moral compass. I'll do what I damn well want to, and if writing him a letter doesn't help the cause I don't give a shit. I don't exist for the cause as you have determined the "good guys" to represent.

You may be trying to help but you are being a censorious asshat yourself.


VPJ • Jun 18, 2012 @4:23 pm overtly petulant-entitled-crazypants.
That would be a good name for a rock band. Or an annual award. The Annual Popehat Overtly Petulant Crazypants Awards. Hrmmmmm…


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @4:33 pm Joe, first off there is no "WE". Second fuck you for trying to be my moral compass. I'll do what I damn well want to, and if writing him a letter doesn't help the cause I don't give a shit. I don't exist for the cause as you have determined the "good guys" to represent.
You may be trying to help but you are being a censorious asshat yourself.
Chris:

You're free to let your moral compass spin any way it wants. But if you really think saying "don't be a dick, and don't engage in criminal conduct, and don't engage in conduct that helps Carreon and hurts his critics" is being a censorious asshat, then I think you don't grasp the message of these posts or this site.


Jason • Jun 18, 2012 @4:37 pm This guy is digging so furiously he's going to hit escape velocity soon.


Thorne • Jun 18, 2012 @4:38 pm Funniest thing about Rakofsky is that, shortly, the new meme should be…

"You never go full Carreon."

…and he'll find himself forgotten. Relatively speaking, of course.


Cass • Jun 18, 2012 @4:42 pm If you ever get good and truly bored, Carreon's own blog posts make for some insightful reading. As in, he has filed this same lawsuit, from the other side, and lost. Old dogs/new tricks.

http://verbalassassin.com/2012/06/18/oatmeal_and_army/


William C • Jun 18, 2012 @4:48 pm Marc Randazza(he was mentioned in the edits of Part 1, a friend of Carreon) has posted about the who fiasco:

http://randazza.wordpress.com/2012/06/1 ... hew-inman/

He sums it up quite nicely, "Carreon just made himself a meme — and not in a good way. This will not end well for him. I just want to say that I tried. I really tried to get him to come to his senses. I tried really really hard. "


Thorne • Jun 18, 2012 @4:49 pm And if you're bored and suddenly find the urge to end it all, Google 'Subterranean Meltdown' for the WORST. POETRY. EVER.

"You never go full Carreon."

"Which one?"

"Does it really matter?"


Chris • Jun 18, 2012 @4:57 pm Ken,

As I said in the comments from the last post. I'm not fond of the criminal or illegal labels.

I grasp the point all too well.

What I don't like is when ANYONE tries to tell me how to behave. And especially when they represent the "right side" or the "good guys".

And I would suggest that if Carreon v. Oatmeal is on such shaky ground that a letter or an email calling this guy a cunt is going to sway the whole thing, then it's a lot more precarious than I had originally thought.

And if that isn't the case (and I don't think it is) then telling people not to do the things which are completely legal because it might hurt a third party's perceived good guy status, well that is being a censorious douche.


Jim C • Jun 18, 2012 @5:01 pm Jack @1:43pm: Nevada is home to a lot of shell corporations and Professional Corporate Officers of Record — basically, they collect a fee for filing incorporation papers and maintaining a mail drop (forwarding the received mail on to the next layer of the shell). Lots of "XXXX Y Avenue, Suite ZZZ" addresses map to UPS Stores (formerly Mail Boxes, Etc.) and the like in strip malls, with the "Suite" being the box number.

My hunch is that FunnyJunk, LLC, if that's in fact the same company, is using a similar arrangement. For reference, here's of someone running on the fringes of the law using Nevada-based shell companies.


Ken • Jun 18, 2012 @5:02 pm And if that isn't the case (and I don't think it is) then telling people not to do the things which are completely legal because it might hurt a third party's perceived good guy status, well that is being a censorious douche.
Not unless you have thin skin — Charles-Carreon-level thin skin — about having your conduct criticized.

Being threatened with a lawsuit, or sued, or threatened with arrest, or fired — those are censorship. But Wil Wheaton is not a censor when he says "Don't Be A Dick."

Criticism is not censorship.


SPQR • Jun 18, 2012 @5:06 pm Hear, hear, Ken. And urging people to uphold a community's standards are part of building community.


Jim C • Jun 18, 2012 @5:11 pm Let's try this again with proper HTML: Here's an example of someone using Nevada-based shell corporations to aid in running around in the grey areas of the law.


Chris • Jun 18, 2012 @5:11 pm Joe wasn't criticizing Ken. He was Directing. I live by that golden rule thing. I do unto others as I would have them do unto me. As a corollary, I don't do to others as I don't want done to me: I don't direct nor take direction.

SPQR,
I didn't realize when I starting believing in my God given right to speech I became part of a community that needed policing.


Courtney Milan • Jun 18, 2012 @5:12 pm Just want to point out what you probably already know:

The primary complaint (and the only thing in here that might have a vague wave of a hand towards legal relevance) is Carreon's claim that Inman et al failed to comply with California's charitable fundraising regulations.

Except that, since Carreon is apparently in asshat mode, he didn't bother to read the statute. It took me five seconds to determine that the statute in question doesn't create a private right of action. It says:

Cal. Gov. Code 12598. (a) The primary responsibility for supervising charitable trusts in California, for ensuring compliance with trusts and articles of incorporation, and for protection of assets held by charitable trusts and public benefit corporations, resides in the
Attorney General.

And also:

Cal. Gov. Code 12591. Nothing in this article shall impair or restrict the jurisdiction of any court with respect to any of the matters covered by it, except that no court shall have jurisdiction to modify or terminate any trust of property for charitable purposes unless the Attorney General is a party to the proceedings.

In other words, private parties can't sue to enforce the statute under which Carreon is suing.


SPQR • Jun 18, 2012 @5:13 pm Chris, you made Wil Wheaton sad.


Erwin Felling • Jun 18, 2012 @5:15 pm Anyone else feel the utter ANGER and DISILLUSIONMENT (not to mention the absolute sense of bewilderment I had after visiting) that radiates from american-buddha.com??

Wow.


Thorne • Jun 18, 2012 @5:20 pm @ Chris…

It's not about "policing"; it's about exercising good judgment.
As Ken stated, criticism is not censorship.

Wanna send him Carreon an e-mail expressing your opinion that he's a cunt? Knock yourself out.

It's a not-so-fine-line crossed when someone sends an e-mail that says something like "I hope you die in a fire. And I hope I'm the one holding the matches, fucker."

That helps no-one and we'd all be fools not to believe some douchebags did just that trying to hide behind the "anonymous" cloak of the Internet.


Brett • Jun 18, 2012 @5:23 pm "Hi, I'm Charles Carreon, welcome to Jackass!"


Chris • Jun 18, 2012 @5:30 pm @Thorne,
Good judgement IS NOT directed. It is something you either have or you don't. And nudging me and anyone else in such a way as Joe did above and Ken did in part III is wrong.

And your right, it is a very BROAD line between calling someone out and threatening them.

And I doubt anyone who reads this blog with any regularity does any of the threatening nonsense. That's why the direction is so reprehensible. It's nudging from good intentions, which is where all censorious douches start.


JohnJ • Jun 18, 2012 @5:30 pm Also not to be a copyright hawk but considering american-buddha.com directly hosts and disseminates copyrighted music, shouldn't we send a couple of investigatory requests to the RIAA?


Adam Steinbaugh • Jun 18, 2012 @5:46 pm Yeah, telling me that I shouldn't do something is wrong! Now excuse me while I tell Carreon he shouldn't do something.


RandomOnlooker • Jun 18, 2012 @5:59 pm @JohnJ

At least two people over on techdirt are doing the same thing. I can't see any harm in it in any case. After all, if they're really on the right side of the law contacting the *AA's won't mean anything.


Thorne • Jun 18, 2012 @6:03 pm Y'know, it seems to me the only other person who failed this miserably every step of the way while never once doubting in his ability (or lack thereof) was Ed Wood.

I don't see this going the way of 'Plan 9', though.

No, twenty years from now, I can see this becoming another 'Rocky Horror', with people staging dramatic readings of Carreon's 45-page complaint while audience members shout sarcastic lines.


T. J. Brumfield • Jun 18, 2012 @6:06 pm The really weird thing is that Carreon claims it is legal for him to provide direct downloads of unlicensed copyrighted music. How does that work?


Thorne • Jun 18, 2012 @6:11 pm By the way…

If someone grabbed a copy of his sex.com book off his website and then uploaded it to FunnyJunk, would the Internet collapse in a black hole of irony??

Food for thought.


Adam Steinbaugh • Jun 18, 2012 @6:12 pm TJ: American Buddha argues that because they label themselves a "library", it's fair use. The Second Circuit last year rejected Carreon's argument that the site wasn't subject to jurisdiction in New York. I don't know what the status of the case is after that.


W Ross • Jun 18, 2012 @6:17 pm @Chris You're totally Carreoning thing out of proportion here!

Also @CharlesCarreon is now going through and answering Tweets. *headdesk*

https://twitter.com/#!/charlescarreon


Dan Weber • Jun 18, 2012 @6:21 pm telling people not to do the things which are completely legal

There has to be a gap between what's legal and what's socially acceptable. People don't have to tolerate things merely because they are legal. I have to be able to say "that is a scummy thing that you do, even though it is legal and should remain legal."

Carreon claims it is legal for him to provide direct downloads of unlicensed copyrighted music. How does that work?

He has a novel interpretation of the law, that he can just say the magic words "I'm a li-berry" and that makes it not a copyright violation.

I get the feeling that he's been skating by on this by dealing with tiny fish in tiny ponds, but now that the legal community at large has seen it, it will come under scrutiny for once and collapse.


Adam Steinbaugh • Jun 18, 2012 @6:24 pm Yeah, Carreon says whoever is satirically impersonating him is going to be a defendant, and is going to reveal their identity via subpoena. Apparently getting Twitter to nix the account isn't enough to stop the oh-so-great damage. Whoever that is might want to get ahold of Ken.


Sam Gleske • Jun 18, 2012 @6:27 pm I would like to add that "chas@charlescarreon.com" is easily found on the internet with a single google search, "*@charlescarreon.com site:whois.domaintools.com" without quotes.

His claim that only privileged persons had access to this address is bogus from his statement in #62 of the redacted filing. The second link of that search renders the email address…
http://whois.domaintools.com/ethicslawyers.com

Along, with what appears to be a business address but could also be his personal as I have no way of knowing. The point is his claim is, "How can people find information on the internet that I posted on the internet?" Kind of a dumb argument if you ask me.

Pretty weak.


Joe • Jun 18, 2012 @6:29 pm Ken, SPQR Thorn, thank you for your comments.

Chris. First I have no idea why you would believe my comment was directed specifically at you. Second, I will say that anyone posting on this board since November of last year when I first found this site is well aware the last thing I do is try to “tell” anyone else what to do –I doubt the scurvy lot of them would listen anyway. Third, I know better than to try to “direct” traffic in Ken’s living room – he doesn’t require my help. Forth, if you think "such direction is so reprehensible and that it is nudging from good intentions, which is where all censorious douches start", then I wonder if you have really been paying attention to Ken’s prior posts. Fifth, I understand and appreciate the effort and time Ken, Patrick, and David put into this site and I enjoy participating in the Popehat community. Unfortunately there have been times in the past where Ken has had to strike commenters because they stepped over the line – perhaps you were unaware of that. If the community becomes too troublesome because Ken has to continually police it for idiots that encourage or promote seriously stupid things that border on inciting illegal actions (as a prior poster on this very thread did in fact do), then my fear would be someday Ken decides it is too much trouble and “poof” no more Popehat. I would miss my daily dose of Popehat and I have to tell you I really hate it when people try to fuck that up for me.

Chris – your comment “Good judgment IS NOT directed. It is something you either have or you don't. And nudging me and anyone else in such a way as Joe did above and Ken did in part III is wrong.” Indeed Chris, good judgment shouldn’t need to be directed but apparently in your case it does, because if you have such a serious problem with my “comment” which BTW is the same EXACT stance on the situation as The Oatmeal, AND you’re going to sit here and tell Ken he is wrong and argue with him about it then I would say you are showing a very serious lack of good judgment. Seriously, what makes you telling me what I can or cannot say any better? While you’re at it why don’t you zip The Oatmeal a note telling him what a censorious douche he is for trying to tell people to behave and see how that goes over with him.


Cameron Brydges • Jun 18, 2012 @7:33 pm Wow. He's pretty much taken himself past the point of no return with this whole situation, now. There's no way he can gracefully get out of this, even though he'd still be best to just drop it now and save whatever face he can.

He's pretty much cemented himself as this decade's Jack Thompson (the guy who essentially blamed all modern violence on video games, and specifically "Grand Theft Auto").


Chris R. • Jun 18, 2012 @8:25 pm Chris, I don't think asking people to be civil is censorship. I think suing someone because they weren't is.


jess • Jun 18, 2012 @8:39 pm Thorne • Jun 18, 2012 @6:11 pm

Dude that is a seriously funny ass comment. Thanks for the laugh. I also agree with your comments to Chris RE his reply to Joe.

Chris – you may not realize this but is a blog “community” not Twitter. This is Ken’s blog– HE decides what you get to say here whether you like being told what to do or not. If you don’t like his policy or his “requests” for how people conduct themselves on this blog then I don't know – - – - perhaps you need to decide if this is the place for you. Have to say calling the blog owner wrong in this situation——– not real high on my list of demonstrating "good judgment".


Jonathan • Jun 18, 2012 @9:08 pm I might not live in America, nor am I a lawyer, blogger or anything of the like. Still, this is providing me with a source of nearly unending amusement.

This is lifted directly from the IndieGoGo page: "Instead of mailing the owner of FunnyJunk the money, I'm going to send the above drawing of his mother."

I would have thought reading comprehension was an important thing as a lawyer, I might be mistaken on that in this case. Inman clearly states the owner of FunnyJunk, not Charle's Look-At-Me-I'm-A-Pretentious-Douche Carreon. So Carreon, I heard you liked carrion so we put some in your carry-on so you can carry on.

On a related note, while I do abhor what Carreon is doing, I still think that we should observe some modicum of civility in how we deal with this. I don't exactly think that email hacking/personal attacks via email or mail/website hacking are going to achieve anything other than drive him into some sort of lawsuit against the internet and puppies. Instead, channel it constructively!

Bearlove Good, Cancer Bad, Carreon Worse.


yundah • Jun 18, 2012 @9:09 pm It's summer and television offerings are at the nadir but I don't care. We have the evolving singularity that is Carreon preparing to fall in on himself. I feel badly for Matt Inman. I love The Oatmeal and I think he is brilliantly funny. He should not have to put up with this idiocy. I also agree with Popehat that it is ridiculous that these types of suits can be filed. We do need to develop rules that allow the courts to hammer idiots who file frivolous suits.
Someone above made a comment worrying about "bear love" losing its luster as one read through the complaint. I started imagining the clerk and judge reading this stuff, then a hearing or two where Bear Love, or even better, the Motherf*****g Pterodactyl gets talked about, over and over, and decided that that just might be a good day to be a judge.


joe • Jun 18, 2012 @9:47 pm @ Chris R. – thank you – I can see by both your Avatar and your comment that you likely know I was referring to the "other Chris" in my last post "-)


Mike • Jun 18, 2012 @10:16 pm This is a PICTURE of the ACTUAL LAWYER from his OWN WEBSITE Pretending to Commit SUICIDE!

http://www.american-buddha.com/chasflag4.jpg


Mike • Jun 18, 2012 @10:17 pm LOOK! The Lawyer may be a Copyright Infringer on his OWN SITE!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/10353332611 ... riD18SEsvF


Churles Curreon • Jun 18, 2012 @10:23 pm "Charitable organizations operating in California must approve all written contracts for fundraising on their behalf."

Neither of those charities is located in California.
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