On the one hand you have The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman’s fantastic cartoon site, which is one of the true rags-to-riches stories of the digital age. Talented guy uses new platform to reach fans who adore him. This isn’t happening often enough. It’s great. More of this, please. On the other hand you have FunnyJunk, a content aggregator that Inman publicly blasted awhile back and is now being sued by. (Heads up: The link might not work. The site has been slammed all day. Try this cached copy if the other one isn’t working.)
FunnyJunk Vs. The Oatmeal an outrageous lawsuit. In a nutshell, as retaliation for asking FunnyJunk to remove The Oatmeal cartoons from its site, FunnyJunk is suing Inman and wants him to pay $20,000 for hosting his unlicensed comics. If you can see the logic in this, you might want to consider a career in law.
So, as I said in the headline, it’s everything right (creativity, risk-taking, making people happy) with the Internet vs. everything that is wrong (thievery, bullying). It’s hard to believe that there is a lawyer in the world who thinks this is an actual case. Which, of course, maybe it’s not an actual case. Maybe it’s a publicity stunt. But is this really the publicity you want, FunnyJunk? For everyone to hate you?
I think Inman’s response has been perfect. You don’t dignify something like this. You mock it. Today Inman raised $20,000 in 64 minutes. (As of Monday night, the amount had pushed past $60,000.) He plans to send a photo of the money to FunnyJunk along with this drawing.
Then he’s going to donate the money to some worthwhile causes because that’s what the good guy in this situation would do.
I’ve never met Inman, but I admire his work. I’ve even featured it on this site before.
You will note, FunnyJunk, that I linked to it.
UPDATE: The Oatmeal’s lawyer responds.
UPDATE: Carreon’s wife calls critics ‘Nazi scumbags’ (like there is any other kind)