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The Oatmeal Creator Responds to Lawsuit Threat By Raising $100K for Charity in One Day

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By HVculture on June 12, 2012

Don’t mess with the Internet. And whatever you do, don’t mess with the Internet’s funniest people. They will make you look foolish.

The Oatmeal‘s Matthew Inman produces quality, original web comics, mostly so that you can hate your life less for the 30 seconds it takes you to finish your hearty guffaws as you peruse his work. The problem is that in this user-generated, aggregation-based world, his quality, original web comics end up everywhere. Often without attribution.

FunnyJunk.com is one of those sites that has posted and hosted hundreds of The Oatmeal’s comics — all without attribution, all with monetized ads around them. That’s not aggregation. That’s theft. For profit. Inman did what any self-respecting artist would do, which is sarcastically blast FJ.com in a blog post. Almost exactly one year later, FunnyJunk’s lawyers sent over a letter that stated they would sue Inman if he didn’t fork over $20,000 in damages.

Chutzpah = stealing someone’s content and then threatening to sue them.

Inman doesn’t want to star in a courtroom drama. So here’s his plan: Raise $20,000 via stranger danger donations, send FJ a picture of the money along with the cartoon at the top of this page and ride off into the sunset.

From his donation page: “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. I’m hoping that philanthropy trumps douchebaggery and greed.”

How’s he doing so far? He raised his $20,000 in about 30 minutes. Not too shabby. He’s at over $100,000 as of post time. And that, folks, is how you go from Internet Superstar to F*&king Legend.


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