Last year, The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman complained about FunnyJunk.com, a site he accused of ripping off his own Web comic’s work without attributing the source. “I first contacted them about a year ago after I found a handful of my comics uploaded on their site with no credit or link back to me,” he wrote on his blog at the time. “They took down the offending images, but since then they’ve practically stolen my entire website and mirrored it on FunnyJunk.”
Inman wondered whether he should send a cease and desist letter, but decided the effort in trying to get FunnyJunk to pay up or quit using his material wasn’t worth it.
Now, the tables have turned as FunnyJunk is the one demanding retribution. Inman has received papers that say the owner of FunnyJunk plans to file a federal lawsuit against him unless he pays $20,000 in damages for the aforementioned blog post The Oatmeal publisher wrote last year. It’s really all spun out on control from this point, as Inman has posted the letter as well as “modeling” photos of FunnyJunk’s lawyer. In typical Oatmeal fashion, Inman has provided thorough annotations to FunnyJunk’s letter, which you can see a few screenshots of below:
Inman also posted a lengthy list of the comics FunnyJunk hoarded from The Oatmeal, which have all since been scraped from the site.
While Inman doesn’t intend to pay FunnyJunk the $20,000, he has one-upped the legal trolling by announcing he will raise the money and donate it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society… and then send FunnyJunk a photo of said money as well as “this drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.”
The entire escapade has been dubbed “Operation Bearlove Good. Cancer Bad,” and is being facilitated over at IndieGoGo. It’s already been a triumphant success, with 15 days to go and already more than $113,000 raised – the initial $20k was raised in 64 minutes.
As Inman so succinctly put it, “I’m hoping that philanthropy trumps douchebaggery and greed.” Looks like philanthropy takes this round.