Matthew Inman

Matthew Inman, the Seattle-based webcomic artist better known as The Oatmeal, has raised more than $100,000 to fight cancer and support wildlife in less than a day, after receiving a demand to pay $20,000 or face a defamation lawsuit from a lawyer for FunnyJunk.com.

Yes, you read that right. Here’s the background: The dispute dates back a year, when Inman called out FunnyJunk for reposting large amounts of his work without credit or permission.

This week, Inman posted a letter he received from a lawyer for FunnyJunk saying that Inman’s post on the topic amounted to defamation. Inman has posted a hilarious annotated version of the letter, in the style of one of his comics.

But rather than simply refusing to pay the money, Inman announced an online campaign to raise $20,000 — promising to take a picture of the money and send it to the lawyer along with a drawing of the lawyer’s mom “seducing a Kodiak bear,” and then donate the money to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.

To call the philanthropic initiative a success would be an understatement. So far the “BearLove Good. Cancer Bad” campaign has raised $109,000 on the indiegogo fundraising site. The number is rising quickly — and there are 15 days left to go.

Photo of Matthew Inman by Randy Stewart via Flickr.

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/BrianCrouch Brian Crouch

    That’s how it’s done. 

  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    I’d say FunkyJunk pretty squarely lost this round. That’s some impressive support in a short time.

    I think they’d be smart to just drop this and walk away. Otherwise, given that support, I suspect any further escalation on their part will see them on the receiving end of swift, brutal, Internet justice.

    The Cook’s Source incident in Fall 2010 (http://christopherbudd.com/2010/11/22/dont-worry-the-internet-is-on-it/) is a cautionary tale of what can happen when the Internet is roused.

  • Josh

    Unfortunately this is the second occurrence in recent weeks where someone served a DCMA noticed responds with threats of a lawsuit of their own. Here is another equally disgusting example: http://bit.ly/JzYkDS

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is broken and puts too much burden on content creators.

  • Joe d’Coder

    Sadly, this isn’t over.  Public opinion doesn’t matter.  The only thing that does is whether a lawyer can persuade a judge to do what they want.  I’m rooting for Inman but he really should take some of that cash and use it to hire his own shark.

    • http://twitter.com/jclaussftw Jason Gerard Clauss

      Well… in a nation with a 2nd Amendment and hacktivists, it kinda does matter ;)

  • Guest

    Inman 10: FunnyJunk: 0.

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