The Oatmeal raises $100K in less than a day

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 12, 2012 at 3:57 PM   |   0 comments

June 12 (UPI) -- What's the quickest way to raise $100,000?

Piss off the fans of The Oatmeal, apparently.

When a lawyer representing FunnyJunk threatened The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman with legal action over a defamation claim, Inman turned to his site's fans.

"This is a joke, right?" Inman writes. "You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR sh**y website for the past three years?"

"No, I've got a better idea.
1. I'm going to try and raise $20,000 in donations.
2. I'm going to take a photo of the raised money.
3. I'm going to mail you that photo, along with this drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.
4. I'm going to take the money and donate one half to the National Wildlife Federation and the other half to the American Cancer Society."

In just over an hour, the campaign, appropriately titled "BearLove Good. Cancer Bad." raised more than the goal amount.

At the time of publishing--less than 24 hours after the campaign was posted--Inman's fans had donated $118,219.

The dispute between The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk goes back almost a year, when Inman first posted about FunnyJunk.

"Here's how FunnyJunk.com's business operates:
1. Gather funny pictures from around the internet
2. Host them on FunnyJunk.com
3. Slather them in advertising
4. If someone claims copyright infringement, throw your hands up in the air and exclaim "It was our users who uploaded your photos! We had nothing to do with it! We're innocent!"
5. Cash six figure advertising checks from other artist's stolen material."

He went on to list more than 900 images from The Oatmeal he claimed were posted, with copyright marks removed, as well as links to content he said was stolen from other comedy sites around the web.

FunnyJunk responded, but took down some of The Oatmeal's material. Inman says: "He still had a ton of my comics hosted without credit, but the energy it would take to get him to take them down wasn't worth it. I thought the issue was done and over with so I let him be."

Nearly a year later, media attorney Charles Carreon sent Inman a letter on behalf of FunnyJunk, claiming the original Oatmeal post consisted of false statements.

"You illustrate this present-tense statement with a screen cap that purports to be current, but was in fact taken long ago, and grossly misrepresents the current state of affairs," the letter states.

Within the letter, Inman responds: "You realize that's how the editorial process works, right? Bloggers and journalists write down words and ideas. When the world changes, writers aren't required to go back and edit all those words and ideas."

In closing, Carreon lists a series of demands requiring that all mention of FunnyJunk be removed from The Oatmeal and Inman pay FunnyJunk $20,000.

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