I want to use this week’s post to voice my support for Matthew Inman, aka The Oatmeal. He draws comics that make me laugh so hard, especially the ones about real life situations. I can always count on him to lift my mood. I saw him at his book signing at Changing Hands in Tempe, and he’s the sweetest guy.
For those of you who haven’t been following the story, Oatmeal was recently threatened with a lawsuit if he didn’t pay FunnyJunk LLC $20,000. FunnyJunk is a website where people can post humorous photos and it apparently it was hosting hundreds of Oatmeal’s images in violation of his copyright. Oatmeal wrote a post about what was happening and accused FunnyJunk of making $100,000+ off his work. FunnyJunk claimed this was a false accusation of willful copyright infringement.
Some people might be been scared by the threat of a lawsuit, but not Oatmeal. He published an awesome blog where he refused to pay the $20,000 and instead announced that he’d try to raise $20,000 for charity in a venture called Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad. Oatmeal ended up raising over $200,000 for charity and was sued by FunnyJunk’s lawyer in the process. Hopefully that case will be dismissed soon and Oatmeal can disseminate the funds.
As a lawyer I initially cringed when I saw Oatmeal’s plan, but I was relieved when I saw that he has an awesome lawyer who appears to be doing the appropriate lawyer things on Oatmeal’s behalf. I think Oatmeal’s grace and strength in the face of adversity is admirable. I think if you feel you’re being unjustly accused of a wrongdoing, you should stand up for yourself and not do whatever you have to do to make the threat go away. I applaud Oatmeal for addressing this situation very publicly and showing his opposition a lot of respect. When Oatmeal’s fans starting calling FunnyJunk’s lawyer, he told them to stop and to donate to Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad if they wanted to help.
Much love to you Oatmeal! Thank you for demonstrating the power and influence you can use for good when you build a solid following by doing excellent work. Your hilarious comics and charming personality made you what you are and I’m so glad you didn’t back down from this fight. I hope your legal troubles are resolved soon.