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Charles Carreon -v- The Internet

**[Update 27-06-2012 courtesy of Ars Technica] **

The astonishingly tenacious Arizona attorney Charles Carreon, apparently not satisfied with his original filing last week, has now amended his case against Matthew Inman et al. to now include California State Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Read the full story here

[Update #2 27-06-2012 courtesy of Ars Technica]

FunnyJunk lawyer’s wife wades into fray, calls critics “nazi scumbags” Meanwhile, husband Charles pens angry poems defending his mom.

These Techdirt nazi scumbags are doing to Charles what they did to the Jewish lawyers in Nazi Germany. Accusing him of greed and being responsible for the entire economic mess that our country is in. I mean, that is crazy!…

In addition to working for himself, Charles is working for You the People on this one, because who in the world would want this to happen to them? It’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening on the Internet right now to us, and it could happen to you. They’re even threatening our children. One girl was so violent and threatening, said she was going to make my daughter lose her job, that she had to take the entire conversation to her HR manager. These people are BAD, BAD PEOPLE, these Matt Inman people. They are true Internet terrorists. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t involve a lot of the Anonymous people.

Full story here

[Update #3 27-06-2012 courtesy of Ars Technica]

Charles Carreon is a sensitive character. Not only did he represent FunnyJunk in a defamation case and not only did he go after Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmealin a separate case, but now he has also gone after the creator of charles-carreon.com, a new parody website.

In a letter dated Friday, June 21, 2012, Carreon accused the owner of that domain, which was originally registered as private, of trademark violation and cybersquatting and asked him to cease-and-desist. In the letter, he threatened to amend his (already once-amended) complaint to name Doe 2 as Satirical Charles, the *nom de blog* of the website’s owner.

Full story here

If you haven’t been following the latest outbreak of sociopathy on the Internet, there are few finer examples than that of Mr Charles Carreon Esq., a Real Internet Lawyer threatening to sue the pants off Theoatmeal.com, IndieGoGo and two charities for having the temerity to respond with scathing satire to his Serious Legal Internet Threat against an Internet Website.

It all started when a lot of Matthew Inman’s (theoatmeal.com) posts started to appear on FunnyJunk.com, a collection of user-submitted images that get upvoted if they’re funny, much in the same vein as DudeLOL. They make their money off advertising on their site. In and of itself, such shenanigans would be acceptable if there was even a hint of attribution. Unfortunately, in order to make the submissions seem funnier and more ‘original’, any links to theoatmeal.com were removed from the images and no attribution was given.

This prompted Inman to write this post, exposing FunnyJunk’s horrible plagiaristic business practices

, Serious Internet Law Attorney At Law, stating that FJ had filed a federal lawsuit and were seeking $20,000 in damages for stuff that Inman had posted before he ever got in touch with FJ.

So, he did the only thing that any self-respecting internet satirist can and started a donation drive for $20,000 to donate equally to the American Cancer Society and the American Wildlife Fund, titled BearLove on IndieGoGo. Go donate! It’s still open, I believe.

In 67 minutes he raised over $60,000. At the time of writing the total amount stands at $213,988 – ten times the amount he was going for!

In the midst of this, thousands of bloggers, Redditors and other clued-up members of the Internets picked up the story and cried their outrage in all manner of media. The more militant among them dug out Carreon’s personal information and used it to sign him up to porn sites, random offers and spam lists. Carreon’s site caved under the weight of traffic being driven there by his newfound Internet notoriety, which he claimed was tantamount to an ‘attack’ on his server, showing a complete lack of knowledge about how the Internet works.

Utterly shocked at how the Internet responded to his vexatious douchebaggery, he whined loudly on MSNBC:

“I really did not expect that he would marshal an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails,” he says.

“I’m completely unfamiliar really with this style of responding to a legal threat — I’ve never really seen it before,” Carreon explains. “I don’t like seeing anyone referring to my mother as a sexual deviant,” he added, referencing the drawing Inman posted.

In his interview with Forbes, he stated that

 “So someone takes one of my letters and takes it apart. That doesn’t mean you can just declare netwar, that doesn’t mean you can encourage people to hack my website, to brute force my WordPress installation so I have to change my password. You can’t encourage people to violate my trademark and violate my twitter name and associate me with incompetence with stupidity, and douchebaggery. And if that’s where the world is going I will fight with every ounce of force in this 5’11 180 pound frame against it. I’ve got the energy, and I’ve got the time.”

Bold words.

Since then, the story has been picked up by most mainstream online blogs, including PopeHat, who have a comprehensive archive of the developments on the story.

I’ll link the posts here in the order they were written:

That last post is worth gold. The EFF, having gotten wind of the shenanigans that Carreon is trying to kick off, have waded in, alongside a few lawyers working pro bono with Inmnan and offered their support in what they and many other bloggers see as an attempt to silence criticism on the Internet by applying legal pressure, which is in direct violation of the First Amendment – you’re entitled to your opinions, but you’re also responsible for dealing with the consequences!




Itinerant photographer, firespinner, poly feminist, he/him.