The Oatmeal Raises $100K for Charity in Response to FunnyJunk Lawsuit
The Oatmeal has been one of the best webcomics on the internet for a few years now. Run by Matthew Inman, the site is known for its multipanel illustrations about various issues ranging from the rather silly to the very relatable, all of which has garnered him millions of fans from all over the world. That’s why when he was recently attacked, the internet came to his aide.
A while back, Inman wrote a comic about how “image collecting” website FunnyJunk.com takes his comics, reposts them on their site without his permission, and makes money from the ads they run. He didn’t make too much fuss about it by taking legal action, as publically shaming the site was deemed good enough. Since then, FJ has continued to host his comics by the dozens.
That’s why Inman was baffled when he received a letter from Charles Cameron, a lawyer known for litigating the Sex.com case. On behalf of FunnyJunk, he was demanding that Inman remove the “slanderous” blog post from the internet, as well as pay $20,000 in damages to FunnyJunk for smearing their brand. To quote Inman: “You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR website for the past three years?”
He then proceeded to post a laundry list of links on FJ currently linking to his comics, all of which the site has since scrambled to take down. But that’s what caching is for, and it’s hard to truly erase anything on the internet. Inman then had a rather hilarious idea, something he’s prone to. Rather than pay FunnyJunk a dime, he set out to raise $20,000 from readers via IndieGoGo, and give half to the National Wildlife Fund to save bears (a staple of his site) and half to the American Cancer Society. In less than a day, Inman is about to top $100,000 in donations, and the initial $20,000 came in during the first hour. The power of the internet can become readily apparent when one of their own is slighted.