Matthew Inman, the creator of The Oatmeal, has received an email from a lawyer representing Funnyjunk threatening to file a federal lawsuit for defamation if Matthew doesn’t remove all mention of FunnyJunk from his website AND doesn’t pay the lawyer $20,000 by today (letter written June 2). The backstory to this bizarre twist goes back a year when Matthew wrote a rancorous blog post detailing how FunnyJunk users were stealing his comics and posting them on FunnyJunk without any link back or attribution. After a flamewar between the two site’s fans, FunnyJunk agreed to remove all of Matthew’s work from their site.
That initial blog post detailing FunnyJunk’s alleged copyright infringement is the source of this latest legal threat. The lawyer states that several statements are untrue and are hurting FunnyJunk’s reputation and business. In similar fashion to the year before, Matthew has posted an Oatmeal-esque response countering the claims and announcing he is going to raise the $20,000, take a picture of it and send it to the lawyer along with a cartoon drawing of his mom seducing a kodiak bear and then donate the money to National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.
He raised $20k in the first hour and over $100k in the first 24 hours.