A LOT OF ZEROES, HARDLY ANY ONES
“Rule number one of the Web: You don’t mess with The Oatmeal.” — Lauren Hockenson, mashable.com
“You should not mess with Matthew Inman … or Ken over at Popehat.” — Kevin Underhill, loweringthebar.net “
“A few days ago I was served papers informing me that the owner of FunnyJunk is going to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay him $20,000 in damages. You can read the full letter here.” — Matthew Inman, TheOatmeal.com
“See, a legal threat like the one Charles Carreon sent — ‘shut up, delete your criticism of my client, give me $20,000, or I’ll file a federal lawsuit against you’ — is unquestionably a form of bullying. It’s a form that’s endorsed by our broken legal system. Charles Carreon doesn’t have to speak the subtext, any more than the local lout has to tell the corner bodega-owner that ‘protection money’ means ‘pay or we’ll trash your shop.’ The message is plain to anyone who is at all familiar with the system, whether by experience or by cultural messages. What Charles Carreon’s letter conveyed was this: ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re in the right. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the wrong. It doesn’t matter that my client makes money off of traffic generated from its troglodytic users scraping content, and looks the other way with a smirk. It just doesn’t matter. Right often doesn’t prevail in our legal system. When it does, it is often ruinously expensive and unpleasant to secure. And on the way I will humiliate you, delve into private irrelevancies, harass your business associates and family, disrupt your sleep, stomp on your peace of mind, and consume huge precious swaths of your life. And, because the system is so bad at redressing frivolous lawsuits, I’ll get away with it even if I lose — which I won’t for years. Yield — stand and deliver — or suffer.’ Our system privileges Charles Carreon to issue that threat, rather than jailing or flogging him for it. And so Carreon supports bullying like that. He’s got a license to do it. He knows that his licensed threats — comin, as they do, on the [slightly odd] letterhead of a lawyer — inspire far more fear and stress than the complaints of a mere citizen, and by God he plays it to the hilt …The Oatmeal [then] tried to turn this into something good that would benefit wildlife protection and cancer research and Charles Carreon had a snit and tried to shut it down because it was embarrassing to him and his client? Fuck him. He’s vermin. He’s not forgivable. Let any good he has ever done be wiped out. Let the name ‘Charles Carreon’ be synonymous with petulant, amoral censorious douchebaggery.” – Kenneth Paul White, Popehat.com
“Creator Matthew Inman seemed shocked, dismayed and disgusted to learn he was being sued by the site FunnyJunk — mainly for pointing out that the latter site had posted his comics without retribution, while taking no actual action against FunnyJunk. So just to be clear, FunnyJunk reposted Inman’s creations — without so much as a link back, much less attribution — and then when Inman complained, they slapped him with a lawsuit and tried to shake him down for twenty large. Allegedly. Actually, it’s pretty well documented, but you know, just want to be on the safe side.” — Duncan Riley @ inquisitr.com
“Then [Inman] promised to take a picture of the money, along with ‘a drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.’ (Side note: Anything about Your Mom: always gold.)” — Mary Elizabeth Williams, salon.com
“Ironically, Carreon need only have taken a few minutes to stroll around his client’s website to come to a small appreciation of what was likely to happen to him. FunnyJunk is a harsh, cruel place, where nasty children using foul language with odd ideas and evil minds reign supreme. Did he think the fans of the Oatmeal were going to be kinder?” — Scott H. Greenfield
“Using a great new phrase I just learned from Ken at Popehat, ‘on information and belief’ the original page was probably put up on Wikipedia by him or one of his paid help. Apparently ‘On information and belief’ is lawyer-speak for ‘I have no evidence whatsoever, but I kind of like to imagine that it’s true, and who knows what I’ll find in discovery.’ Useful term, that.” — Warren Meyer
This thread has been revised to reflect accurate information about the Rapeutationists, that were initially identified as a “mixed bag” of people who had decided to “lick Matt Inman’s hindquarters” because they could find nothing better to do. We have now discovered exactly why they lick his hindquarters — because it’s their job. You see, “some people are blessed with a flexible tongue, that they occupy with spreading cow dung; whether lawyers, lobbyists, judges or thieves, they make a fine dollar from social disease.”
Eat at Matt’s Shit Fo’ Brains, by Tara Carreon
[Public] Citizen [Paul] Levy’s Poop Platter ………. $79.99
Popecrap in Ken [Paul] White Sauce ……………… $49.99
Ann Bransom Diarrhea Souffle ……………………. $19.99
Nate Anderson’s Crap Bisque …………………….. $29.99
Joe Donatelli’s Anal Trifle ……………………,…… $ 3.99
Corynne McSherry’s Fart Tart ……………………… $16.99
Chris Recouvreur’s Big Logs ………………………. $ Free
100% PURE SHIT
TECHDIRT FREE DELIVERY
After collecting the identities of some of the chief Rapeutationists, it is clear that if you were to judge the value of their criticism, you can consider their past achievements, which are relatively few. Among those lawyers who are experienced, Paul Levy leads the pack, having spent his entire life working at one firm, Public Citizen Litigation Group, where he rules the roost and has hijacked the agenda to pursue his bete noir, making the world safe for nasty people with nothing better to do than sling shit  on websites. I’ve heard of being hard up for clients, but that takes the flinkin’ cake!
Marc Randazza has to get a tip of the hat, because he slandered me by suggesting that we were friends. Marc might have liked me for a minute there, but I wouldn’t bet any Bitcoins on it. One thing about Marc — I know it’s not personal. He attacks other lawyers and has gained a reputation for being truly vicious and distasteful to litigate with.
Then we have Kenneth Paul White, who, as a federal corruption officer, achieved absolutely nothing of note. It is virtually certain that during the time when he was prosecuting corruption in Los Angeles, it either took a holiday, freeing Ken from the duty of doing anything about it, or found itself in hog heaven. I would bet Bitcoins it was the latter.
The rest of the lawyers appear to be non-entities and fools who somehow think that it’s going to increase their chances at obtaining gainful employment some day, or attract clients who are drawn by skunk-like odors, by attacking other lawyers. Certainly nobody from the white-shoe firms are taking pot shots at me. That must be because they actually have work to do. Unemployment has turned a lot of legal minds into devil’s playgrounds.
Then we have lawyers who, while having passed a bar exam, are plainly idiots, like Mr. Liberty McAteer, who will write a very studious, unctuous commentary on another lawyer’s disciplinary history, and accuse him in a plainly libelous fashion of having engaged in repeat instances of misconduct because of having a disciplinary history in two states. If he actually knew how to read legal documents, he would know that, in fact, both states imposed “parallel discipline,” for a single course of conduct, and McAteer’s entire accusation that the other lawyer couldn’t learn from prior discipline and kept smacking his head against the same rule, is clearly erroneous.
The remaining Rapeutationists are that pathetic breed of copy and pasters who pretend to have actual knowledge in fields of technology and law, displaying their ignorance by repeating clearly erroneous statements, and grabbing at whatever flotsam is floating about on the surface of their browsers, as if their worthless careers as tech writers will never be impaired by spouting reams of redundant, imflammatory nonsense. Well, they know their business better than I do. Who’d have believed we’d ever miss editors?
Finally, this rapeutation of Charles Carreon was without doubt instigated by the nasty comic industry. By “nasty comic industry,” I mean that comics industry that was hauled before Congress in 1954 for showing absolutely no restraint in publishing material intended for distribution to children and pre-teens, and festooning their magazines with violent, murderous material, that shocked the Congress.They were aided by the First Amendment Mafia, a gang of lawyers who appear to derive their highest inspiration from the ACLU’s backing of the Nazis’ right to march in Skokie, Illinois, causing brutal anguish to the Holocaust survivors who resided there. This First Amendment Mafia never rises to its feet to protect the rights of people who are actually being oppressed by the government, and spend all of their time using the First Amendment to secure the rights of those who produce vile, vitriolic, absurd, and misleading statements and call it “Free Speech.” If garbage could get itself renamed “Free Matter,” nobody would need a permit to dump garbage, and we could just use each other’s lawns for that purpose. Great idea, huh? A Libertarian solution for the landfill problem!
So welcome to the Shit-Shovelers. It is hard to have real resentment for people whose intellectual standards are so low that they actually compete with their non-existent ethical standards. But you know what they say, “What goes around comes around,” and if this is the “Internet” at work, then I’ll keep watching as it works all of these fools over.
The Tech Dirt Last Supper (Poop Eaters), dedicated to Mr. Anonymous Coward at Tech Dirt
If you got a load to drop,
Well you know you oughta to drop it at
‘Cause they appreciate that excretate
That comes with a gush of unbridled hate at
Yeah when you got to poop,
It’s hard to find a snoot
That’s gonna part your cheeks
And dig in deep like they do at
They get the tongue in good,
They clean you out just right,
They leave you satisfied at
It would have been a waste
To leave it in the bowl
When they were just waiting to eat it whole at
Alverson, Brigid @ robot6.comicbookresources.com
Brigid Alverson grew up reading American and British comics and developed a passion for manga late in life. She is the blogger at MangaBlog and the editor of Good Comics for Kids, a blog on School Library Journal. She also writes about comics for Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Comics Foundry, and other publications. You can see examples of her noncomics journalism at her personal site. She lives north of Boston with her husband and two teenage daughters. — graphicnovelreporter.com
Anderson, Nate @ arstechnica.com
Nate is the deputy editor at Ars Technica, where he oversees long-form feature content and writes about technology law and policy. His work has also been published in outlets like The Economist and Foreign Policy, and he’s currently at work on a book about Internet policing. His first computer was an Atari 600XL with a tape drive and so little memory that it could be filled just by typing in programs from magazines. — arstechnica.com
Andrews, Ilona @ ilona-andrews.com
Ilona Andrews is the pen name used by urban fantasy novelist Ilona Gordon with her spouse Andrew Gordon. Ilona was born in Russia and came to the United States as a teenager. She attended Western Carolina University, where she majored in biochemistry and met her husband Andrew, who helped her write and submit her first novel, Magic Bites. Its sequel, Magic Burns, reached #32 on the New York Times extended bestseller list in April 2008. Ilona and Andrew currently live in Texas. — Wikipedia
Anonymous @ aliensinthefamily.wordpress.com
About this blog: The Bible encourages us to be in this world but not of it. Two of my relatives have no trouble taking this advice to heart because they already live on other planets. This blog describes what happens when a family’s life turns into a cross between a “Twilight Zone” episode and a Jonathan Franzen novel. It isn’t pretty, but it’s entertaining as hell and, if you’re Jonathan Franzen, lucrative. That’s kind of a crass way to look at great literature, but we’re crasser in these parts. Attempts to chronicle the Fall of Rome in real time will also appear on occasion, along with discussions of ways to live an examined, rationally corrupt life and attract the right kinds of hedonists into one’s social circle. If we’re in fact Weimar, you might as well get it on with a cute cabaret girl, right? Especially if she has some residual mental stability and a Swedish passport. — aliensinthefamily.wordpress.com
Anonymous @ charlescarreon.blogspot.com
Anonymous @ complaintsboard.com
Anonymous (PsyGremlin) @ cpmonitor.wordpress.com
PsyGremlin is a former Conservapedia sysop (although the position was earned nefariously), stand up comedian, DJ, and is currently a self-employed financial adviser, who impersonates a responsible adult at least 5 days a week. However, highlighting and poking fun at the crazies out there remains his first love. Well besides pork crackling. And custard. And cricket. — cpmonitor.wordpress.com
Anonymous (The Grand Inquisitor) @ crasstalk.com
The Grand Inquisitor will be spending the End Times leading a marauding band of outlaws who will dominate the land until she is taken down by the forces of good. You will kneel before her and plead for mercy. — crasstalk.com
Crasstalk: Home of the Web’s Most Self-Aggrandizing Commenters. Crasstalk was launched in November 2010 by a group of chronic oversharers and other servicey folks who frequent Gawker, especially its #crosstalk forum. You don’t need special approval to join Crasstalk as a commenter. Simply find a post you want to comment on and then create an IntenseDebate account and start commenting. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Crasstalk and Crassparenting are owned and operated by Open Thread Media, LLC. — crasstalk.com
Anonymous (Kylie and Nona) @ dailyoftheday.com
Don’t worry, guys. It’s just a couple of badasses over here by the names of Kylie and Nona. What began as an exodus and an escape from an internet community of yore has now turned into an endeavor that never fails to surprise. Daily of the Day is where we want you, the reader, to feel welcome. We want you to laugh or guffaw at stupid videos, we want you to sometimes sniff the scent of chopped onions or get dust in your eyes, but mostly we want you to feel like you have a place to belong in this crazy place we call the internet. And we want you to do all of that with a smile on your face. We will be more diligent than the post office and definitely more pervy than Pedobear in providing you the material you need in order to procrastinate and ignore all the things you should be doing instead of perusing our site. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. We’ll try to be in it for the long haul.
Anonymous (Master Raiko Shono) @ gaiaonline.com
Age: 17; DOB: c. 1235; Family: Father (Raiden, unknown), mother (Ashin, deceased), sister (Okaru, unknown); Hair: Black; Eyes: Blue; Current Occupation: traveler; Powers: Lightning conductivity, EMF (Electromagnetic Force); Skills: Bou staff, up-close hand-to-hand techniques, knowledge of various Buddhist analects and mannerisms. Hailing from the northern province of Kakarashi, Raiko was born into the royal ruling family headed by Raiden. Under Raiden’s tutelage, Raiko has become proficient in the art of boujutsu and hand-to-hand techniques. He is also able to control the magnetic force around certain objects and conduct lightning. The province of Kakarashi had a particular demon they were pursuing named Mordei, Lord of the Sakuretsu Horde of Demons. Raiko suffered a loss from Mordei when he ambushed him, his mother and sister, and the guards travelling with them. Mordei killed his mother in cold blood, and Raiko vowed to take revenge on him for her death. Years later, an all-out war was launched on Kakarashi by Mordei and his horde. Raiko last remembers a fight between him and Mordei, but does not recall how it ended, nor how he wound up so far away from home. He travels declaring himself a monk all while figuring out how to get back home and defeating any Sakuretsu demon he encounters. — gaiaonline.com
Anonymous @ joyreactor.com
JoyReactor: Fun & butthurt everywhere. JoyReactor is about fun and trolling. — joyreactor.com
Anonymous (Gregory Galant) @ muckrack.com
What if you could get tomorrow’s newspaper today? That was the question Muck Rack was created to answer in early 2009. Media pundits were doubting the credibility and value of all “user generated content” on Twitter. Meanwhile Sawhorse Media, a Brooklyn-born startup aiming to uncover the best of the real-time web, launched the Shorty Awards for top Twitter and social media content creators and noticed that the press section at the award ceremony ran out of food and drink because so many journalists showed up. By verifying the journalists on social media who do the muckraking for major media outlets and analyzing what they say in real time, Muck Rack delivers a glimpse of tomorrow’s newspaper to you today. Muck Rack started with only 150 journalists on Twitter, a good portion of all the journalists on the fledgeling service at the time. Muck Rack now lists thousands of journalists on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Quora, Google+, LinkedIn and more who are vetted by a team of editors. The Muck Rack Daily analyzes what journalists are saying in a daily email that has become a must read for journalists. While Muck Rack tracks what journalists are saying about the top news of the moment, Muck Rack Pro finds what journalists are saying about any given topic and sends real-time press alerts. Journalists can get listed on Muck Rack and use Muck Rack Pro for free. Communications pros and those seeking to find journalists can learn more here. Muck Rack’s Cofounder and CEO is Greg Galant, email@example.com. Sawhorse Media, 636 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012. — muckrack.com
Muckrake: to search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business; origin: muckrake, rake for dung — Merriam Webster
Anonymous @ news.ycombinator.com
Hacker News is a social news website that caters to programmers and entrepreneurs, delivering content related to computer science and entrepreneurship. It is run by Paul Graham’s investment fund and startup incubator, Y Combinator, and is different from other social news websites in that there is no option to down vote submissions; submissions can either be voted up or not voted on at all, although spam submissions can be flagged. In contrast, comments can be down voted after a user accumulates sufficient “karma” or points gained when submissions or comments are voted up. In general, content that can be submitted is defined as “anything that gratifies one’s intellectual curiosity. The site was created by Paul Graham in February 2007. Initially it was called Startup News or occasionally News.YC. On August 14, 2007 it became known by its current name. It developed as a project of his company Y Combinator, functioning as a real-world application of the Arc programming language which Graham co-developed. The intention was to recreate a community similar to the early days of Reddit. Graham has stated he hopes to avoid the Eternal September that results in the general decline of intelligent discourse within a community. Hacker News employs the practice of Hellbanning, in which a user is secretly made invisible to all other users. The hellbanned user can still post comments and submit stories, but other users will not see them without special configuration. Paul Graham and the moderators of Hacker News have been criticized for this practice, which has been called “cruel”, “childish”, and “unacceptable”, not only because the ban is done in secret, but because the reasons for its use appear to be arbitrary and capricious. Users who are hellbanned receive no warning, and generally have little recourse outside of sending personal email to Paul Graham. Some users say they have had luck with this approach, while others receive no response at all (“my polite and apologetic emails were never answered,” reported one). — Wikipedia
Anonymous (Nuhir) @ reddit.com
Anonymous (ifuckinghate) @ reddit.com
Anonymous @ scoop.co.nz
Scoop.co.nz is New Zealand’s leading news resource for news-makers and the people that influence the news (as opposed to a news site for “news consumers”). It brings together the information that is creating the news as it is released to the media, and is therefore a hub of intelligence for the professionals (not just media) that shape what we read. Scoop.co.nz presents all the information driving the news of the day in the form it is delivered to media creating a “no spin” media environment and one that provides the full context of what is “reported” as news later in the day. It’s audience has a circle of influence far greater than the number of reported readers, which averages more than 450 000 a month, and it is a key part of the New Zealand media landscape. Scoop.co.nz is accredited to the New Zealand Parliament Press Gallery and fed by a multitude of Business, Non-Government-Organisation, Regional Government and Public Relations communication professionals. We are the leading independent news publication in New Zealand and value our independence strongly. Scoop.co.nz is respected widely in political, business and academic circles for the depth of its content and the quality of its reporting — often giving voice to perspectives not being addressed through “traditional media” sources. Our audience are high-value, professionals with a social and environmental conscience, and also a discerning general readership seeking an alternative to other major news media. Established in 1999, Scoop is ranked 3rd by Nielsen Net//Ratings in their News Category and was finally recognised in the Qantas Media Awards as a finalist for “Best News Site” in 2007!. Scoop.co.nz is an online publication made up largely of what we call “disintermediated” news — that is news without a spin put on it by a journalist, published as its delivered to us. That makes Scoop unique. All content is delivered to you as the writer intended — leaving only you to make a judgement about what you read, not us. (More about our mission and philosophy for the Scoop’s online publication here). Scoop Media offers a professional media monitoring service called NewsAgent, which allows you to monitor emerging issues and gather media intelligence on brands, organisations or specific topics in real-time — delivered to your email in-box as it gets released to the media. NewsAgent gives you access to more than 100 Topic Indexes covering everything from Parliament and Political Parties to Business, Industry, Health and Education, while using the keyword search means the delivery of custom news selected from around 200 items published every day. Scoop.co.nz is one of the Top 3 New Zealand news web sites with a readership characterised by Professional backgrounds, high Household Incomes, a discerning nature and a social conscience. The site averages more than 450 000 unique readers a month and continues to grow exponentially — partly due to Scoop.co.nz’s consistent and disproportionately high Google ratings, but also it’s reputation as a reliable source of objective news and news information. — scoop.co.nz
Anonymous (SJ Editorial Team) @ startupjunkies.com
About Startup Junkies! Startup Junkies: often copied; never equalled! Since 2004 Startup Junkies has been designing, managing, and curating a world-class ecosystem of entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, academics, mentors, advisers, consultants, and partners, to which it applies the best practices in everything from execution to deployment, launch, funding, growth, and exit. We switched over from the old startupjunkies.org domain to the .com version in May 2013. Startup Junkies Unlimited, 3062 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA 94062. — startupjunkies.com
I’ve been thinking about the term “startup junkie” and I can’t quite figure it out. “Junkie,” indicates some kind of addiction but, unlike heroin or meth, “startups” aren’t a clearly defined drug that you buy on the corner. In fact, if you really think about it, startups aren’t really a definable thing at all but more like a messy, unpredictable process. Are these people really addicted to uncertain processes and outcomes, or is it something else? I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of people who call themselves startup junkies are actually addicted to something other than the difficult task of starting and growing a profitable business. Here are a few thoughts on what they’re really smoking. Titles: In what other field do people actually believe you’re a CEO just because you printed business cards that say “stealth mode CEO?” There are definitely some “title junkies” out there. Conferences: I’m not sure when conferences transformed from being excruciatingly boring trade shows into being giant social party events that people attend for fun, but there’s no question there are a whole bunch of conference junkies. Bootstrapping: Pretty sure nobody is addicted to being poor and eating ramen so this should probably be taken off the list. Freewheeling culture: I suspect some of these people are addicted to the freewheeling culture of startups. This is a legitimate thing to be drawn to, but it doesn’t really make you a startup junkie, just somebody who has a problem following rules. Meaningful work: I’ve written before about the idea that many people become entrepreneurs as a way of seeking out meaningful work, but so many of the self-proclaimed startup junkies launch things such as underwear mailing companies that can’t possibly be considered meaningful. Meaningful work junkies? Maybe. The lottery dream: This is probably one of the biggest sub-categories of startup junkies; people who are just trying to hit the big exit. They aren’t really addicted to the process of starting a company, but rather they’re addicted to the dream of hitting an Instagram-type jackpot. Instead of startup junkies, these people might just want to call themselves lottery players. The idea of entrepreneurship: This past Valentine’s Day I wrote a post about love and how we’ve loaded the word with all kinds of mystical meaning. In many ways, we’ve done the same thing to the word “entrepreneur.” Instead of just being a person who starts a new business, we have this idea that entrepreneurs are some kind of hero figure who will save the economy and change the world all at the same time. I suspect many people are just addicted to the idea of entrepreneurship as opposed to the actual process. Self image: Closely related to being addicted to the idea of entrepreneurship, some people are just desperate to imagine themselves as some kind of swashbuckling pirate as opposed to the regular person that they probably are in real life. Best to call this group, “delusional self esteem junkies.” On my column last Tuesday someone who goes by the name KenG left the following comment that I thought was very insightful. KenG wrote: “‘Entrepreneur’ is not an occupation, it’s something you have to do when you want to solve a problem and there’s no existing vehicle (like a company) for you to address the problem. You get forced into being an entrepreneur because you want to (solve) a problem, because it requires that you start a company, build a team, raise money, and do the things that need to be done to solve your problem. Otherwise you are just looking for a vehicle that will generate wealth and/or notoriety for you.” As I thought about KenG’s comment, it occurred to me that the purest form of a startup junkie is someone who, for lack of a better word, is addicted to solving new problems on a scale that requires the leverage of a company. This type of startup junkie finds himself taking on new challenges every few years because, a) he has already solved the previous problem, and b) he sees a new problem to solve. I wonder how many self proclaimed startup junkies are actually addicted to this process as opposed to some of the other tangential elements of the startup world. I suspect if we boil it down, the number is very, very small. — Francisco Dao, pandodaily.com
Anonymous (Logan/Ward) @ teksyndicate.com @ twitter.com (Raze_the_World) @ facebook.com
We are dedicated to bring you the highest quality content, on-location footage, and the latest technology news. — teksyndicate.com @ Twitter
Anonymous @ wickershamsconscience.wordpress.com
Anonymous @ zomebo.com
What is Zomebo? Imagine being able to research a particular topic of choice, and bring back information from every kind of medium that is useful to the user, in a very fast, informative manner. Also imagine being able to discuss search topics with other people around the world, and get live feedback from people searching the same thing as you do. Welcome to Zomebo. Why use Zomebo? Zomebo aims to simplify the access to information and content stored in different sites, reducing the time it takes to find relevant and fresh information on the internet. Access the freshest information and multimedia content about almost any subject, person, place or event in one single place. Discuss what you are searching with other people around the world live with the Comments tab. Complete research tasks quickly and easily. Get a multi-perspective vision and real-time context for every topic. Eliminate the need to visit different online resources separately. Obtain new information each day – even if you are looking at the same article. Visualize multimedia and social-media content related to every topic. Embrace a didactic, intuitive, holistic approach to learning. Discover new, relevant content about your favorite topics and interests. Zomebo offers a fun and engaging learning experience. Topics research is moving from being “stateless” to being very much in the here and now. What is NOT Zomebo? Zomebo is not a Search Engine: Zomebo provides content only for specific topics such as concepts, subjects, personalities, events, places, companies, products, etc., but not for broader, unspecific searches. Examples of valid topics (that are good for you to look for on Zomebo): New Media; Cloud Computing; Sao Paulo; Mark Zuckerberg; Rafael Nadal; iPhone 5; Greenpeace; World War II; William Shakespeare. Examples of broader searches (that you should better search for on Google, Bing, etc.): ‘coldplay lyrics’; ‘apartments in chicago’; ‘download iphone apps’; ‘paris hotels prices’. — zomebo.com
Balko, Radley @ muckrack.com @ radleybalko
Radley Balko is a senior writer and investigative reporter for the Huffington Post, where he covers civil liberties and the criminal justice system. Balko’s work on paramilitary raids and the overuse of SWAT teams was featured in The New York Times, has been praised by outlets ranging from Human Events to the Daily Kos, and was cited by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent in the case Hudson v. Michigan. Balko is also credited with bringing national attention to the case of Cory Maye, a black man who prior to Balko’s work was on death row in Mississippifor shooting and killing a white police officer during a raid on Maye’s home. Balko’s Reason feature on Maye was also cited in an opinion by the Mississippi State Supreme Court. National Journal also profiled Balko’s coverage of the case. Balko’s November 2007 investigative report on Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne won second place in the investigative reporting category for the 2007 Los Angeles Press Club awards. Balko was formerly a policy analyst with the Cato Institute. He has been a columnist for FoxNews.com, a senior editor at Reason, and has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Time, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Slate, Forbes, ESPN, the National Post, Worth and numerous other publications. Balko has also appeared on the BBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NPR. Balko publishes the personal blog, TheAgitator.com. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism and political science. — cato.org
Bateman, Stephen @ garnetreport.com
I’m Stephen Bateman. The Chief Builder of Garnet Report and a freelance web designer. I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Entrepreneurial Management. Amazingly, in 3.5 years I went from ambivalent to an avid Gamecock. As a web designer, I sit down with each of my clients to make sure we set up the new site in a way that pushes visitors to action. Sometimes that looks like finding clients (Aaron Cardé Real Estate), increasing blog traffic (Frank Viola), or signing leaders up for a subscription site (Backstage Leadership). If you need to improve your presence on the internet, look at the services that I offer. — iambateman.com
For 17 years, my grandparents and father loved on my uncle Daniel who suffered a head injury as a little boy. During that time, grandma wrote down her thoughts and feelings which later became the basis for their story. When I was little, I listened to her tell the story and was totally overwhelmed. Partly because he was my uncle and partly because seeing Jesus redeem so much brokenness is beautiful. Redemption is beautiful. The book was “on the shelf” for over a decade while a publisher was sought. Finally they decided to self-publish and promptly sold out of the first printing in a few weeks. Crazy stuff. “I Will Never” was reviewed by Billy Graham’s daughter and Andy Stanley and they both liked it. Evidently grandma is friends will Billy Graham’s daughter. Who knew?! You should read this book if you want an absolutely true story of a loving Father who never stops pursuing his people and who never fails to heal his children. — iambateman.com
Beschizza, Rob @ boingboing.net
Rob Beschizza: Managing Editor of Boing Boing. — Twitter
Biggs, John @ techcrunch.com
Biggs is the East Coast Editor of TechCrunch. Biggs has written for the New York Times, InSync, USA Weekend, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Money and a number of other outlets on technology and wristwatches. He is the former editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.com and lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. You can Tweet him here and G+ him here. Email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. — techcrunch.com
Bishop, Rollin @ geekosystem.com
Managing Editor, @Geekosystem. Email: email@example.com
Blade, David @ satiricaltakedownlawyer.wordpress.com @ Isanybodydown.com (aka Craig Brittain and Chance Trahan)
Advertisement Disclaimer: This is a paid advertisement by David Blade | Attorney-at-Law Hello! I’m the Takedown Lawyer and so far, I’ve had 42 clients come to me to have their pictures and information removed from Is Anybody Down, all of whom were a success! I have people’s pictures and information taken down from sites like these all the time; including over 38 removals from the original “Is Anyone Up” over the past 2 years. My guarantee is that your pictures and information will be taken down within 48 hours for a lot less than what the average lawyer will charge you. If your pictures and info aren’t removed, I will refund your money. Your costs with me will generally be $200-$300, which is far less than most lawyers will charge for a mere consultation of your case. I’m so confident in my abilities as an attorney that I took out an ad on this page just to show you that I mean business. I understand that sites like these can cause many problems in your personal life and I want to help you get your peace of mind and privacy back! Please check out my website, TakedownLawyer.com for more info, or you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t delay! Your safety and security might depend on it! — isanybodydown.com
Bradbury, Danny @ thestranger.com @ guardian.co.uk
Danny Bradbury is a freelance journalist specialising in technology, business, and environmental writing. He has been a freelance journalist since 1994. Before that, he worked on PC Dealer, Personal Computer World, Computergram (later Computerwire), and Unix News. As a freelancer, Danny tends to write about many different technology and business-related issues, and has covered everything from the technical aspects of web services, through to environmentally-friendly aircraft and nanotechnology. He writes for various audiences, from the C-suite, through to data centre managers, and consumer audiences interested in pop science. In the past, he has edited software development publications, and currently edits two security newsletters: Computer Fraud and Security, and Network Security. He is also the US bureau chief and US editor of InfoSecurity magazine. — computerweekly.com
Bransom, Ann @ blog.annbransom.com
Thirty-something web developer/marketing manager living and working in Lexington, KY. Running, reading, cursing, and writing. — Twitter
Justin Brown is a journalism graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is currently enrolled in Point Park University’s journalism and mass communications graduate program. — justinbrownportfolio.wordpress.com
Chan, Matthew (Founder-in-Silence) @ extortionletterinfo.com 
ExtortionLetterInfo.com (ELI) is dedicated to reporting information and providing commentary on Getty Images (and other stock photo) Settlement Demand Letters. ELI is a privately-owned and privately-managed website. Every effort is made to provide factual information and professional opinions regarding Getty Images’ (and the respective companies’) “practice” of issuing “Settlement Letters” that we consider “legalized extortion”. As Lead Contributors of this website, we believe what they are doing is technically legal but ethically and morally questionable. “The Letter” bullies and preys upon the legal ignorance of the letter recipients. This website attempts to discover, report, and comment on the facts in a civil and orderly way. This website also provides assistance in defending unaware and unintended victims of this Letter.
Corbett, Jonathan @ randazza.wordpress.com @tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com @ fourtentech.com
My name is Jonathan Corbett, and I am a U.S. citizen over the age of 18 residing in the State of Florida. I attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a leading engineering and science university in New York and presently own a technology consulting firm. My work has included designing and deploying technology solutions – including imaging devices – for the largest non-federal counterterrorism agency in the country: the New York Police Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau. — Testimony of Jonathan Corbett Regarding H.B. 80, Prepared for the Texas House of Representatives 4/10/13
Entrepreneur, musician, traveler, and civil rights advocate. — Twitter
Cringely, Robert X (Daniel Tynan) @ infoworld.com
Daniel Tynan is an American journalist, television and radio commentator who specializes in technology, humor, and humorous takes on technology. A contributing editor for PC World, InfoWorld.com, and Family Circle magazine, he recently launched a new Geek Humor Web site titled eSarcasm, along with partner JR Raphael. Tynan formerly wrote the Our Digital Life (formerly Tech Smart) column for US Airways Magazine and the Culture Crash blog for Computerworld.com, and tends the Robert X. Cringely blog “Notes From the Field” for InfoWorld. His work has appeared in more than 50 publications, including Newsweek, Family Circle, Popular Science, Wired, and Playboy.com. He has appeared on CNN, CBS, NPR, Discovery, and Fox News, as well as dozens of regional television and radio programs. His satirical blog, The WitList, has been featured in the journal Editor and Publisher, as well as other blogs such as Crooks and Liars, Daily Kos, Firedoglake, The Huffington Post, and TPM Cafe. His technology blog can be found at DanTynan.com. — Wikipedia
Davis, Lauren @ comicsalliance.com
Blogger: Lauren Davis almost became a lawyer, but decided comics were far more intellectually stimulating. She reads far more webcomics than could possibly be healthy and goes gaga for science fiction, even when it’s bad. — comicsalliance.com/meet-the-staff
Danzig, Christopher @ abovethelaw.com
Chris graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He is a former freelance journalist and assistant editor at InsideCounsel Magazine, where he covered legal technology. In his spare time, he listens to and plays loud music. He lives in San Francisco, California. He is in no way related to the singer of seminal punk band The Misfits. — abovethelaw.com
Doctorow, Cory @ boingboing.net @ craphound.com
Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing (boingboing.net), and a contributor to The Guardian, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He was formerly Director of European Affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org), a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. His novels have been translated into dozens of languages and are published by Tor Books, Titan Books (UK) and HarperCollins (UK) and simultaneously released on the Internet under Creative Commons licenses that encourage their re-use and sharing, a move that increases his sales by enlisting his readers to help promote his work. He has won the Locus and Sunburst Awards, and been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards. His latest young adult novel is HOMELAND, the bestselling sequel to 2008′s LITTLE BROTHER. His latest novel for adults is RAPTURE OF THE NERDS, written with Charles Stross and published in 2012. His New York Times Bestseller LITTLE BROTHER was published in 2008. His latest short story collection is WITH A LITTLE HELP, available in paperback, ebook, audiobook and limited edition hardcover. In 2011, Tachyon Books published a collection of his essays, called CONTEXT: FURTHER SELECTED ESSAYS ON PRODUCTIVITY, CREATIVITY, PARENTING, AND POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY (with an introduction by Tim O’Reilly) and IDW published a collection of comic books inspired by his short fiction called CORY DOCTOROW’S FUTURISTIC TALES OF THE HERE AND NOW. THE GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW, a PM Press Outspoken Authors chapbook, was also published in 2011. LITTLE BROTHER was nominated for the 2008 Hugo, Nebula, Sunburst and Locus Awards. It won the Ontario Library White Pine Award, the Prometheus Award as well as the Indienet Award for bestselling young adult novel in America’s top 1000 independent bookstores in 2008. He co-founded the open source peer-to-peer software company OpenCola, sold to OpenText, Inc in 2003, and presently serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion Foundation, The Glenn Gould Foundation, and the Chabot Space & Science Center’s SpaceTime project. In 2007, Entertainment Weekly called him, “The William Gibson of his generation.” He was also named one of Forbes Magazine’s 2007/8/9/10 Web Celebrities, and one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2007. His forthcoming books include ANDA’S GAME (a graphic novel from FirstSecond) and INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, a nonfiction book about copyright. On February 3, 2008, he became a father. The little girl is called Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, and is a marvel that puts all the works of technology and artifice to shame. — craphound.com
Donatelli, Joe @ thehumorcolumnist.com
Joe Donatelli is a writer who lives in Los Angeles. He is the host of The Second Column podcast and a member of the improv comedy group Pangea. He has studied improv and sketch at Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles, Second City Los Angeles and The Groundlings. From 2002-2004 he wrote a nationally-distributed newspaper humor column that he still publishes on his personal website. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated with a journalism degree from Ohio University. — IMDb
Electronic Frontier Foundation @ eff.org
From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people’s radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights. Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 140,000 concerned citizens through our Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public. EFF is a donor-funded nonprofit and depends on your support to continue successfully defending your digital rights. Litigation is particularly expensive; because two-thirds of our budget comes from individual donors, every contribution is critical to helping EFF fight—and win—more cases. — eff.org
Encyclopedia Dramatica @ encyclopediadramatica.se
Offended: THANKS FOR YOUR CONCERN. Were you offended by what you just saw? Please scroll SLOWLY to the bottom of this page and we will be happy to rectify your situation. — encyclopediadramatica.se [RAPEUTATION WARNING: Don't do it unless you want to see truly horrible things. You will be traumatized.]
Faircloth, Kelly @ betabeat.com
Please allow me to introduce myself! I’m Kelly, and I’m the latest initiate into the Betabeat coven. Starting today, I’ll be joining Adrianne, Nitasha, and Jessica as a full-time writer and reporter. And just who am I? Previously, I worked at HD Made, where I curated a Tumblr you might recognize for their client NASDAQ. I’ve also blogged for places like io9 and Shelf Awareness. I’m based here in NYC, where I can keep a close eye on this startup boom and all its accompanying scuttlebutt and scandal. So, pray tell: What’s happening? Hit me up at kfaircloth AT observer.com. Let’s have some fun. — betabeat.com
Farivar, Cyrus @ arstechnica.com
Cyrus [suh-ROOS] is the Senior Business Editor at Ars Technica, and is also an author and radio producer. His book, The Internet of Elsewhere – about the history and effects of the Internet on different countries around the world, including Senegal, Iran, Estonia and South Korea – was published by Rutgers University Press in April 2011. He previously was the Sci-Tech Editor, and host of “Spectrum” at Deutsche Welle English, Germany’s international broadcaster. He has also reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, The Economist, Wired, The New York Times and many others. He’s also survived three VfDs on Wikipedia. However, on a 4th VfD attempt in February 2007, he was, in fact, deleted. He’s still waiting for someone to add him back. — amazon.com
Flacy, Mike @ digitaltrends.com
By day, I’m the content manager for Steve’s Digicams, High-Def Digest and Audio Video Revolution. During my free time, I love to write about home theater, digital photography, social media, mobile technology and innovative gadgets! — digitaltrends.com
Gardner, Alan @ dailycartoonist.com
The Daily Cartoonist (TDC), launched in 2005, is one of the fastest growing news blogs for professional cartoonists. While it has primarily focused on newspaper cartooning (comic strips and editorial cartooning), it has coverage has grown to include webcomics, movies and animation, and magazine gag cartoonists. TDC is published Monday through Friday (and occasionally on the weekends).
About the blogger: My name is Alan Gardner and I am the writer and editor of TDC. I put myself through college as an editorial cartoonist for my college papers as well as The Herald Journal – a daily paper in Northern Utah. In 1999, my wife and I discovered we would be the parents of a set of triplets. I left my job with the Herald Journal to pursue higher paying work and began a career in web design and development. In 2005, I started this blog as a means of understanding the state of the cartooning industry in a web based world. I reside in Utah with my wife and four kids. — dailycartoonist.com
Geuss, Megan @ arstechnica.com
Megan Geuss is a staff editor at Ars Technica and a native Californian. Prior to Ars, she was a features editor at PCWorld, and before that she worked as a freelancer writer for various publications and as a fact-checker at Wired Magazine. She enjoys research and keeps an IRL paper-based journal. Megan received two B.A.s from UC Berkeley in Political Economy and French. In her free time, she enjoys running and reading. Having put two marathons behind her, she doesn’t do quite so much distance anymore but hopes to eventually complete a triathalon. Don’t ask her to pick a favorite book. Choosing would be unfair. — arstechnica.com
Gibbs, Sam @ gizmodo.co.uk
Technology journalist with five years professional experience of online media, and two years of traditional (print) media, plus audio and video work, both in front and behind the camera. Currently the News Editor for Gizmodo UK. Previously the News Editor for the now-defunct Download Squad, a contributor to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, the host of the now-discontinued The Wrap Sheet podcast, and Technology Editor for Felix. Radio and TV appearances include BBC Radio Jersey, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Monocle, and Al Jazeera English. Worked for Gibbs Home Electronics in Southampton (www.gibbs.tv) for many years, attending trade shows, conducting sales and support, giving me experience of the consumer electronics industry from the ground up. Holds a Biology degree and Ph.D in Molecular Microbiology from Imperial College London. My goal is to produce high quality and entertaining copy based on the no-nonsense, honest review of news and developments in both science and technology, as well as hands-on product testing. Specialties: Consumer electronics: news, critical hands-on product review, and analysis; Technology: news and critical review; All things Apple; Software: news and critical review; Science review and understanding; Critical analysis of scientific development; Making science more accessible to the general public. — uk.linkedin.com
Gibson, Dan @ tucsonweekly.com
Current: Editor at Tucson Weekly. I edit things, but that’s really only part of it. I come up with ideas, work to get the most out of our writers, work on events, obsess over Google Analytics, write a few things, appear places, and try not to embarrass anyone but myself in the process. Past: Freelance Writer/Editor/Researcher The world, at large (wrote stuff, made playlists, wrote a book); Web Producer Territorial Newspapers (mostly I just wrote blogs about Insane Clown Posse. I won a few awards, but probably not for the ICP stuff); Sales Assistant Warner Elektra Atlantic.
Author of Besides the Bible, InterVarsity Press, December 2010. Authors: Dan Gibson, Jordan Green, John Pattison. Besides the Bible is a guide to the really great books that you should read—ones that matter. Covering a wide array of subjects and authors, from Christian bookstore best sellers to classics of Christian history and more, you’ll find yourself agreeing with some titles, shaking your head at others, and even shocked by a few. This isn’t a dry catalog with dull summaries of books authored by a bunch of dead guys. Dan Gibson, Jordan Green, and John Pattison, along with an all-star team of today’s most interesting Christian thinkers—including Donald Miller, Derek Webb, Phyllis Tickle, Steve Taylor, and William P. Young— will re-ignite your love for reading or if you’re a little lazy, give you enough information to make it seem like you’re incredibly well read. Education: Oregon State University , Sahuaro High School. — linkedin.com
Glover, Sam @ lawyerist.com
Sam Glover has been writing about law practice technology, management, marketing, and other stuff on Lawyerist since 2007. He also works with Estate Map on cloud-based software for estate-planning attorneys, and consults on appeals and motion practice in his solo practice. When he isn’t blogging or lawyering, Sam drinks espresso and plays with fountain pens.
Co-Owner, CEO, & Editor in Chief Lawyerist Media, LLC (March 2009 – Present). Lawyerist is a lawyering survival guide, with daily posts on law practice management, technology, careers, ethics, and more.
VP of Communications Estate Map Public Company; 1-10 employees; Legal Services industry — June 2013 – Present (2 months). As an integral member of the senior management team, Sam develops Estate Map’s communication strategy and contributes to Estate Map’s strategic planning. With a special emphasis on social media and online resources, Sam will promote, enhance, and protect Estate Map’s brand through Estate Map’s internal and external communications, including the Heir-O-Smith blog and email newsletter. He is also responsible for a broad range of public relations activities, including serving as an ambassador for the company at trade shows and conferences, building relationships with the blogosphere and traditional media, and driving broader awareness and interest in Estate Map.
Board of Directors Volunteer Lawyers Network Nonprofit; 11-50 employees; Legal Services industry — March 2009 – Present (4 years 5 months) Minneapolis, MN .
Board of Directors (Treasurer) HOME Line Nonprofit Organization Management industry — October 2008 – Present (4 years 10 months) Minneapolis, MN .
Owner The Glover Law Firm, LLC Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Law Practice industry — November 2005 – Present (7 years 9 months) Minneapolis, MN. The Glover Law Firm is a business law, motion practice, and appellate litigation firm. I help small tech startups get to success, and I work with individuals and other lawyers on motions and appeals.
Sam Glover’s Education: University of Minnesota Law School Juris Doctor, Law — 2000 – 2003 (Activities and Societies: Dean’s list, Civil Rights Moot Court, Law Council, American Constitution Society, The Minnesota Daily); Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University B.A., English, Classical Studies — 1996 – 2000 (Activities and Societies: Dean’s list, track & field); James W. Robinson, Jr., Secondary School — 1991 – 1996. — linkedin.com
Greenfield, Scott H. @ blog.simplejustice.us
Profile: For almost 30 years, Scott Greenfield has represented clients charged with crimes or the targets of investigations in state and federal courts across the United States. Over that time, many have decided that it’s too hard or too expensive to fight, and have chosen to start out with the goal of losing as gracefully as possible. Anyone whose goal at the outset is to lose should find another lawyer. Learned over the years, and from the experience one gains fighting in the trenches, Scott has proven both before trial juries and appellate judges that cases can be fought and won. Every situation is improved by operating from a position of strength, from the will to find a way to do better than anyone else. Joining internationally recognized litigation boutique Hull McGuire, PC, as “Of Counsel” in 2010, Scott has created access to the finest nationwide and international resources available, exceptionally well-suited to handling the most involved and complex matters. With every benefit offered by far larger firms, Scott has proven that winning is possible, and often achievable for significantly lower fees than charged by Biglaw. Working with corporate counsel, Scott has achieved success where other firms sought to acquiesce and capitulate, showing that so-called vast resources are no substitute for skill, experience and guts. Scott has been awarded an AV Preeminent rating, the highest possible, from Martindale Hubbell, a 10 out of 10 (superb) from Avvo and is recognized in “Who’s Who” in the world, America and American Law. He has served as a legal expert and analyst for television news shows from “60 Minutes” to “20/20”, and ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, Court TV and Fox. Scott’s cases have been the subject of a book, magazine articles and television shows. Scott is regarded as one of a handful of top criminal defense lawyers who excels in both trial work and appeals. His written work is considered some of the best in the nation, often writing Op-Eds, Amicus briefs and Editor Letters for Bar Associations and other well known lawyers. Scott is a lawyer’s lawyer, representing other attorneys, their family members and even judges when they find themselves in a jam….
White Collar Defense is one of the great misnomers in law. When business people find themselves in the position of being arrested for a crime, or the target of an investigation, they reject the notion that they are like street criminals. Hence, the category of white collar defense was created in order to separate the “good” people who happen to be charged with crimes from the “bad” people. The problem with this separate identity is that prisons don’t distinguish between good and bad people, and far too many people charged with “clean” crimes, generally dealing with business and finances, fail to recognize that they are still criminal defendants. The result is that people who view themselves as a “white collar” defendant fail to take the steps necessary to obtain a truly competent defense in order to protect themselves from the very serious, and often very harsh, consequences of the criminal justice system. Indeed, it may well be argued that they need representation far more than the career or street crime defendant, as the impact on them and their family is far more severe and they are far less capable of dealing with the consequences of conviction. Yet, the initial reaction of many people charged with “white collar” crimes is to do the very things that essentially assure them of failure. Rather than formulate a defense strategy to maximize their potential to prevail, they need to “explain” their involvement, “cooperate” with the government and try to endear themselves to the very people who are paid to convict them and put them in jail. As insane as this sounds, it is by far the most common means of addressing white collar accusations….What is terribly unfortunate is that this misguided belief that the interests of the person accused of a white collar crime causes them to sacrifice the ability to successfully defend against these accusation. A good example can be seen in a case tried by Scott Greenfield a few years back, named by the government Operation Golden Pill. The case involved 72 defendants, mostly pharmacists, who were charged with selling diverted precscription medications. Of these, 3 defendants were represented by Scott and his defense team, while the other 69 defendants were represented by attorneys from large law firms or former prosecutors. Of the group of 69, every single defendant was convicted of a felony and went to federal prison, as well as suffered the loss of their licenses, their businesses and massive property forfeitures. Under the guidance of their lawyers, every defendant in this group pleaded guilty to a special deal offered by the government. Scott Greenfield went to trial with his group of 3 defendants. They were acquitted of all felony charges and convicted only of a misdemeanor, requiring no jail time. There were no property forfeitures involved. When news spread of this outcome, Scott started receiving calls from the other group of defendants asking if he could help them too. Unfortunately, the opportunity for them to mount a real defense had already been lost, and there was nothing to be done for them. Ironically, the legal fees charged by the large law firms to put their clients in prison vastly exceeded the fees charged by Scott Greenfield to zealously defend his clients and try the case. The lesson is that white collar defendants are still defendants, and need to realize that they must be represented by counsel who is capable and willing to fight the charges against them. There is no benefit to a defendant, white collar or otherwise, whose attorney’s interests are more closely aligned with those of the government than those of his client.
RESUME: 2010-Present – Hull McGuire, PC, Of Counsel, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. 2008-Present – Kravet & Vogel, LLP, Of Counsel, New York City. 1992-Present – Litigation, Criminal Defense, Corporate and Financial Crimes Defense, Investigations, Consulting, Crisis Management. Extensive jury trial and appeal experience. 1983-1992 Partner, Meyer & Greenfield (Meyer, Greenfield & Moriarty, 1985). Education: Cornell University, BS in Industrial and Labor Relations, 1979. New York Law School, JD Cum Laude, 1982. 1983 Admitted to practice law in the State of New York, Appellate Division, First Department. Additional Bar Admissions: Supreme Court of the United States, United States Courts of Appeal, Second and Third Circuits, United States District Courts, SDNY and EDNY. Lecturer, Columbia University Law School (High Profile Case Series), Faculty, Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, Cardozo Law School. Former Police Commissioner, Oyster Bay Cove, NY — simplejustice.us
Grouchnikov, Kirill @ plus.google.com
My name is Kirill Grouchnikov and I am a user interface engineer. I have been doing client side development professionally over the last decade or so, in a variety of UI toolkits and libraries that spanned Motif, MFC, VB, Ada, Delphi, Swing and SWT. I currently work at Google on the Android team. I have a particular interest in creating polished, responsive and well behaving user-facing applications that help the end users achieve their goals quickly and painlessly. Pushing Pixels is where I write about my own explorations of this area. You can also find me on Google+. — pushing-pixels.org
Ha, Anthony @ techcrunch.com
Anthony Ha is a writer at TechCrunch, where he covers media, advertising, and other startups. Previously, he worked as a staff tech writer at Adweek, a senior editor at the tech blog VentureBeat, and a local government reporter at the Hollister Free Lance, where he won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for breaking news coverage and writing. He attended Stanford University and now lives in San Francisco. — techcrunch.com
Hagan, Daniel @ kickidle.com
I’m Daniel Hagan, a professional IT consultant who works on global network infrastructures. In my spare time, I play the occasional video game, spend all the time I can on the webcam with my girlfriend, and obsess about photography. — kickidle.com
Hill, Emeritus Kashmir @ abovethelaw.com
Current: Senior Online Editor at Forbes Magazine. Past: Editor, Above the Law at Breaking Media; Editor of The Not-So Private Parts at True/Slant ; Intern at The Week (Magazine); Web and Olympics intern in Hong Kong bureau at International Herald Tribune; Projects Manager at National Press Foundation; Intern Reporter at The Washington Examiner; Paralegal at Covington & Burling. Education: New York University, Duke University. — linkedin.com
Hockenson, Lauren @ mashable.com
Current: Freelance Tech Journalist at Freelance Journalist. PastL Freelance Web Producer, Brides.com at Conde Nast; Campaigns Editorial Assistant at Mashable; Freelance PR Assistant at Sunshine Consultants llc (Sole Proprietorship); Permanent Freelance Writer: People.com at People Magazine; Editorial Intern at Inc. Magazine; Co-Founder and Publisher at The Quad, BU’s Internet Magazine; Student PR Coordinator–Boston University Humanities Foundation at Boston University; ASME Editorial Intern at People Magazine; Editorial Intern at Rolling Stone Australia; Editorial Intern at Sacramento News and Review; Staff Reporter at Boston University Daily Free Press. Education: Boston University. — linkedin.com
Hoffberger, Chase @ dailydot.com
Current: Staff Writer at The Austin Chronicle. Past: Staff Writer at The Daily Dot. Education: Connecticut College, The Gilman School. — linkedin.com
Hoffman, Rebecca E. @ bna.com
Rebecca E. Hoffman is a legal editor with U.S. Patents Quarterly. She has been at Bloomberg BNA since 1998. She received her law degree from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., where her favorite class was “Copyright Problems of the Media.” She can be reached at email@example.com.
Hopewell, Luke @ gizmodo.com.au
Current: Editor at Gizmodo Australia. Past: Staff Journalist at CBS Interactive; Business Specialist at Telstra; Freelance Journalist at ymi Magazine. Education: University of Newcastle. — au.linkedin.com
Huynh, Terence @ techgeek.com.au
Executive Editor: Terence Huynh is the founder and Executive Editor of TechGeek. While writing for a wide range of topics, he largely covers smartphones and social media. He is also a somewhat-competent web developer and politics junkie, often watching Question Time when he gets the chance. He is based in Melbourne, and studies Software Engineering at Monash University. — techgeek.com.au
Inman, Matt @ theoatmeal.com
The Oatmeal’s real name is Matthew and he lives in Seattle, Washington. He subsists on a steady diet of crickets and whiskey. He enjoys long walks on the beach, gravity, and breathing heavily through his mouth. His dislikes include scurvy, typhoons, and tapeworm medication. — the oatmeal.com
Kelly, Aaron M. @ aaronkellylaw.com
Aaron M. Kelly is the founding member of The Kelly Law Firm, which specializes in business and Internet law. A trusted expert in online issues, Mr. Kelly has a client roster that includes professionals from all sides of the online community – affiliate networks, affiliate marketers, direct marketers, advertisers, online auction sites, search engine optimization (SEO) companies, web hosting companies and venture capitalists. Mr. Kelly also serves as general counsel to ad networks and internet based companies. He is also an experienced lecturer and author on numerous web-based topics, whose speaking engagements include tips on Internet marketing, online discovery tactics, social media and FTC guidelines and regulations. Mr. Kelly combines his education with hands-on experience, which provides him with strong, up to date knowledge of the issues that face our increasingly online-driven world. In addition to his law firm, Mr. Kelly also owns an internet marketing/consulting firm as well as a lead generation company for lawyers. Mr. Kelly also manages hundreds of websites and frequently serves as the host for online forum discussions focused on Internet marketing. Aaron is also strong supporter of innovative ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit, and has sponsored numerous events focused on helping new startups. With connections to members working in all corners of the Internet, entrepreneurial and startup communities, he goes beyond the basics of his role as legal council to connect people who could mutually benefit from an introduction or interaction. Mr. Kelly is committed to creating and fostering relationships that lead to the growth and success of each of his clients – and many long-term business associations have been created as a result. In addition to his work in entrepreneurial and Internet environments, Aaron M. Kelly is an active and respected member of the Arizona legal community, holding a number of professional leadership positions. He serves as both the Chairman of the Continuing Legal Education Committee and Vice Chairman of the Membership Committee for the Arizona Association for Justice. He balances these locally-focused roles with participation in the membership committee of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Kelly also holds the trusted position of Vice Chairman of the State Bar of Arizona’s Member Assistance Committee. In this role, he provides confidential peer support and assistance to lawyers who suffer from chemical dependency, addiction, stress, mental or physical health issues and any other problems that affect their lives and legal practices. This compassion, discretion and willingness to address sensitive issues head on are an asset not only to his colleagues, but all who choose to engage in a professional relationship. Aaron M. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. He later went on to receive his law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in both the state of Arizona and in Michigan.
Levy, Paul @ citizen.org
After working as a law clerk to Honorable Wade H. McCree, Jr. (United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit) and Special Assistant to Solicitor General McCree, in December 1977 Paul joined the Public Citizen Litigation Group, a public interest law firm that is a division of the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen. He represented workers in rank-and-file labor law cases, especially cases involving union governance. Over the years, he also developed subspecialties in some arcane issues of federal procedure such as removal jurisdiction and the representation of “lawyers in trouble” from sanctions, contempt findings and the like; he also pioneered Public Citizen’s work on federal preemption of state law claims. He has argued four cases in Supreme Court of the United States, as well as writing briefs for parties in seven other cases. One odd aspect of his Supreme Court practice is that each of these eleven cases have been decided 9-0 – win or lose. Paul has specialized more recently in free speech issues arising on the Internet. He has litigated cases in state and federal courts throughout the country about the identification of anonymous Internet speakers. His amicus curiae brief in Dendrite v Doe, whose approach was adopted by New Jersey’s Superior Court Appellate Division, has become the model for other cases. His Internet practice also includes the defense of trademark and copyright claims brought as a means of suppressing critical web sites. His cases in this area, such as Bosley Medical v. Kremer and Lamparello v. Falwell, have established the right to create internet “gripe” sites that include the trademark names of companies in their domain names and meta tags. In Smith v. Wal-Mart Stores, he defended the right of a parodist to make fun of Wal-Mart’s trademarks. In arguing against the issuance of prior restraints in Bank Julius Baer v. Wikileaks, he had the key insight that the case had been filed without subject matter jurisdiction. Specialties: free speech, anonymity, cyberlaw, union democracy, removal jurisdiction, sanctions defense, trademark, copyright, libel. — linkedin.com
Hal Licino is a veteran freelance writer, award-winning author, and email marketing expert and consultant for Benchmark Email, a global email marketing service for small businesses. He has written dozens of articles on email and newsletter marketing, and he frequently contributes to a blog hosted by Benchmark email. Location: Los Alamitos, CA. — practicalecommerce.com
Litte, Jane @ dearauthor.com @anaquana.wordpress.com
Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at firstname.lastname@example.org — dearauthor.com
Lowry, Michael A. @ blog.michael-lowry.com
Technologist, photographer, dancer, outdoorsman — Originally from Austin, Texas (Attended The University of Texas at Austin), I am a dual citizen of the U.S. and Sweden. I live and work in Zürich, Switzerland. I worked at Credit Suisse. I enjoy meeting new people, so please feel free to drop me a line. My email address takes the form email@example.com. — blog.michael-lowry.com
Masnick, Mike @ techdirt.com
Michael “Mike” Masnick (born December 8, 1974) is the CEO and founder of Techdirt, a weblog that focuses on technology news and tech-related issues. Masnick is also the founder and CEO of the company Floor64 and a contributor at BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange. Before founding Floor64, Masnick worked in business development and marketing at Release Software, an e-commerce startup, and in marketing at Intel. He has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and an MBA, both from Cornell University. He coined the term “Streisand effect” on the Techdirt blog in January 2005, and was interviewed about it three years later on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. — Wikipedia
McAteer, Liberty @ blog.libertymcateer.com
Current: Counsel, Secretary to the Board at AppOrchard LLC; Counsel, Secretary to the Board at Tipping Point Partners, LLC. Past: Legal Intern at Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic; Summer Associate at Kenyon & Kenyon; Legal Intern at New York County District Attorney’s Office; Judicial Intern at Southern District of New York; Manager of ITS Helpdesk at Wesleyan University; Technician at Techknowsphere; Interactive Development Intern at Plural, Inc. Education: Brooklyn Law School; Wesleyan University; The Dalton School. I’m an intellectual property lawyer who loves internet startups. You can read more about me on my site, www.libertymcateer.com. New York Bar Admission New York State Judiciary, License 4929105, June 2011. — linkedin.com
McCain, Robert Stacy @theothermccain.com
Personal life: McCain lives on the Atlantic Seaboard with his wife. They have six children, whom they homeschooled. He is a Baptist, and has remarked, “I am a poor excuse for a Christian, but I really do have a deep faith in God”.
Controversy: The Southern Poverty Law Center has claimed that McCain was once a member of League of the South, which the SPLC classifies as a white supremacist hate group. — Wikipedia
McSherry, Corynne @ eff.org
Corynne McSherry is Intellectual Property Director at EFF, specializing in intellectual property and free speech issues. Prior to joining EFF, Corynne was a civil litigator at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP. Corynne has a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a Ph.D from the University of California at San Diego, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. While in law school, Corynne published Who Owns Academic Work?: Battling for Control of Intellectual Property (Harvard University Press, 2001). — eff.org
Meyer, Warren @ coyoteblog.com @ climate-skeptic.com
Warren Meyer is the author of the web-site climate-skeptic.com, a site he originally started to help report climate developments in layman’s terms, particularly the science of the skeptic’s position. Warren has a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, where his studies focused on the control and stability of dynamic systems, issues at the very heart of the climate debate. He also has extensive experience with forecasting of dynamic and complex systems, with an MBA from Harvard University and years of experience with planning and forecasting at several Fortune 50 companies [including a marketing post at Honeywell International]. Currently Warren runs a company called Recreation Resource Management, based in Phoenix, whose business is the private management of public parks and recreation. His company has been in the news of late for offering to reopen at least 6 closed Arizona State Parks under private management and remove the need for public subsidies of these parks. — climate-skeptic.com
Coyote Blog: Dispatches from a Small Business. Our company, Recreation Resource Management (RRM), is over 20 year old, and we operate over a hundred public parks under concession agreement for the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, California State Parks, and many others. Traditionally, park concessions used to be limited to private companies running the gift shop or the bike rental inside a park. And we do some of that (for example we run the store and marina at Slide Rock and Patagonia Lake State parks). But our preferred niche has always been to run entire parks on a turnkey basis. We run a huge variety of facilities that largely parallel anything we might find in the Arizona State Parks system — including campgrounds, day use and picnic areas, boat ramps, hiking trails, wilderness areas and historic buildings. The largest parks we run are twice as busy as Slide Rock or Lake Havasu and four times as busy as any of the parks we are proposing to manage. We currently run parks today literally right beside some of these Arizona State parks. All of this is to say that the parks in Arizona are absolutely normal and typical resources that we manage. A concession contract works much like a commercial lease. We sign a contract allowing us to run the park for profit, and then pay the state a rent in the form of a percentage of fee revenues. The typical operating agreement includes over 100 pages of standards we must conform to, from fee collection to uniforms to customer service to bathroom cleaning frequency to operating hours. — coyoteblog.com.
Murphy, Kevin @ kevinmurphylaw.blogspot.com
I’m a Texas lawyer, chicken farmer, and guitar picker. I’m a bowtie and cowboy boot wearing lawyer. KevinMurphy@kevinmurphylaw.com 281-804-1174. Is something bugging you? Let us write a “Mean Lawyer Letter”! Often a dispute can be resolved with a single well-written demand letter. For a low set fee, we will review your problem, draft a letter to the other party and assist in resolution. Admissions: State Bar of Texas, Southern District of Texas, US District Court. Education: University of Houston Law Center, J.D.; University of Memphis, Memphis Tennessee; University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.; University of North Texas (B.A. in Music/minor in Philosophy). — kevinmurphylaw.com
Myers, PZ @ freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula
Myers was born March 9, 1957, the eldest of six children in Kent, Washington; his mother is of Swedish and Norwegian descent. Regarding his ancestry, Myers wrote: “I’m only half Scandinavian. The blood has been thinned with that of those domesticated English and Irish and Scots.” He was named “Paul Zachary”, after his grandfather, but preferred the initials PZ to being called “Little Paul”. He claims to have been a “science geek” from an early age, gaining an interest in zoology and marine biology from studying the insides of fish while on fishing trips with his father. Growing up, Myers attended an ELCA church. Prior to his confirmation, Myers says, “I started thinking, you know, I don’t believe a word of this.” Now an atheist, Myers comments widely on his blog about science, education, atheism and religion.
Myers graduated from Kent-Meridian High School in 1975 and subsequently attended DePauw University in Indiana on a full scholarship. However, he returned home the next year after his father suffered a heart attack. He then graduated from the University of Washington in 1979 with Bachelor of Science in zoology. Myers drifted away from this field toward evolutionary developmental biology and obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of Oregon. A self-avowed “godless liberal” and outspoken atheist, he is a vocal skeptic of all forms of religion, superstition, supernaturalism, spirituality and pseudoscience. He is quoted as having “nothing but contempt” for intelligent design, arguing that it is “fundamentally dishonest”. He is also an outspoken supporter of sex-positive feminism.
In 2009 Myers was named the American Humanist Association’s “Humanist of the Year”. Myers has taught and researched at the University of Oregon, the University of Utah and Temple University. He is currently an associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota’s Morris campus. He is a member of Minnesota Citizens for Science Education. Myers became involved in scientific debates, particularly those surrounding the growing creationist movement in the United States. In June 2002 he created his own web site and blog, Pharyngula.org, and he was a founding member of The Panda’s Thumb. Since late 2005 he has been a contributor to Ask A Biologist, a science education website.
Pharyngula is Myers’ personal weblog, promoted as “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.” The topics Myers covers are eclectic, delving into the non-scientific as well as scientific. While Pharyngula includes many articles discussing breaking science news and research, the blog has become particularly well known for ridicule of intelligent design and of attempts to insert it into science education. The blog has been ranked as the third-most-read blog maintained by a Minnesotan. The science journal Nature listed Pharyngula as the top-ranked blog written by a scientist.
According to Alexa.com, Pharyngula.org was started on June 19, 2002. It started out as an experiment in writing instruction for a class. Students were required to submit mini-essays to be published online. After the project was finished, Myers still had the web-publishing software, and started to use it himself. The blog is named after his favorite stage in embryonic development, the pharyngula stage. Pharyngula moved to hosting at ScienceBlogs, a project of Seed Magazine, in 2005. On Pharyngula, Myers has repeatedly denounced the Discovery Institute, Answers in Genesis, and other creationist websites, as well as offering rebuttals to Intelligent Design, pointing out that its claims are pseudoscientific. Other posts on Pharyngula cover a broad variety of topics that interest Myers. These include cephalopods; science; religion (to which Myers is unequivocally opposed); local, national and international politics, particularly those involving science and/or education; superstition; and evolutionary developmental biology….
On his blog in 2007, Myers reviewed Stuart Pivar’s book Lifecode, which argues that self-organization at the embryonic and fetal stages determine the development and final structure of organisms. Myers reviewed the book negatively, stating that the diagrams and ideas in the book arose from Pivar’s imagination and had no basis in actual evidence. How his theory can be reconciled with a large body of embryological evidence that directly contradicts virtually all of it is not clear, and Pivar has chosen not to address any of it. And a book full of geometrically interesting sketches neither explains nor supports Pivar’s theory.… Theories are supposed to explain observation and experiment. You don’t come up with a theory first, and then invent the evidence to support it. After some discussion in the comments threads of Pharyngula, Pivar sued Myers for libel. Within a week Pivar withdrew the lawsuit, stating that “the real issue got sidelined” and that his problem was more with Seed Media Group….
A controversy arose in July 2008 over a Pharyngula blog entry written by Myers expressing amazement at news reports of death threats issued to University of Central Florida Student Senator Webster Cook. On June 29, 2008, Cook attended a Catholic Mass being held in the student union at UCF by a Catholic student group that receives funding from the student government. Cook received the Catholic Eucharist host but did not consume it immediately. He said later that he wanted to take it back to his seat to show a friend, but when stopped he pretended to put it in his mouth until back at his seat, then a church leader made forcible attempts to take the wafer from him. Cook stored the host at his home, then returned it one week later after receiving e-mail threats and pleas. Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, described the student’s actions as “beyond hate speech” and said that “All options should be on the table, including expulsion.”
In his July 8 blog entry, Myers criticized the reaction to Cook’s act. Myers described the level of harassment including multiple death threats leveled against the student, and accusations against the student which included hate crime, kidnapping, and intent to desecrate the Eucharist which Catholics consider a mortal sin. Myers expressed outrage that Fox News Channel appeared to be inciting readers to cause further problems for the student, and ridiculed reports that armed guards would attend the next mass. Myers suggested that if any of his readers could acquire some consecrated Eucharistic hosts for him, he would treat the wafers “with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web.” Myers was criticized from both religious and non-religious quarters. The Catholic League accused Myers of anti-Catholic bigotry, described his proposal as a threat to desecrate what Catholics hold to be the Body of Christ, and sent a letter asking the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Legislature to take action against Myers. The Catholic League argued that, as the Pharyngula website was accessible via a link from the University of Minnesota’s website, it should be bound by the university’s code of conduct, which requires faculty to be “respectful, fair and civil” when dealing with others. Joe Foley, a member of the Board of the Secular Student Alliance, wrote on the organization’s website that Myers had “crossed the line” from “playful satire” to “masturbatory condescension”. Foley concluded, “if open-minded believers are willing to join us in polite dialogue, we need to be ready to welcome them with more than ridicule and pranks.” Subsequently, Myers explained to the Star Tribune that while his post was “satire and protest,” he had received death threats regarding the incident but was not taking them too seriously.
In a talk show featuring Myers on Catholic Radio International, hosted by Jeff Gardner, Myers confirmed that he had been sent an unspecified number of consecrated hosts and said that he intended to “subject them to heinous cracker abuse.” When asked by Gardner to explain why he must do so, Myers said that Donohue of the Catholic League was insisting that he acknowledge the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. Gardner pointed out that Donohue had no authority to insist on such acknowledgment. The show host then asked Myers which individual possessing the Magisterial authority of the Catholic Church had insisted that he recognize the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. Myers replied that no one from the Catholic Church had contacted him. On July 24, 2008, Myers, in his post, “The Great Desecration,” wrote that he had pierced through the “goddamned cracker” with a rusty nail, which he also used to pierce a few ripped-out pages of the Qur’an and The God Delusion, and had simply thrown them all in the trash along with old coffee grounds and a banana peel. He provided a photograph of these items in the garbage, and wrote that nothing must be held sacred, encouraging people to question everything. In addition, he described the history of allegations of host desecration, emphasizing the frequent use of such allegations in medieval Europe to justify anti-Semitism. The following day, University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) Chancellor stated: “I believe that behaviors that discriminate against or harass individuals or groups on the basis of their religious beliefs are reprehensible” and that the school “affirms the freedom of a faculty member to speak or write as a public citizen without institutional discipline or restraint.”
In April 2007 Myers was interviewed for a documentary titled “Crossroads”, purportedly about science and religion. However in September 2007, executive producer Mark Mathis announced that the movie was Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed about “censorship” of intelligent design supporters. Regarding the discrepancy of focus, Myers wrote: “I mean, seriously, not telling one of the sides in a debate about what the subject might be and then leading him around randomly to various topics, with the intent of later editing it down to the parts that just make the points you want, is the video version of quote-mining and is fundamentally dishonest.” On March 20, 2008, Myers was denied entry into a screening of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. He was waiting with his family and guests to attend a private screening after having reserved seats for himself and guests under his own name using the freely available online procedure set up by the film’s promoters. Shortly before the film started, a security guard told him that the producer Mark Mathis had instructed that Myers be removed from the premises. After telling his family of this Myers went to a nearby Apple store and blogged about his amusement that they had expelled him, but allowed his guest entry to see the film—British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who had also been interviewed for the film under similar circumstances. In a question and answer session at the end of the film Dawkins asked why Myers had been excluded, and later said that “if anyone had a right to see the film, it was [Myers]. The incompetence, on a public relations level, is beyond belief.” The saga has been described by Dawkins as “an incredible piece of inept public relations” on the part of the film’s producers.
Myers’ engagement as keynote speaker at the 2009 Secular Student Alliance Conference in Columbus, Ohio developed into an August 7, 2009 trip, in which 304 attendees visited the nearby Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Beforehand, there was a flurry of heated blog posts which resulted in the museum sending a warning letter detailing appropriate behavior. The visit resulted in two reported incidents. In one, a student wearing a T-shirt that read “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy yourself” was asked to turn the shirt inside out. It was also reported that a student was asked to leave the Creation Museum after a family visiting the museum complained to staff that they saw him “laughing at the exhibits”. Ken Ham however, denied that the student was told to leave, claiming that a photographer who witnessed the incident was the one who was removed. — Wikipedia
|“If It Walks Like A Duck, And Censors Like A Duck, by Ken White, Dec 8, 2010. Remember Christopher Maloney? Agreeing with P.Z. Myers, I called Maloney a quack, because he’s an advocate of naturopathy who suggests that black elderberry will block the H1N1 virus. I also suggested that he might be a censorious douche, a claim that I retracted and clarified when some different quack appeared and took the credit for getting a blog critical of Maloney pulled. Maloney encountered the Streissand Effect, and was quite whiny about it both over at Myers’ blog and here: “Ok, let’s have you irritate someone with a national following and get spammed all day by idiots who have no degree and less information about science. I’ve already explained to PZ’s other minions that you are not scientists, you are a mob. Many of you are reasonable human beings, but some of you like to leave threatening messages. I’m not sure, when I have to call the police to check on a threat, is that enough of a threat or is that just whining? And, no, I haven’t actually been burned at the stake, but several of you have offered. What a loverly group of fundies you all turn out to be.” I’m pretty sure that the “national following” part refers to Myers and not to us. Anyway, if the prior evidence that Maloney is a censorious douche turned out to be mistaken, he’s thoughtfully provided new evidence, in the form of a bumptious legal threat to Myers. Maine attorney Maeghan Maloney — who is also a newly elected state representative, and may or may not be related to Christopher Maloney — demanded that Myers retract his statement that Maloney is a quack “within seven (7) business days.” Presumably that last is intended to make it clear that the word “seven” is equivalent to the Arabic numeral “7″, even for naturopaths. Meaghan Maloney’s legal theory — to use the phrase generously — is that though Myers may have a First Amendment right to say that naturopathy is bunk, the Great State of Maine recognizes and licenses naturopaths, and therefore it is libel per se to say that Christopher Maloney is a quack. Under Maloney’s legal theory, if someone convinced some legislative or bureaucratic arm of the State of Maine that a therapist can cure cancer by beating the patient with a live five-pound lobster, it would be libel per se to call lobster-wielding therapists quacks as well. The problem with this legal theory is that it’s a load of utter naturopathy. “Christopher Maloney is a quack” is quintessential opinion, and therefore absolutely protected under the First Amendment to the United States constitution. Pure opinion is not subject to defamation suits. Opinion that implies false facts can be the subject of a defamation suit — but only if those false facts are themselves subject to defamation analysis. The opinion “I think Meaghan Maloney is a bad lawyer, as people convicted of molesting squirrels tend to be,” is potentially defamatory, because it implies that Meaghan Maloney has been convicted of molesting squirrels, which presumably she has not been. But “Meaghan Maloney is a bad lawyer because she is making bumptious threats in an effort to stop people from criticizing junk science” is not subject to defamation analysis, because the opinion component implies other opinions, not false facts. In this case, Meyers made it very clear that he viewed Maloney as a quack because Maloney is an advocate and practitioner of naturopathy. Meaghan Maloney admits that Myers has a protected right to call naturopathy quackery. That settles it. I wonder whether, before sending her feckless and thuggish missive, Meaghan Maloney researched how courts have treated the word “quack” in defamation cases. I did. It took me about five minutes to learn that multiple courts in multiple states in multiple decades have found that calling someone a “quack” is protected opinion and not subject to a defamation suit, particularly when the context shows that it is hyperbole. Yiamouyiannis v. Thompson, 764 S.W.2d 338 (TX 1989) (calling an opponent of flouridation and vaccines a “quack” was pure opinion protected by the First Amendment); Dowling v. Livingstone, 108 Mich. 321 (1896) (it was opinion, not defamation, to refer to an anti-immigration scheme as a “quack remedy”); Gonzalez v Gray, 69 F.Supp.2d 561 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (husband’s claim that his wife had been having “sex with a quack” was opinion, not defamation against the doctor); Spelson v. CBS, INC., 581 F.Supp. 1195 (N.D. IL 1984) (statement that “nutritionist” treating cancer patients with “vitamins, minerals, and extracts of raw animal organs” was a “cancer quack” was protected opinion). In the rare cases where courts have not protected terms like “quack,” they were used in a context specifically suggesting untrue facts. See, e.g., Nasr v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, 632 F.Supp.1024 (E.D. IL 1986) (though calling a doctor a “quack” has been found to be protected opinion, when used in manner suggesting false underlying facts, it was actionable). Courts have made similar findings regarding other epithets, including “charlatan.” Ernst v. Basset, 521 So.2d 414 (La. 1988) (“charlatan” was non-actionable statement of opinion). In short, if Christopher and Meaghan Maloney follow through on their threat with a lawsuit, Myers should be able to prevail. Regrettably, Maine has a weak-ass SLAPP statute that only applies to petitions to the government — a circumstance that weighs in favor of a national anti-SLAPP statute. But if the Amazing Naturopathic Maloni do sue, Myers should sue their asses for malicious prosecution after getting their censorious suit dismissed. Notwithstanding that Myers probably views me as evil, I would be happy to donate my time to assist his legal defense team in Maine. I’ve won some SLAPP motions, and attorney fees, in my time. If these people think this threat would deter PZ Myers, they haven’t done their due diligence on him. Of course, it’s possible that Meaghan Maloney issued this stupid, stupid threat merely to make Christopher Maloney feel good about himself, or merely to make him think she was doing something. If she did — and if she didn’t advise her client that the natural and probable result of her threat was to increase, dramatically, the number of people reading posts calling him a quack and writing new posts calling him a quack — then she’s a damned fool and a shitty lawyer, whatever her relationship to him is. Clients want to do angry, foolish things; a decent lawyer’s job is to stop them. Even if they are quacks.”|
Okay, Stephen (Intern Mike; Slappy McGillicutty) @ gppcomic.com
The Poker Pantheon (A Cast List) Regulars: Buddha: The supreme Buddha, creator of the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the no-fold poker hand. Whether Buddha truly knows how to play poker or is simply the world’s greatest bluffer is still up for debate, but in all circumstances, he definitely lives the Winning Life. C’thulhu: A fictional deity created by H.P. Lovecraft who may or may not one day devour the world, depending on his mood when he wakes up from his nap. A little too fond of the Mad Shogg 20/20. Not above using his tentacles to get one up on the competition. Jesus: The central figure of Christianity, a great teacher and healer who preached love and understanding. Under the tenets of Christianity, the son of God who died and was reborn. He’d like to run a little wild now and then, but it’s hard to do so when your father is omniscient. Moses: Ghost writer of the best-selling The Torah, as well as an early Biblical Hebrew religious leader, lawgiver, prophet, and military leader, and an aquatic explorer in his youth. Under the tenets of Judaism, the world’s greatest prophet. Muhammad: The founder of Islam. Regarded by Muslims as the last messenger and prophet of God and restorer of the original faith of Adam. Under the tenets of Islam, the world’s greatest prophet. Quetzalcoatl: Quetzalcoatl is the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god credited by the Aztecs and Mayans with bringing life, art, culture and science. He is also associated with rain, wind, corn, prosperity, and fertility. There are many things to be said for being a fertility god. Many, many things. Guests: New faces pop up around the table from time to time, as plot, whim, or religious observances dictate. The Monkey King: Back from his journey to the West, and ready to rumble, the Monkey King is one of the few poker players who can beat the Buddha. Maybe it’s all those years traveling with a monk, with nothing else to do but practice. Zeus: Zeus is a womanizer and a bit of a bore. Yes, he is the leader of the Olympian gods, but he’s just too into himself for the others to care. He might be a good poker player, but he’d have to pay attention to something besides himself before anyone else will find out. Hera: Sure, she’s queen of the Greek gods and one of her domains is marriage, but that doesn’t mean she’s the dowdy stay-at-home sort. The regular players find her a bit… distracting, though. She’ll have to start her own poker game to get a fair shot.
About the Comic: The title of the strip pretty much tells you everything you need to know. How often have we all sat around wondering what would happen if Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Quetzalcoatl, Muhammad and C’thulhu sat around over a friendly games of cards? Often enough, let me tell you. Often enough. Well, wonder no more. The strip originally ran for a very short time in 2001. However, the idea was popular enough with the folks who encountered it that Slappy decided to revisit the concept in 2007, starting the strip anew. No, you can’t see the old strips, although they may appear in a collection down the road. Um… They’re Not All Gods, Now Are They? No, no they’re not. Your point? Sure, we could make the title painfully accurate, but Gods, Sons-of-God-Who-Are-Also-God-Depending-On-Your-Dogma, Prophets, Sages and Allegedly Fictional Beings of Eldritch Horror (AFBEH for short) Occasionally Playing Poker But More Often Derailed In Entertaining Fashion just… well, it just doesn’t “pop.” About the Author: Who IS Slappy McGillicutty? — gppcomic.com
gppcomic.com. Current Registrar: TIERRANET INC. D/B/A DOMAINDISCOVER , IP Address: 126.96.36.199 Registrant: Roadknight Labs, 1230 Market St. PMB 351, San Francisco, CA 94102. Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact: Roadknight Labs, Stephen Okay, 1230 Market St. PMB 351, San Francisco, CA 94102, US, (415)425-4184, firstname.lastname@example.org, Domain created on 13-Jul-2007 — networksolutions.com
Stephen Okay: Current: Systems/Network Administrator at Willow Garage (January 2013-present), Menlo Park, CA [Willow Garage is proud to announce the initial release of MoveIt! : new software targeted at allowing you to build advanced applications integrating motion planning, kinematics, collision checking with grasping, manipulation, navigation, perception and control. MoveIt! is robot agnostic software that can be quickly set up with your robot if a URDF representation of the robot is available. The MoveIt! Setup Assistant lets you configure MoveIt! for any robot, allowing you to visualize and interact with the robot model.] Past: IT Engineer at IronPort Systems (A Cisco Business Unit) (August 2008 – January 2013); Cluster Systems Software Engineer at Penguin Computing Systems Engineer at Scale 8 (July 2004 – March 2008); UNIX/Linux Systems Technologist/Consultant at Network Mechanics; Software Architect at AXIS Personal Trainers; Technical Director(Lighting) at Pacific Data Images; Systems Administrator at Click 3X Studios(SF). Education: George Mason University. Specialties: Wireless networking(WLAN), Mobile/Handheld Systems, cross-platform architectures, UNIX/Linux,Regex,Python,Android. — linkedin.com
Opsahl, Kurt @ eff.org
Kurt Opsahl is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation focusing on civil liberties, free speech and privacy law. Before joining EFF, Opsahl worked at Perkins Coie, where he represented technology clients with respect to intellectual property, privacy, defamation, and other online liability matters, including working on Kelly v. Arribasoft, MGM v. Grokster and CoStar v. LoopNet. For his work responding to government subpoenas, Opsahl is proud to have been called a “rabid dog” by the Department of Justice. Prior to Perkins, Opsahl was a research fellow to Professor Pamela Samuelson at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information Management & Systems. Opsahl received his law degree from Boalt Hall, and undergraduate degree from U.C. Santa Cruz. Opsahl co-authored “Electronic Media and Privacy Law Handbook.” In 2007, Opsahl was named as one of the “Attorneys of the Year” by California Lawyer magazine for his work on the O’Grady v. Superior Court appeal. — eff.org
Quickmeme @ quickmeme.com
Reddit Bans Quickmeme After Investigation by r/AdviceAnimals Moderators. I don’t spend a whole lot of time on Reddit, but even I know that Quickmeme and Reddit seem to go hand in hand pretty recently — or at least, they used to, because now Quickmeme has been banned across the entire site for using bots to manipulate the upvote/downvote system so that their hosted memes come out on top. In short, you can’t fool Reddit forever. According to the other moderators of r/AdviceAnimals, one of their fellow mods, gtw08, was found to be a username owned by either one or both of the brothers who created Miltz Media, the parent company of Quickmeme. After a little bit of digging, it became apparent to mod ManWithoutModem that this username was being used to market other sites owned by Miltz Media, such as Holypants.com, Webtoid.com, and Mydrunktxt.com. All the domains of these sites were registered under Thomas Miltz, one of the brothers in question. Now, that’s enough to make Redditors mad in and of itself, as the prevailing culture surrounding the site is extremely anti-marketing — but it only gets worse from there. Mod jokes_on_you found a number of bots that would upvote any meme hosted by Quickmeme and downvote any meme found anywhere else on r/AdviceAnimals. As jokes_on_you elaborates on their findings: “Submissions in the morning US time get the most views because they are on the front page during reddit’s most active period. So it is the best time to use vote bots. If a post does not get enough upvotes in /new, it will never appear on the top posts of the last hour, preventing it from ever reaching the front page. So 5 or 6 downvotes completely destroys a post’s chances of being seen by a large audience.” gtw08 has since been shadow banned, which is sort of like being stuck in the Phantom Zone in that you can observe everything going on around you but can’t actually interact with anyone. It’s also now impossible to submit a Quickmeme link, so even if you ignore the giant warning and try anyway, you get this: “Do NOT use Quickmeme. It has been banned reddit-wide. See the announcement for details.” Of course, there’s already a number of competitors to come out of the woodwork in Quickmeme’s wake. Livememe seems to be the most popular, and because it’s Reddit, some are theorizing that this was all an elaborate ploy by the creator of Livememe to put the creator of Quickmeme out of business. Normally I’d say this is ridiculous, but Reddit seems like a pretty ridiculous place. It’s like Camelot that way, but not just a model. According to The Daily Dot, Quickmeme supposedly commented about the ban on its blog, but the link now takes you to a broken page. Maybe they’re pulling a Paula Deen on us and revoking their apology before we have time to get sufficiently mad at it? — geekosystem.com
Pierron, Dan @ tacticalip.com
Registered Patent Attorney. Areas of Practice: Patents; Trademarks; Copyrights; Intellectual Property Litigation. Admitted to Practice in: Supreme Court of Illinois; Supreme Court of Florida; United States Patent and Trademark Office; U.S. District Court of Illinois (Northern District); U. S. District Court of Florida (Middle District). Education: University of Kansas (B.S., Engineering Physics, 2008); Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D., 2011). Professional Activities: Contributing author at TacticalIP.com; Member of AIPLA, ABA-IPL, ISBA, IPLAC. Bio: Dan focuses his practice on representing clients in the prosecution of patents and trademarks before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and counseling inventors and businesses on various intellectual property strategies. Dan also focuses his practice on licensing his client’s intellectual property and enforcing the intellectual property rights of his clients in litigation. Dan is involved in his community and serves on the Board of Directors as well as the Chair for the Nomination and Recruiting Committee for March of Dimes Space Coast Division. Phone: 321-255-2332 — legalteamusa.net
Plait, Phil @ muckrack.com @ BadAstronomer
Philip Cary Plait, Ph.D. (born September 30, 1964) (a.k.a. The Bad Astronomer) is an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and popular science blogger. He has written two books, Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies. He has also appeared in several science documentaries, including Phil Plait’s Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel. On August 4, 2008, he became President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, serving in that position until January 1, 2010. Plait grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. He attended the University of Michigan and received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Virginia in 1994 with a thesis on SN 1987A, which he studied with the Supernova Intensive Study (SINS). During the 1990s, Plait worked with the COBE satellite and later was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working largely on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. He went on to perform web-based public outreach for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other NASA-funded missions while at Sonoma State University from 2000 to 2007. His first book, Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” deals with much the same subject matter as his website. His second book, Death from the Skies, describes ways astronomical events could wipe out life on Earth and was released in October 2008. Plait appeared on two Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episodes. In season 3, he argued against the Apollo moon landing conspiracy theory and in season 7 against astrology. His work has also appeared in the Encyclopædia Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future and Astronomy magazine. Plait is also a frequent guest on the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show Big Picture Science. He left the James Randi Educational Foundation as President to focus on a secret TV project, later to be revealed as Phil Plait’s Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel. The three-part documentary series first aired in the United States August 29, 2010 but was not picked up as a series. He has appeared in numerous science documentaries and programs including How the Universe Works…. Plait also debunked several pseudoscientific theories related to space and astronomy, such as Planet X, Richard Hoagland’s theories, and most famously, the moon landing “hoax”. Plait’s original website is now archived and can still be viewed, although badastronomy.com now redirects to his current Bad Astronomy blog….On November 12, 2012, the Bad Astronomy blog moved to Slate magazine, ending 4 years of being hosted by Discover Magazine. Plait currently resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, Marcella, and daughter. Plait and his wife run Science Getaways, a vacation company that provides science-based adventures. In March 2008, Plait had an asteroid named after him by the late astronomer Jeff Medkeff. Asteroid 2000 WG11 was renamed 165347 Philplait. — Wikipedia
Poole, Kyrill @ antisp.in
Summary: I enjoy the challenge in having to solve complex technical problems in the most elegant way possible. I’m primarily a Linux-focused systems administrator with experience in supporting Debian-based platforms. I’m also familiar with Vyatta firewalls and have a good knowledge of HP server and network hardware. I’m also proficient as a Django and PHP developer and have a good understanding of CSS design. My areas of expertise include managing Linux servers, PHP & Django development, Active Directory and virtualisation, focusing on Citrix XenServer. Experience: Systems Administrator Pancentric Digital (July 2011 – Present) London, United Kingdom. My responsibilities at Pancentric include (1) Debian-based server provisioning, configuration and maintenance; (2) Managing Apache/NginX based web servers, PostgreSQL/MySQL/MSSQL database servers and python/php applications running on a combination of PHP5-FPM and uWSGI backends; (3) Managing DNS using BIND; (4) Active Directory implementation and support in the office, migrating from a Solaris Kerberos-based domain as the company grew and there was a greater requirement for central management; (5) Planning for future growth & advising on techical & hosting issues; (6) Developing a resillient, highly-available power, network and infrastructure both in production and in the office to support continued growth in requirements; (7) Commissioning a disaster recovery site for the production environment; (8) Moving from stand-alone shared physical web and database servers to fully a virtualised environment, running on top of a highly-available Citrix XenServer pool; (9) Integrating Nexenta-based SAN storage into existing virtualisation infrastructure; (10) End-user desktop support for Windows, Linux, Apple and mobile devices. Datacentre Operations Technician Rackspace Hosting (November 2009 – July 2011): (1) Build, upgrade and configure custom ordered servers spanning several different platforms and configurations; (2) Monitor, troubleshoot and repair upgrade and downgrade servers with hardware and network problems; (3) Monitor all Electrical, Mechanical and Emergency Generator systems and report as appropriate. Datacentre Consolidation Specialist Rackspace Hosting (June 2008 – May 2011): (1) Consolidating separate, geographically disparate datacentres into a single facility; (2) Working with other departments to ensure a smooth transition between facilities with minimal downtime and the best possible migration experience for customers; (3) Coordinating one-off moves specially tailored to customers’ needs to mitigate the effects of downtime on their business by migrating them at a time most convenient to the customer. Interpreter / Translator Ostapenko Business Services (January 2004 – May 2008): Live interpreting, translating all manner of documents, both legal and common. Clerk Levenes Solicitors Law Practice industry (July 2007 – September 2007): Administrative work, attendance at court, note-taking, issuing legal proceedings. Resident Assistant University of Hertfordshire, Housing Services (September 2005 – September 2006): Working out of hours as part of the Housing Team, focus on student welfare. Responsibilities: Ensuring student welfare is looked after. This can include dealing with noise complaints, fire alarms, personal injury and illness and any other issues; Negotiating between students in case of disputes within flats or between individuals; Liaising with the Emergency Services as and when required; Assisting disabled students with any problems they face whilst in halls of residence. Kyrill Poole’s Projects: Management network re-architecture (May 2013 to Present): As part of improving the manageability of our hosting infrastructure, we re-factored the network setup to use a separate, private management network for most of our devices, especially the hypervisors. This also involved the creation of a S2S VPN using a clustered pair of Vyatta firewalls to connect to our office infrastructure. Once Xen was reconfigured, it worked perfectly, so now VM migrations and Xen management traffic flows over a dedicated set of links, freeing up public-facing interfaces for customer VM traffic. Office virtualisation overhaul (October 2012 to Present): We successfully completed the total overhaul of our office virtualisation stack, deploying a new matched pair of hypervisors with a dedicated ZFS-backed NAS device. This has made our office’s virtualisation more robust and maintenance can be performed on each hypervisor individually without causing service disruption to users. ServerFreak (September 2008 to Present): Developed a web-based tool to assist the Datacentre Migration Team in performing port audits for several thousand devices, saving thousands of man-hours as the alternative would be to physically check each connection in the datacentre and document separately. This tool relied on information already stored in our systems and collated this data in an easily-presentable format, meaning more time could be spent planning and preparing instead of needless duplication of labour. Virtual Private Server (January 2008 to Present): To learn more about server setup and management, I set up a virtual server in the Rackspace Cloud and configured it from scratch to host various web projects over the past several years, including a WordPress instance, a Django development/staging environment. I also manage the DNS for my website myself, in favour of using a pre-packaged DNS offering. In 2012, I decided to optimise the service stack by swapping Apache 2.0.2 for NginX and by separating out the PHP execution from being an Apache module to php5-fpm, which runs independently of any web server and is thus much easier to troubleshoot. I’m constantly changing, tweaking and optimising the server and it serves as a sandbox environment as well as hosting my website. Languages: (1) English; (2) Russian; (3) French. Education: University of Hertfordshire BSc, Computer Science (2004 – 2008); Activities and Societies: Ju-Jitsu Club, CRUSH Radio, Student Union Webteam. City of London School for Boys (1999 – 2004). Interests: wordpress, new technologies, Android, juggling, fire performance, singing, reading, skiing, linux, photography, learning music, teaching, anthropology, photomanipulation, systems analysis, computer security, writing. — linkedin.com
Precious, David (bigpresh) @ preshweb.co.uk
Ok, I’m David Precious, I’m 29, and I work as a Perl programmer for a UK web hosting company in London. I ride a Honda CBR600FV, I use Linux and Open Source software extensively and contribute to various Open Source projects. I’m part of the core development team for the Perl Dancer web framework. I’ve released a number of modules on CPAN. Besides computers I like beer, playing squash and pool, music, and beer. Email: email@example.com; Jabber/XMPP firstname.lastname@example.org; MSN email@example.com. I can often be found on IRC, as bigpresh, on Freenode, irc.perl.org and EFNet. — preshweb.co.uk
Prospect, Neil @ heavy.com
Current: Content Analyst at wochit (Edited breaking news content for grammatical, logical, and technical accuracy; Selected images and video clips to create news videos). Past: Staff Writer at Heavy.com (Produced viral content for the web, including photo galleries and articles which amassed over 150,000 views; Monitored breaking news and produced search engine optimized news articles; Was responsible for the highest traffic day in the site’s history); News Writer at Brafton Inc.; Jr. Marketer at Blue Fountain Media; Editorial Intern at Bleacher Report; Head Editor of Mancouch.com at Xanga.com; Marketer at MyMusicSite.com. Education: The George Washington University. — linkedin.com
Ramsey, Ana @ anaquana.wordpress.com
I write. Hopefully someday I’ll get published. Repped by Cameron McClure of Donald Maass Literary Agency. I don’t auto-follow, but love a good conversation. — Twitter
Randazza, Marc @ randazza.com @ randazza.wordpress.com
Randazza attended college at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he majored in Journalism, with his studies focused on First Amendment law. After college, he worked as a journalist and in public relations in Washington, DC, and Rome, Italy. He attended Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree, and where he spent time clerking for the Supreme Court of Vermont and for Rydin Carlsten Advokatbyrå, a Stockholm-based intellectual property law firm. Immediately following law school, Marc received a fellowship from the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida, where he spent two years conducting in-depth research, publishing, and lecturing on First Amendment and intellectual property law issues. Following his fellowship, Randazza established a career focused on First Amendment and Internet law. He divides his time primarily between the firm’s Las Vegas and Miami offices. His practice includes representation of adult entertainment businesses, defendants in SLAPP actions, protestors, and other free speech cases as well as intellectual property litigation and transactions. Randazza was honored by Vegas, Inc. as one of Southern Nevada’s best attorneys for lawsuits and disputes. Randazza formerly taught First Amendment Law, Entertainment Law, Trademark Law, and Copyright Law at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. He is a frequent panelist at legal conferences focused on these issues. He is often asked for commentary in the mainstream media, and has frequently appeared on national television news shows, offering commentary on First Amendment legal issues. Randazza is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers’ Association. He is licensed to practice law in Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Arizona, Florida, all federal courts in those states, multiple federal appellate courts, and before the United States supreme court. He is also a Registered Trademark Agent with the Canadian Trademark Office. — randazza.com
RationalWiki @ rationalwiki.org
Rational Wiki is a skeptics’ wiki. It was created as a negative reaction to Conservapedia. There have been some efforts to move it more in the direction of debunking, refuting, or poking fun at pseudoscience, religious fundamentalism, authoritarianism and other things that it doesn’t like, per its stated mission statement: 1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement. 2. Analyzing and refuting crank ideas. 3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism. 4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media. Functionally, it’s more like a group blog than an encyclopedia (which they themselves acknowledge), though it also has quite a lot in common with Robert Todd Carroll’s Skeptic’s Dictionary. It also has a page about TV Tropes.
It contains examples of the following: (1) Antagonist In Mourning: (a) Conservapedia administrator TK passed away in December 2010, eliciting this response on RationalWiki; (b) RW noticed his absence and did the legwork to learn of his passing, while CP only seemed to learn of it afterwards (so quickly that it appears that they learned from RW), but have barely even noted the passing of one of their most prolific editors and authoritarian admins. (2) Armoured Closet Gay: Described as part of Haggard’s Law, which states, “The louder and more frequent one’s objections to homosexuality are, the more likely one is to be a homosexual.” It even has a link back to the Armored Closet Gay trope page. (3) Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: (a) The article on types of people that go to hell states that on the lowest circle of hell you find traitors, child molesters, and people who talk in the theater; (b) Also smokers aren’t looked upon too highly and mentions of the dangers of smoking seem to pop up in the most unlikely of places; (c) The Animal Liberation Front’s tactics include “vandalism, arson, threatening people involved with this (or family members of theirs), and removal of test animals from laboratories.” (4) Basement Dweller: They coined the Logical Fallacy argumentum ad cellarium concerning the frequent accusations of this on the Internet. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from using it themselves. (5) Catch Phrase: Goat. This is probably a reference to Matthew 25:31-46, where Jesus says that in the end times he will separate the sheep (his followers) from the goats (his detractors). Or maybe it’s just because goats are awesome and tasty. Take your pick. (6) Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys: They actually (jokingly) mention the term in their France article. (7) Cluster F-Bomb: Their article on George Carlin, appropriately enough. (8) Cursed with Awesome: If you’ve been around long enough (a few weeks or days) and are generally thought to be trustworthy, you will be demoted to janitor (i.e. sysop). (Frivolous block wars are common, and encouraged; fortunately, in addition to non-serious block reasons (such as one that outright says “block war”) there are options to make said blocks last only a few seconds, which help differentiate them from serious blocks.) If you anger the gods sufficiently, you may even be further demoted to the lowly, despicable position of bureaucrat. (9) Deadpan Snarker: (a) In the article disproving a global flood: “How was the fossil record sorted in an order convenient for evolution if they were laid down in the turmoil of a single flood? That is usually dismissed with a hand wave by saying the animals quickly sorted each other out based on their ability to compete for the shrinking high ground. The theory also fails to take into account fossilized plants, which show the same type of order as animal fossils, and which are not noted for their ability to flee rising floodwaters.” (b) A similar example of deadpan snark is found on the page regarding the Peanut Butter Argument that life should arise naturally in a jar of peanut butter if evolution is true: “Critics of the argument have pointed out that sealed jars of peanut butter are not, generally speaking, billion year-old volcanic environments rich in ammonia and methane, being bombarded by high energy cosmic rays.” (10) Don’t Shoot the Message: In-Universe, despite the sites’ general left-wing leanings, their article on Michael Moore is rather critical, claiming the only difference between him and Rush Limbaugh is that Moore supports universal healthcare. Similarly, despite being a heavily atheistic site, they don’t find the arguments of Christopher Hitchens very convincing. (In Hitchens’ case, it’s partially due to his pro-war and pro-life positions, but his religious positions come under fire as well. (11) Dystopia Is Hard: Discussed in their analysis of authoritarianism and dictatorship and used an example of why authoritarianism is ultimately a bad idea. (12) Fan Nickname: They makes up names for all of their friends at Conservapedia. (a) Aschlafly is referred to as Assfly; (b) Conservative is referred to as Kendoll; (c) Karajou is referred to as Karajerk or Kowardjou; (d) Jinxmchue is referred to as Jinx; (e) There were numerous names for TK, including TeamKiller, TrollKing and TheKnife. (13) Edit War: On RW, edit wars and even wheel wars are extremely common. So common, in fact, that accidental edit wars have become an issue — sysops assuming vandalism where there is none and performing knee-jerk reverts of edits without reading them, the original contributor re-adding the edit, and things kicking off from there. (14) The Fundamentalist: Described here. (15) Furry Fandom: Has a surprisingly (and refreshingly) fair and level-handed page about them here. Quite possibly one of the more accurate descriptions of the fandom to be found on the internet. (16) He Who Fights Monsters: The original iteration of the site, which was a wiki with a strong, intentional political bias focused primarily on criticism of one website…created to counter a wiki with a strong, intentional political bias focused primarily on criticism of one website. Over the years, however, as Conservapedia has continued to fall into irrelevance, RationalWiki has mostly moved on from its obsession with Schlafly’s site, and most of the many articles on Conservapedia minutiae have been consolidated or deleted. (17) If Jesus Then Aliens: The article on crank magnetism provides a justification of the trope. (18) Insane Troll Logic: Described in their page on “Not Even Wrong”, referring “to any statement, argument or explanation that can be neither correct nor incorrect, because it fails to meet the criteria by which correctness and incorrectness are determined.” Given their skeptic and debunking mission, they run into this kind of thing a lot. (19) Just for Pun: A regular feature. “Indigo child” is not to be confused with “In dingo child”, which is what your child might become if you misplace it in Australia. (20) Kicked Upstairs: Any user who sticks around for a while and regularly makes edits will be saddled with the tedious responsibility of being a (ugh) Sysop. (21) The Lab Rat: Rational Wiki consists mainly of science geeks (with a few actual scientists and physicians scattered here and there). It is sometimes referred to as Rat Wiki, and its members are supposedly referred to as ‘Rats’ by those opposed to the site, although there is precisely zero evidence of anyone actually using this terminology. (22) Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: As described in the Chick Tracts article: This panel from a Chick tract makes even less sense in context. (It really does, check if you don’t believe us.) Also, goats. (23) Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Ironclad describes himself as a “liberal, homosexual, socialist, atheist, black, British, history-degree-educated PhD-level academic bodybuilder”. (24) “Not Making This Up” Disclaimer: On their article about Andrew Schlafly, to let us know that he really wants to make his own translation of The Bible, as he thinks that every current translation is too “liberal”, applying Canon Discontinuity by removing some verses that are the basic tenets of Christianity in the process, even though he admits to having no knowledge of the original languages. (25) Overly-Long Gag: Ted Haggard’s article constantly states that he is not gay. (26) Poe’s Law: Here. (27) Promoted Fanboy: Editor Pal MD is a fairly well-regarded medical blogger, first on Science Blogs and now on Scientopia. (28) Rogues Gallery: The site has a page devoted to people who have attacked it, many of them after themselves being attacked in RationalWiki articles. Amongst them are… (a) Designated Villain: Conservapedia; (b) The Rival: Less Wrong; (c) Those Wacky Nazis: Metapedia; (d) Cloud Cuckoolander: Dennis Markuze; (e) Vampire Hunter: Seán Manchester; (f) Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Anglo-Saxon Foundation; (g) Conspiracy Theorist: You Know I Am Right; (h) Straw Feminist: Cathy Brennan. (29) Rule of Funny: In full effect. (30) Running Gag: (a) Goats; (b) Referring to Conservapedia as Schlafly’s blog; (c) Ironclad’s rebuttal of Conservapedia’s World History Lectures makes constant references to liberals eating kittens. (31) Sarcasm Mode: Prevalent, for example, in the article “Fairies”. Often these tend to be Blatant Lies followed with the marker Do You Believe That? to hint to the reader that the author didn’t actually believe that. (32) Science Is Bad and Measuring The Marigolds: Completely inverted. (33) Self-Demonstrating Article: Notably once inverted. (34) Self-Deprecation — Edited by “Drunk rationalists, goat fetishists”. (35) Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: It’s somewhere between TV Tropes & Uncyclopedia. The main article on Andrew Schlafly is one of the few that is explicitly stated to be intended to be completely serious, though a parody article on him also exists. Regardless of the silliness or seriousness of a specific article, unless it’s in the separate ‘Fun’ or ‘Essay’ sections of the site accuracy is non-negotiable (at least in theory). (36) Stay in the Kitchen: Their page for that is “Kinder, Küche, Kirche” which is German for “Children, Kitchen and Church”. Since they do a lot of analysis of fundamentalism, authoritarianism, and individuals with very firm ideas about traditional gender roles, this gets cross-linked a lot. (37) Take That: Mostly against fundamentalists and authoritarians, though no one is completely spared, not even the site itself. (a) The wiki’s origins as an anti-Conservapedia still tend to show clearly in any article about a right-wing politician or political position; they don’t even pretend to be neutral; (b) Even This Very Wiki is subject to a little criticism. (38) There Are No Girls on the Internet: Addressed in Gender and Sysops, which aimed to encourage a more balanced gender representation. (39) There Is No Such Thing as Notability: Although there is such a thing as “missionality”, lack of which may get an article deleted. (40) Thing-O-Meter: The Irony Meter. (41) Understatement: “Critics of the argument have pointed out that sealed jars of peanut butter are not, generally speaking, billion year-old volcanic environments rich in ammonia and methane, being bombarded by high energy cosmic rays.” (42) Troll: Marcus Cicero, LBHS Cheerleader, TK, Rob Smith, D Morris, take your pick. The site’s dangerously lenient ban policy results in it being a veritable troll heaven—it takes weeks for the site’s members to even decide that they might want to possibly ban someone, and even then it’s pretty much always a short-term block that does little to actually stop the troll from vandalizing the site. (43) TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life: their now-deleted article Conservapedia: Boycott listed visiting TV Tropes as an alternative to reading Conservapedia and laughing at it. They added the comment “Kiss your spare time good-bye.” (43) The Wiki Rule: There’s a wiki called ‘RationalWikiWiki’ which exists to catalogue and analyze the history of the RationalWiki community; it exists mostly as a joke, but has still managed to accumulate several hundred articles. There’s even RationalWikiWikiWiki. That one exists entirely as a joke. (44) Wiki Vandal: They call it Wandalism. (45) Worthy Opponent: The general RW opinion of former Conservapedia sysop JessicaT, the Token Good Teammate of CP’s admins. (Who turned out to be a sockpuppet for RW user Psygremlin.) — tvtropes.org
Recouvreur, Christopher @ charles-carreon.com
Chris Recouvreur, a Walgreens Assistant Manager, is putting in so much of his $18/hr time on Charles-Carreon.com that he must be using his work computer to do it. Chris seems to be having the time of his life using my name as a draw, since his previous attempts to harvest clicks have failed pretty resoundingly. It’s really sad the way he’s posted and posted, and never gotten a comment at http://deselectedart.wordpress.com/ and http://odinstrike.deviantart.com/. But now that he has my name to work with, things are really taking off!
Reddit @ reddit.com
Reddit /ˈrɛdɪt/, stylized as reddit, is a social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the form of either a link or a text (“self”) post. Other users then vote the submission “up” or “down”, which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages and front page. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”. …It was initially populated by fake users and posts….The Reddit community has been known to socialise at local parks and bars around the world, and there are many localised subreddits for local meetings.
In June 2005, Reddit was founded in Medford, Massachusetts by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, both 22-year-old graduates of the University of Virginia. It received its initial funding from Y Combinator. The team expanded to include Christopher Slowe in November 2005. Between November 2005 and January 2006 Reddit merged with Aaron Swartz’s company Infogami, and Swartz became an equal owner of the resulting parent company, Not A Bug. Condé Nast Publications, owner of Wired, acquired Reddit on October 31, 2006, and the team moved to San Francisco. In January 2007, Swartz was fired. On June 18, 2008, Reddit became an open source project. With the exception of the anti-spam/cheating portions, all of the code and libraries written for Reddit became freely available on Github. By the end of 2008, the team had grown to include Erik Martin, Jeremy Edberg, David King, and Mike Schiraldi. In 2009, Huffman and Ohanian moved on to form Hipmunk, recruiting Slowe and King shortly thereafter. In July 2010, after explosive traffic growth, Reddit introduced Reddit Gold, offering new features for a price of US$3.99/month or US$29.99/year. The revenue and attention got them approval to buy more servers and employ more people. On September 6, 2011, Reddit became operationally independent of Condé Nast, now operating as a separate subsidiary of its parent company, Advance Publications.
On January 11, 2012, Reddit announced that it would be participating in a 12-hour sitewide blackout in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The blackout occurred on January 18 and coincided with the blackouts of Wikipedia and several other Internet properties. In May 2012, Reddit joined the Internet Defense League, a group formed to organise future protests….According to Google Ad Planner’s estimate, as of May 2013, the median Reddit user is male (59%), 25–34 years of age, and is connecting from the United States (68%)….Almost all of the user reviews on Alexa.com, which rates Reddit’s monthly unique traffic rating 125th in the United States, mention Reddit’s “good content” as a likable quality. However, others raise the negative aspects of the potential for Reddit’s communities to possess a “hive mind” of sorts, embodying some negative aspects of group interaction theories like crowd psychology and collective consciousness….
In early October 2010, a story was posted on Reddit about a seven-year-old girl, Kathleen Edward, who was in the advanced stages of Huntington’s disease. The girl’s neighbors were taunting her and her family. Redditors banded together and gave the girl a shopping spree at Tree Town Toys, a toy store local to the story owned by a Reddit user. Reddit started the largest Secret Santa program in the world, which is still in operation to date. For the 2010 Holiday season, 92 countries were involved in the Secret Santa program. There were 17,543 participants, and $662,907.60 was collectively spent on gift purchases and shipping costs. Members from Reddit donated over $600,000 to DonorsChoose in support of Stephen Colbert’s March to Keep Fear Alive. The donation spree broke previous records for the most money donated to a single cause by the Reddit community and resulted in an interview with Colbert on Reddit. Reddit users donated $185,356.70 to Direct Relief International for Haiti after the earthquake devastated the island in January 2010. Reddit users donated over $70,000 to the Faraja Orphanage in the first 24 hours to help secure the orphanage after intruders robbed and attacked one of the volunteers, Omari, who survived a strike to the head from a machete….”Restoring Truthiness” campaignAs a response to Glenn Beck’s August 28, 2010, Restoring Honor rally (heavily promoted by him in his FOX News broadcasts during the summer), in September 2010 Reddit users started a movement to persuade Stephen Colbert to have a counter-rally in Washington, D.C. The movement was started by user mrsammercer, in a post where he describes waking up from a dream in which Stephen Colbert holds a satirical rally in D.C….The idea resonated with the Reddit community, which launched a campaign to bring the event to life. Over $600,000 was raised for charity to gain the attention of Colbert. The campaign was mentioned on-air several times, and when the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was held in Washington, D.C. on October 30, 2010, thousands of redditors made the journey….
Controversies involving Reddit. The website has a strong culture of free speech and very few rules about the types of content that may be posted. This has led to the creation of several communities that have been perceived as offensive, including forums dedicated to jailbait (since banned) and pictures of dead bodies; several such subreddits were the focus of an edition of Anderson Cooper 360 in September 2011. However, “Suggestive or sexual content featuring minors” was not explicitly banned until February 2012, after members of the forum Something Awful planned to send correspondence to “Parent Teacher Associations, politicians, churches, news outlets and the FBI” about such subreddits. In October 2012, a Gawker article published the real-life identity of “Violentacrez”, a Reddit moderator prominently involved with a string of controversial subreddits devoted to explicit material. As a result of the story, the user, revealed to be a middle-aged computer programmer from Texas, was fired from his job. In response to the exposé, a number of Reddit moderators banned Gawker links from their subreddits. Following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Reddit faced criticism after users wrongly identified a number of people as suspects. Notable among misidentified bombing suspects was Sunil Tripathi, a student reported missing before the bombings took place. A body reported to be Sunil’s was found in Rhode Island’s Providence River on April 25, 2013 as reported by the Rhode Island Health Department. The cause of death is under investigation. Reddit general manager Erik Martin later issued an apology for this behavior, criticizing the “online witch hunts and dangerous speculation” that took place on the website.
Riley, Duncan @ inquisitr.com
About The Inquisitr. The Inquisitr offers a constantly updated mix of the latest stories to hit the web, covering a diverse spectrum of topic areas including technology, news, sport, entertainment and offbeat stories. Founded in May 2008, The Inquisitr has grown from humble beginnings to become the 1650′th top web site in the USA (according to Alexa) and one of the worlds most popular blogs standing currently (June 2012) as the 67th most popular site on the web in Technorati blog rankings. (#34 for Celebrities and #58 for Politics according to Technorati.) The Inquisitr was sold in late May 2011 three years after its inception after the sturdy and successful leadership of Duncan Riley who took the site from its humblest beginnings to the success story it has become. The Inquisitr is a young site compared to most other leading sites, but our unique mix of talented writers means that we will continue to achieve even better results. The Inquisitr stands now poised to take on the internet with only the hottest trends and the latest of stories. firstname.lastname@example.org. — inquisitr.com
Born in Sydney, Australia, Riley is a pioneer in Australian politics on the internet, creating the first website for a political party branch in Australia in 1995, and going on later that year to write the now defunct Australian Conservative Politics portal, the first conservative aggregate political site in Australia. In 1999, he designed and ran the website Young Australians Against this Republic, in conjunction with a number of political and social groups within Australia. In 2002, he launched The Blog Herald, the first blog dedicated to the news of the then still small blogging world. The site went on to become a Technorati Top 100 blog and covered major milestones in the blogging industry, including the growth of Gawker Media and the founding of Weblogs Inc. Riley sold the site in January 2006. In 2005, he launched weblog network Weblog Empire, which later was merged into blogging network b5media, a company founded by Riley along with Bloggers Darren Rowse and Jeremy Wright. b5media took $2 million in venture capital in 2006. In late 2006, Riley left b5media to pursue personal projects. In May 2007, Riley started writing for TechCrunch, where he served for 12 months. In May 2008, Riley left TechCrunch to start Inquisitr, a new blog focusing on pop culture, technology and other subjects. Via his web development company Nichenet Pty Ltd. Riley now edits The Inquisitr and podcasts for The Podcast Network as co-host of Australia’s only Web 2.0 podcast The 2 Web Crew alongside regular contributors Cameron Reilly (The Podcast Network) and Bronwen Clune (Norg Media). — crunchbase.com
Roy, Jessica @ betabeat.com
Current: Editor at Betabeat; Tech Reporter at New York Observer. Past: Community Manager at Adobe; Blogger for 10,000 Words at mediabistro.com; Community Genius at Context Optional; Editor-in-Chief at NYULocal; Editorial Intern at The Library Journal Book Review; Culture Intern at Salon; Intern at Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. Education: New York University. After graduating from NYU in 2010, I moved to San Francisco to work as a community manager at a social media startup called Context Optional. While there, I developed content and social media strategies for Fortune 500 brands. The company was acquired by Adobe in January 2011, and I stayed on as a community manager there for a few months. In March of 2012, I accepted a staff writer position with the New York Observer and moved back to New York. I currently work for the NYO’s tech blog, Betabeat, writing about tech and web culture. I also write tech and media focused features for the print paper. — linkedin
Sandlin, Graeme @ thepummelo.com
The Pummelo was started because satire was getting a good name. We wished to reverse that trend and bring true news satire back to its origins, along with adding some relevant opinions about current topics of the day, ranging from religion to Aunt Martha’s fabulously hard fruitcake. Well… That and we were fed up with our day jobs and wanted an excuse to put up a page of hot women in Star Trek shirts. — thepummelo.com
Graeme Sandlin: Occupation: self-employed blogger, musician & business developer. Education: attended Hard Knocks. Lives in Olympic Peninsula, WA. Proud dad of 4 kids under the age of 4. Contributor to The Christian Stay At Home Dad. A theologian of the odd. Check out Holy Righteous & True on iTunes & Spotify! (Intro to Moya; Hrt 2002; I’m Crying Out (for the cross); Ion Trail; On Your Knees; I surrender All 2012; Built to Last Indefinitely; Immanuel (All is Well); Now Be Strong; Justified; Holy (Righteous and True); Shameful Me; Neutronic; Break; Filthy; Static; Transform; Ransom; Traveler; Hope; Reclaimed; Restore; Plasma; Take My Life and Let It Be) — Google+
Schroeder, Stan @ mashable.com
Stan has been writing for Mashable since 2007, and having the benefit (or the curse) of working in a European time zone, he’s taken the post of European Editor. He’s been a pro IT journalist in Croatia for over 9 years, having written for numerous IT publications there. Interested in writing for a global audience he started his (now defunct) blog, FranticIndustries, and he also co-founded (and subsequently sold) whoishostingthis.com, a simple tool for determining the hosting provider of any website. He lives in Zagreb, Croatia, and spends his free time pursuing his many interests, which include speaking at conferences, startups, mobile development, cryptography, collecting band t-shirts, tinkering with gadgets and hardware and generally leading a frantic lifestyle. — mashable.com
Seitz, Dan @ uproxx.com
Dan Seitz @theta1138. Filmmaker, grad student, Internet comedy writer, juggler, torturer of Finns. — Twitter
Current: Blogger at UPROXX Media; Copywriter at Media Shower; Blogger at Guyism, LLC; Advice columnist at Guyspeak. Past: Blogger/Fill-In Editor at Townsquare Media; Freelance Writer at Cracked; HR Coordinator at Pfizer; HR Coordinator at NaviMedix; HR Coordinator at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; Administrative Assistant at Event Temps. Education: Emerson College; University of Vermont; Connections. Professional freelance writer specializing in blog entries, copywriting, and humor pieces. — linkedin
Steinbaugh, Adam @ adamsteinbaugh.com
Recent law grad, pretentious music snob, DTLA denizen, unindicted co-conspirator. Sponsored by BigPorn™. I respond to Nigerian emails. @ Goodreverend — Twitter
Current: Zero [Writes about legal and tech issues on his cleverly-named site (Adam Steinbaugh's Blog About Law and Technology). He's also on Twitter, but it would be a grave error to follow him. -- Guardian.co.uk/profile]. Past: Law & Media Intern at SJS Counsel, APC (July 2011 – February 2012, Beverly Hills, CA: Research, motions, and discovery in entertainment-related litigation); Extern at Baker, Keener & Nahra (September 2011 – December 2011, Greater Los Angeles Area); Security Abuse Specialist at MySpace (July 2008 – July 2009); President, Associated Students of Whittier College at Whittier College. Education: Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount University (Juris Doctor 2009 – 2012); Whittier College; Alexander Dawson School. email@example.com– linkedin
|“They’ve discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle — for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn.” Wright requested that Morgan Pietz of The Pietz Law Firm in Manhattan Beach, Calif., who alerted him to the situation, file a report within 14 days that lists every state and federal bar where the attorneys are admitted to practice and every judge before whom they have cases. Wright stopped short of issuing “a seven-digit sanction adequate to deter Plaintiffs from continuing their profitable enterprise,” but awarded Pietz and Nicholas Ranallo of the Ranallo Law Office in Boulder Creek, Calif. — both attorneys who appeared on behalf of defendants in the copyright cases — attorney fees and costs of more than $40,600. He then doubled that amount to punish the “brazen misconduct and relentless fraud” of the Prenda Law attorneys. Wright, who asserted that the attorneys had not paid taxes on the settlement payments they had obtained in numerous cases, said he would refer the matter to the criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service. Calls were not returned by Andrew Waxler of Waxler Carney Brodsky in El Segundo, Calif., an attorney for Gibbs; Heather Rosing, a partner and head of the professional liability department at Klinedinst in San Diego, who represents Duffy and Prenda Law; Timothy Halloran, senior shareholder at Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney in San Francisco, who represents Steele; or Phillip Baker, a partner at Baker, Keener & Nahra in Los Angeles, who represents Hansmeier. – Judge Lashes Out at ‘Fraud’ in Porn Infringement Claims, by Amanda Bronstad, The National Law Journal, 5/7/13|
Swanson, Brion “Fat Cat” @ googleplussuomi.com
Since Zombie Jesus Day is upon us, “This Easter remember, Jesus was not a Zombie. He was not mindless nor did he consume anyone. Nor was he a Ghoul or a Wight. Although his soul and intellect were intact, he was not a rotting corpse. He was not a vampire. While he transubstantiated wine into blood, He never drank it from a person. Jesus was not a ghost or a wraith. He was corporeal and still had his wounds. It is clear JESUS WAS A LICH. A lich is created when a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his soul to his animated corpse and thereby achieves immortality. Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous, their bodies still bearing the wounds they received before their dead. Liches often have the power of necromancy, which allow them to bring the dead back to life.” — Brion “Fat Cat” Swanson @ googleplussuomi.com
I love Matthew Inman’s humor! — Brion “Fat Cat” Swanson @ googleplussuomi.com
Tarvi, Leo @ leotarvi.wordpress.com
About The Adventures of Leo Tarvi: Because we always need more ways to waste time. This blog exists to force me to write. Whether a serious, well-researched article with citations, a random half-drunk rant*, or bad fanfiction, the point of this blog is that I write. Any consistency is purely coincidental. This is part of my ongoing attempts to beat a learning disability, so goals will probably seem to set a low bar. I hope I can keep it interesting enough that people want to read it, but fame and fortune is not the purpose here. Well, not in the short term, anyway. In the interests of keeping myself or anyone else from getting bored, I’m taking requests. I’m going to attempt to write anything anyone suggests in the comments. For fiction, that means anything. It may suck, but I’ll damn well try. For non-fiction, this has a few restrictions. I’m not going to do interviews, (well actually I might, but they don’t quite fit in the spirit of this blog) I’m not going to contribute original research to the body of human knowledge, I’m not talking about any subject I consider too personal and I’m not taking any project that requires more research than I can get with Google or a few hours at the library. Here are the revised rules for 2012. I must post a minimum of one reasonably coherent sentence each calendar day. Any content requested in the comments must be attempted, so long as I can pull it completely out of my imagination or with minimal research. There are no standards of quality for requested work. I figure if I start with the writing I can build up to the writing well. Unless otherwise noted, all original works on this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Most images and videos are not original to this blog. * Fully drunken rants will be deleted, probably sometime during the hangover. Unless they’re really funny. — leotarvi.wordpress.com
Thalwitzer, Aaron B. @ tacticalip.com
Areas of Practice: Business Law; Civil Litigation; Foreclosure Defense; Landlord/Tenant; Collections; Condo and Homeowners Association Law. Bar and Court Admissions: Florida; District of Columbia; U.S. District Court of Florida (Northern, Middle, Southern); U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. Education: University of Florida (B.A., History, 2002), Barry University (J.D., 2007). Professional Activities: Winner – 2007 Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism Student Essay Contest; Contributing author – TacticalIP; Epilepsy Association of Central Florida, Board of Directors, 2010 – Present; Keiser University, Legal Advisory Board Member, 2010 – Present; West Melbourne Business Association, Board of Directors, 2011 – Present; Brevard County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Board of Directors, 2012 – Present; Spacecoast Barry Alumni Chapter, Secretary, 2011 – 2012; Vassar B. Carlton Inns of Court, Associate, 2011 – Present; Leadership Brevard – Class of 2013; Florida Bar Justice Teaching, Volunteer, 2010 – Present. Author: Should Courts Be Free To Order Child Support For Post-Secondary Education Expenses?, ABA Family Law Litigation; Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 2007; Professionalism: Rekindling Greatness, Florida Bar News; 34, Fla. B.N. 22; The Professional; Fall 2008; Arrest & Probable Cause Determinations, Public Defender Training Manual; 3rd Ed., 2010. Aaron is starting a collection of mid-century furniture. He and his wife, Heather, have a handsome young son, Harrison. Contact Information: Phone: 321-255-2332 — legalteamusa.net
Thier, Dave @ forbes.com
I’m a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Republic, IGN.com, Wired and more. I cover social games, video games, technology and that whole gray area that happens when technology and consumers collide. — forbes.com
Current: Contributor at Forbes Magazine. Past: Writer/Reporter at AOL News. Education: Yale BA, AMST 2005 – 2009. Summary: Freelance writer based in New Orleans, specializing in Food, Agriculture and Videogames. Publications include AOLNews, The Atlantic, New York Times, Garden and Gun Magazine, IGN.com, Wired.com, The Daily, The New Republic, South Magazine, and Gambit. — linkedin.com
Underhill, Kevin @ loweringthebar.net
Kevin Underhill is a partner in the San Francisco office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, and to the surprise of many, himself included, has been with the firm for over 17 years. He was a summer associate in 1992 and began his career in the firm’s Kansas City office in 1993. Happy with his 1993 official firm photo, Kevin successfully avoided the firm photographer for the next one-and-a-half decades, but was finally cornered and forced to sit for another portrait, which explains the image seen here. Kevin “relocated” (his term) to San Francisco in 2000. He “worked” (also his term) in the Business Litigation section while in Kansas City but now spends the bulk of his time on the defense of products-liability and consumer-protection cases. He is about 80% of the way to a California state certification in appellate practice, which of course everyone will have to hear about again when he finally gets certified. “Oh, Kevin, that’s so interesting. Please tell us again about the discretionary writ petition you drafted in order to get the last few points.” Christ. Kevin is known for his analytical and writing abilities and also for his irritating tendency to write his own biographical material in which he talks about himself in the third person. In an effort to appear to “care” about “people,” Kevin created and manages a pro bono program that defends the rights of disabled tenants to reasonable accommodations. In the program, SHB works with a group called Pets Are Wonderful Support. PAWS helps disabled clients care for their pets and service animals, and in appropriate cases it refers clients to SHB if a landlord refuses to permit the client to have a service or companion animal. PAWS and SHB have helped dozens of clients suffering from disabilities such as Parkinson’s Disease, AIDS, depression, and cancer. Kevin’s essay series, “If Great Literary Works Had Been Written by Lawyers,” was published in The Green Bag law journal, and was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio, among other places. Kevin has also occasionally been heard on NPR himself, has been blogging and otherwise writing for years, and started this blog, “Lowering the Bar,” in 2006 or thereabouts. He has given presentations on a variety of topics, but all drawing from the stories he posts here, for law firms and legal departments across the country. (He would give one for your group, too, if you asked him.) He recently finished another article for The Green Bag, titled “A Year of Lowering the Bar,” which was published in the Bag’s 2010 Reader and Almanac. He answered the following questions for his official law-firm biography while wearing a tuxedo, smoking a pipe, and sitting in what he has recently started calling his “Partner Chair,” although it is in fact just a regular chair. I attended Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., on a full-ride cite-checking scholarship. I graduated in 1993. [My] favorite quote [is]: “At 20 miles a month, a determined Burmese python from Florida could arrive in San Francisco as early as August 2020. ‘It would be exceptional for one animal to be that unidirectional in its movement, but it’s mathematically possible,’ Rodda said. The snake’s cross-country crawl would be made easier by the large population of beavers along the way. ‘Beavers would be a very tasty treat for them,’ Rodda said. ‘No beaver would be safe from a python.’” (Steve Rubenstein, “New Threat to Our Way of Life: Giant Pythons,” San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 21, 2008). [My] favorite writers [are] Ernest Hemingway, and the people who write for The Onion. [My heroes are] All the people who had the strength of character to state under oath that they didn’t know whether “waterboarding” is torture or not. Also, all those who are still Kansas City Chiefs fans. [If I] could live anywhere in the world, [it would be inside an active volcano. [My] idea of the perfect vacation [would be to live] as an equity partner inside an active volcano. firstname.lastname@example.org. — loweringthebar.net
Urban Dictionary @ urbandictionary.com
Urban Dictionary is a Web-based dictionary that contains more than seven million definitions as of 2 March 2013. Submissions are regulated by volunteer editors and rated by site visitors. Time’s Anita Hamilton included it on her 50 best websites of 2008 list. The site was founded in 1999 by Aaron Peckham while he was a freshman computer science major at California Polytechnic State University. One of the first definitions on the site was “the man”, defined as “the faces of ‘the establishment’ put in place to ‘bring us down’”. The website was referenced in a 2011 District Court complaint by ATF agents to document the meaning of the vulgarism “murk” as used in a criminal threat. It also consists of names and slang. In the context of Urban Dictionary, “definitions” include not only literal definitions, but also descriptions. As such, “to define” a word or phrase on Urban Dictionary does not necessarily entail providing a strict definition; merely a description of some aspect of the word or phrase could suffice for inclusion in the dictionary. Originally, Urban Dictionary was intended as a dictionary of slang or cultural words or phrases not typically found in standard dictionaries, but it is now used to define any word or phrase. Words or phrases on Urban Dictionary may have multiple definitions, usage examples, and tags. Visitors to Urban Dictionary may submit definitions without registering, but they must provide a valid e-mail address. Before they are included in the dictionary, all new definitions must be approved by voluntary editors. Editors are not given any guidelines to use when approving or rejecting definitions. By default, each definition is automatically accepted or rejected based on the number of “Publish” or “Don’t Publish” votes it receives by editors, comprising volunteers of the public. There are no criteria that editors have to follow in approving or rejecting definitions; often definitions are not even read during the decision process. A valid e-mail address was previously but is no longer required for editing. Editors are distinguished by their IP address and through the site’s usage of HTTP cookies, in order to limit each editor from voting on any particular definition too many times. If a definition is rejected, it is automatically rejected upon re-submission in the future if there are no changes to it. If a definition is published, it is immediately displayed on the site. The definition can then be voted “up” or “down” by site visitors, and may be removed for certain reasons. As of April 2013, the site contains over 7 million definitions. As of April 2009, an average of 2,000 are submitted every day, and the site receives approximately 15 million unique visitors per month, with 80% of users being younger than 25. As of February 2013, Urban Dictionary’s Alexa rating is 845, with a rating of 396 in the United States and 43,559 sites linking in. — Wikipedia
Villyard, Paul (Endswell) @thehighdefinite.com
thehighdefinite: music; artsy shit; badassery, interesting stuff; nerdy shit; videos; images; links — thehighdefinite.com
Registrant: Paul Villyard, Mango Dr., Del Mar, CA 92014, 703/967-5642. — networksolutions.com
Paul Villyard Overview: Current: Strategic Planning Lead at General Atomics (November 2008 – Present) General Atomics Electromagnetics. Past: Senior Business Analyst at Deloitte Consulting (Formerly BearingPoint); Business Analyst at Deloitte Consulting (Formerly BearingPoint); Manager – IT Consulting and Technical Services at WildWires. Education: James Madison University (2002-2006)- College of Business. — linkedin
Founded originally in 1955 as a division of General Dynamics, General Atomics (“GA”) and its affiliated companies now constitute one of the world’s leading resources for high-technology systems ranging from the nuclear fuel cycle to electromagnetic systems, remotely operated surveillance aircraft, airborne sensors, and advanced electronic, wireless and laser technologies. GA had an initial charter to explore peaceful uses of atomic energy. Leading scientists came to GA, forming the nucleus of a staff which, including affiliated companies, currently numbers about 5,000. GA carries out the largest and most successful nuclear fusion program in private industry. The company has been the primary developer of modular helium-cooled nuclear power reactor systems, and its TRIGA® research reactors have operated around the world for over 45 years. GA and its affiliated entities also manufacture, operate, and service state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles, are engaged in uranium mining and processing, and provide nuclear instrumentation, aircraft launch and recovery systems, superconducting magnets, systems for hazardous material destruction, magnetic levitation systems, medical diagnostic products, information technology and many other products and services for government and industry. For over 50 years, GA and its affiliates have been qualified by U.S. Government organizations, including the Department of Energy, Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation, as a government contractor and facilities operator. GA and affiliates’ facilities contain over three million square feet of engineering, laboratory and manufacturing installations in the San Diego area. GA and its affiliates also have operations in Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Tokyo, Adelaide, Washington, D.C., Denver, Los Alamos, Oklahoma City, Tupelo and Ogden. — ga.com
Warner, Kelly @ aaronkellylaw.com
Defamation Lawyer & Litigation. The key to successfully fighting defamation is retaining a savvy defamation lawyer, well-versed in Internet law. Need a defamation lawyer? Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, social media, so-called “suck sites” and other online review sites, libel is on the rise. Businesses are raked over the coals by unscrupulous competitors, and individuals are denied employment because of false information on the Internet. Your reputation is worth its weight in gold – and a ruined online rep is always one social media quip or blog post away. That’s why aggressively addressing defamatory statements — in print and on the Internet — is a must. The longer they stay up, the more time they have to spread throughout the Web, and the more damage they can do. Slander and Libel: A Simple Breakdown. U.S. law categorizes defamation into two main categories – slander and libel. Slander is spoken defamation; libel is published or written defamation – whether in print or online. Defamation claims can be filed against a business, individual, group or government. In most cases, the statements in question must be false for a judge to grant a defamation trial, but there are rare times when someone can win a defamation lawsuit (or false light lawsuit) even if the statements in question are true. A skilled defamation lawyer will sort through the details and determine the best course of action. Find A Defamation Lawyer Before The Statute Of Limitations Runs Out. While strong free speech laws make winning a defamation lawsuit a bit more difficult in the U.S. than in other countries, it’s not impossible. After all, free speech rules only go so far. As the old saying goes, you can’t scream fire in a crowded theater, cause a panic, and get away with it. Nor can you, maliciously and falsely disparage another individual or business online. Thanks to handy advancements like Internet and mobile phones and mini-computers, bad news travels quickly. So, if you’ve been defamed online, the best thing to do is seek counsel as soon as possible. A skilled defamation lawyer knows how to expedite a beneficial remedy. Who knows, you may not even have to deal with a long, drawn-out lawsuit if you have a defamation lawyer who knows slander and libel litigation inside and out. Common Defamation Defenses. One oft-used defamation defense is truth. Another popular defamation defense is proving that the content or broadcast did not cause the plaintiff actual harm. Defendants also experience success in some defamation cases if the plaintiff can’t prove the alleged defamer knew the information was false and decided to publish or broadcast it anyway. Moreover, free speech is an important aspect of defamation law. Sometimes, people are unfairly asked to eradicate material that is protected by the first amendment. Different Defamation Standards For Private and Public Figures. In the U.S., different defamation standards exist for public and private citizens. Simply put, celebrities and public figures must meet the advanced standard of actual malice in order to win a defamation lawsuit. Private Citizens do not. That being said, the Internet has changed a lot of things – including the way courts interpret defamation law as it relates to cases involving the Internet, iPhones and smartphones. In fact, just recently, a California judge ruled that “everyone is famous on Facebook.” In today’s legal climate, it’s best to have a defamation attorney that understands both the complexities of slander and libel law, as well as the nuances of Internet and technology law. We are that firm. Contact us today to begin the conversation.
Kelly Warner Law is a full-service legal practice focusing on defamation law, Internet law and business law. We draft contracts, litigate defamation, piracy, privacy and intellectual property issues, negotiate on behalf of clients, perform compliance reviews, file motions and help startups…start up. We’re tech nerds with the legal and business experience you need. Internet Law Is Our Super-Power. The attorneys at Kelly / Warner aren’t your typical Internet lawyers, and we like it that way. Founded in Scottsdale in 2009, our firm is lean and successful, innovative and efficient. As both a law office and a tech-development fan club, we’re quick to embrace new technologies and ideas that help us better represent you. Did We Mention We’re A Bunch of Tech Geeks, Too? We don’t know who decided that lawyers had to be a bunch of self-serving suits who care more about their golf handicap than your contract negotiations, but that’s not how we roll. We win cases and your best interests are always priority #1. Internet, Defamation, Advertising, Affiliate and Mobile Law — We Do It All. Thanks to technology advancements, online privacy, data security, advertising, defamation and Internet laws are changing faster than ever before. As such, lawyers who can evolve right along with the digital times are in great demand. The new generation of Internet lawyers needs to be as enterprising and as social-media-savvy as the new wave of businesspeople who are shaping the new, tech-friendly, global economy. We are that law firm and understand the ins and outs of Internet marketing and e-commerce. We speak PHP and C++ and we know that SaaS isn’t just something you give your momma. We Know Where You’re Coming From – Because We’re App Developers Too! We realize that our clients are the heart and soul of our industry, and so we stop at nothing to represent your needs. Your business is our business, and the way we see it, we’re not successful until you are. After all, we know how the market works. We developed and marketed our app in-house, and we continue to look for ways to use technology as a catalyst to revolutionize lawyer-client relationships. We are unique. We are innovative. We are Kelly / Warner Law. Contact Kelly / Warner Law for more information about how we can help your business with legal advice, from litigation to contractual agreements. You can send us an email or call us at 480-588-0449 to schedule an appointment today.
Weaver, Nicholas @popehat.com http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/
I received a B.A. in Astrophysics and Computer Science in 1995, and my Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2003 from the University of California at Berkeley. Although my dissertation was on novel FPGA architectures, I also was highly interested in Computer Security, including postulating the possibility of very fast computer worms in 2001. In 2003, I joined ICSI, first as a postdoc and then as a staff researcher. My primary research focus is on network security, notably worms, botnets, and other internet-scale attacks, and network measurement. Other areas have included both hardware acceleration and software parallelization of network intrusion detection, defenses for DNS resolvers, and tools for detecting ISP-introduced manipulations of a user’s network connection. — www1.icsi.berkeley.edu
Wheaton, Wil @ wilwheaton.typepad.com @ wilwheaton.tumblr.com @ tweetwood.com/wilw @ twitter.com @ celebritytweet.com @ thatsnotabadger.com @ afternoonsnoozebutton.com @ shortformblog.com; wilwheaton.net
Richard William “Wil” Wheaton III (born July 29, 1972) is an American actor and writer. He portrayed Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me and Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers. He plays a recurring role as a fictionalized version of himself on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Wheaton was born in Burbank, California, to Debbie (née O’Connor), an actress, and Richard William Wheaton, Jr., a medical specialist. He has a brother, Jeremy, and a sister, Amy. Both appeared uncredited in the episode “When the Bough Breaks” of Star Trek: The Next Generation; Amy also appeared alongside Wheaton in The Curse. Wheaton made his acting debut in the 1981 television film A Long Way Home, and his first cinema role was as Martin Brisby in the 1982 animated film The Secret of NIMH, the movie adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. He had a minor role in the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter as Louis’ friend but it was cut out. He first gained widespread attention in 1986 as Gordie Lachance in Stand by Me, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Body. From 1987 to 1990, he played Wesley Crusher in the first four seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This became a recurring role later in the series. Although his Star Trek character, and by extension Wheaton himself, was disliked by a vocal group of Trekkies during TNG’s first run, he commented about his critics in an interview for WebTalk Radio: “Later, I determined that the people who were really, really cruel – like the Usenet weenies – really are a statistically insignificant number of people. And I know, just over the years from people who’ve e-mailed me at my web site and people who I’ve talked to since I started going to Star Trek conventions again in the last five years, that there are so many more people who really enjoyed everything about the show, including my performance, including the character.” Wheaton’s popularity among Star Trek fandom is covered in a number of web comics. ArcaneTimes of March 25, 2005 offers a sympathetic position. Something Positive presents a range of opinions as part of the storyline Mike’s Kid. Abstruse Goose tries to distinguish between the character and the actor. In 1991, he played Joey Trotta in the action film Toy Soldiers. After leaving Star Trek, Wheaton moved to Topeka, Kansas, to work for NewTek, where he helped to develop the Video Toaster 4000, doing product testing and quality control. He later used his public profile to serve as a technology evangelist for the product. Wheaton said this was a period of growth in his life, and living away from Los Angeles helped him deal with anger issues. He came back to Los Angeles, attended acting school for five years, then re-entered the acting world. In the late 1990s, Wheaton appeared in several independent films, including the award-winning The Good Things, in which he portrays a frustrated Kansas tollbooth worker; it was selected Best Short Film at the 2002 Deauville Film Festival. He received the Best Actor award at the 2002 Melbourne Underground Film Festival for his performance in Jane White Is Sick & Twisted.He has worked as a voice actor in cartoons, video games, audiobooks, and anime, beginning with the role of young Martin Brisby in The Secret of NIMH at age 10. His most noteworthy credits include the roles of Aqualad in the cartoon Teen Titans, the voice of radio journalist Richard Burns in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Kyle in the Nickelodeon cartoon, Kyle + Rosemary, himself and various other characters on both Family Guy and Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, on Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the episode “Fall of the Blue Beetle!”, Yakumo in Kurokami: The Animation, Menma in Naruto, Hans in Slayers Evolution-R and Aaron Terzieff in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. He appeared as himself in a skit on nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot’s 2008 album Final Boss attempting to be a rapper, whose rhymes only involved shellfish. He later collaborated with Frontalot on “Your Friend Wil”, a track from the 2010 album Zero Day on the subject of Wheaton’s Law. Wheaton and Frontalot have both appeared at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). Wheaton has also narrated a number of bestselling audiobooks, mostly in the science-fiction and fantasy category, including Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Redshirts by John Scalzi, and books 6–10 of the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny. He was a contestant on a 2001 episode of The Weakest Link featuring Star Trek actors attempting to win money for charity. Wheaton’s had guest appearances on the November 23, 2007 episode of the TV series Numb3rs, and the October 22, 2008 episode of the series Criminal Minds. He has also appeared in Internet presentations, including a cameo in a comedy sketch (“Lock Out”) for LoadingReadyRun (and a reprise of the same the following year in CommodoreHustle 4), and the May 30, 2008 episode of the Internet series Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show. Wheaton appears in seasons three, four and five of the web series The Guild as Fawkes, the leader for a rival guild known as Axis of Anarchy. He also appears in seasons two, three and four of the TV series Leverage, as rival computer hacker Colin “Chaos” Mason, antagonist to Leverage team hacker Alec Hardison. He makes regular appearances in many web productions for Geek & Sundry. He appeared as himself in several episodes of situation comedy The Big Bang Theory, starting in the fifth episode of the third season “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary” (2009). On The Big Bang Theory, Wheaton behaves in comically petty and manipulative ways towards the regular characters, particularly Sheldon Cooper with whom he is alternately a friend and an enemy. Wheaton appears in twelve episodes in a recurring, guest-starring role on Eureka, playing Dr. Isaac Parrish, the head of the Non-Lethal Weapons Lab at Global Dynamics and a thorn in Fargo’s side.Wheaton has performed improvisational and sketch comedy at the ACME Comedy Theater in Hollywood. He has a traveling sketch comedy/improv troupe called “EarnestBorg9″ that performs science fiction-related comedy at conventions. Wheaton is one of the three headline acts of the w00tstock shows, appearing in nearly all of them when his filming schedule has allowed. From September 2006 to September 2007, he hosted a Revision3 syndicated video podcast called InDigital along with Jessica Corbin and veteran host Hahn Choi. Wheaton hosted a NASA video on the Mars Curiosity rover which landed on Monday August 6, 2012. Wheaton runs his own weblog, Wil Wheaton Dot Net. Between 2001 and fall 2004, he operated a message board, known as “The Soapbox” or “Paracosm”, as part of the blog site. Two collections of writings taken from postings to the message board have been published, titled Boxer Shorts (ISBN 1-932461-00-0) and Boxer Shorts Redux (ISBN 1-932461-03-5). He contributes regularly to the Los Angeles-based Metroblogging site. In June 2005, he became that month’s featured Tech writer for the SuicideGirls Newswire. He had a monthly column, entitled “Wil Save,” in the Dungeons & Dragons-based magazine Dungeon, until May 2005. From January 2005 to October 2006, he wrote a column for The Onion AV Club about early video games, called “Games of Our Lives.” On December 12, 2008, he returned to his role as Geek in Review editor, with his editorials being published every second Wednesday of the month. In spring 2003, he founded the independent publishing company Monolith Press and released a memoir entitled Dancing Barefoot. Monolith Press was “founded on the idea that publication should not be limited by opportunity.” Most of the entries are extended versions of his blog entries. Dancing Barefoot sold out three printings in four months. In winter 2003, Wheaton signed to publisher Tim O’Reilly with a three-book contract. O’Reilly acquired Dancing Barefoot, and published his extended memoirs, Just a Geek, in summer of 2004. He has since written about his bitterness regarding how the book was marketed, believing it was pitched as a Star Trek book when he intended it as more of a personal memoir. Subsequently in 2007, his next book, “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” was again published by Monolith Press. With the release of Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton’s Hot Cocoa Box Sampler in February 2009, instead of using traditional publishing, Wheaton decided to self-publish using Lulu Publishing, releasing paperback and digital copies, something he has continued to do with all his publications since. As a chapbook, Sunken Treasure contains several small extracts of various different projects, including two short stories from Ficlets, an ACME comedy sketch, William’s Tell and a Criminal Minds production diary. The production diary was later released as an audiobook. Later that same year, Wheaton released Memories of the Future: Volume 1, a humorous critique, as well as an account of Wheaton’s own experiences with and memories, of the first thirteen episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Closing up 2009, Wheaton published a special edition of “The Happiest Days of Our Lives”, which also included an afterword by his son, Ryan. Wheaton described himself as a liberal in 2005. In September 2006, he criticized George W. Bush’s antiterrorism plan: “Shame on President Bush. Shame on his Republican allies in Congress, and shame on the spineless, cowardly Democrats who did not stand up to them.” In a column that he wrote for Salon.com in 2005, The Real War on Christmas, Wheaton attacked conservative commentators like Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for influencing the political views of his parents, with whom Wheaton found himself unable to have political discussions during family get-togethers on holidays like Christmas. Wheaton’s parents were very offended by the article, and he posted a lengthy apology on his site and an interview in which his parents clarified their political views. On August 24, 2007, he gave the keynote for the yearly Penny Arcade Expo, which was subsequently made available online. He stepped in following a public battle between the formerly-scheduled keynote debate participants, noted anti-games activist Jack Thompson and Hal Halpin, the president of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). Much of Wheaton’s address focused on the debate over violence in video games. 
He also gave the keynote at PAX East 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. He supported Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election and opposed Proposition 8, calling it “nothing but hate and discrimination”. In 2003, Wheaton mentioned his love for the game of poker on his blog. The following year, he began writing more extensively about his poker-playing experiences, including stories about playing Texas hold ‘em tournaments locally and in Las Vegas. Eventually, he worked up to regular play, including a run at the 2005 World Poker Tour Championships. On June 23, 2005, Wheaton accepted an invitation to join Team PokerStars. He went on to play in that year’s World Series of Poker and was the guest speaker for the 2005 BARGE Banquet. In June 2007, he announced he would no longer be on Team Pokerstars due to changes in the U.S. legal system that would cause poker sites to have to focus on European and Asian markets and held a farewell Pokerstars tournament on June 5, 2007, which he titled So Long and Thanks for All the Chips. Wheaton is a Dungeons & Dragons player, and played during the PAX 2010 event using the 4th edition rules. Wheaton, along with webcartoonists Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade, and Scott Kurtz of PvP, played in front of a live audience. The game was hosted and recorded by Wizards of the Coast with Chris Perkins as the dungeonmaster. Wheaton also played D&D 4th edition at the PAX 2011 event using the 4th edition rules, and used the D&D Next play test rules at PAX Prime 2012. Wheaton also hosts the web series TableTop, where he explains how to play various card, board and dice games, then plays a round with celebrity guests. Wheaton will also be starring in the forthcoming Kickstarter-funded game There Came an Echo by Iridium Studios. Wheaton made a guest appearance as a fictionalized version of himself in the comic book PS 238, in which he harbors the power of telekinesis. Wheaton’s debut comic book The Guild: Fawkes which he wrote alongside Felicia Day was released on May 23, 2012. Wheaton recorded the audio CD of Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, which was released on December 8, 2009, as well as the audio CD of Ready Player One written by Ernest Cline. Wheaton narrates many audiobooks, including Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Masters of Doom by David Kushner, Fuzzy Nation and Redshirts by John Scalzi (and other Scalzi works), and “Byways” part of METAtropolis: Cascadia by Tobias Buckell. Wheaton has also recorded several of his non-self-published books as downloadable audiobooks. These include Just a Geek, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, and his Criminal minds diary from Sunken Treasure. He also released excerpts of Memories of The Future: Vol 1 as free podcasts. Wheaton was roommates with Chris Hardwick for some time at UCLA. They met at a showing of Arachnophobia in Burbank, California. Wheaton married Anne Prince in 1999 and lives in Arcadia, California with her and her two sons from a previous relationship. When one son was 19, he asked Wheaton to legally adopt him, which he did. — Wikipedia
White, Kenneth Paul @ Popehat.com
Brown White & Newhouse LLP, Attorneys, 333 S. Hope Street, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90071, Office: 213-613-0500. Kenneth White: Partner (2005-present); Special Counsel, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (2003-2005), Associate, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (2001-2003); Assistant United States Attorney, Central District of California, Criminal Division, Government Fraud and Public Corruption Section (1995-2001). Education: Harvard Law School (J.D., 1994, cum laude); Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Journal on Legislation (1993-94); Stanford University (B.A., Political Science, 1991, Departmental Honors). Clerkships: Law Clerk, Hon. Richard A. Gadbois, United States District Court for the Central District of California (1994-1995). Professional Associations: American Bar Association’s White Collar Crime Committee; State Bar of California’s Litigation Section and Criminal Justice Section; Los Angeles County Bar Association, Criminal Justice Committee; Los Angeles County Bar Association Foundation, Board of Directors (2005-2009); Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles Chapter. Bar Admissions: California (1994); United States District Court, Central, Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of California; United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. The following are a few of Mr. White’s representative matters: White Collar Investigations and Prosecutions: (1) Represented heir accused of theft of deceased parent’s Social Security benefits, leading to termination of investigation without charges. (2) Represented heir accused of theft of deceased parent’s veteran benefits, leading to probationary sentence. (3) Represented businessman charged with money laundering and structuring financial transactions, yielding favorable outcome. (4) Defended accountant in federal investigation of tax shelter fraud, leading to termination of investigation of client without charges. (5) Successfully defended local politician accused of conflict of interest and misappropriation of public funds. (6) Represented merchants accused of sale of counterfeit goods, resulting in favorable disposition. Other Criminal Matters: (1) Represented inmate accused in videotaped prison riot, yielding acquittal at trial. (2) Represented federal and state defendants in cases involving drug trafficking, immigration violations, assault, sexual assault, and theft. Representation of Professionals: (1) Represented physicians in Medical Board investigations, leading to termination of investigation without charges and other favorable resolutions. (2) Defended accountant investigated in public corruption investigation, resulting in termination of investigation of client without charges. (3) Represented tax preparer in major tax evasion prosecution, resulting in favorable disposition. Civil Litigation: First Amendment and Defamation Issues: (1) Represented government employee in anti-SLAPP litigation regarding fraud investigation, resulting in plaintiff being ordered to pay client’s legal fees. (2) Represented science blogger threatened with SLAPP suit, resulting in complete vindication for blogger and abandonment of threatened suit. [PZMyers]
“If It Walks Like A Duck, And Censors Like A Duck, by Ken White, Dec 8, 2010. Remember Christopher Maloney? Agreeing with P.Z. Myers, I called Maloney a quack, because he’s an advocate of naturopathy who suggests that black elderberry will block the H1N1 virus. I also suggested that he might be a censorious douche, a claim that I retracted and clarified when some different quack appeared and took the credit for getting a blog critical of Maloney pulled. Maloney encountered the Streissand Effect, and was quite whiny about it both over at Myers’ blog and here: “Ok, let’s have you irritate someone with a national following and get spammed all day by idiots who have no degree and less information about science. I’ve already explained to PZ’s other minions that you are not scientists, you are a mob. Many of you are reasonable human beings, but some of you like to leave threatening messages. I’m not sure, when I have to call the police to check on a threat, is that enough of a threat or is that just whining? And, no, I haven’t actually been burned at the stake, but several of you have offered. What a loverly group of fundies you all turn out to be.” I’m pretty sure that the “national following” part refers to Myers and not to us.Anyway, if the prior evidence that Maloney is a censorious douche turned out to be mistaken, he’s thoughtfully provided new evidence, in the form of a bumptious legal threat to Myers. Maine attorney Maeghan Maloney — who is also a newly elected state representative, and may or may not be related to Christopher Maloney — demanded that Myers retract his statement that Maloney is a quack “within seven (7) business days.” Presumably that last is intended to make it clear that the word “seven” is equivalent to the Arabic numeral “7″, even for naturopaths. Meaghan Maloney’s legal theory — to use the phrase generously — is that though Myers may have a First Amendment right to say that naturopathy is bunk, the Great State of Maine recognizes and licenses naturopaths, and therefore it is libel per se to say that Christopher Maloney is a quack. Under Maloney’s legal theory, if someone convinced some legislative or bureaucratic arm of the State of Maine that a therapist can cure cancer by beating the patient with a live five-pound lobster, it would be libel per se to call lobster-wielding therapists quacks as well. The problem with this legal theory is that it’s a load of utter naturopathy. “Christopher Maloney is a quack” is quintessential opinion, and therefore absolutely protected under the First Amendment to the United States constitution. Pure opinion is not subject to defamation suits. Opinion that implies false facts can be the subject of a defamation suit — but only if those false facts are themselves subject to defamation analysis. The opinion “I think Meaghan Maloney is a bad lawyer, as people convicted of molesting squirrels tend to be,” is potentially defamatory, because it implies that Meaghan Maloney has been convicted of molesting squirrels, which presumably she has not been. But “Meaghan Maloney is a bad lawyer because she is making bumptious threats in an effort to stop people from criticizing junk science” is not subject to defamation analysis, because the opinion component implies other opinions, not false facts. In this case, Meyers made it very clear that he viewed Maloney as a quack because Maloney is an advocate and practitioner of naturopathy. Meaghan Maloney admits that Myers has a protected right to call naturopathy quackery. That settles it. I wonder whether, before sending her feckless and thuggish missive, Meaghan Maloney researched how courts have treated the word “quack” in defamation cases. I did. It took me about five minutes to learn that multiple courts in multiple states in multiple decades have found that calling someone a “quack” is protected opinion and not subject to a defamation suit, particularly when the context shows that it is hyperbole. Yiamouyiannis v. Thompson, 764 S.W.2d 338 (TX 1989) (calling an opponent of flouridation and vaccines a “quack” was pure opinion protected by the First Amendment); Dowling v. Livingstone, 108 Mich. 321 (1896) (it was opinion, not defamation, to refer to an anti-immigration scheme as a “quack remedy”); Gonzalez v Gray, 69 F.Supp.2d 561 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (husband’s claim that his wife had been having “sex with a quack” was opinion, not defamation against the doctor); Spelson v. CBS, INC., 581 F.Supp. 1195 (N.D. IL 1984) (statement that “nutritionist” treating cancer patients with “vitamins, minerals, and extracts of raw animal organs” was a “cancer quack” was protected opinion). In the rare cases where courts have not protected terms like “quack,” they were used in a context specifically suggesting untrue facts. See, e.g., Nasr v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, 632 F.Supp.1024 (E.D. IL 1986) (though calling a doctor a “quack” has been found to be protected opinion, when used in manner suggesting false underlying facts, it was actionable). Courts have made similar findings regarding other epithets, including “charlatan.” Ernst v. Basset, 521 So.2d 414 (La. 1988) (“charlatan” was non-actionable statement of opinion). In short, if Christopher and Meaghan Maloney follow through on their threat with a lawsuit, Myers should be able to prevail. Regrettably, Maine has a weak-ass SLAPP statute that only applies to petitions to the government — a circumstance that weighs in favor of a national anti-SLAPP statute. But if the Amazing Naturopathic Maloni do sue, Myers should sue their asses for malicious prosecution after getting their censorious suit dismissed. Notwithstanding that Myers probably views me as evil, I would be happy to donate my time to assist his legal defense team in Maine. I’ve won some SLAPP motions, and attorney fees, in my time. If these people think this threat would deter PZ Myers, they haven’t done their due diligence on him. Of course, it’s possible that Meaghan Maloney issued this stupid, stupid threat merely to make Christopher Maloney feel good about himself, or merely to make him think she was doing something. If she did — and if she didn’t advise her client that the natural and probable result of her threat was to increase, dramatically, the number of people reading posts calling him a quack and writing new posts calling him a quack — then she’s a damned fool and a shitty lawyer, whatever her relationship to him is. Clients want to do angry, foolish things; a decent lawyer’s job is to stop them. Even if they are quacks.”
(3) Represented hotel owner in trial court and court of appeal in anti-SLAPP litigation over owner’s participation in zoning process. (4) Represented pharmaceutical company in anti-SLAPP litigation in federal court. (5) Advised numerous clients, including bloggers, regarding consequences of anti-SLAPP statute on proposed defamation suits. Representation of Professionals: (1) Represented physicians in wrongful termination suits, resulting in satisfactory settlements. (2) Represented physician in fraud litigation against perpetrators of investment scam. Fraud and Misconduct By Fiduciaries: (1) Represented shareholder in closely-held corporation in litigation alleging embezzlement by majority shareholder. (2) Represented court-appointed receiver in suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty against law firm. (3) Represented real estate joint venture partner in suit alleging fraud and misconduct against partner. Complex Fraud Litigation: (1) Represented insurance agents in series of fraud and professional negligence suits brought against insurance companies and agents based upon health insurance policies. (2) Represented real estate developers in multiple suits alleging fraud and mismanagement of investments. (3) Represented consumer electronics manufacturer in suit alleging fraud and misappropriation of goods by lender. (4) Represented healthcare corporation in large-scale qui tam suit alleging Medicare fraud. (5) Represented businessman in suit alleging fraudulent transfer of assets to evade judgment. Securities Fraud Matters: (1) Represented numerous targets, subjects, and witnesses in SEC investigations. (2) Defended studio executive accused of lying to government in course of SEC investigation. (3) Defended general partner in a $320 million real estate mortgage case involving allegations of securities fraud. (4) Represented individuals and entities in SEC civil case seeking disgorgement of invested funds. Sexual Harassment: (1) Represented businesses and individuals accused of sexual harassment. (2) Conducting training for local government entities on preventing sexual harassment. Internal Investigations: (1) Investigated misappropriation of shipping company’s resources for drug smuggling, successfully reinstating company’s U.S. Customs status. (2) Conducted internal investigation of national charity accused of defrauding local governments on services contracts, and resolved government investigation favorably to the charity. Personal Injury: Represented clients in wrongful death, personal injury, wrongful termination, and other matters. 12/19/1994: Admitted to The State Bar of California. This member has no public record of administrative actions. “After law school, I clerked for a federal judge, then worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles for six years, eventually prosecuting fraud cases in the Government Fraud and Public Corruption Section. I spent five years at big firms in the private sector (Paul Hastings and Sheppard Mullin), then in 2005 started my own firm with my law partner Tom Brown. Since then, Brown, White & Newhouse LLP has grown into a 12-attorney firm with four former federal prosecutors. We specialize in all forms of criminal defense (especially, but not exclusively, white collar crime), internal investigations, and business litigation of all kinds. My goal is to continue to build Brown, White & Newhouse LLP into one of the elite white collar defense boutique firms on the West Coast.”
|I found Gibbs believable as a young attorney out of his depth who fell in with the wrong crowd and made bad choices. But Judge Wright was clearly not entirely satisfied. He quizzed Gibbs on why he didn’t file notice of related cases informing the court that the various Prenda Law cases were related. Gibbs responded that courts in San Francisco had said that in Prenda Law cases up there, Prenda improperly joined multiple defendants in the same case even though they should be separate. That, Judge Wright points out, confuses the question of joinder of parties in one case with the question of whether cases are related, as every attorney in the room (save Gibbs’) nodded. Ultimately, on this point as on others, Gibbs said that Steele and Hansmeier made the decision. We’re All Perry Mason In Here. In real life, people in the audience in court proceedings do not spring up to make dramatic revelations, because that gets you arrested. Today, it happened. Just after Gibbs testified that he had only limited responsibility for AF Holdings, an attorney in the audience stood and asked to be heard. I cringed, waiting for the kill. But Judge Wright asked him who he was and what he wanted. He identified himself as an attorney for Paul Godfread, who in turn is Alan Cooper’s attorney. Gibbs, he said, spoke with him in November 2012 and represented himself as “national counsel” for AF Holdings, one of the Prenda Law clients. Wright shook his head. “Have you noticed,” he said in rhetorical tones, “that every representation made by a lawyer with Prenda Law is not true.” The lawyer sat back down again. Some might say that didn’t bode well for Prenda….Brett Gibbs is in trouble. I buy him as a dupe here. Indeed, he admitted that “maybe” he felt duped. –Brett Gibbs Gets His Day In Court — But Prenda Law Is The Star, Mar 11, 2013 , By Ken White|
Wikipedia @ wikipedia.org
Wikipedia contains incorrect, misleading, and biased information. Whether through vandalism, subtle disinformation, or the prolonged battling over biased accounts, many of Wikipedia’s articles are unsuitable for scholarly use. Because of poor standards of sourcing and citation, it is often difficult to determine the origin of statements made in Wikipedia in order to determine their correctness. Pursuit of biased points of view by powerful administrators is considered a particular problem, as opposing voices are often permanently banned from Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s culture of disrespect for expertise and scholarship (see below) makes it difficult to trust anything there. Wikipedia’s articles are used to spread gossip, abet character assassination, and invade the privacy of the general public. So-called “Biographies of Living Persons” are often the result of attempts by powerful but anonymous editors and administrators at humiliating or belittling those real-world people with whom they disagree. Wikipedia’s “anyone can edit” culture has allowed baseless defamation of various individuals to spread widely through the Internet. When the family, friends, associates, or subjects of these biographies attempt to correct errors or insert balance, they are often banned from Wikipedia for “Conflicts of Interest”. Subjects of these hatchet jobs usually must resort to legal action to get the articles removed or corrected, a course not available to all. Wikipedia over-emphasizes popular culture and under-emphasizes scholarly disciplines. Wikipedia contains more articles, of greater depth, on television shows, toy and cartoon characters, and other ephemera of popular culture than on many prominent historical figures, events, and places. Massive effort is spent on documenting fictional places and characters rather than science, history, and literature. Wikipedia violates copyrights, plagiarizes the work of others, and denies attribution to contributions. Wikipedia contains no provision to ensure that the content it hosts is not the work of another, or that content it hosts is properly attributed to its author. It contains thousands of photographs, drawings, pages of text and other content that is blatantly plagiarized from other authors without permission. Wikipedia, frequently searched and prominently positioned among results, spreads misinformation, defamation, and bias far beyond its own site. Wikipedia is searched by Google and is usually one of the top results. Its database is scraped by spammers and other sites, so misinformation, even when corrected on Wikipedia, has a long life elsewhere on the net, as a result of Wikipedia’s lack of controls. — – A Compendium of Wikipedia Criticism, by Wikipediocracy
The horror stories of people defamed by Wikipedia are legion. — Why Jim Hawkins’ Treatment Matters, by Dan Murphy
Williams, Mary Elizabeth @ salon.com
You’ve discovered one of the numerous online homes of Mary Elizabeth Williams. I’m a writer, consultant, and radio commentator with about a thousand years experience, give or take a century. Publications I’ve written for include Salon.com, The New York Times, The New York Observer, TV Guide, Smith, and Yoga Journal. I’ve been a culture critic for PRI’s The Takeaway and am a regular commentator for the CBC. Oh and since 2010 I’ve been chronicling my experiences with cancer. Good times. Mary Elizabeth’s law: There are two kinds of food — those that can be improved with bacon, and those that can be improved with chocolate. Mary Elizabeth’s paradox: And yet, bacon and chocolate do not mix. Mary Elizabeth’s addendum: But butter goes with everything. Like most people, I’m deeply cynical. Like most people, I’m also secretly optimistic. — maryelizabethwilliams.net
Catholic girl. Jersey. It’s all true. I was born during a big blackout and grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey. My three childhood role models were Brenda Starr, Nancy Drew, and Dawn. This all explains a tremendous amount. I have a degree in Radio/Television/Film from Temple University. I’ve lived in Hoboken, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and Brooklyn, eventually clawing my way to the island of Manhattan. I’ve been writing professionally for a long time. I’ve been a restaurant critic, a film critic, a web critic; I’ve doled out my assessments of television programs, sex props, and entire cities. I’m a member of the National Book Critics Circle. I have very little formal training for anything, but am quite good at giving my opinion. I’ve done it on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Fox New York, Talk of the Nation, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Takeaway, and more. I don’t have a Pulitzer or a Nobel, but recently won a t-shirt. I’ve also contributed to The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Lifec-hanging Stories from 125 Writers Famous and Obscure, The Imperfect Mom: Candid Confessions of Mothers Living in the Real World (Broadway Books, 2006), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Movies, Flicks & Film, and The Salon.com Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Authors. I’m passionate about community, and the ways we all find each other. If you’re bumping into me offline, chances are we’re on the A train. You think you know uptown? Don’t make me laugh. I am shooing away Canadian geese on my morning run. Really. In 2010, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Since then, I’ve been writing a lot about cancer, and will gladly lecture you about wearing your sunscreen. E.B. White said that no one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky. I am very, very lucky. — maryelizabethwilliams.net
Wikipedia @ en.wikipedia.org
Zaretsky, Staci @ abovethelaw.com
Staci Zaretsky became an editor for Above The Law in June 2011. Before becoming an editor, she helped write ATL’s Morning Docket under the pseudonym Morning Dockette. Her writing has been featured on other legal blogs, such as Lawyerist and Ms. JD. Staci graduated from Lehigh University, and Western New England University School of Law, where her writing was published in the Western New England Law Review. In her spare time, Staci enjoys watching reality television, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need with money she doesn’t have, and singing along to Lady Gaga’s latest hits. — abovethelaw.com
20-something. Law blogger. Fashionista. Gossip extraordinaire. Fluent in sarcasm. Loves to LOL. — Twitter
Staci Zaretsky is a 2010 graduate of Western New England College School of Law, and an aspiring trademark law guru. Staci recently founded Haute Couture Law, a blog which focuses on the thread between fashion and intellectual property. Follow her on Twitter @stacizaretsky. — lawyerist.com
Zimmerman, Neetzan @ gawker.com
Current: Senior Editor at Gawker (April 2012 – Present). Past: Founding Editor, The Daily What at Pet Holdings, Inc (March 2010 – April 2012); Print Promotions Coordinator at Wiley-Blackwell (2005 – March 2010: (1) Coordinated and supervised development, production, design, and dispensation of all printed promotional materials (Direct Mail promotions, Conference promotions, Catalogs, etc.); (2) Planned and maintained a $1.2 m annual budget; (3) Managed and maintained relationships with print, list, and fulfillment vendors, including price negotiations and annual RFP projects. Planner / Buyer; Purchasing Agent at Cambridge Brands / Tootsie Roll Ind. (2003-2005: (1) Oversaw Material Requirement Planning (MRP) and purchasing across all divisions; (2) Scheduled and coordinated the production of over 100 different items to meet market demands; (3) Maintained material inventory across all departments, including the receipt and release of all incoming and outgoing materials. Business Development Contact; Sales and Marketing Rep. ICQ, Ltd (2001 – 2002: (1) Evaluated the validity of all business proposals and advertising requests directed toward the sales and marketing department, and led decision-making; (2) Supported the inquiries of high priority business partners such as Coca Cola and AOL; (3) Advised and assisted legal and technical writers. Education: University of Massachusetts, Boston. Summary: Advertising and marketing coordination with background in sales and business development. Looking to expand into media production. Special interest in political communication. Specialties: materials requirement planning, purchasing, print buying, marketing coordination, budgeting, response tracking and analysis.
1. Nasty people with nothing better to do than sling shit:
Alverson, Brigid @ robot6.comicbookresources.com: “FunnyJunk lawyer sues The Oatmeal creator, Indiegogo and charities, by Brigid Alverson, June 18. FunnyJunk attorney Charles Carreon has sued not just The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman, with whom he has been in an Internet battle for the past week, but also crowd-funding website Indiegogo, where Inman set up a fund-raiser to spite Carreon — and, apparently, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation, who are the beneficiaries of the campaign. Here’s the Courthouse News Service summary of the filing, posted by Ken at Popehat: ‘Trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism. Defendants Inman and IndieGogo are commercial fundraisers that failed to file disclosures or annual reports. Inman launched a Bear Love campaign, which purports to raise money for defendant charitable organizations, but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, Funnyjunk.com, and to initiate a campaign of ‘trolling’ and cybervandalism against them, which has caused people to hack Inman’s computer and falsely impersonate him. The campaign included obscenities, an obscene comics and a false accusation that FunnyJunk ‘stole a bunch of my comics and hosted them.’ Inman runs the comedy website The Oatmeal.’ This sounds outrageous on the face of it — who sues the American Cancer Society? — but when blogger Nick Nafpliotis called Carreon and asked why he is trying to shut down the fund-raiser, he responded that Inman and Indiegogo had not filed the proper paperwork, and thus they could just raise the money and pocket it themselves. It’s a fair point, although given the highly public nature of this event, it’s unlikely that Inman would do that. In other words, it’s a technicality. Carreon also took exception to Inman’s public mockery of him: ‘I don’t actually expect anyone to show up at my house with a weapon. But I think that when you insult someone by saying that their mother engages in bestiality, that is the first step in dehumanizing a person.’ ‘It might not have seemed very dehumanizing when Walt Disney made Japanese people look silly with buck teeth and big glasses who could not pronounce their ‘R’s or their ‘L’s. But it was dehumanizing, and the purpose was to direct evil intentions against them, which ultimately resulted in the only nuclear holocaust that ever occurred in the history of humanity. I don’t think Truman would have ever done that if we hadn’t so dehumanized the enemy.’ ‘When you dehumanize someone, that is the first step to inciting people. The emails that I’ve gotten…many of them wish me death or wish for the complete collapse of my law practice…and they are virtually all uninformed.’ Again, it’s a fair point (if a bit hyperbolic in this case), and it’s a big problem with Internet discourse, but mocking someone online isn’t actually against the law. Cyber-harassment is, but there isn’t one shred of evidence that that’s what Inman had in mind. In fact, he explicitly set up the fund-raiser as a way for his sympathizers to make a statement, presumably to direct the inevitable rage toward something positive. Back at Popehat, Ken lists a number of reasons why this suit (assuming the summary is correct) is flawed, but aside from that, it could backfire even more spectacularly than Carreon’s original letter. For one thing, it could fall afoul of California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which penalizes plaintiffs who bring frivolous lawsuits just to harass the defendants. It could also bring the wrath of Matthew Inman down on FunnyJunk. What, you say, that already happened? Not really. Inman’s lawyer, Venkat Balasubramani, responded to Carreon back when all this started, and his letter is available online. It’s clearly written but rather long, so let’s skip to the end: ‘This letter largely assumes (without conceding) that FunnyJunk would be entitled to claim DMCA immunity against claims of copyright infringement, but to the extent FunnyJunk decides to sue The Oatmeal, you can rest assured that The Oatmeal will explore the possibility of asserting claims for copyright infringement against FunnyJunk (third party content creators may be interested as well).’ Balasubramani then points out at least one reason why FunnyJunk would not have immunity under the DMCA (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). And the phrase ‘third party content creators may be interested as well’ should send chills down the spine of the operators of a site that consists almost entirely of content uploaded by users. There could be a lot of third parties. One final thing. After his conversation with Carreon, Nafpliotis concluded, ‘It’s much harder for me to personify Charles Carreon as a force of evil after speaking with him. I truly believe he thinks that he’s doing the right thing (along with the fact he was able to make some surprisingly good points).’ Several other folks have spoken up in his favor to say he’s a good guy who usually does the right thing. That’s important. Internet rage feeds on anonymity, and while Carreon’s letter is fair game, we would do well to remember that the person who wrote it is a human being, just like us—one who has just had a very bad week.
“Piping hot Oatmeal: Update on Charles Carreon’s lawsuit, by Brigid Alverson, June 20. Attorney Charles Carreon is the gift that keeps on giving for comics and law bloggers alike. He’s the lawyer for the website FunnyJunk, which allows users to upload content they find amusing. About a year ago, The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman blasted FunnyJunk for posting a number of his comics without his permission. Two weeks ago, Carreon sent Inman a letter threatening to sue for defamation if he did not pony up $20,000. Inman posted the letter with some snarky commentary and set up a fundraiser on IndieGoGo to raise $20,000. His plan is to send a photo of the money, together with a rude cartoon about the mother of the FunnyJunk owner, to Carreon and donate the cash to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. More than $200,000 has already been pledged in the fund-raiser. But on Friday, Carreon sued Inman, IndieGoGo, and both charities. Here’s a quick roundup of recent developments: (1) For those who like to go straight to the primary source, Lowering the Bar has posted Carreon’s full complaint. (2) Ken at Popehat posts a detailed takedown of Carreon’s complaint, along with links to some of Carreon’s rather bizarre photoshop creations. (3) At Ars Technica, Casey Johnston also takes a hard look at Carreon’s claims and reveals that he has offered a $500 reward to anyone who unmasks the creator of a fake Twitter account that was created in his name. (4) At The Legal Satyricon, commenters speculate on what’s causing Carreon to push this case to the limit. Blogger Marc Randazza, who tried to talk Carreon out of it, says: ‘I’ve always known him to be a reasonable, intelligent, and speech-protective type of guy. So, I really can’t tell what is going on in his mind. On a personal level, I am tremendously disappointed in him. On a professional level, I’ll be very disappointed in our court system if he is not crushed as a result of what he’s done here.’ (5) And attorney Jonathan Corbett has written an open letter to Carreon saying he will file a formal complaint with the California Bar regarding Carreon’s conduct. Inman, meanwhile, has responded with an open letter to Carreon suggesting that he step back and take a deep breath — and instructing his followers to knock it off. And the problem with running an unmoderated site that hosts user-uploaded content is illustrated right here: Inman’s original post is on FunnyJunk. (At least for the moment. Enjoy the screen grab!)
“Charles Carreon drops The Oatmeal suit, declares victory, by Brigid Alverson, July 6, 2012. Charles Carreon, the attorney who sued cartoonist Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), the crowd-funding site IndieGoGo, and two charities, has dropped his lawsuit and declared victory. “The logical goals of the lawsuit were accomplished,” Carreon told The Washington Post. “Inman aborted his ‘publicity stunt’ to photograph himself with the proceeds that were intended to go to charity, the court took cognizance of the issues and ordered Inman to deposit evidence of his disposition of the funds, and Inman deposited the evidence of payments made to the charities.” Of course, Inman intended to give the money to the charities all along, so Carreon suing him to do so is a bit like me suing the sun to force it to rise in the morning. It’s worth noting that Carreon actually filed a motion that would have delayed turning over the money, presumably to prevent Inman from photographing it. In the end, Inman photographed himself with $200,000 of his own cash, which he could do because The Oatmeal pulled in about $500,000 last year. Anyway, this story still has some legs. Carreon himself is now being sued (by a frivolous litigant, but hey, sauce for the goose), and his threats to sue a blogger who set up a parody site mocking him led the blogger to take the matter to court and ask for a declaratory judgment (basically, legalese for fish or cut bait). And read on for the strange parallel between the site he and his wife maintain and the busted pirate site HTMLComics.com. Here’s the background: Carreon started the whole affair by threatening to sue Inman for defaming his client FunnyJunk after Inman wrote that the website was posting his cartoons without permission. The attorney demanded $20,000 in damages and threatened to sue for defamation if Inman didn’t pay up. Inman responded by drawing a rude picture of the mother of FunnyJunk’s owner trying to seduce a bear and setting up a fund-raiser on IndieGoGo to raise $20,000. His plan was to photograph himself with the money, send the photo and the cartoon to FunnyJunk, and donate the money to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. The fund-raiser ended on June 25 with slightly more than $220,000. Carreon’s response was to sue Inman, IndieGoGo and the two charities, claiming they were violating charitable donation laws. Having set himself up as a watchdog, he then applied for a temporary restraining order to prevent IndieGoGo from actually turning over the money, either to Inman or to the two charities. In fact, by the time he filed, IndieGoGo had already turned over the portion of the money in its possession to the charities — and told Carreon it had done so. (He seems to have wanted to stop Inman from photographing the cash; to keep the money from being tied up, Inman decided to just photograph his own cash instead.) That’s all history now, though, because Carreon has filed a voluntary notice of dismissal. Of course, this gives him the right to go back and reopen the case if he ever loses his mind feels so inclined. But wait! There’s more! Carreon also aimed his sights at the blogger who set up the parody site Censoriousdouchebag, using his name as the domain name. He threatened the domain registrar Registrar.com with a lawsuit, and it rolled right over and gave him the name of the blogger. Carreon threatened to sue the blogger for trademark infringement (the trademark being his name). At this juncture, Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen volunteered to help, and his post gives a glimpse of Carreon’s tactics, which play right into everyone’s worst stereotypes of lawyers: “He instructed me to warn my client to worry about being sued at a later time when Public Citizen might not defend him and about being sued for six-figures worth of damages that would not be dischargeable in bankruptcy; he also pointed to what he claimed to be a reputation for ‘extended’ litigation including ‘appeals for years.’ To avoid just such an outcome, Levy has filed for a declaratory judgment, basically asking the court to tell Carreon that there is no infringement. In other news, Carreon’s wife Tara is accusing Inman of being obsessed with grammar, which apparently makes him an ally of far-right wacko David Lynn Miller.* In her mind, that is evidence of an Illuminati-like conspiracy. Incidentally, Tara Carreon runs a site called American Buddha that purports to be an “online library” in the same sense that HTMLComics did, posting books and at least one graphic novel in their entirety and justifying it with the U.S. copyright law’s one-copy clause. They do have a link for takedown notices, and that link goes to Charles Carreon. At least one publisher, Penguin, has sued American Buddha, but in the way these things go, everyone is bickering about jurisdiction and not really getting to the point, which is that Tara Carreon is posting copyrighted materials without permission and defending it on the grounds that she is an Internet librarian. But the icing on the cake is that the Carreon’s suit attracted the attention of one Jonathan Lee Riches, who is much, much more litigious than Carreon, having filed more than 2,600 lawsuits, including the 10 different suits against the Kardashians that, he says, Carreon told him personally to file. Riches, who operates under a number of different names, is a serial suer and what the courts call a “vexatious litigant,” so much so that he is banned from filing suit under his own name. It looks like he has also filed a suit using Inman’s name, which is probably a bad idea as the courts don’t take kindly to people lying to them. *Hey, if using semicolons correctly is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!
“Lawyer in ‘Oatmeal’ feud loses another dispute, by Brigid Alverson, April 17, 2013. The final chapter of The Oatmeal vs. Charles Carreon has been completed (we hope), and it’s not a shining moment for Carreon: A judge has ordered him to pay $46,000 in attorney’s fees to the creator of a Satirical Charles Carreon website, whom he threatened with legal action. Carreon eventually dropped his suit, but the whole dispute escalated anyway, and the judge cited his “malicious conduct” in awarding the fees.” [Popehat]
Anderson, Nate @ arstechnica.com: “Lawyer Charles Carreon had a rough 2012. After tangling with webcomic The Oatmeal last summer, Carreon found himself widely criticized online by people “wishing me an ill fate, including that my career would collapse, that I would be raped to death by a bear, and other unpleasantness,” as he recently told a federal judge. The insults—some of which Carreon posted to one of his websites—caused Carreon to flip his lid and sue Matt Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, for some violation of “professional fundraising” rules. Carreon then tried to drag everyone from the American Cancer Society to Indiegogo to the National Wildlife Federation to 100 unnamed “Does” into the case. Carreon separately threatened an anonymous critic known as Satirical Charles, warning that “I have the known capacity to litigate for years” and saying that a lawsuit might seek “the maximum cybersquatting penalty of $100,000.” He then said he would sue Register.com unless it revealed the name behind the Satirical Charles account (one Christopher Recouvreur), then sent a long letter to Recouvreur’s employer demanding that it preserve everything from the Internet history of Recouvreur’s work computer to telephone records and text messages that he might have sent using company equipment. Carreon even threatened to subpoena Ars Technica and Twitter to expose other critics. The freakout was something to behold, coming as it did from a man who had been on the “free speech” side of previous free speech cases. Carreon spent the next few months trying to back out of the whole Pandora’s box he had opened. He soon dismissed the entire case against Inman, but his pointed threats to Recouvreur’s lawyer led Recouvreur to file suit of his own against Carreon, seeking a declaratory judgment that Recouvreur’s website was legal. Carreon was also quite interested in not being a part of this litigation, which took place far from his Arizona home (a tactic he threatened to purposely use against Recouvreur). So he went out of his way to avoid receiving legal papers in the case, returning them through the mail, unopened. When a process server was eventually sent to Carreon’s house, “the server announced himself and was told ‘No, thank you,’ and left with the papers,” wrote the judge overseeing the whole ridiculous matter. “On the second and third visits, nobody answered. The process service company then tried to serve the summons and complaint by certified mail, but the package was never claimed.” Finally, an opposing lawyer found Carreon in the hallway after a court appearance in an unrelated case and served him. In a recent court filing, Carreon finally comes up with an explanation for this behavior. Turns out the Internet had been so mean to him that he simply couldn’t trust himself not to say something intemperate in court. As explained by defendant in his declaration, he did not waive service in large part because he had been so vilified on the Internet that he genuinely doubted his ability to maintain a professional demeanor in Court filings and in person. Quite far from intending disrespect for the Court by his silence, he tenders his sincere apology for the inconvenience to the Court occasioned by his inaction….’I knew that everything I filed with the Court would be dissected by unsympathetic critics, and I questioned whether I would be able to “keep my cool” and respond in a professional manner in Court papers…The Court will not be able to understand the intense psychological pain engendered by such a brutal onslaught from a public that really knows nothing about me… I am a hardy soul, thank heavens, and did not give in to the destructive self-hatred that has caused many victims of cyberbullying to injure themselves and others, but I will say this—I felt their pain deeply, and I will never inveigh against anyone in the public forum by deriding their character as others have mine.’ The ironies of the case are remarkable. Carreon, for instance, has repeatedly inveighed against people’s character in public forums. More brazen, though, is his new claim in court documents that ‘I not only had no desire to litigate this case, I found it hard to believe it was really happening’ even as he sent out so many legal letters directly related to Recouvreur. And the “cyberbullying” charge is a little hollow after all the lawyering and litigation that Carreon had unleashed against others. Still, one can see in the whole sorry story just how disturbing and isolating concerted online criticism from hundreds or thousands of people can be; both Carreon and his wife have complained publicly about the pile-on. The real problem now is the Recouvreur case may end up costing Carreon money. In late December, Carreon backed down completely and agreed to settle the case with a complete admission that Recouvreur was within his rights. But there is still the small matter of attorney’s fees. Carreon says they should be zero—or, if some amount has to be paid, $750. Recouvreur’s lead lawyer, Paul Levy of Public Citizen, on December 31 asked the court for something a little larger—$40,115—in part because of the extra time and effort it had taken to actually serve Carreon with the court papers. Levy has no patience for Carreon’s complaints that he has been harassed by the Internet, telling the court that “it is understandable that his [Carreon's] own conduct provoked some public criticism… As an officer of the Court, Mr. Carreon should have known better when he began his course of abusive conduct.” The wrangling over fees continues, but the material issues raised by Carreon this summer have all been laid to rest—none of them in Carreon’s favor.”
Andrews, Ilona @ ilona-andrews.com: [Reposts comments by Jane Litte]
Anonymous @ aliensinthefamily.wordpress.com: Come for the spanikopita; stay for the tax evasion and the fascist meathead beating on lady leftists. Alienproofing your house. Charles Carreon: if there’s an equine proctologist on board, please ring your flight attendant call button, June 14, 2012. This is a first. I have mutual acquaintances with a shyster attorney who has been publicly shamed by Ken at Popehat. For purposes of plausible deniability, I won’t describe these mutual acquaintances, other than to say this: holy junkyard in the sky, the living arrangement in question is a motherfucking Ashland classic. That’s all I have to say on the matter. It wasn’t me. Before Ken helped publicize his recent extortion attempt, what I had heard about Charles Carreon was that he was a hippie attorney who had defended pornographers. He sounded like a principled First Amendment litigator who wasn’t ashamed to stand up for the seedy in defense of freedoms that the censorious would infringe. This is a popular public stance to take in Ashland, but oddly, Mr. Carreon chooses to present his representation of sex.com on his own website in some of the crassest mercenary terms imaginable. The self-absorption isn’t unusual for Ashland, but bragging about whoring oneself out to the highest bidder as a business litigator is. Normally, I would be hesitant to go on the warpath against an Ashlander without giving him a pseudonym, as a way of presumably keeping shit from raining down on both of our asses, but this is case is different. Mr. Carreon is a brazenly pompous ass in his public life. Instead of being ashamed of his behavior or self-aware enough to recognize that what he’s doing is sleazy but lucrative, he devotes a section of the website for his own legal practice to bragging in very pleased terms about his representation of sex.com by way of pitching his memoir about the case. If I don’t make an ass of Charles Carreon, Charles Carreon will. At Popehat, Ken has written about Mr. Carreon’s extortion attempt better and with more detail than I will. His posts on the case are very much worth reading in their entirety, but here’s a summary of the main points: (1) A highly unscrupulous online content aggregator, Funny Junk, brazenly ripped off an independent online cartoonist, Matthew Inman, aka The Oatmeal. (2) The cartoonist publicly criticized the aggregator for stealing his work. (3) The aggregator retained an attorney, Charles Carreon, who sent the cartoonist a letter demanding that he remove defamatory material about his client and pay his client $20,000. (4) The cartoonist, Mr. Inman, responded to this extortion attempt (which is exactly what it would be considered in most circumstances if a layman did it, unless one could weasel out of responsibility by claiming to be acting as pro se counsel) by publishing the letter demanding the money and using it as the impetus for an impromptu charity drive to raise money for bear habitat conservation and cancer research. The kicker was that Mr. Inman promised to take a picture of the $20,000 that he hoped to raise and send it to Mr. Carreon, along with a cartoon of Mr. Carreon’s mother seducing a Kodiak bear. (5) After Mr. Inman had far surpassed his fundraising goal and gotten Mr. Carreon’s face covered in egg, Mr. Carreon went on MSNBC to express his shock that he had stirred up a hornet’s nest and to accuse Mr. Inman of not playing fair by launching an online PR campaign. He accused Mr. Inman’s followers of having sent him harassing communications, which is entirely plausible loose cannon behavior, and unacceptable if true. He also expressed his offense that Mr. Inman had accused his mother of “being a sexual deviant.” Maybe Mr. Carreon is unhinged enough to actually believe this, but no reasonable person would take the bear sex cartoon literally. It was clearly a crude satire meant to annoy and offend a public figure for being an unethical attorney. (6) It’s absurd to claim surprise that a creator and publisher of crude cartoons would respond to a frivolous and unethical legal demand by insulting opposing counsel with a crude cartoon. Really, this is a case of a shyster attorney squirming because he has been called out publicly for trying to extort a cartoonist on behalf of a client whose business model appears to be copyright infringement. Mr. Carreon would rather that the dispute be resolved obscurely and discreetly in open court. Sure, the proceedings are public, but it’s a rare civil case about which the public gives a damn, so shyster attorneys can usually weasel out with no worse punishment than a brief scolding from an annoyed judge. Shyster attorneys are used to having their integrity savaged in court. That’s a game that they know how to play and, like professional football players, they’re handsomely compensated for taking the abuse. (Well, not that handsomely, but the law is generally more lucrative than being a shift leader at Starbucks, especially if you stay away from shit like pro bono work and clients who aren’t filthy rich.) What lawyers aren’t used to is being caught with their pants down (or their mothers’ dresses up in the Alaska bush) and exposed publicly as amoral shits. That’s a much harder game for shyster attorneys to play. For them, the court of public opinion is a most unfamiliar field of play. Worse, there’s no money in it. Making these mercenary assholes defend themselves in public, beyond the reassuring precincts of the courthouse, is like making Michael Vick have an uncompensated sledgehammer battle with an Andrei the Giant meathead from the Hell’s Angels in a Barstow parking lot. The difference is that Michael Vick would probably be more adaptable and resilient. Probably a fair bit more ethical about it, too. More attorneys should be made to squirm as Mr. Carreon has been. God knows more than a few of the fuckers deserve it. [Popehat]
Anonymous @ charlescarreon.blogspot.com: “CHARLES CARREON INTERVENES IN EXCELSIOR PRINTING V. MATTHEW INMAN LAWSUIT. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, CASE NO. 3:12-CV-30200, EXCELSIOR PRINTING, PLAINTIFF V. MATTHEW INMAN, DEFENDANT. MOTION TO INTERVENE BY CHARLES HERNAN CARREON UNDER FED R. CIV P RULE 24 ( A) 2. Comes Now, Charles Hernan Carreon , pro-se, with newly discovered withheld evidence and I intervene as a Plainitff . I was in the back parking lot of Excelsior Printing on valentines day 2012 and Matthew Inman sodomized me with funny junk and a Betty Boop comic book which bruised my anal. I was black and blue. Then Inman smacked my face with quaker oatmeal . Inman and film maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula tatooed the Prophet Mohammed on my forehead and it was illegally wiretapped my Murdoch & News of the world and then Inman gave a joker outfit to James Eagan Holmes on July 19th, 2012 . James Holmes is innocent by the way. Inman used James Holmes weapons to kill hector macho camacho to rob him to use money to pay the electronic frontier foundation to defend him in this suit. Inman stole my party hat and made me sit in a corner with jack. Inman also plans to make comics of my wife Tara Lyn having sex with known serial killers like jared lee loughner, eric rudolph, anders breivik. I’m scared of Matthew Inman, he puts steroids in his oatmeal, and stole my peaches n cream from my grandma’s kitchen. I’m offended. Dated: 11-24-2012. Charles Hernan Carreon, 1602 West Saint Mary’s rd, Tucson, AZ. 85745.”
Anonymous @ complaintsboard.com: “Extortion Lawyer & PSYCHOPATH – Charles Carreon, Tucson, Arizona Complaints & Reviews, Posted: 2012-06-20 by Charles Carreon Motherfucker. 2165 S Avenida Planeta, Tucson, AZ, Phone: 520-841-0835, charles-carreon.com. Charles Carreon, the extortion lawyer is at it again. He is now suing anything that mentions his TRADEMARKED name. A little research shows his tarnished California State Bar record: http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/127139. A little more research, taking to people who know Charles Carreon, shows he has psychopathic tendencies and will try to extort money from anyone as long as he thinks he can get away with it.”
Anonymous (PsyGremlin) @ cpmonitor.wordpress.com: “Carry On Carreon! Posted on 27/06/2012 by PsyGremlin. I remember reading somewhere that the US of A has more lawyers than the rest of the world combined. And sadly there would appear to be very few Falconettis or Ironsides amongst them. Now, I must admit that I do know two US lawyers and they both seem very decent blokes. However, I only know them socially and haven’t seen them in court, so I don’t know for sure what they’re like. Still, the law of averages dictates that there must be some lawyers who help old ladies across the road, are nice to their mothers and who don’t steal candy from small, handicapped children. Sadly, however, for each one of these, there would appear to be 10,000 mud-sucking, money-grabbing sleazeballs, intent on giving their profession a social standing somewhere between “cockroaches” and “dog poo on the new flokati rug.” This is the kind of guy I’d want defending me in court. (Fair use for commentary or parody) Such an individual is one Charles Carreon. (Another is Orly Taitz, but more about her another time.) Here’s a classic example of somebody so batshit insane we just couldn’t make it up… and if we did, you’d tell us to piss off. Just to give you a bit of background on this… individual. It seems that he was the lawyer in the whole sex.com debacle and has also been suspended twice for playing fast and loose with clients’ trust fund money. In addition, he represents something called American Buddha, which just happens to be run by his wife, and which – ironically – is being sued for copyright infringement by Penguin Books. It also contains some really weird shit. But now on to the real insanity. Once upon a time there was (well, there still is) a web comic, called The Oatmeal. He pottered about, publishing his copyrighted cartoons and not bothering anybody. Until he came across a site called funnyjunk, that is. Now funnyjunk is one of those aggregator sites – they send out bots, who grab other people’s work and display it on their site – normally without any credit given. Sites like these rely on visitors to click on the adverts to make an income and of course, the original cartoonists don’t get a cent. Needless to say, Matthew Inman (that’s the Oatmeal guy) was less than impressed by all this and asked funnyjunk to please remove the offending pictures. They removed some, but not all, whereupon Inman mused on his own site that maybe a DMCA cease & desist order was called for. Funnyjunk saw this as a threat to close them down and soon a flame war erupted between fans of the two sites. Fast forward one year and enter Carreon. Obviously one with a fine nose for a quick – albeit sleazy – buck he decided that… wait for it… The Oatmeal was in the wrong and should therefore pay funnyjunk (and, of course, Carreon) $20,000. Needless to say, Inman took one look at this, went “WTF?!” and decided to turn the tables on this money-grabbing scumbag. He asked his fans for donation to make up the $20,000, which he’d then donate to charity – in particular the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. This exceeded all expectations, and they managed to raise some $200,000. All for charity. Enter Carreon again. By now, he’d dropped funnyjunk’s case, based on “misinformation” but had his sights on a far bigger payday – and one that he wouldn’t have to share with a pesky client. In a move that would have made Shylock go, “Here, steady on!” Carreon sued Inman, the company used for the online fund-raising, as well as the two charities. Let me repeat that – acting on his own behalf (attorney pro se) he’s suing a cancer and a wildlife charity. The meat of his “claim” appears to be: Trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism. Defendants Inman and IndieGogo are commercial fundraisers that failed to file disclosures or annual reports. Inman launched a Bear Love campaign, which purports to raise money for defendant charitable organizations, but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, Funnyjunk.com, and to initiate a campaign of “trolling” and cybervandalism against them, which has caused people to hack Inman’s computer and falsely impersonate him. The campaign included obscenities, an obscene comics and a false accusation that FunnyJunk “stole a bunch of my comics and hosted them.” The fact that a case like this has even gotten this far in the legal system, shows just how dysfunctional and broken the US system is. However, it gets better. Carreon has now amended his suit to include California’s State Attorney General Kamala Harris. One can only assume this is to get Harris interested in Carreon’s claims about fund raising fraud. Not to be outdone, Carreon’s wife Tara has taken to the web, calling his critics “Nazi scumbags”, threatening to out commentators by getting a subpoena to see what’s on their hard drives, calling Inman an anarchist and saying that “fascists love anarchy.” Because we all know that Hitler loved him some anarchy. I’m going to keep my eye on this case, if only because it’s proportions far exceed what it should have been – a footnote on an Encyclopaedia Dramatica entry. In any sane society, this would be thrown out of court, Carreon would be debarred and Harris would flay him publicly. However, America is many things – sane is not one of them.”
Anonymous (The Grand Inquisitor) @ crasstalk.com: “Charles and Tara Carreon Drop the Lawsuits But Turn up the Crazy. By now most of you are familiar with the internet dispute between TheOatmeal.com creator Matt Inman and FunnyJunk.com lawyer Charles Carreon. I won’t rehash the whole episode here, but you can find a good recap at Arstechnica.com. Last week Carreon dropped his defamation suit against Inman, but apparently his internet campaign is just beginning. Check out this incoherently crazy video released by Carreon this weekend on his new site called Rapeutation.com. If you want more weirdness you can also check out Carreon’s wife’s bizarre website. Here’s a taste of the sweet, sweet crazy: “I think there’s some correspondence here between Matt Inman and Carl Jung. Both into Vulcanism and chaos, perhaps alchemy. Just like the Bush hard-liners: Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and Condoleezza Rice, who called themselves “Vulcans.” http:// www.american-buddha.com/ 911.fallofavulcan.htm . Wasn’t there some Inman upset because of a certain song Charles wrote about Condoleezza, which song was the subject of the Inman gang’s first DOS attack against my websites? http:// www.naderlibrary.com/ poet.condoleeza.htm#CONDOLEEZA And a picture I made of her called “Tits and Rice,” which was designed especially to communicate with the Bush cannibals about a more enlightened version of cannibalism, one without explicit violence like Inman’s so-called “art.” See? Nobody’s grimacing. There’s no trauma being foisted on anyone. Just a peaceful, strongly-worded message of dissent.” The site is a real treasure trove of internet weirdness. Conspiracy theories, incoherent politics, and goofy religious ideas, this place has it all. While Inman may have won this round, it seems like the Carreons have decided for a long war on the internet. Some people never learn.”
Anonymous (Kylie and Nona) @ dailyoftheday.com: “Somebody Needs to Check Charles Carreon into a Mental Hospital if this is the Shit He Comes Up With. 11 Jul 2012. As a matter of fact, check his wife in there with him because they’ve both seemed to have gone off the deep end. Ars Technica is reporting that despite their obvious defeat in the court of online opinion, Carreon and his entire camp are still not done with The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman. The video above depicts Inman as a “Psycho Santa,” with accompanying song lyrics that say “Psycho Santa got a itty bitty stick, Psycho Santa, don’t fall for his schtick.” The video and lyrics are up on a site called Rapeutation.com, that seems to have been made solely for the purpose of posting the video. It’s really just another chapter in the Oatmeal/FunnyJunk saga that has turned into the Inman/Carreon saga. Really, if I were Carreon, I would consider not only a change in career, but also maybe take a really long vacation. Somewhere without the internet. Maybe somewhere without computers in general. Because at this point, it’s just sad and embarrassing.”
Anonymous (Master Raiko Shono) @ gaiaonline.com: “The War Between The Oatmeal, FunnyJunk and Charles Carreon. Perhaps not mainstream news material, but Forbes and MSNBC, and various online news reporting sites, have been following the tension between Matthew Inman, the creator of the website The Oatmeal, and image aggregator site FunnyJunk. Basically, about a year ago, Inman posted a comic about FJ posting his stuff to his site w/o permission. He would have pursued legal action, but time was not worth the effort. FJ “removed” his pictures, but a year later Inman is served papers from FJ’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, stating that he posted defamatory statements and that he had to remove the blog post and pay $20,000 in damages to FJ. Inman posted a blog post, politely telling them to f**k off and that he was going to start a fundraiser for the $20,000, half going to the American Cancer Society and half to the National Wildlife Foundation. The fundraiser has reached over $200,000 as of today. Carreon then starts receiving hate mail and his personal website gets hacked. Someone creates a Twitter impersonating him, and he believes that Inman is the person behind it all. So, what happens next?Carreon. Files suit. Against Inman and IndieGoGo, Inc., the ones hosting his fundraiser. And the ACS and the NWF. He’s suing Inman because he asserts that because he posted all these comics onto the Oatmeal criticizing the lawyer and FJ, he instigated all these attacks he’s been getting, and believes he’s directly involved in the impersonating Twitter account. Um, yeah, no. The only reason Inman posted this is because FJ decided to extort — that’s right, extortion, threatening people to go to court unless they pay money — Inman. And he’s suing IndieGoGo because he says the Internet fundraising company is breaking California charity laws (which I didn’t even know existed). Dafuq are you doing, attempting to stop a fundraiser to societies that do more for the general good than you could ever do in a lifetime? Speaking of charities, why are you suing ACS and NWF? Da hell did they have to do in any of this? Well, as it turns out, Carreon is suing them because he wants the money that they’ll receive to go into a trust that restricts access to that money only for specific purposes. F**K, you can sue people for that!? I should sue my mother and have 35% of her assets go towards feeding me! (just kidding, mama, you know I loves you >.<; ) All in all, this whole thing’s going to fall apart for both FunnyJunk and Carreon. They shouldn’t have been so greedy and pretentious and should have just left it alone when Inman did. Then neither of them would have so many PR issues. That, and we’re already beginning a battle against government censorship, why would you instigate a lawsuit that censors one of the most popular comic sites on the web?” [Popehat]
Anonymous @ joyreactor.com: “Admin’s real identity is Charles Carreon. He is a lawyer. He is trying to sue TheOatmeal.com for 20,000 dollars with no fucking legitiment reason. TheOatmeal.com has decided to instead raise the 20,000 and donate it to Cancer Reasearch. Support them instead. I like funnyjunk as much as the next guy but this is just bullshit.”
Anonymous (Gregory Galant) @ muckrack.com: “6/18/12: Charles Carreon is officially suing me and and the charities I’m raising money for Dear Charles Carreon, You’re making things worse. This dispute was originally between myself and FunnyJunk. After the fundraiser was a success, I figured you and FunnyJunk would stop there. This would have been an ideal exit for you.”
Anonymous (JWS) @ news.ycombinator.com: “There should be a standard, anonymously awardable prize for people that manage to enrage a large collective subgroup of the internet. Sort of a little silver “Met the internet, didn’t like it, moved on.” plaque. If someone can come up with a clear, pithy, non-malicious phrasing, that is at least 17.3 times better than my clumsy suggestion, I’ll fabricate such a plaque and send it to Mr. Carreon as an award.”
Anonymous (Nuhir) @ reddit.com: “Oh excellent. I’ve been waiting to see some justice and karma come back to bite his frivolously litigious ass for quite some time now. Hopefully a $46k bill will back him down from his filing of frivolous lawsuits. All that said, it really does seem that Charles Carreon used to be more harmlessly crazy than he is today. When this all really started to spiral into more fervent crazy seems to follow the death of his son Josh. I dug into the family when the drama first started and his wife was spewing out insanity as well. Their daughters were getting a lot of flack and harassment and I had gotten curious about how deeply the vicious crazy ran in the family. It was pretty tragic to see the downward spiral of his mental status. He’s always been conspiracy theory-ish crazy and definitely on the out there side. But something about his son’s death I think really sent him off to the path where he is today. It by no means excuses his crazy, abusive and harassing legal behaviour. He deserves everything he’s getting. Charles Carreon had ample opportunity to back down but he just had to keep escalating and obsessing.”
Anonymous (ifuckinghate) @ reddit.com: “It’s his own fault and if he watches every single person in his life starve to death one by one I won’t feel a single shred of empathy, sympathy, or anything inbetween.”
Anonymous @ scoop.co.nz: [Reposted EFF 7/3/12 press release]
Anonymous (SJ Editorial Team) @ startupjunkies.com: “Charles Carreon: Wow! What an asshole! By SJ Editorial Team. Ambulance chaser lawyer gets our nominee for Asshole of the Year. We have been following the Oatmeal vs Funnyjunk.com* war for the past few weeks. If you haven’t heard about it by now, here’s the gist. Funnyjunk has been republishing Oatmeal content for years now without permission. In fact, it rarely even attributes the source. Oatmeal then complained. How does Funnyjunk respond to be exposed as a copyright infringer? By trying to shakedown Oatmeal for $20,000!. Here is Oatmeal’s explanation of the situation: “Remember FunnyJunk? Almost exactly a year ago I published a blog post about my comics being stolen, re-hosted, and monetized on FunnyJunk’s website. The owner of the site responded and some of the comics were taken down, 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. A few days ago I was served papers informing me that the owner of FunnyJunk is going to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay him $20,000 in damages. You can read the full letter here.” The owner of FunnyJunk hired Charles Carreon, a lawyer who became famous in the 90s after successfully litigating sex.com. Charles does a bit of modeling too, apparently. “I don’t want to get tied up in courtroom nonsense. I don’t want to pay more money to my lawyer. Don’t you miss the days when I posted 2 comics a week, instead of writing rebuttals to Forbes and dealing with bullshit like this? (Source)” The Internet then quickly raises almost $200,000 for Oatmeal’s legal defense. Oatmeal quickly announces that it will donate all of the money to two non-profits. So what does Carreon do? Does he slink away as he should? Do he and his client crawl back under their respective rocks? Nope! They have just escalated the situation: FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, has sued The Oatmeal’s author and artist, Matthew Inman, along with Indiegogo, where Inman posted a fundraising campaign, and the two charities Inman was raising money for — the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. The suit was filed in federal district court in Northern California. (Source). Some people just don’t know how to admit that they are wrong. For more information on the feud, read this Mercury News article. *We refuse to link to assholes.”
Anonymous (Logan/Ward) @ teksyndicate.com @ twitter.com (Raze_the_World) @ facebook.com: “We believe that Charles Carreon might be clinically insane. If not, he is completely evil. Someone else told me, “Dude, he’s just being a lawyer.” I’d like to think there are a few good lawyers left out there…but, it’s true. This guy is not one of them…. Charles Carreon had already secured his spot as the most hated man on the internet. Now he plans to go down in history as the lawyer that tried to keep $200,000 from going to charity. Charles Carreon deserves none of your respect. This scumbag has now files a restraining order in an attempt to block the money raised through Indiegogo (Bear Love Good, Cancer Bad) from going to charity. Luckily, Indigogo’s CEO doesn’t listen to morons like Carreon. They have already distributed the money to Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal). Here is a statement from the CEO. Inman has the backing of the EFF and they have already responed to Carreon’s insane restraining order. Check out their response here. This entire case is way out of hand. Thankfully Inman has (or is receiving) the money and the charities will recieve some massive donations soon. One thing is sure: Carreon will neer work again…. Our favorite dumbass, Charles Carreon, has dropped his lawsuit against Matthew Inman, IndieGoGo, The National Wildlife Federation, and the American Cancer Society. Is he conceding defeat? Not likely. He dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning that he can refile if he chooses. If we know anything, it is that Carreon is completely psychotic. He will continue to threaten, harass, and sue. I think he is up to something. The good news is that he has not proven to be an intelligent individual. He has just opened the door for Matt Inman to sue. Ken at Popehat.com cited the Lanham Act. (Cooter & Gell v. Hartman Corp., 496 U.S. 384, 394–95 (1990)). This act would allow Inman to seek legal fees even though the trial did not go to court.
Based on some quick research, it appears to me that Mr. Carreon’s voluntary dismissal of the action does not preclude Mr. Inman from seeking attorney fees and costs under the Lanham Act. Cooter & Gell v. Hartmarx Corp., 496 U.S. 384, 394–95 (1990). That doesn’t mean that Mr. Inman will, or should, seek fees, for practical reasons too lengthy to discuss in this post. [Edited to add: behold the dangers of "quick research" -- a kind term for "talking out of your ass" or, more popularly, "blogging." This is probably wrong, for reasons I may address in another post. But I leave it up as an example of ass-dampery.]
A strange lawsuit has been files in Arizona in Matthew Inman’s name. The Inman impostor claims that Carreon asked him to meet at a Denny’s in Tuscon, AZ and he complied. He then claims that Carreon demanded “$1.1 million dollars in cash from me to be deposited in weekly installments of $9,999.99 to his offshore Swiss bank account, to stay under the $10,000 dollars to avoid reporting it for tax purposes…” The letter it poorly written (as you can see). Read it here. This might seem like fun and games but filing under a false name is a felony (probably). This dude is going to get himself in trouble. This is also a distraction… Carreon is enough to keep up with on his own. We don’t need impostors filing lawsuits. At this point in time, The real Matthew Inman should sue. Carreon has withdrawn his case and is likely up to no good. Inman would have him on the run now. Carreon would be forced to spend his time responding to Inman and the EFF instead of cooking up new ways to piss off the internet.”
Anonymous @ wickershamsconscience.wordpress.com: “The Oatmeal and Carreon: Violating the First Rule. The first rule is that when you find yourself in a hole, you should stop digging. Readers will recall Charles Carreon attempted to extort  $20,000 from Matthew Inman, the author of The Oatmeal, over extremely dubious claims of violations of the law. Inman responded with a charitable fundraiser, trying to raise that $20,000 to be split between the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. And Inman said unkind, if perhaps accurate, things about Mr. Carreon and his client, FunnyJunk, LLC. So far, Inman has raised $191,275. That’s right. Approaching ten times the goal. As WC predicted, it’s dangerous waving all that green around a contingency fee lawyer. Mr. Carreon has now filed a lawsuit against Inman. Not content with that, Mr. Carreon has also sued IndieGoGo, the host of the fund raising campaign. And the National Wildlife Federation. And the American Cancer Society. To borrow Mr. Inman’s phrase, this is some serious douchebaggery. Mr. Carreon found himself in a hole after Inman’s inspired response. But instead of climbing out of the hole, Mr. Carreon has insisted on continuing to dig. Based upon WC’s review of the complaint, Mr. Carreon has moved into serious civil sanction territory. It won’t be a first offense, either. Mr. Carreon’s escutcheon is seriously blemished. This is from the Oregon Bar Association web site: ‘CHARLES H. CARREON, OSB #93469, Ashland, 60-day suspension. Effective Oct. 24, 2005, the disciplinary board approved a stipulation for discipline suspending Ashland lawyer, Charles H. Carreon, from the practice of law for 60 days. Carreon admitted violations of DR 3-101(B) (unlawful practice of law) and DR 9-101(A) (failing to deposit or maintain client funds in trust). From Fall 2001 to Spring 2002, Carreon was employed by SEG as house counsel for its U.S. legal matters and business operations in British Columbia, when Carreon was not admitted or licensed to practice law in any province in Canada. Carreon did not apply for or obtain a permit to act as house counsel for SEG, in violation of British Columbia rules. As counsel for SEG, Carreon held in his trust account settlement proceeds for the benefit of SEG, received in connection with a litigation matter. Without consulting with SEG or obtaining its express consent, Carreon utilized $1,400 of the settlement proceeds to pay a portion of a money judgment that had been entered against Carreon and his wife for a residential lease they signed in connection with his employment in Canada, believing that SEG would ultimately be responsible for his lease obligation. In the stipulation, Carreon admitted that acting as house counsel in Canada was in violation of regulations of the profession in that jurisdiction, and that by utilizing the client settlement funds, he failed to properly maintain client funds in his lawyer trust account. Carreon’s sanction was aggravated by a selfish motive, multiple offenses and his substantial experience in the practice of law. Carreon was admitted in Oregon in 1993 and in California in 1987. However, in mitigation, the stipulation recited that Carreon had no prior discipline and that he displayed a cooperative attitude toward the disciplinary proceedings.’ Carreon was let off very, very lightly. WC knows of other lawyers who have suffered felony convictions for raiding the client trust account. California sanctioned Mr. Carreon for the same conduct, although it imposed some additional probation. This is the piece of work that is suing Inman. And IndieGoGo. And, unbelievably, the NWF and ACS. As you might expect, the case is drawing immense amount of legal criticism. If you want more detailed analysis of the lawsuit, and Carreon’s conduct, check out Lowering the Bar and PopeHat. It’s too much to hope that Mr. Carreon will stop digging the hole deeper. But, since he represents himself, perhaps he can reflect on the adage that a person representing themselves has a fool for a client. Or, as PopeHat puts it, “pro se” means ”I am attorney but am representing only myself” and “I will continue to wreak havoc until forcibly medicated.” Perhaps Mr. Carreon should take his medication. Or, better still, consult with a competent, objective attorney.” [Popehat]
Anonymous @ zomebo.com: “Charles Carreon started by harassing The Oatmeal. Now, it seems he wants to destroy a $200,000 charity fundraiser and attack just about everyone on the internet.”
Balko, Radley @ muckrack.com @ radleybalko: “Charles Carreon, has achieved immortality. He’ll soon be the most mocked man on the Internet. Let the memes begin. http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/17/the-oatmeal-v-funnyjunk-part-iv-charles-carreon-sues-everybody/ … [Popehat]
Bateman, Stephen @ garnetreport.com: “Easily the worst part of this story is that Charles Carreon doesn’t even realize how bad his Mondays are. As far as anyone can tell, he decided to sue the Oatmeal (a hilarious comics site) for $20,000 in defamation because they…well…no one knows. In response, the Oatmeal posted the letter online, and set up a charity fundraiser for $20,000, payable to the American Cancer Society. They ended up raising ten times that amount, at which point Carreon sued AGAIN for impersonating a charity. Which I didn’t realize was a crime. At this point, the internet turned against Mr. Carreon, and started meming him to like crazy. That last one might actually be real. Regardless, Carreon has successfully managed to piss off the internet. And for that, I think it’s safe to say that his Monday’s suck WAY worse. Even if he doesn’t realize it.”
Beschizza, Rob @ boingboing.net: “The EFF reports that Charles Carreon has withdrawn his mad lawsuit against Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal. Attorney Charles Carreon dropped his bizarre lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman today, ending his strange legal campaign against Inman’s humorous and creative public criticism of a frivolous cease and desist letter that Carreon wrote on behalf of his client Funny Junk…. Carreon soiled his legal drawers and dragged Inman, the charities, anonymous critics, and the entire Internet’s attention into a demented knot of litigation. Now this. What will the new dawn bring?”
Biggs, John @ techcrunch.com: “The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman wrote an open letter to the lawyer who has been harassing him for most of two weeks, Charles Carreon. Carreon just sued Inman as well as the National Wildlife Fund and the American Cancer Society. You can see some background here but this is all as crazy as it sounds. I’ll avoid giving much context (you can read previous posts here) because Inman deserves a break and Carreon seems so oddly earnest and naive that it is worthless judging either party. Inman wrote: ‘This dispute was originally between myself and FunnyJunk. After the fundraiser was a success, I figured you and FunnyJunk would stop there. This would have been an ideal exit for you. It wouldn’t have been a particularly graceful exit, but an exit nonetheless’….Ideally this will end this whole sordid tale and Carreon will take the advice. The Streisand Effect is strong and unceasing and those who raise the ire of the Internet mob rarely win anywhere, let alone court. If the Internet is good at anything it’s understanding when petty injustices have passed from the realm of wrong to outrageous….
6/17/12, by John Biggs. Can I Sue You People? Troll Lawyer Sues The Charities The Oatmeal Supports. So here’s a nice twist to the whole Oatmeal saga: the FunnyJunk lawyer who has been aggrieved by the Internet is now suing the National Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. Yes. He’s suing the bears. And the cancer. Popehat dug up the lawsuits. Some highlights: 1. The lawsuit is captioned Charles Carreon v. Matthew Inman; IndieGogo Inc.; National Wildlife Federation; American Cancer Society; and Does [Does are as-of-yet-unnamed defendants], Case No. 4:12 cv 3112 DMR. 2. Charles Carreon appears as “attorney pro se,” meaning “I am attorney but am representing only myself” and “I will continue to wreak havoc until forcibly medicated.” 3. CNS included the following description of the case, which is most likely drafted by CNS upon review of the complaint: “Trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism. Defendants Inman and IndieGogo are commercial fundraisers that failed to file disclosures or annual reports. Inman launched a Bear Love campaign, which purports to raise money for defendant charitable organizations, but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, Funnyjunk.com, and to initiate a campaign of “trolling” and cybervandalism against them, which has caused people to hack Inman’s computer and falsely impersonate him. The campaign included obscenities, an obscene comics and a false accusation that FunnyJunk “stole a bunch of my comics and hosted them.” Inman runs the comedy website The Oatmeal.” The lawsuits are not yet on legal search site PACER, but it should appear next week. Essentially, FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, is suggesting that The Oatmeal’s Inman pulled an Anonymous and destroyed Carreon’s professional website (but sadly not this website that he runs with his wife and includes an excellent cartoon thing featuring George Bush having sex with Condoleeza Rice). He’s also charging Inman with pretending to be “Santa” by sending all of the cash to worthy causes. In an discussion with another blogger, Nick Nafpliotis, Carreon said: ‘You might think of it as the ‘Pseudo Santa’ law,’ he explained. ‘Anybody can get a Santa suit. Then around Christmas time, you can probably make pretty good money wearing one outside of Macy’s, ringing a bell, and saying you’ll give the money to the Salvation Army. But you can’t do that.’ Sadly, Inman isn’t helping much with Tweets like this: “It’s interesting to watch a man with his dick in a hornet’s nest try to solve the problem by tossing his balls in as well, 6/14/12, by Matthew Inman @Oatmeal.” This is all going too far. The Popehat recommends just sitting back to watch this trainwreck, donating to Inman’s cause, and not harassing Carreon, a tactic that will help people with cancer, lovers of bears, and allow this lawyer the opportunity to fade back into the woodwork. I leave you with this commentary on frivolous lawsuits.
“In Part Umpteen of the endless struggle by Matthew Inman AKA The Oatmeal vs. weird lawyer Charles Carreon, we find our hero beset by the accusation that he is impersonating a charity for collecting a large amount of money and giving it to the NWF and ACS. ‘If IndieGoGo pays Inman the money in the Charitable Fund, and Inman personally donates the money to NWF and ACS, he will be unjustly enriched by receiving a large tax write-off that should properly be allocated pro-rata to the 14,406 small donors who contributed to the Charitable Fund,’ wrote Carreon. Yeah. He really thinks differently than you and me. To recap, Carreon asked for $20,000 in damages from Inman for insulting Funnyjunk, a site whose users stole Inman’s comics. Inman wrote he would collect the $20,000 in cash and photograph it with a crude representation of the Funnyjunk’s mother sexing up a bear. A few days later, Inman had collected over $200,000 for the National Wildlife Fund and the American Cancer Society. Then the lawyer got weird. He wanted to sue the charities and now wants to prevent the money from being dispersed….What do we know about the case right now? The Oatmeal will not cave. The lawyer is kind of wacky (he actually commissioned the image here). And all of this putzing around is preventing Inman from making his great comics. Everybody loses, especially Carreon because after this no one will want to touch his practice with a ten foot naked bear.” [Popehat]
Bishop, Rollin @ geekosystem.com: “Lawyer Charles Carreon may have bit off more than he could chew when he delivered notice to one Matthew Inman, the creator behind the immensely popular webcomic The Oatmeal. You see, Carreon is representing FunnyJunk, a website that had a spat with Inman last year over infringement accusations. They’re now demanding $20,000 for their trouble. And the internet isn’t happy with that. In addition to the $20,000, the notice also demanded the removal of all reference to FunnyJunk or FunnyJunk.com from Inman’s website. Maybe the cat will find the bag more hospitable this time. Or not. But once he received the letter, Inman decided to write a response in his own fashion. In it, he breaks down the letter with a series of witty retorts with a few raised eyebrows. When Carreon quotes the source code as intentional maliciousness, it’s hard to take the rest seriously. So Inman started a fundraiser wherein he plans to raise the $20,000. But not for the lawyer and those he represents. They get a photo of the money and a lovely picture of FunnyJunk’s mother making sweet, sweet love to a bear. The money will be split between the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. At least, that was the plan. But when the campaign hit over $170,000 in three days, Inman declared he would choose two more charities to receive the benefits in addition to the first two. This all happened as Carreon tried to have the drive shuttered due to Terms of Service violations which the website Indiegogo determined were unfounded allegations. And now, Carreon has had to remove his contact information from his website to avoid the onslaught of a riled internet. When the revolution came, he was the first against the wall….
“There’s nothing quite like hanging a sign on yourself for the hate of the internet by filing to stop the transfer of $211,223.04 to the National Wildlife Federation and American Cancer Society. And yet, that’s exactly what Charles Carreon has done in the now-infamous FunnyJunk vs The Oatmeal debacle. It doesn’t even have relevance to FunnyJunk now and it seems to be out of pure spite to stop Matthew Inman, the guy behind The Oatmeal, from taking a photo of the money in a mocking fashion. Not sure this is the way to go about saving face. But it looks like there are some holes in the declaration Carreon provided when he filed the motion. Adam Steinbaugh notes that there are a few oddities in it which could be viewed as intentionally false and thus subject to the perjury clause of the filing. For example, Carreon claims that he donated only to find out that it wouldn’t be immediately donated to the two charities or that the site facilitating the fundraiser, IndieGoGo, would take a piece of the action for their services. He also claims that Inman might have more nefarious intentions for the money and is seeking to stop the transfer in order to prevent any misuse. In what seems an even pettier point, Carreon states that Inman’s decision to only donate to the two initial charities was not a mutual matter. Because that matters terribly. It’s not like Inman’s post on the matter was terribly disrespectful and his decision was directly related to the claim’s made so it shouldn’t be a surprise it reads that way. And so we enter another chapter in the frivolous lawsuit. Hopefully, the entire thing will be dismissed.”
Blade, David @ satiricaltakedownlawyer.wordpress.com(aka Craig Brittain and Chance Trahan): “An Open Letter to Satirical Charles Carreon. Dear Mr Carreon. My name is David Blade, I am the Takedown Hammer. I have an…lets say, arrangement, with Is Anybody Down. See, I help people whose pictures and information end up on the site get it down, for a small fee. I’m friends with the admins so its easy for me to get things done. But recently those meddling kids over at Popehat and LegalSatyricon are creating a whole heap of trouble for me. I think a defamation suit is in order, and being that this is out of my area of expertise, I happily accept you offer for help. Your plan of action is reasonable. My only request is that along with the money, you demand Zombie Kittens…I need them for a side project that you and your dinosaurs will probably be interested in. I also want your wife Tara to get busy on more MS Paint pictures of these people who dare accuse me of such terrible things (I mean, I only run a revenge porn sight…I mean I KNOW someone who runs one, yeah. Its not like I’m a dirty lowlife or anything), I need them to decorate my new website because right now it looks too much like that lawyer wannbe Adam Steinbaugh’s page. I have put out a bounty program to get your DNA laden amber and will be sending my…THE archives of the website over soon. I look forward to working with you Craig…I mean David, yeah. David Blade, III. PS did you have to take an extra test, or spend extra time in Law School to put “douchebag” in your credentials? Because I totally want that!” [Popehat]
Bradbury, Danny @ thestranger.com @ guardian.co.uk: “In his letter threatening the lawsuit, Carreon said that the Oatmeal comic amounted to defamation, demanded that Inman remove all references to FunnyJunk on his site, and requested $20,000 to avoid a lawsuit. ‘You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR shitty website for the past three years?’ Inman wrote on his website. Inman’s lawyer advised him to just call Carreon and straighten it out, but he didn’t. ‘I figured I would have more of a chance if I had the public on my side,’ Inman says. So he posted a drawing that he said depicted the FunnyJunk administrator’s mother seducing a Kodiak bear. Then he launched a campaign on crowdfunding website Indiegogo to raise the $20,000. But instead of paying FunnyJunk, Inman said he would give the $20,000 to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. ‘Consider this my kind, philanthropic way of saying ‘Fuck off,” he wrote. … Until last Friday, I could see where Carreon was coming from. He had “his dick in a hornet’s nest,” as Inman put it, and his unwillingness to remove it seemed inept at worst. But the lawsuit filed last Friday strikes me as needlessly incendiary—not just taking on The Oatmeal, but taking on a wildly successful charity campaign to protect wildlife and fight cancer. The guy simply doesn’t know when to quit. What’s really sad is that a short phone call early on in this whole affair could have prevented it. Mind you, it would also have stopped Inman from raising $198,000 and generating a whole bunch of new traffic for his website.”
Bransom, Ann @ blog.annbransom.com: “Delusions of Grandeur – Charles Carreon has Eaten All the Clothespins. He has also threatened to burn the playground to the ground, gag the teacher, and hold us all at gunpoint with a water pistol. The internet has rightly responded by saying, “Sit down, shut up, and quit being insane.” I do not advocate the majority having the right to silence the minority. I think everyone’s voice has a right to be heard, Charles Carreon’s and his family’s included. That said, there is a reason that the audience was right 91% of the time on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, or that the oft repeated Jelly Bean counting studies have proven that while individuals are miserably bad at guessing, as a group we are frighteningly accurate. We may disagree on which jelly bean tastes the best, and this disagreement is what leads to innovation and growth, which is a very good thing. But the number of jelly beans in the jar is not open to debate, and as a group we are very good at assessing what the facts are. The rage that Charles Carreon is enduring is not born, necessarily, out of a disagreement over moral ambiguities like who was the bigger asshole, Inman or FunnyJunk. It is born of his stubborn refusal to accept facts as they exist, and understand that the entire rest of the world is not going to suffer gladly one individual’s litigious revenge for being butthurt.
Moreover, the entire rest of the world is not going to suffer gladly, one person’s antics threatening our recess, or in this case, our ability to speak our opinions, share our frustrations and criticisms, and openly debate controversial issues without fear of costly, time consuming abuses of our legal system. The time has come for Charles Carreon to accept how many jelly beans are in the jars. Here is the official count for each jar of cray: “My haters have delusions of grandeur – they think ‘they are the Internet’ and their opinions matter to someone besides themselves.” Grandiose delusions or delusions of grandeur are a very real symptom of a mental disorder. If Charles Carreon were to seek professional help, and I believe he absolutely should, I am completely confident that any mental health professional would qualify starting one’s own religion, crusading against the “unwashed masses” with no support from anyone other than one’s own equally mentally disordered family members, and being legitimately surprised when corporations as large as Google do not personally respond to you or “pull the switch or click the box”, as clear indicators of disordered thinking. Also, point of order, we are the internet and our opinions do matter to others besides ourselves. That is why the internet exists.
In Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley takes it further, and effectively argues that in crowds, all negative human qualities aggregate, such that people packed in crowds suffer “herd-poisoning.” He discusses this subject in the context of analyzing the art of demagoguery. Huxley turns to Adolph Hitler for a case study, because Hitler knew “crowds and propaganda” “by firsthand experience.” To make the German populace “more masslike, more homogeneously subhuman, he assembled them by the thousands and the tens of thousands, in vast halls and arenas, where individuals would lose their personal identity, even their elementary humanity, and be merged with the crowd.” Because “a crowd is chaotic, has no purpose of its own and is capable of anything except intelligent action and realistic thinking,” people in a crowd suffer from “herd-poisoning,” an “intoxication” in which the “crowd-intoxicated individual escapes from responsibility, intelligence and morality into a kind of frantic, animal mindlessness.” Whether it’s that bad or not, I don’t know. But at minimum, I know this — in a crowd, feeling what everyone else is feeling, you have the same intelligence as the whole crowd. You are likely much more stupid than usual. You are more likely to get a tattoo, make an inappropriate comment, inflict unwanted contact on someone of the opposite sex, or, in the really wrong crowd, discover yourself “hating” people you don’t even know, burning to punish them for wrongs that “everybody knows” they committed. That’s called a lynching, and it’s the apex of stupidity. Most people wouldn’t lynch anybody as a solo project, because then everyone would stop liking them for being a homicidal maniac. But crowds do lynch people –- time and again. Because, to a crowd, the worst ideas sound like the best ones.
In response to being questioned over the discrepancy between his claim of always using “tempered speech” and his categorically NOT tempered speech on his innumerable websites where he and his wife photoshop people they don’t like into sexual situations, rant on ad nauseum about the conspiracies that these people are no doubt a part of, and habitually refer to detractors and critics as “retards” and other less savory terms: “I am not a politician. I have not deceived anyone. I am not able to stand armies. It is entirely distinct. The grounds for engaging in savage satire of people who are murderers [is a] completely different situation. That’s like comparing touch football with warfare.” I’m pretty sure that (NSFW) Matthew Inman and (NSFW) Kathleen Parker do not have “armies” at their disposal to “stand”.
You guys who keep coming up with the examples of falsehood and hypocrisy just rock. You’re the Army of Davids. Do me a favor — whenever you find a good web page showing an inconsistent statement, or an item that shows hypocrisy, take a screenshot or print it to pdf in case he memory-holes it. — Kenneth Paul White, Popehat.com
Poor Carreon is a small-time bully who tried to beat up someone who was never in the wrong, and who coincidentally also has a massive Anonymous army willing to aid him. You can never sue or beat the Anonymous. — Melissa, Popehat.com
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and an army of self-appointed Net vigilantes jumped in on Inman’s side, and things got nasty in exactly the way they always do on the InterWebs — a mix of juvenile sneering, arch satire, and physical threats. — Robert X. Cringely @ infoworld.com
The countless thousands of netizens who have taken up The Oatmeal’s banner to crucify Carreon are the latest members of the online armies that spontaneously rise from the cyberether to pillory any entity that in their exclusive determination has violated the unwritten, often anarchic, Wild West rules of the internet. — Hal Licino @ benchmarkemail.com
What this boils down to is simply the delusional, wildly immature belief of a covert (and not even very covert) narcissist, in which “It’s not offensive if I do it, because…um…I’m the one doing it. And I’m special.” Charles Carreon is not special, and neither is anyone of us. If I do something offensive on this blog, I have to own the consequences. Sometimes that means admitting when I’m wrong, exercising self-deprecation where appropriate, or simply enduring the criticism of those who oppose my beliefs. That is one of the many things Carreon doesn’t understand. No one is saying he is not allowed to be offended, or even believe and write about all the schizophrenic madness to which he and his wife subscribe. On the contrary, what we are saying is that he is not allowed to exercise that right, and then try to deny it to someone else under a veiled and tasteless attempt to hush them by fucking up their day with a lawsuit. When asked if he will pursue his hopeless search for the people currently impersonating him online, his response: “Of course I will: Doe 1 in the Complaint becomes named defendant after Twitter and Ars Technica answer subpoena.” This is yet another example of the disproportionate response of someone who has apparently been living under a rock for the last five years of social media evolution. If someone impersonates you on Twitter, and does not make it clear that it is a parody, you have every right to expect that account to be shut down. So you report the account to Twitter. The end. Twitter took the account down as soon as it was reported. Subpoenaing Twitter and Ars is like trying to put out a candle with a fire house, and only someone with a pathological amount of self-importance would send a subpoena to Twitter and expect anything besides the response of FOAD. “I win by making the world a place where the law of charitable giving, wisely enacted over fifty years ago by the California legislature, will secure the rights of genuine charitable fundraisers to not have to compete with false advertising and unregistered charitable fundraisers who can take the money and vamoose, as so many have done.” Right now the only thing that two genuine charitable fundraisers are having to compete with, is an asinine attorney forcing them to spend money that might go to help animals or cure cancer, and instead give it to other attorneys who will have to use that money to teach Mr. Carreon how to read. The statute he cites as his basis for suing Inman, IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation, and the American Cancer Society does not apply in this situation…. I could go on labeling all the other jars of crazy, but really why bother? Foaming at the mouth with the desire to prove just how hypocritical, greedy, self-involved, and insane Charles Carreon is is an understandable response to this cluster of a lawsuit, but given the fact that although there has been a modicum of support emerging for FunnyJunk’s part to play in this saga, I would challenge anyone to show me A SINGLE COMMENT in support of Charles Carreon that cannot be attributed to him, his wife, or his two daughters. Fred Phelps has more supporters outside of his own family than Charles Carreon does. I’m not sure that can be said about anyone else in the history of the Internet. So the only people we are really trying to convince are Charles Carreon (who can’t be convinced for this reason), Tara Carreon (who can’t be convinced for this reason), and his two daughters (who can’t be convinced for this reason). Our new focus should be highlighting the legal aspects of this case by sharing the awesome analysis of the Carreon vs. Inman Lawsuit that is being done by the likes of Pope Hat, The Legal Satyricon, and Lowering the Bar. As social media users and bloggers, we need to become better versed in copyright and trademark law, so we can protect ourselves against those who would censor us for any reason, and, also to know when we have crossed the line and need to edit ourselves. Because that is what Mr. Carreon is the most unwilling to accept. Integrity is not measured by our refusal to bend, redact, or edit ourselves, nor is it measured by our ability to draft and mail legal documents and pay court fees. It is measured by our ability to hear other people’s points of view, temper those views with our own principles, admit when we are wrong, and stand up for what is good for everyone, not just ourselves.”
“LLB’s Delicious Oatmeal That Might Have Been: This week the Internet watched as an attorney tried to halt charitable giving and attack the First Amendment rights of a web comic, because said attorney’s feelings were hurt. What started as an amazing charity, which proved beyond a shadow of doubt the lengths the Internet is willing to go to preserve our rights to freedom of speech and help out great causes in the process, quickly became a legal circus, with the butthurt attorney as the ring leader. As a result of his legal shenanigans two charities that might have received sizable donations, now will not. Suggested Reading: To see the saga through my perspective, and for more information about why I am starting this fundraiser, please visit my blog. For actual legal savvy regarding the case, visit the indomitable Pope Hat. Who Will Benefit: All money from this fundraiser, less IndieGoGo’s fee, which you would have to be a complete imbecile not to decipher from their crystal clear Terms of Service and Fee schedule, will go to the following two charities: The first is Americans for the Arts. Hopefully, by increasing the number of arts programs available to kids, the world can look forward to more people like Matthew Inman, who use humor and creativity to fight battles, in lieu of litigiousness and bullying. The second is the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I think it goes without saying the importance of the work this group is doing, to preserve the first amendment rights of bloggers, satirists, and web users everywhere. What You Are Effectively Saying by Donating: (1) My intentions for donating my money are my own business and no one else’s, especially douche bag attorneys; (2) I support the right of web comics to satirize and parody public figures; (3) I don’t need a vigilante lawyer to do my homework for me into the validity of a charity or the trustworthiness of an individual acting solely of his own accord, thank you very much; (4) I accept that the possibility exists that this Ann person could be a complete fraud who will abscond with my money, but that this possibility only exists in the mind of one attorney on the face of the earth, because Ann knows full well that if she does not give the money to the charities she has claimed that the wrath of the Internet will be upon her.” [Popehat]
Brown, Justin Andrew @ tortreform.com: “Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Cartoonist Battles Frivolous Lawsuits with Comedic Protest. The Oatmeal, a website that features the work of cartoonist and programmer Matthew Inman, has been entangled in a legal dispute with the attorney of competitor Funny Junk, a comedy site that posts user-uploaded images. After exercising his First Amendment right to make a statement against copyright infringement that was taking place on Funny Junk’s website, Inman received a cease and desist letter from Funny Junk attorney Charles Carreon. Inman’s hilarious response to the cease and desist letter raised more than $200,000 for charity but led to a series of frivolous lawsuits from Carreon. The lawsuits have been dismissed, but the case could have had legal implications for anyone — including cartoonists — who decided to exercise their First Amendment rights by criticizing a company in a public forum. The EFF relates the basic details of the case: ‘Attorney Charles Carreon dropped his bizarre lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman today, ending his strange legal campaign against Inman’s humorous and creative public criticism of a frivolous cease and desist letter that Carreon wrote on behalf of his client Funny Junk.’ The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and co-counsel Venkat Balasubramani represented Inman in the case. While Carreon’s lawsuit was purportedly about whether Inman’s online fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation complies with California regulations, it was really a classic SLAPP – a strategic lawsuit against public participation. The lawsuit stemmed from a 2011 blogpost by The Oatmeal founder, Mathew Inman, that condemned Funny Junk for posting his and others’ materials without proper attribution, according to an article on the EFF website detailing the case. A year following the blogpost, Carreon, Funny Junk’s hired lawyer, served Inman with a letter claiming defamation. After The Oatmeal posted an annotated critique of Carreon’s cease and desist letters, and after crafting a creatively cavalier fundraiser called “Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad,” which benefited the American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Foundation in response the letters, Inman raised more than $200,000 for the charities. In response, Carreon sued The Oatmeal, the NWF and the ACS, claiming defamation among other things. (For more information on the fundraiser, click here for a June 13 article on The Guardian website by Arwa Mahdawi.) Despite the claim that the lawsuit concerned disputed compliance with California’s fundraising laws, the lawsuit is interpreted as a way to suppress free speech according to the EFF: ‘Matthew Inman spoke out against Carreon’s threat of a frivolous lawsuit, in a very popular and very public way,’ said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. ‘This was nothing more than a meritless attempt to punish Inman for calling attention to his legal bullying. We called him out on this in our briefs, so it’s no surprise that Carreon was left with no choice but to dismiss.’ Click here for the EFF article discussing the implications of Carreon v. Inman. SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) lawsuits are often used to suppress the free speech rights of individuals and companies with limited resources. A larger organization will force the defendant to comply with the threat of a lawsuit, simply by having greater resources and a greater willingness to take the lawsuit to court and incurring major and often debilitating expense on the part of the defendant. As a result, many of the defendants in such cases will remove or apologize for the statement that the plaintiffs found offensive, even if the statement is protected by the First Amendment and in no way illegal. Many states have anti-SLAPP legislation, but such protections don’t exist for everyone. Criticism, opinion, and satire are not legal justifications for defamation claims. Therefore, fallible legal threats to The Oatmeal is a disconcerting instance of attempted suppression of free speech. Not everybody is capable of publicly scoffing such legal threats with highly-successful fundraising campaigns and contemplative coverage and support from the press, but everyone is capable of supporting unbounded free speech and organizations like the CBLDF (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).”
Chan, Matthew (Founder-in-Silence) @ extortionletterinfo.com: “It’s interesting to me that as much blog coverage of FunnyJunk attorney, Charles H. Carreon, but there has been little mention of his State Bar Suspension records. The California State Bar reports his suspension on his personal California State Bar record. The California Bar Journal reports his suspension in the February 2007 edition. The Oregon State Bar reports is suspension on Oregon State Bar Bulletin — NOVEMBER 2005. I wonder if Charles Carreon has any DUI’s or anything else that might show up in a criminal background check….
This is the first time I have ever seen an extortion lawyer cower down and take down their contact information. What? Someone doesn’t want new clients anymore? Apparently, Charles Carreon is getting too much fan mail. However, I believe people want to know how to contact him. In that spirit, I found a copy of Charles Carreon’s bio and contact information. However, it is also on his tarnished California State Bar record. Charles Carreon’s mailing address is: 2165 S Avenida Planeta, Tucson, AZ 85710. Check out the Google Street view for his address. Charles Carreon’s phone number is: 520-841-0835. Charles Carreon’s email address is: email@example.com.”
Corbett, Jonathan @ randazza.wordpress.com: “Hi Chas, Just saw your suit against, among others, the National Wildlife Federation and American Cancer Society. You’re going to sue NWF and the Cancer Society? Really? First of all, you have no standing to sue those organizations and the fundraising platform, which should be obvious. Second, your remaining claims are frivolous against anyone but Does 1 – 100. Any use of your “trademark” was clearly not done to provide legal services and clearly constituted fair use, and you have no evidence to show that Inman attempted to incite anyone. In short, congratulations on making a name for himself as the man who sues charities, legitimate and lawful Internet content publishers, and anyone else who doesn’t bow to you. As a human being, you should know better, but as a lawyer, your conduct has departed frmo the minimum professional standards requried by you. I will be filing a formal complaint with the California Bar regarding your conduct. Yours, Jonathan Corbett.”
Cringely, Robert X (Daniel Tynan) @ infoworld.com: “FunnyJunk vs. Internet: The good guys won. Attorney Charles Carreon dropped lawsuit against The Oatmeal’s Matt Inman — for now. Hail free speech and power of the Web! One of the weirdest chapters in recent Internet history drew to a close this week, and I’m pleased to report it has a happy ending. The FunnyJunk vs. Oatmeal kerfuffle is over, and the good guys won. FunnyJunk has dropped its spurious defamation claims against The Oatmeal, and once again all is right with the InterWebs. I’ve written about this case — or noncase, as the case may be — a couple of times now, but to quickly summarize for those who haven’t been paying rapt attention: Wildly funny cartoonist Matthew Inman (aka The Oatmeal) accuses alleged humor site FunnyJunk of stealing thousands of his cartoons; FunnyJunk responds a year later via its attorney accusing him of libel and seeking $20,000 in pay-us-and-we’ll-go-away money; Inman turns it into an Internet meme, raising more than $200,000 for charity and transforming FunnyJunk attorney Charles Carreon into a 2012 version of LOLcats. Carreon became Internet Enemy No. 1 the minute he tried to finagle 20 large out of the highly popular cartoonist and even more so after he attempted to keep Inman from donating the monies he’d raised to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and an army of self-appointed Net vigilantes jumped in on Inman’s side, and things got nasty in exactly the way they always do on the InterWebs — a mix of juvenile sneering, arch satire, and physical threats. A handful of people created websites mocking Carreon in particular, so naturally, Carreon sued them. Then Carreon’s wife Tara chimed in, accusing Inman of rallying the Internet against her and her husband and calling critics everything under the sun, including the inevitable Nazi comparison (thus combining Godwin’s Law with the Streisand Effect, a nice two-fer). Inman had promised to photograph the money and send a picture to FunnyJunk/Carreon before donating it; because of the lawyer’s various legal machinations, he had the money sent directly to the charities and instead withdrew the same amount — $211,223.04 — from his personal account. Then true to his word, he photographed it and sent it to Carreon. He got a little artsy first, arranging the banded piles of banknotes to spell out FU in large capitals, as well as the alphanumerical equation “Philanthropy > Douchebaggery.” (I think Sir Isaac Newton may have been the first to formulate that.) Then he returned the money to his bank.”
Danzig, Christopher @ abovethelaw.com: “As Barbra Streisand might suggest, he might want to prepare himself for more cartoons.” [Popehat]
Davis, Lauren @ comicsalliance.com: “Some people just don’t learn. After incurring the wrath of certain sectors of the Internet for threatening to sue Matthew Inman, creator of the webcomic The Oatmeal, Charles Carreon, lawyer for the image hosting site FunnyJunk, filed suit against Inman on Friday. But he didn’t stop there. Since Inman decided to use his dispute with FunnyJunk to raise money for charity via the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, Carreon decided to file suit not just against IndieGoGo but also the charities, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. That’s right, Charles Carreon has now transformed from Internet nuisance to charity-suing supervillain….the rest of us have a good chuckle about it all. Ken of Popehat.com and Kevin Underhill at Lowering the Bar broke the story that, on Friday, Carreon did, in fact, file suit with the United States District Court in Northern California, naming not just Inman as a defendant, but also IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Granted, Carreon isn’t alleging that the latter defendants did anything wrong, but he is trying to legally enjoin them from receiving any money. Classy. Incidentally, I tried to check Carreon’s website last night, and was instead forwarded to the domain sex.comchronicles.com. I’m not sure if Carreon was having website troubles; one of his charges against Inman is “incitement to cybervandalism.” (Remember kids, cybervandalism and harassment just feed the trolls.) But that took me to an advertisement for Carreon’s book. Clicking on the cover invites you to add the book to your Amazon shopping cart. Perhaps Carreon is following the little-known maxim, “When life gives you lemons, turn them into rotten lemons, and lemonade will surely follow.” …Underhill notes that Carreon’s complaint contains several errors, and I’ve seen more than a few lawyers speculate that Inman’s attorney could file an anti-SLAPP motion. SLAPPs are strategic lawsuits against public participation, and if California’s anti-SLAPP statute applies to this federal case, a successful anti-SLAPP motion would have Carreon paying Inman’s legal fees….
“Charles Carreon Withdraws Lawsuit Against ‘The Oatmeal’ And The Internet Dances On His Reputation’s Grave. After a weeks of being an Internet laughing stock, Charles Carreon, the lawyer who filed suit against The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman, the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation decided that maybe he doesn’t want to go through with that pesky lawsuit after all. Now that Carreon has withdrawn his lawsuit, however, he still has the broken pieces of his reputation to sweep up. Carreon filed a lawsuit against Inman et al. in mid-June after Inman responded to Carreon’s cease and desist letter, sent on behalf of his client Funny Junk, by posting the letter with scathing annotations and launching a fundraiser to support the ACS and the NWF on IndieGoGo. Carreon accused Inman of violating Carreon’s trademark, inciting others to commit cybervandalism and violating charity law. Legal bloggers tore apart Carreon’s complaint, and a Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney agreed to represent Inman, fearing that Carreon’s suit risked chilling critical speech online. Inman’s fundraiser ended, sending thousands of dollars to the charities.
“Perhaps recognizing the futility of his beef with Inman, last week Carreon voluntarily dropped his suit. Assuming he doesn’t decide to refile, Inman, the EFF and the rest of us can breathe a little easier. Carreon may not be through, however. The Mercury News reports that last Monday, a person claiming to be Inman filed a $1.1 million civil suit against Carreon and his wife. Inman’s attorney says that Inman filed no such suit and the claim is a hoax. Also according to the Mercury News, the owner of the recently formed satirical site Charles-Carreon.com has asked the federal court to protect his right to use the domain name, claiming that Carreon has threatened to sue him. In trying to protect his trademark, Carreon has ruined his reputation. Maybe Carreon never cared much about his reputation to begin with. He told Ars Technica, “I’m famous, I’m notorious.” Perhaps his Internet-wide temper tantrum was merely a way to return to the fame he cultivated when he was litigating the Sex.com case. He just felt compelled to drag Inman, IndieGogo and the comics reading media along for the ride.” [Popehat]
Devens, Keith @ news.ycombinator.com: [Reposted Techdirt article "Charles Carreon Has to Pay $46K in Legal Fees"]
Doctorow, Cory @ boingboing.net: “EFF weighs in on Charles Carreon’s latest dumb stunt. The Electronic Frontier Foundation have posted commentary on the latest bizarre move from Charles Carreon, the lawyer who sent a ridiculous legal threat to webcomic The Oatmeal on behalf of the website Funnyjunk, and has been digging himself deeper ever since. EFF is defending The Oatmeal. The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman raised over $200,000 for charity using the website IndieGoGo, with the promise that he would photograph himself standing astride the money and send it (along with a cartoon depicting the mother of FunnyJunk’s owner trying to seduce a bear) to Carreon to pass on to his client. Now Carreon is attempting to get a court injunction to prevent the funds from being disbursed to charity. Carreon’s claim runs contrary to the Constitution. As Carreon is well aware, freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our legal system. Carreon wants the court to shut down Inman’s speech: a comic response to the letter. Sorry, Charlie, the First Amendment protects Inman’s right to challenge your legal threat. Carreon is wrong on the law. Carreon based his claim on the notion that Inman, a full-time webcomic artist based in Seattle, violated false advertising law because he was allegedly required to register with the California Attorney General as a professional fundraiser. No, Inman is not a commercial fundraiser and not required to register, and he certainly did not falsely advertise to anyone that he was registered. Ten bucks may help bears and fight cancer, but it doesn’t give Carreon control of the funds. The night before Carreon filed suit, he donated $10 to Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad, claiming this gave him standing to stop the distribution of the money, and keep Inman from taking the photo of cash. The law does not permit this. A TRO would only cause undue delay. Carreon claims he needs to take control and put the money in a charitable trust for the charities. Yet all his gamesmanship would do is delay the money for the charities – much of which has already been sent. There simply is no basis for the court to get involved….
“Hours ago, Rob brought you the news that Charles Carreon had voluntarily dismissed his dumbass lawsuit against webcomic The Oatmeal, its creator Matthew Inman, and the charities he’d nominated to receive more than $220,000 sent by people who thought that Carreon (and his client, FunnyJunk) were full of lima beans, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. At the time, Rob asked, “What will the new dawn bring?” The answer is here: Charles Carreon has told Ars Technica that he was the victor in the lawsuit, using the phrase “Mission accomplished” (seemingly without irony). Ken at Popehat notes that Carreon’s withdrawal is not binding — he could drag Inman and co back into court at any time and that he might still sue for “fees” (that is, the money he charged himself for acting as his own lawyer) Ken clarifies: Inman could sue Carreon for fees. Ken thinks that Carreon will be back. There’s also a weird, possibly (almost certainly) bogus lawsuit filed against Carreon by Inman, or someone pretending to be him. Wow. Back to Carreon, who told Ars’s Megan Geuss, But if the defendants pursued attorney’s fees, the attention might be worth it for Charles Carreon. After asking for comment on his voluntary dismissal of charges, Carreon lilted over the phone, “I’m famous, I’m notorious.” Which, from the looks of it, is exactly what he wants.”
Donatelli, Joe @ thehumorcolumnist.com: “The Oatmeal vs. FunnyJunk represents everything right and wrong with the Internet. On the one hand you have The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman’s fantastic cartoon site, which is one of the true rags-to-riches stories of the digital age. Talented guy uses new platform to reach fans who adore him. This isn’t happening often enough. It’s great. More of this, please. On the other hand you have FunnyJunk, a content aggregator that Inman publicly blasted awhile back and is now being sued by. FunnyJunk Vs. The Oatmeal an outrageous lawsuit. In a nutshell, as retaliation for asking FunnyJunk to remove The Oatmeal cartoons from its site, FunnyJunk is suing Inman and wants him to pay $20,000 for hosting his unlicensed comics. If you can see the logic in this, you might want to consider a career in law. So, as I said in the headline, it’s everything right (creativity, risk-taking, making people happy) with the Internet vs. everything that is wrong (thievery, bullying). It’s hard to believe that there is a lawyer in the world who thinks this is an actual case. Which, of course, maybe it’s not an actual case. Maybe it’s a publicity stunt. But is this really the publicity you want, FunnyJunk? For everyone to hate you? I think Inman’s response has been perfect. You don’t dignify something like this. You mock it. Today Inman raised $20,000 in 64 minutes. (As of Monday night, the amount had pushed past $60,000.) He plans to send a photo of the money to FunnyJunk along with this drawing. Then he’s going to donate the money to some worthwhile causes because that’s what the good guy in this situation would do. I’ve never met Inman, but I admire his work. I’ve even featured it on this site before. You will note, FunnyJunk, that I linked to it.” [Popehat]
Electronic Frontier Foundation at eff.org: “June 21, 2012. EFF Will Represent The Oatmeal Creator in Fight Against Bizarre Lawsuit Targeting Critical Online Speech. Baseless Suit Claims Online Trademark Infringement and ‘Cyber-Vandalism’. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is joining with attorney Venkat Balasubramani of the law firm Focal PLLC to represent The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman in a bizarre lawsuit targeting the online comic strip’s fundraising campaign in support of the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. “I have a right to express my opinion, whether Mr. Carreon likes it or not,” said Inman. “While the lawsuit may be silly, the harm it can do is very real.” Inman started his campaign last week as part of a protest over legal threats he received from the website FunnyJunk. In 2011, Inman published a blogpost noting that FunnyJunk had posted many of his comics without crediting or linking back to The Oatmeal. A year later, FunnyJunk claimed the post was defamatory and demanded $20,000 in damages. Inman crafted a unique response, which included some comic art. Instead of paying the baseless demand, Inman asked for donations for the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. The campaign raised more than $200,000 so far. An attorney for FunnyJunk, Charles Carreon, has now responded with a lawsuit filed on his own behalf. Carreon’s suit names Inman, the two charities, and the online fundraising platform IndieGoGo, claiming trademark infringement and incitement to “cyber-vandalism.” “This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic,” said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. “We’re very glad to help Mr. Inman fight back….
Charles Carreon Drops Bogus Lawsuit Against The Oatmeal. Wednesday, 4 July 2012. Press Release: Electronic Frontier Foundation. July 3, 2012. Charles Carreon Drops Bogus Lawsuit Against The Oatmeal Creator. Suit Was Blatant Retaliation Against a Public Critic. San Francisco – Attorney Charles Carreon dropped his bizarre lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman today, ending his strange legal campaign against Inman’s humorous and creative public criticism of a frivolous cease and desist letter that Carreon wrote on behalf of his client Funny Junk. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and co-counsel Venkat Balasubramani represented Inman in the case. While Carreon’s lawsuit was purportedly about whether Inman’s online fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation complies with California regulations, it was really a classic SLAPP – a strategic lawsuit against public participation. “Matthew Inman spoke out against Carreon’s threat of a frivolous lawsuit, in a very popular and very public way,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. “This was nothing more than a meritless attempt to punish Inman for calling attention to his legal bullying. We called him out on this in our briefs, so it’s no surprise that Carreon was left with no choice but to dismiss.” The extraordinarily public dispute between Inman and Carreon started in 2011, when Inman published a blog post condemning the website FunnyJunk for posting hundreds of his comics without crediting or linking back to The Oatmeal. A year later, Carreon – the attorney for FunnyJunk – served Inman with a letter claiming the post was defamatory and demanding The Oatmeal pay $20,000 and agree to never speak the words Funny Junk again. Inman publicly annotated the cease and desist letter with a scathing critique of its facts and logic and posted it on The Oatmeal. Furthermore, instead of paying Carreon’s baseless demand for $20,000, Inman decided instead to start a fundraising campaign called Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad through the Indiegogo fundraising platform to benefit the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. The fundraiser’s goal was $20,000, to match Carreon’s demand, but the final total was over $200,000. “Inman sparked a flood of charity donations, and yet Carreon still tried to punish him for making fun of his baseless legal threats by dragging him through the court system,” said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. “We’re very pleased that Carreon has seen that his lawsuit had no merit, and hope that this is the end of his abuse of the legal system.”
Encyclopedia Dramatica @ encyclopediadramatica.se: “I don’t know if you’re familiar with his cartooning–people having their heads thrown in a chipper, his character of a pterodactyl consuming blended brains with gusto–I’ve actually never seen anyone incite people to violence in that fashion.”— Charles Carreon, I’m 12 years old and what is this? // “It might not have seemed very dehumanizing when Walt Disney made Japanese people look silly with buck teeth and big glasses who could not pronounce their ‘R’s or their ‘L’s. But it was dehumanizing, and the purpose was to direct evil intentions against them, which ultimately resulted in the only nuclear holocaust that ever occurred in the history of humanity. I don’t think Truman would have ever done that if we hadn’t so dehumanized the enemy.” — Charles Carreon, Internets nuclear holocaust survivor. // “This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic, we’re very glad to help Mr. Inman fight back.” — Corynne McSherry, EFF Intellectual Property Director // “There are some things that you accept with grace, but I do not accept that my mother engaged in bestiality and I do not accept that FunnyJunk slept with its mother, as it does not have a mother.” — Charles Carreon, Does not accept his furry heritage.“ // “I’m not seeking any damages for the insults to my mother.” — Charles Carreon, More concerned over donated Jew golds than mommy. // “Whenever one loses control of a trademark, they are in danger of their image. It’s one thing to say, ‘He’s a jerk because he issues a legal demand to someone like Oatmeal—like Mr. Inman.’ People want to say that’s a scumbag thing to do. That comes with the territory. But what crosses the line is when someone else starts making statements using words like ‘idiot‘ or ‘dumbass‘.” — Charles Carreon, A complete dumbass and a total idiot. // “All of that is damage. I have better things to do than to be contradicting Twitter when that person vocally does so again. It’s not like they’re making parody comments. There’s nothing parodic about it. They’re making statements attributable to me. That’s damage. That’s trademark damage. That’s all there is to it.”— Charles Carreon, Considers himself to be a trademark. // “There is no attack on anything like First Amendment speech. There is no effort to alter a word of the campaign. It has taken its course, and I’m not seeking any damages for the insults to my mother. I am simply saying that I’m focusing my attention on what is an inappropriate way to raise a charity campaign.”— Charles Carreon, Very upset over the donated Jew golds he’s not getting. // “I win by making the world a place where the law of charitable giving, wisely enacted over fifty years ago by the California legislature, will secure the rights of genuine charitable fundraisers to not have to compete with false advertising and unregistered charitable fundraisers who can take the money and vamoose, as so many have done.” — Charles Carreon, Falsely accusing The Oatmeal of taking all “his” Jew golds.
“Charles Carreon (aka Chuckle Fuck) is without a shadow of a doubt the most half-witted person ever to have passed a bar-exam and enter the legal profession. He stands as a relic of the late-70′s/early-80′s ambulance-chaser-threaten-to-sue-every-other-person-with-a-pulse style of bully-lawyering. Aside from being the inspiration for the Rocky V villain, Chuckles is currently best known for reaching a level of butthurt so far unprecedented in internet-history that he has taken it upon himself to try and sue major charitable organizations. Some argue that this is quite possibly the most ludicrous attempt at “getting back” at another person yet devised in human-history. Enter The Hero. The hero of this story is The Oatmeal; a popular web comic which seemingly takes its inspiration from the uncultivated Crayola-based ejaculations of a spastically-hormonal 7th-grader strung the fuck out on Pixie-Stix and Pepsi. Due to its stunning visual quality and über sophisticated humor it has become wildly popular, boasting a fantard following in excess of a half a million sheeple! The Story Begins. As a result of its popularity an endless swarm of 13 year old boys commenced micturating upon Oatmeal’s copyrights resulting in the mass distribution and “sharing” of content through other popular websites. These sites in turn profited via their own ad-banners, most notably the ironically unfunny Funny Junk. The Oatmeal initially cried foul in relation to this unwarranted ass-rape of their “art” and demanded that any and all images be removed forthwith. They soon came to the comprehend the futility of filing DMCA take-down requests for every single pilfered image that could just be re-uploaded again and again by different users and chose instead to mock the Funny Junk website in a comedic/satirical fashion. Believing that to be the end of the whole affair, The Oatmeal went on with life as usual, leaving the whole sorry mess behind them. One Year Later. DEMANDING JUSTICE! Enter the villain, Charles Carreon! Almost exactly one year later The Oatmeal was served with legal papers from Chuckles on behalf of Funny Junk, demanding that The Oatmeal pay him and his client TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for stealing hosting his unlicensed comic on their site for the past three years. Their reason and justification for this overly obvious attempt at outright laughable extortion  /blackmail was that The Oatmeal had made fun of them for stealing his work and that it ~totally~ ruined their e-reputation on the Interwebs! The Hero Strikes Back. EPIC LULZ! The Oatmeal, not finding these threats of extortion  from FunnyJunk and their bully-lawyer to be at all funny, decided to fight fire with water! The Oatmeal turned to comedy and his comics and created a hilarious fundraiser out of the situation. His goal was to try and raise the $20,000 extortion  demand via donations, only instead of forking it over to Chuckle Fuck Carreon he would instead take a picture of the money and send the picture to him along with a poorly drawn MS Paint picture of Charles’s mom making love to a bear. The money would then in turn be donated to The National Wildlife Federation and The American Cancer Society. The Internets Respond. EPIC MONEYZ! The incredible success of this fundraiser has, thus far, been absolutely monumental to say the least bit. The original $20,000 goal has long been surpassed and some estimate that by the time it’s over The Oatmeal may have generated roughly a QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS in fundraiser donations! Along with these donations has of course come with the usual Internet backlash of Internets rage over what this man and Funny Junk tried to do. To steal an artists work and to then turn around and try and steal huge sums of cash from them obviously didn’t sit well with…well, ANYONE! As such, every other doorknob with a computer immediately started firing off hate filled e-mails, enraged phone calls and every manner of threatening nastiness imaginable. Epic Butthurt enSues. Charles Carreon, a person of strong Jewish faith, was simply SHOCKED by this turn of events. The endless insults and verbal attacks on him and his personal “franchise” were one thing, but to have someone waving around a quarter million dollars in his Jew face like it was candy, well now that was just crossing a line! In retaliation Chuckles decided it was no longer about Funny Junk vs The Oatmeal, but about Charles Carreon vs THE INTERWEBS! He responded immediately by filing lolsuits left and right for nearly twenty hours straight. In addition to suing The Oatmeal, you, ur mom and half the cast of Rocky V, Chuckles figured it would be an ~excellent~ idea to SUE THE CHARITIES that The Oatmeal was raising money for! ಠ_ಠ Self-Important Delusions Of Righteous Grandeur. In what can only be described as the absolute most retarded legal decision of the 21st century, Charles, Chuckle Fuck, Carreon unabashedly sued both The American Cancer Society and The National Wildlife Federation. A decision that will forever brand him as both an endangered animal killer as well as a pro-cancer supporter; this man is so thick-headedly stupid to the nth degree that he ~actually~ believes he’s not only in the right, but is actually HELPING fundraising efforts the world over! His mentality on this is so absurdly idiotic it can’t even be put into words without the help of crayons and puppets to dumb reality on down to a level that could only make sense over in Retard Town. To sum it up, he’s basically accusing the charities of not raising donations “properly”, in accordance with his own personal Bizzaro brand of legalese. In other words, he’s upset that he’s not getting any of it and feels he’s entitled to his unfair share of the donated Jew golds and if he doesn’t get any Jew gold then NO ONE should get any! He’s essentially pissing himself with indignant frustration and butthurt, hoping his putrid stench will drive everyone off. As “man-tantrums” go this is on a scale so far beyond butthurt it’s almost indescribable! He’s not just butthurt, he’s butthurt so butthurt that it goes way beyond the butthurt we know into a whole different dimension of butthurt. We’re talkin trans-butthurt butthurt. Meta butthurt. Butthurt collapsed in on itself so far that even the neutrons have collapsed. Butthurt gotten so dense that no sense of dignity can possible escape. Singularity butthurt. Blazing mid-day sun on Mercury butthurt. Kitty litter box butthurt. He’s currently emitting more butthurt in one second than our entire galaxy emits in a year. Quasar butthurt. Nothing in our universe can really be this butthurt; unless he’s just some primordial fragment from the original big bang of butthurt. Some pure essence of a butthurt so completely uncontaminated by anything else as to be beyond the laws of physics that we know. I’m sorry, I can’t go on, this is just an epiphany of butthurt! I WILL SUE EVERY FUCKING PERSON ON THE INETERNET! In recent events, Carreon the cock shitter’s rage has spun completely out of control, causing him to sue the California State Attorney General, Ars Technica, Twitter, anonymous commenters, you, your mom and every single fucking person on the planet with a pulse! In addition to this recent kookery, his idiot, lopsided wife has suddenly decided to lash out like an angry toddler in a therapy session across the web with a screaming tantrum of sheer idiocy and indignant frustration over her husband’s inability to defend himself without looking like a complete man-child. Obviously this new effort is only serving to further solidify their standing as complete ass hats. Oh Wait, No Wait, I Didn’t Just Sue Everybody, Did I? Breaking news, Chuckle Fuck PULLS OUT! In a rather unexpected move Charles Carreon, official douchebag of the Internets has suddenly DROPPED his lolsuits against The Oatmeal, various charities, the California State Attorney General, Anonymous bloggers, you, ur mom, etc, etc. Although Chuckle Fuck has yet to explain his most recent move of failing to “double down” for the umpteenth time, Some say it has something to do with the fact that he himself is now being sued…or perhaps it has something to do with the THOUSANDS of illegally pirated songs that have been recently discovered on his personal website: That’s right bitch, his pirating is so epic it BREAKS Encyclopedia Dramatica’s thumbnail parameters! An intellectual property lawyer with over THREE THOUSAND illegally downloaded songs freely shared over the Internets. There’s fucked and then there’s…well, Charles Carreon. Fucked is pretty well his middle name at this point. His rape from the RIAA is imminent!”
Faircloth, Kelly @ betabeat.com: “We’ve enjoyed following every single development of the Funnyjunk/Charles Carreon vs. Oatmeal/Matthew Inman fustercluck. But at this point, with a lawsuit targeting the NWF and the ACS, it’s getting a little ridiculous. And if Mr. Carreon digs himself any deeper, he’s going to pop out in Beijing…. But it sounds like Mr. Carreon might have bigger problems than a few mean emails from overly devoted Oatmeal fans. His Wikipedia entry points out that in October 2005, Carreon was suspended by the Oregon State Bar.”
Previous court rulings have found that satire of trademark holders, such as Charles Carreon, is legal. — arstechnica.com
Farivar, Cyrus @ arstechnica.com: “6/25/12, by Cyrus Farivar: “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. The updated Monday filing is the latest chapter in an increasingly ridiculous legal case involving an online intellectual property dispute. Neither Carreon, Harris, nor any of the other defendants (except for Ars commenter “Modelista”) responded immediately to our request for comment. The move to include California’s top law enforcement officer may be a tactic to compel Harris to act on Carreon’s accusations of charitable fundraising fraud as carried out by Inman and IndieGoGo. In the new filing, Carreon accuses Inman and IndieGoGo of charity fundraising fraud and names Ars Technica commenter “Modelista” as Doe 1 as violating Carreon’s trademark on his own name—Modelista freely admitted that he was behind the creation of a fake account mocking Charles Carreon, which was soon shut down. “On June 14, 2012, Doe 1, an Internet user who goes by the name ‘Modelista’ on the ArsTechnica.com website, registered the Twitter name ‘@Charles_Carreon,’ and began publishing fake ‘tweets’ on Twitter that were immediately attributed to Plaintiff,” he writes. “This was not only an act of trademark infringement, but also false personation in violation of California Penal Code § 529.” In an e-mail sent to Ars on Monday, Modelista declined again to provide any identifying information, saying that he was “just an average guy in his 20s going to university somewhere in Sweden.” “I don’t see what targeting an anonymous online identity can accomplish,” he continued in an encrypted e-mail sent via Hushmail. “Even in the extreme case where the judge approved a court order to obtain my IP address, I would not be threatened at all as I took several measures to hide my true IP address. Also, not living in the United States is another reason I don’t really care about the case.” … Carreon previously told Ars that he planned to subpoena Ars Technica and Twitter to reveal the identities of Does 1-100. In the third claim for relief, Carreon accuses Does 2-100 of “cybervandalism,” by “cracking the password on Carreon’s own website and signing him up for pornographic websites. As numerous law blogs have pointed out, there is no such law prohibiting “cybervandalism.” “Plaintiff has received very large numbers of hate emails, some wishing him death by cancer, and many more forecasting the complete destruction of his professional life. Plaintiff has received voice mails from Dominos pizza wanting to confirm his ordering of pizzas that he in fact did not order,” Carreon writes in the new filing. “Plaintiff never experienced any such invasions of his privacy and quiet enjoyment before the Bear Love campaign.” The new filing also reiterates Carreon’s demand for a judicial order requiring that the National Wildlife Foundation and the American Cancer Society (Inman’s two target charities) get 50 percent of the money raised on the IndieGoGo website. (Carreon himself presumably would take the other half.) He is also seeking damages against Modelista and Inman, and wants a court order barring charities and IndieGoGo from raising money without registering the campaign with the California Attorney General’s office. Update: Carreon wrote to Ars in an e-mail on Monday afternoon: ‘I’m killing my Twitter account, so anyone who tweets under my name is an impostor’…
July 1, 2012, by Cyrus Farivar. On Saturday, Charles Carreon updated his federal lawsuit against Matthew Inman (creator of the humor website The Oatmeal). Carreon’s suit now calls for a temporary restraining order, asking the court to mandate IndieGoGo not transfer any of the more than $220,000 raised as of Monday, June 25. If the court sides with Carreon, funds would not go to Inman or to the target charities, the National Wildlife Foundation (NWF) and the American Cancer Society (ACS). ‘If IndieGoGo pays Inman the money in the Charitable Fund, and Inman personally donates the money to NWF and ACS, he will be unjustly enriched by receiving a large tax write-off that should properly be allocated pro-rata to the 14,406 small donors who contributed to the Charitable Fund,’ Carreon writes. ‘Pilfering very small amounts of money from very large numbers of people is a stock mechanism for conducting computer and Internet fraud. Preventing Inman from exploiting the giving public in such a fashion is in the public interest.’ Inman previously wrote this week on his own website that once this ‘silly bullshit [gets] dismissed,’ he should have the money from IndieGoGo in ‘about a week.’ ‘Once the money is moved, I still plan on withdrawing $211k in cash and taking a photo to send to Charles Carreon and FunnyJunk, along with the drawing of FunnyJunk’s mother,’ he wrote. ‘After the photo is mailed I’ll be sending checks to the charities. I’ll also post receipts as well as public confirmations from both charities that they received every penny that was promised.’ The updated filings also reveal that Carreon himself donated $10 to the so-called “BearLove campaign,” as a way to gain standing for himself. Ars was alerted of the new filings on Saturday night by Adam Steinbaugh, a Los Angeles-based recent law school graduate. The entire FunnyJunk/The Oatmeal affair is a twisted tale of how the legal system can be used to make intellectual property and defamation claims against bona fide humorous and satirical websites. Nearly a month of Carreon’s legal wranglings. Inman, of course, was the original target of Carreon’s legal threats. On June 2, 2012, Inman received a letter from Carreon, in his capacity as representing counsel for FunnyJunk (a rival humor website). The letter accused Inman of defamation and required that he send FunnyJunk, via Carreon, a check for $20,000. Inman then launched what became known as the BearLove campaign as a way to mock this legal threat. Carreon then filed suit, representing himself against Inman, the two target charities, Does 1-100, and the California state attorney general. Carreon also said he planned on subpoenaing Ars and Twitter to reveal the names of Does 1-100, who were part of an alleged “cybervandalism” campaign that Carreon says was waged against him. The case continues to unfold. Just last week, Carreon sent another letter accusing another parody site, charles-carreon.com, of trademark infringement (Carreon has a trademark on his own name). The letter ordered the owner of that site to cease and desist. “A minor victory” for Charles Carreon. One of Carreon’s primary complaints against Inman is that he is engaging in a ‘bait and switch campaign.’ This came after Inman announced, due to overwhelming support for the campaign, that he would be expanding the list of target charities. ‘Bear Love campaign donors didn’t simply designate Inman to receive and disburse donations according to his liking. We had donated to two charities—ACS and NWF—and no others,’ Carreon writes in the June 30 filing. ‘Thus, I further asked myself: ‘I wonder who those other two charities are that he is talking about? Perhaps they are affiliated with Inman?’’ ‘It was clear to me that quite aside from the requirements of charitable fundraising law, Inman could not acquire a fund for one purpose and then dispose of it according to his discretion. I and the other donors had a right to have our donations go to ACS and NWF, and nowhere else.’ In a blog post last week, Inman also states that he will stick to the original target charities ‘as a way to avoid further litigation.’ Inman added: ‘If Carreon wanted a minor victory, he got one here.’ Carreon’s latest filing was written to Inman’s attorney, Venkat Balasubramani, a Seattle-based tech lawyer who has previously been a contributor at Ars. In that, Carreon added he was willing to settle the entire case if Inman would ‘disclaim all interest.’ The offer was declined by Balasubramani to Carreon in a letter dated June 22. Inman is also being represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Update courtesy of Steinbaugh: the TRO hearing will likely occur this week. Carreon is requesting an OK to attend that hearing telephonically. Update 2: On Sunday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing Inman, also filed an opposition (PDF) to the temporary restraining order. In it, the EFF says Carreon’s arguments lack both ‘merit’ and ‘context.’ ‘The Court should put a stop to such gamesmanship, beginning with the instant Application,’ the EFF attorneys write. ‘As explained in detail below, Mr. Carreon has not met and cannot meet the exacting standard for a temporary restraining order. His claims are meritless, he faces no irreparable harm, the balance of equities favors Mr. Inman and the public interest and Mr. Inman’s First Amendment rights would be thwarted by an injunction. Mr. Carreon’s application should be denied.’ In the filing, the attorneys add that Inman’s actions are protected under the First Amendment, that he is engaged in non-commercial speech, that he is not a commercial fundraiser, and that he did not make any misrepresentations about the nature of the charitable fundraising. The EFF concludes: ‘It is obvious that Mr. Carreon made his nominal $10 donation for the primary purpose of fostering his legal argument and attempting to seize control over the fate of the fund, and not out of any genuine support for the [BearLove] campaign. His attempt to interfere with the campaign to raise funds in the name of criticizing the cease and desist letter he wrote for FunnyJunk does not mean he lost money or suffered any legally cognizable injury.
7/3/2012, by Cyrus Farivar: Former allies turn on Carreon, sue to halt his threats. FunnyJunk lawyer says he will drag out ‘hate campaign’ litigation ‘for years.’ An attorney representing Satirical Charles, the person behind a satirical website mocking pugnacious Arizona attorney Charles Carreon, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, seeking a preemptive declaratory judgment in the case after Carreon indicated his interest in finding and then suing Satirical Charles by name. The legal move asks the court to declare that Satirical Charles has done nothing wrong. Carreon has accused Satirical Charles (whose identity is known to Ars) of trademark violation and cybersquatting and has asked for a cease-and-desist of the site….’We have litigated these domain name cases for some time,’ Paul Levy told Ars on Monday. Levy is Satirical Charles’ pro bono counsel and a well-known attorney with the advocacy group Public Citizen, founded by Ralph Nader. He has also sided with Carreon on past cases. ‘I really thought that both because we’re so plainly right and because we have a prior relationship with Carreon—I thought there was a reasonable chance that he would see what I had to say and respond: ‘OK, we’re not going to pursue this,” Levy said. ‘I thought there was a realistic possibility of that, and given that we’ve been on his side in the past and that he would take what we had to say seriously.’… In his complaint, Levy reveals more of Carreon’s normal bombastic rhetoric. He quotes Carreon’s threats to draw out this litigation, threats in which Carreon talks about his ‘known capacity to litigate appeals for years’ and adds that ‘Public Citizen might well be unable and/or unwilling to provide [Satirical Charles] with representation until the resolution of such an extended course of litigation.’ Carreon is further quoted in the complaint as telling Levy that he is ‘utterly disgusted to see the organization [Ralph Nader] founded leaping to the defense of someone who is in league with a person who has harnessed the lowest impulses of puerile, vituperative Internet youth to generate a Charitable Fund that has been used to bribe two major charities into tacitly endorsing a campaign that is utterly devoid of charitable purpose, and is a mere cover for a hate campaign.’ Writing on her own website, Carreon’s wife Tara was more succinct: ‘And to Public Citizen’s lawyer Paul Levy: Fuck you very much for filing a lawsuit on behalf of a cybersquatter’s right to cybersquat, you corrupt fuck. I hope all these corrupt lawyers die in hell.’…. Last Thursday, in a letter sent to Register.com, Carreon threatened to name Satirical Charles as Doe 2 in the case that he had previously filed against a slew of defendants, including Matthew Inman (creator of The Oatmeal), two charities, and one hundred un-named “cyber-vandals.” He also demanded that Register.com identity the individual, which the company did. Register.com has yet to respond to Ars’ current and previous requests for comment about its actions. Satirical Charles has expressed his own frustration at the increasing lunacy of the entire case. ‘You could have engaged me in meaningful dialogue,’ Satirical Charles wrote on his own blog on Monday, in a post directed firmly at the real Charles Carreon. ‘You could have put your angry hat away and e-mailed me. I would have agreed to disagree, but I would have listened to your concerns. I might have even agreed to find a mutually respectful compromise. I can disagree with your actions and still seek civility. That is over now. I have been threatened, my rights have been threatened, and I do not negotiate under threat. You cannot silence me for disagreeing with you. You cannot silence others who disagree with you.’”
Flacy, Mike @ digitaltrends.com: “Carreon claimed that Inman ‘instigated security attacks’ on his personal site. Escalating the legal frivolousness, Carreon sued Inman, IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society on June 15. The lawsuit claimed that Inman’s charitable efforts were actually designed to defame Funnyjunk as well as Carreon in addition to inciting cyber-vandalism. Inman responded with a letter to Carreon attempting to convince Carreon that the reason the public turned against him was the inherently immoral act of going after the two charitable organizations mentioned in the lawsuit…. After the IndieGoGo campaign closed, Inman raised approximately $220,000 which left him with about $204,000 after IndieGoGo’s percentage in addition to credit card fees. IndieGoGo distributed the portion of the contribution added by credit cards (about $95,000) directly to the charities and Inman divided the remainder into two $54,000 checks, one for each charity. However, Carreon attempted to get a temporary restraining order to halt the distribution of the money claiming that Inman would get a giant tax write-off this year and that Inman was a “commercial fundraiser” according to California law. At this point, even Carreon’s hometown newspaper was rooting against him. As of July 3, the lawsuit against Inman, IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society has been dropped, but Carreon reserves the right to refile the suit at any time. In an odd interview with Ars Technica, Carreon stated “Mission Accomplished” about the entire ordeal.”
Gardner, Alan @ dailycartoonist.com: “Lawyers are speculating on the merits of the case. One of the legal bloggers watching this case is Marc Randazza, a first amendment attorney who also deals with intellectual property, internet and entertainment law. Randazza has written a post called “Carreon Triples Down — Sues Matthew Inman” in which he says he’s an acquaintance of Carreon and even tried to talk him out of filing the suit. The comments include several attorney’s speculation on the motivation and likelihood of success. One attorney, Jonathan Corbett, posted an open latter to Carreon stating he intended to file a complaint with the California Bar based on Carreon’s conduct. It read, in part: In short, congratulations on making a name for himself as the man who sues charities, legitimate and lawful Internet content publishers, and anyone else who doesn’t bow to you. As a human being, you should know better, but as a lawyer, your conduct has departed frmo (sic) the minimum professional standards requried (sic) by you. I will be filing a formal complaint with the California Bar regarding your conduct. For the legal aspect of this bizarre suit, watch Popehat (who broke the news that Carreon was suing The Oatmeal) and Randozza’s blog….
“Charles Carreon, the former FunnyJunk attorney who sued The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman, has dropped the case against Matthew, the charities and the John Does…. Carreon calls the stunt ‘mission accomplished’…. Also from Ars we learn that Matthew’s original plan to take the $220,000 and photograph it became problematic from a legal perspective and that Matthew opted to photograph his own money and have Indiegogo disperse the funding directly to the charities….To Charles Carreon, that’s a win.” [Popehat]
Geuss, Megan @ arstechnica.com: “Carreon claims victory, drops his lawsuit against The Oatmeal et al. FunnyJunk lawyer says ‘Mission Accomplished,’ everyone else just shrugs. Previous court rulings have found that satire of trademark holders, such as Charles Carreon, is legal. Carreon dropped his lawsuit against the Oatmeal and its conspirators, but not without proclaiming his own victory. FunnyJunk v. The Oatmeal. Late Tuesday afternoon, Charles Carreon dropped his absurd federal lawsuit against The Oatmeal cartoonist Matt Inman, Indiegogo, The National Wildlife Federation, The American Cancer Society, and 100 unnamed Does in Northern California District Court. Theoretically, the whole crazy debacle should all be over. But while it may look like Carreon has come to his senses, Ars called Carreon to comment and found him declaring the lawsuit a success. ‘Mission Accomplished,’ Carreon announced on the phone with Ars. We’ve heard that somewhere else before. Carreon’s statement is clearly in reference to this weekend’s strange legal battles, in which Carreon updated his federal lawsuit against Inman to include a request for a temporary restraining order that would prevent fundraising website IndieGoGo from giving Inman the $220,000 his followers had raised in response to a defamation claim from Carreon and humor website FunnyJunk. Inman, who secured legal help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was planning on photographing the funds before he sent them to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, and then sending the photograph to Carreon as a taunt. But Carreon sought to prevent Inman from claiming the money from fundraising website Indiegogo and then photographing the funds, claiming he wanted to prevent “a publicity stunt” that would also permit Inman a possible tax write off. But as Ars wrote this morning, Inman decided to photograph his own money because of Carreon’s complaint. The EFF stated that ‘Mr. Inman has decided to not withdraw the funds in order to photograph them. Instead (unwilling to allow Mr. Carreon to interfere further with his expressive activity) he decided to photograph his own funds.’ … To Charles Carreon, that’s a win. When asked for further comment on his self-described success, Carreon described a shoot-from-the-hip mentality. ‘I haven’t been commenting on litigation. I litigate,’ he said. As legal blog Popehat points out, Carreon filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal today, but did so ‘without prejudice,’ meaning Carreon could still re-file in the future if he so desires…. ‘Inman said from the beginning that he was going to donate the money to charity, and he did donate the money to charity,’ Opsahl said over the phone Tuesday evening. ‘The real reason for the lawsuit was to use a legal attack against a critic.’ After asking for comment on his voluntary dismissal of charges, Carreon lilted over the phone, ‘I’m famous, I’m notorious.’ Which, from the looks of it, is exactly what he wants.” [Popehat]
Gibbs, Sam @ gizmodo.co.uk: “Charles Carreon, the lawyer for FunnyJunk who went on a personal legal crusade against the Oatmeal, has just decided to drop all the lawsuits and give up. The strange thing is, Carreon is declaring this a win. Apparently, forcing Inman to take out his own personal funds and photograph them, rather than the raised money for charity from IndieGoGo, makes that a win. I’m not sure what he’s won, really, but I’m glad the whole mess, at least in the eyes of the courts, has been dropped … hopefully that’s the last we’ll hear of Carreon at least.”
Gibson, Dan @ tucsonweekly.com: “I generally like to cheer for Tucsonans, but in this case, I’m going to side with The Oatmeal instead of a guy suing the American Cancer Society.”
Glover, Sam @ lawyerist.com: “In the course of the long and sordid drama surrounding ‘Internet lawyer’ Charles Carreon and Matthew ‘The Oatmeal’ Inman, there have been many opportunities for lawyers to learn from Carreon’s example. Or rather, learn what not to do by Carreon’s example. Carreon may have held himself out as an ‘Internet lawyer’ (whatever that is), but it is clear he was not well-equipped to do battle on the Internet. Or in court, as it turns out. At Credit Slips, Paul Levy itemizes some of Carreon’s glaring legal mistakes when Carreon threatened an anonymous blogger at charles-carreon.com, who then sued: (1) Carreon ducked service for a while, giving the plaintiff the right to recover costs for personal service, plus attorney fees incurred as a result of his refusal to pay those costs. (2) Carreon served a Rule 68 offer of judgment, which made the plaintiff the prevailing party, entitling him to attorney fees and costs. (3) Carreon said he didn’t actually intend to sue everyone he threatened (which included everyone from Public Citizen to Walgreen’s), which means his unmasking of an anonymous blogger was probably unethical. Does Carreon come off looking like an idiot with a big mouth? Absolutely. But he is hardly a newbie. He graduated from law school in 1986, and one presumes he has seen a fair amount of litigation, having worked for several law firms before starting his solo practice in 1995 before starting an “online media law” company in 2001. In that time, he seems not to have learned how important it is to sweat the small stuff. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have; every new issue you encounter is a good chance to screw up. When I had a motorcycle, the best advice I received was to ride like everyone on the road is trying to kill me. Because they are, even if they don’t mean to. Well, the law is out to get you, too. This is what non-lawyers don’t fully appreciate about the law: it is the car you don’t see that will send you flying down the road like a squid. Everything seems smooth and easy — until it’s not. The more you practice law, the better you get at avoiding those problems. But if you just react blindly, without thinking, or without a good understanding of the rules, cases, statutes, and everything else involved, you might be in for an expensive mistake. Or ethics problems. Carreon’s mistakes are hardly outliers….Many people think ducking service is a good idea. Many business partners fail to deal with ownership up front, only for the business to go down in flames and attorney fees later on. People make all kinds of decisions that have unforeseen legal consequences, all the time. As lawyers, it is our job to foresee those consequences, and avoid them or figure out how to deal with them. To do that, we have to act like the law — and other lawyers, for that matter — is out to get us. Because it is, and they are. The law is full of cars hiding in your blind spots, driven by opposing counsel.”
Greenfield, Scott H. @ blog.simplejustice.us: “Charles Carreon: No Cure for Cancer. When Ken at Popehat broke the news of yet another lawyer sending yet another cease and desist letter, there wasn’t much reason to take notice. First, Ken was on it, and he likes his role as defender against censorious asshats. Second, it happens all the time, and is usually dealt with swiftly and harshly by the ordinary dynamics of the Streisand Effect. And third, it involved FunnyJunk and the Oatmeal, which is largely like watching two 12-year-olds rolling in the mud. But Matthew Inman, who does the Oatmeal, put the lawyer Charles Carreon’s letter demanding $20k on the web, with his own special touches, in a masterful response, one aspect of which was that rather than succumb to Carreon’s demand, he would raise some money for charity. BearLove Good. Cancer Bad….At the moment, he’s collected more than $179k for charity. Not bad for a bunch of 12-year-olds, and certainly one of the more interesting ways to respond to a lawyer letter. And with my buddy Venkat Balasubramani handling the more lawyerly response, one would have expected that this would fade into internet oblivion as another monumentally foolish move by a lawyer. But no. Charles Carreon should have learned the hard way what happens when a bad legal strategy meets a whole lot of 12-year-olds with computers and the sort of attitude reflected by postings at his client’s website. Instead, he did the unthinkable. Via Kevin Underwood at Lowering the Bar: The complaint is apparently not available yet on PACER, but my Courthouse News Service report said it was filed, and the court’s feed of newly filed cases confirms that. A really bad idea. According to the summary provided by CNS, and again I stress I haven’t seen the actual complaint yet, Carreon has sued for “trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism,” and he has not only sued Inman but also the website through which he has been raising money for charity (IndieGogo.com) and the charities to which Inman has pledged the money. Yes, he is apparently also suing the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. The summary says Inman’s request for donations ‘purports to raise money’ for these organizations, “but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, FunnyJunk.com .…” (As you can divine from that, Carreon is representing himself here.) Looking forward to seeing the complaint for many reasons, but especially to find out how the charities are supposedly to blame for any of this. Three things to note: First, Carreon started suit in his own name, not that of his client, which suggest that this is for the wrong done him by the mean children of the internet. Second, he’s sued not only Inman, apparently for ‘incitement to cyber-vandalism,’ but the Indiegogo, which handles charitable collections, as well as the two charities to whom Inman’s collection goes. This is nuts. For a fellow who foolishly stepped in shit, he’s doubled quadrupled down. My guess is that he’s included the charities as stakeholders or beneficiaries of Inman’s actions, and wants the money collected to go to him rather than to fighting cancer or saving bears. He wants money collected to fight cancer to go to him instead. It’s unthinkable and anyone could do such a thing. Protip: Unless your handicapped child was deliberately run down by a drunk employee of the American Cancer Society on the way back from a fundraiser with a bag of drug money in the car, who then fled the scene and took refuge in a homeless shelter where he molested young boys, you don’t sue the American Cancer Society. This isn’t the first time a lawyer has done something monumentally stupid and absolutely certain to invoke the wrath of a million individuals on the internet for damn good reason, It’s not the first time someone conclusively proved their cluelessness by thinking they could take on the internet by calling it names for being mean to him. And it likely won’t be the last, as lawyers’ arrogance has a way of metastasizing whenever their feelings are hurt by their own incredibly bad judgment. Yet one would suspect that a lawyer who holds himself out as internet savvy would have a clue that his conduct stands an awfully good chance of bringing a avalanche of bad feelings and internet reaction upon his head. How Charles Carreon failed to consider this when he decided that filing suit would show his enemies who was boss cannot be explained. Ironically, Carreon need only have taken a few minutes to stroll around his client’s website to come to a small appreciation of what was likely to happen to him. FunnyJunk is a harsh, cruel place, where nasty children using foul language with odd ideas and evil minds reign supreme. Did he think the fans of the Oatmeal were going to be kinder? As much as there might have been some issues worth discussing between rational lawyers in the beginning, although it hardly seems that Carreon’s decision to send a nastygram to Inman reflected sound strategy or legal acumen, he would only suffer the indignity of upsetting a huge group of young people who enjoyed humor on the internet. He would survive it, if handled thoughtfully. By suing the American Cancer Society, the National Wildlife Foundation and, given the outcome of his charitable efforts, Matthew Inman, Charles Carreon has elevated himself in the rarified Pantheon of lawyers whose stupid conduct on the web will never be forgotten. He will forever be remembered as the lawyer who cried ‘no cure for cancer!!!’
“The Carreon Gambit. If you’re not a fan of FunnyJunk, the Oatmeal or the First Amendment, you may not have noticed the soap opera developing around the indefatigable ego of Charles Carreon, whose journey began with a threatening letter on behalf of FunnyJunk who was miffed that content from Oatmeal was funnier than anything it could produce. From there, it got stupider. Popehat, Lowering the Bar, even Masnick, the Constitution’s fair-weather friend at Techdirt, have been chronicling Carreon’s every burp. While the original beef between the humor websites catering to precocious twelve-year-olds has fallen by the wayside, Carreon has focused on his own dignity, determined to prove that he can take on the sniggling masses who mistakenly think they can cow him with their ridicule. He will not be cowed. It’s not that Carreon is a slacker or a scammer. Indeed, he has history on the side of good. From Paul Alan Levy at Public Citizen … If there was any doubt before, it’s now gone with his latest foray into unearthing the nefarious joker who started a parody website using his copyrighted name. This compelled Levy to jump into the fray against his former ally…. And so the jousting begins. After Carreon threatened Register.com to compel them to identify the owner of the parody domain, Paul took charge on behalf of the parodist, explaining why Carreon was wrong….While Carreon may be nuts, he’s not insane. Within the demands is a certain truth, that an obsessed person, willing to commit the entirety of their existence to a cause that will invariably exceed the interest of normal and otherwise engage people, has a very good chance of succeeding. Not because they’re right, but by attrition. And so rather than wait for Carreon to act, after Public Citizen has moved on to more pressing causes, and thereby ceding control, Paul took the initiative to file a declaratory judgment action in California federal court on behalf of the anonymous parodist against Carreon. While this most assuredly won’t be the end of the soap opera, as Charles Carreon’s history of doubling down has become the thing of memes, at least his own strategy of use of legal process to vindicate himself has now turned on him. But what’s notable, though largely unmentioned, in this melodrama is that all of the various targets of Charles Carreon have relied upon, and received, the largesse of others. From pro bono counsel, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Popehat signal and now Public Citizen, the objects of Carreon’s obsession have been defended. At the same time, the peanut gallery watching the soap opera unfold is busy doing its hooting and hollering about what a jerk Carreon is and how he’s going to get beaten to a pulp. If only it was that easy. Whether he’s right or wrong, the system doesn’t quite follow the snark of the internet when determining an outcome. Judges don’t count how many times commenters call someone an asshat when deciding who will prevail. You would think people would realize this by now. While good people have stood up against Carreon up to now, the flaw is readily apparent. What of the next target of Charles Carreon? What of the next Charles Carreon? Can we rely on their always being someone willing to fight the dragon free of charge? While the lawyers on board for this fight are getting tons of love from the gallery, the watchers will soon move on to the next internet meme while the lawyers will be left to fight for years without compensation. Not nearly as much fun as it seems. And when they love and interest dissipates, and the fighting grows tedious and sucks up time from more remunerative ventures, will Charles Carreon be the only one left standing? This is why we need a national anti-SLAPP law, because you can trust people to be there if there is something to be gained at the end of the rainbow. Charles Carreon knows it doesn’t exist now, and that he only has to win one of his many battles to be vindicated, and that a win by attrition is still a win. It’s a gambit, but it has a decent chance of succeeding. And it shouldn’t.” [Popehat]
Grouchnikov, Kirill @ plus.google.com: “In other news, Lance Armstrong regrets that he has chosen Charles Carreon as his attorney and will be looking for an alternative representation.” [Popehat]
Ha, Anthony @ techcrunch.com: “So you may remember that wayyyy back at the beginning of this story, when Carreon first threatened to sue Inman if he didn’t pay $20,000 in damages and remove any reference to FunnyJunk from his site, Inman said he was going to raise $20,000 for charity instead, then send Carreon a photo of the money, along with a cartoon supposedly depicting Carreon’s mother having sex with a bear. Well, there were some ensuing legal shenanigans, with Carreon trying to hold up the transfer of funds from Indiegogo (where the money was raised) to Inman, but he dropped that lawsuit last week and declared, “Mission accomplished.” Now Inman has his money (a whopping $211,000 withdrawn from the bank in a duffel bag), and judging by the photographic evidence, he is indeed sending the cartoon and photo to Carreon in a nice care package. There are more photos on Inman’s blog. And with that, hopefully, this weird dispute is over.”
Hagan, Daniel @ kickidle.com: “In case you haven’t already heard about this, here’s the upshot: In 2011, The Oatmeal posted a blog post complaining about his material being blatantly ripped off by FunnyJunk users. The most painful part is that while he can request the material be removed, due to the state of copyright law, it’s a huge pain in the ass and just not practical. So he posted his blog post, vented to the Internet and then FunnyJunk responded by stirring up it’s users and also taking down the specific links mentioned in The Oatmeal’s blog post. Fast forward to a few days ago, when Charles Carreon sent a letter to The Oatmeal threatening a lawsuit for defamation of FunnyJunk. The Oatmeal did exactly what anyone who knows him expects – he posted it to his site and tore the whole thing apart for the blatant bullying hypocrisy it was. He also had a lawyer with excellent lawyering skills send a real legal response back to Carreon that differed in tone but not conclusion. But to put icing on the cake, The Oatmeal started a fundraiser for charity and instead of paying the $20,000 demanded by Carreon & FunnyJunk, he plans on giving all the money to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Carreon, having stirred the dark legions of the internet into a wrathful fury by picking on The Oatmeal, did what any rational person would do – he apologized and let the matter drop. Haha, just kidding! Carreon apparently took this exposure of his bullying and hypocrisy as a personal affront, and not only sued The Oatmeal but doubled down by suing The National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society as well. That’s right, Carreon decided, in arguably the biggest legal douche-bag maneuver this decade, to sue two charities because The Oatmeal wouldn’t cave to some craven bullshit legal threats. I really don’t know what’s wrong with this ass-hat that he thinks this is appropriate behavior, but it’s hopefully only a matter of time until he gets his ass handed to him in court. In the mean time, you can read a humorous legal analysis of the situation over on Popehat.com (whenever his site comes back up) and LoweringTheBar.com (post1, post2, post3) (and donate to the charity fundraiser on Indiegogo here).” [Popehat]
Hill, Emeritus Kashmir @ abovethelaw.com: “The lawyer suing the Oatmeal is just trolling the legal system (and Internet).”
Hockenson, Lauren @ mashable.com: “Rule number one of the Web: You don’t mess with The Oatmeal. Almost a year ago, the wildly popular comics artist, whose real name is Matthew Inman, wrote an angry blog post against humor aggregator website FunnyJunk, deriding the platform for allowing (and ad-serving) uncredited images of his work. FunnyJunk fired back Monday with a letter claiming defamation — and asking for $20,000 in damages. Naturally, Inman then wrote an even angrier blog post that annotates the legal request. In addition to calling the claims “fiction” and the lawyer, media attorney Charles Carreon, a “jackass,” he carefully detailed his plan to respond to the letter: 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, ‘Operation: Bearlove Good. Cancer Bad’ already reached its $20,000 goal on IndieGoGo and is still climbing. At time of writing, the figure has broken past the $30,000 mark and is growing like crazy. ‘Holy shit $20,000 in 64 minutes! YOU PEOPLE ARE AMAZING,’ writes Inman on his fundraiser page. Did FunnyJunk realize what it was in for? What should TheOatmeal do next? Let us know in the comments.”
Hoffberger, Chase @ dailydot.com: “Carreon threw his own ego into the mix, suing Inman for another $20,000 because he ‘hosted false statements’ about FunnyJunk, a site Inman had long accused of lifting his comics. That lawsuit started to blow up in his face when things got so wacky that Carreon actually sued the charities Inman was targeting, an attempt to bar them from receiving any money on grounds that Inman wasn’t properly handling charitable donations…. this case is more cracked than an eggshell on Easter Sunday. The notion of an attorney filing a lawsuit against two nationally recognized charities? It’s almost too good for The Onion, even …. considering the fact that [Inman] was able to raise more than 11 times as much as he’d originally set out to raise, it’s safe to assume that donors do not have many concerns about the Oatmeal proprietor’s motives … Inman also wrote that he had wanted to donate the funds to four charities rather than two ‘because the amount raised was so much larger than expected,’ but that Carreon’s lawsuit has prevented him from doing so. ‘To avoid further litigation with him, I decided to split the money between the original two charities,’ he wrote.”
Hoffman, Rebecca E. @ bna.com: “Thursday, June 28, 2012. He let the world know about some infringement and now he’s getting sued for raising $200K for charity. Wait, what? by Rebecca E. Hoffman. When a putative plaintiff tests the limits of copyright protection for original internet content, this conduct can result in further development of this constantly changing area of law, so we can be more informed when new disputes arise. But when a plaintiff tries to get the law on his side using finger-pointing and other schoolyard gestures, it serves as entertainment for the rest of us. Bonus! When we pushpin our content onto the vast public bulletin board space that is the internet, we aren’t sure what others will do with it. Bloggers and others are wont to include some legalese that sounds as if they might take some sort of action against you if you try to steal their stuff. Others assume that some commandeering sharing of content is inevitable, and will appeal to their readers’ good natures, asking that they provide proper attribution for anything borrowed. This image was created by, and is the copyrighted work of Allie Brosh at the very funny Hyperbole and a Half: “copyright 2009-2011 by Allie Brosh, strictly enforced by the copyright monster: ‘I KILL YOU!’ In her FAQ, Brosh elaborates: ‘Is your work copyrighted? Can I repost it? My stories and drawings are copyrighted, but as long as you attribute your use of my images/words correctly (with a link to the source of the material), it should be fine. But please don’t completely repost anything (that’s such a gray area and it has worked out horribly for me in the past). Problems only arise when you use my work in a way that suggests you’re trying to pass it off as your own. I work very hard to create these posts and it hurts my livelihood when my work is reposted without credit (websites like funnyjunk.com are horrible about this.) Plagiarism always hurts the artist.’ Wait, did you mention funnyjunk.com? That’s where I was going with this in the first place. Another very funny website, TheOatmeal.com, contains numerous “webcomics.” These have become so popular that Oatmeal proprietor Matthew Inman published a Real Book of them, and is working on a second. He also sells merchandise sporting some of the more popular comics. Inman posted to his blog a year ago that FunnyJunk.com was posting his (and others’) material on the site without attribution, and was ostensibly making money through the advertising placed around the “stolen” content. ‘I realize that trying to police copyright infringement on the internet is like strolling into the Vietnamese jungle circa 1964 and politely asking everyone to use squirt guns,’ Inman observed, ‘but I felt I had to say something about what they’re doing.’ Early this month, Inman received a Scary Attorney Letter from FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon. Carreon threatened Inman with legal action unless Inman forked over $20,000 in “damages” for Inman’s “false accusation of willful copyright infringement.” Inman’s response on TheOatmeal.com to the “falsity” assertion includes a handy (and long) list of the comics he was still able to find on FunnyJunk.com at that point. After artfully mincing to little bits everything in Carreon’s letter, Inman announced that he would not be presenting FunnyJunk with its “damages.” Instead, he would permit his readers to donate funds, which he would donate to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, but not before taking a photograph of the collected cash and sending it to Carreon. Inman said that he would try to raise the $20,000, but it took only an hour to raise that much after he put out the call. He closed the donation page after it reached a little over $220K, all of which is going to charity. The story becomes even more fun after that. Carreon himself has sued Inman for “cybervandalism.” Apparently, readers of TheOatmeal, and others who just heard about this craziness, decided to “help” by harassing Carreon all over the internet, hacking into his website, and using his e-mail address to sign him up for things, among other pranks. Inman “never encouraged anyone to attack, harass, or otherwise contact” Carreon, and told his readers to “stop harassing Carreon. Be lawful and civil in your interactions with him.” The lawsuit can only be described as frivolity on top of frivolousness, or, as Inman put it, silly (but with the capacity to injure him). Carreon has even included the charities as defendants. This site [Popehat] goes into a lot of detail about it, over a series of posts. On June 21, the Electronic Frontier Foundation got into the game. EFF’s press release states that “[t]his lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic,” and they will assist Inman’s lawyer in representing him in this matter. It goes without saying that this has spiraled, but not out of control. I think Inman, EFF, and all the others that have emerged from the interwoodwork to support him, still have all of the control, with the truth and the First Amendment on their side. From Inman’s suggestion that someone hasn’t played nice and followed the rules of sharing, there is now a whole heckuva lot more internet content by interested commentators who have joined this discussion. This content can be enjoyed, fairly used, and maybe infringed, but we hope not. This is far from over; stay tuned.” [Popehat]
Hopewell, Luke @ gizmodo.com.au: “Remember the guy who sued The Oatmeal on behalf of FunnyJunk? He’s today withdrawn a series of ridiculous lawsuits that would have seen money raised by readers donated to two prominent charities…. The EFF has labelled the suit as nothing more than a stunt by Carreon… Hurray for common sense. [EFF]”
Huynh, Terence @ techgeek.com.au: “If you do something bad on the Internet that everybody doesn’t like, then probably you should reconsider – like I don’t know, suing an artist that had issues with your site because you have stolen material from that website…. FunnyJunk basically is a wall of funny images – many of which are uploaded from users who have taken it from other sites. The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, complained and wrote a blog post because they didn’t even link back to the content or give him credit. FunnyJunk then claimed that he was going to sue them (which he wasn’t even planning to do so), and then sued him yesterday over the article. In the letter, made public, FunnyJunk claimed that he ‘published false statements about FunnyJunk to gain publicity, popularize TheOatmeal.com, and injure FunnyJunk’s reputation in the marketplace’, and engaging in false advertising. Many of which are pretty much baseless, I might offer – but I’m not a lawyer. Then they asked for $20,000. ‘Instead of mailing the owner of FunnyJunk the money, I’m going to send the above drawing of his mother. I’m going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society,’ Inman explained on the fundraiser page. So basically, FunnyJunk wants to takedown a campaign to give money to charities, so it can have the $20,000. Yeah, that’s not going to win you any Internet love – that’s implying you had some at the start…. Though, I really do find it hard to give sympathy to FunnyJunk. Harassing a person, even if it is this guy, is not alright, but claiming your lawsuit as reasonable and then having the balls to try and take down a campaign to a cancer charity?” [Popehat]
Inman, Matt @ theoatmeal.com: “FunnyJunk is threatening to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay $20,000 in damages. Remember FunnyJunk? Almost exactly a year ago I published a blog post about my comics being stolen, re-hosted, and monetized on FunnyJunk’s website. The owner of the site responded and some of the comics were taken down, 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. A few days ago I was served papers informing me that the owner of FunnyJunk is going to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay him $20,000 in damages. You can read the full letter here. The owner of FunnyJunk hired Charles Carreon, a lawyer who became famous in the 90s after successfully litigating sex.com. Charles does a bit of modeling too, apparently. I don’t want to get tied up in courtroom nonsense. I don’t want to pay more money to my lawyer. Don’t you miss the days when I posted 2 comics a week, instead of writing rebuttals to Forbes and dealing with bullshit like this? So do I. I’ve annotated the letter below as well as outlined how I’m going to deal with this.” — theoatmeal.com
Kelly, Aaron M. @ aaronkellylaw.com: ” The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk saga started in 2010. Back then, Inman contacted FunnyJunk.com and asked the administrators to remove some copyrighted content from their site…. FunnyJunk.com’s copyright removal page didn’t include a DMCA agent, but they ostensibly agreed to Inman’s request. Ostensibly being the operative word. Turns out that FunnyJunk.com simply removed all the content that WAS properly attributed to Inman, and left all the material that was not. Then, FunnyJunk pulled the ultimate in school-yard whining by changing all instances of the phrase ‘The Oatmeal’ to ‘The Fag’ on their website. As Inman explained, filing a DMCA takedown notice for every single infringement would have taken an inordinate amount of time. Besides, Matt had more important things to do … so instead of going the DMCA route, Inman decided to make a post on his blog about FunnyJunk.com’s blatant infringement…. At around the same time, FunnyJunk.com was in the process of retaining Charles Carreon as counsel. A self-styled crusader against “cyber vandalism,” Carreon got down to the business of lawyering on behalf of his client, FunnyJunk.com…. instead of first making sure that FunnyJunk.com had rock-solid website disclosures, complete with a DMCA agent listed on the ‘copyright removal’ page, he fired off a strongly worded letter to Inman after coming across The Oatmeal blog post that discussed FunnyJunk’s copyright infringement. WTF!? You’re Actually Going to Sue for Defamation, Carreon!? In Carreon’s letter to Inman, he demanded that Inman pay $20,000 for making a ‘false accusation of willful copyright infringement’ against The Oatmeal’s “competitors,” FunnyJunk.com. The defamation, Carreon argued, centered on the fact that Inman defamed his clients by saying they were infringing on copyrights, when in fact, Carreon argued, they were protected by Section 230 of the CDA. Carreon further argued that an alpha-numeric pterodactyl graphic, which appeared in the source code of Inman’s post about FunnyJunk.com, was ‘evidenc’ of actual malice. Additionally, Carreon averred that Inman’s statements constituted false advertising under the Lanham Act.
“Here’s why Carreon’s claims are ridiculous: 1) The pterodactyl graphic was developed long before the fracas with FunnyJunk.com started and appears on nearly every page of The Oatmeal’s source code….2) The defamation claims are ridiculous …. common sense dictates that defamation is not pointing out that another website is posting copyright protected work without proper credit. Now, Carreon says that all the links that Inman said were infringing were removed soon after Inman made his complaints, thereby putting them on the right side of DMCA law; However, a quick look at one of the page’s cache proves that it was still intact on May 28, 2012. Carreon’s letter was dated June 2, 2012. It’s not a far stretch to infer from those facts that the links were taken down with the express purpose of sending the ‘extortion’  letter to Inman. 3) The Lanham act specifies ‘commercial advertising and promotion.’ As such, a lawyer could easily argue that Inman’s actions did not constitute ‘false advertising’…
“Inman posted the campaign, ‘Operation Bear Love Good, Cancer Bad,’ on Indiegogo.com, with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Foundation….Within minutes of Inman’s charitable campaign launch, thousands of copies of Inman’s mother-kodiak drawing landed in Carreon’s inbox; crank calls were made to his office; under siege, the beleaguered lawyer attempted to stop the onslaught by removing his contact information from his website.
“WTF!? You’re Actually Going to Sue the American Cancer Society & National Wildlife Foundation Over This, Carreon!? Carreon was ticked about the drawing. He told reporters that ‘accusing [his] mother of beastiality is revolting, and [he would] not forgive it!’ And with that, instead of cutting his losses and letting the incident die a slow death, Carreon opted to serve Inman with yet another lawsuit – this time over Inman’s failure to file a charitable disclosure or annual report, thus making him an unfit entity to receive charitable gifts. To add some cache to the suit (and possibly to assure greater media coverage?), Carreon included not only Indiegogo, but the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Foundation, for illegally participating in a charitable giving campaign that was not in compliance with non-profit technicalities. In his claim, Carreon also asserted that Inman’s campaign violated Indeigogo’s terms of service – an argument which Indiegogo has since refuted. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now stepped in on Inman’s behalf, and will most likely make mincemeat of Carreon’s claim – further embarrassing the once lauded Internet lawyer. It just goes to show, as an Internet lawyer, you have to keep up – otherwise you may end up unintentionally knocking yourself out of the market – within a matter of hours.
“FunnyJunk.com v. The Oatmeal (which has now turned into Carreon v. Inman … serves as an ideal case study for how vintage lawyering can sometimes prove disastrous in today’s digital marketplace. In a matter of a few days, Carreon became Internet public enemy #1. The hive mind was incredulous that a lawyer could make such ridiculous demands of one of the more popular Web cartoonists around. Part of what was so infuriating was Carreon’s ostensible ignorance of current Internet culture. Not only did he seemingly fail to handle the most basic and foundational aspect of online business litigation by making sure FunnyJunk.com had a proper DMCA disclosure, but instead of cutting his losses after the first threat, he doubled down – thereby making himself a 21st century target and highlighting his arguable ignorance of the market in which he claims expertise…. Over the next few months, Carreon v. Inman is poised to be an oft-talked about Internet law case —not because of the legal prowess of Carreon’s lawyering, but because the Inman v. FunnyJunk.com drama has definitely brought a little LULZ to kick off summer 2012.”
Levy, Paul @ citizen.org: “Charles Carreon Digs Himself Even Deeper—and Register.com Betrays a Customer. Recently, Public Citizen was aligned with a lawyer named Charles Carreon, filing an amicus brief in support of his argument against allowing a publisher to pursue a copyright-infringement lawsuit against his wife’s Oregon company in federal court in New York. The former colleague who wrote this amicus brief argued the personal jurisdiction issue orally, so well that Carreon did not feel the need to come argue himself (a good thing too – his appellate brief was terrible). And it has seemed to me that some of the online criticism directed his way for having sent a demand letter for a client, complaining that a blogger had defamed the client, had become a bit excessive. I had turned down requests that I represent some of the defendants in Carreon’s earlier litigation, because, although it was apparent that he was litigating strange claims to punish his critics, the theories in the case either were not interesting enough to make a good vehicle for impact litigation, or would have had to be advanced on behalf of entities that could easily afford to hire their own lawyers. (But see EFF’s fabulous response to Carreon’s TRO motion). However, when Carreon put forward bogus trademark theories as a basis for threatening suit against a critic, he crossed a line that has now brought Public Citizen into the fray. Most immediately, we have agreed to represent the anonymous author of a blog at www.charles-carreon.com that satirizes Carreon mercilessly by speaking in his voice and imitating the rather pompous and over-the-top language that Carreon himself uses. Carreon claimed that the domain name infringes the registered copyright in his name, and constitutes cybersquatting, and threatened to add our client as an additional defendant in the peculiar lawsuit that he has filed against Matt Inman and others over Inman’s satirical charity-fundraising campaign. We have long been interested in the abuse of trademark law to suppress dissent, and Carreon’s claimed basis for threatening suit—that a domain name using his trademark is inherently infringing—ran afoul of several cases we have won for other clients (for example, here and here). Trying to avoid the need to actually litigate the case, I explained to Carreon the legal case against him (see Exhibit E near the end of this document), and even offered to let him save face, by offering to keep the explanation unpublished if he would just do the right thing. Sadly, instead of agreeing to stand down, Carreon apparently took the fact that I had written him at length as a sign of concern and hence weakness, because he responded with a completely over-the-top threat. (Exhibit F at the end of this document). He instructed me to warn my client to worry about being sued at a later time when Public Citizen might not defend him and about being sued for six-figures worth of damages that would not be dischargeable in bankruptcy; he also pointed to what he claimed to be a reputation for “extended” litigation including “appeals for years.” The response took a bizarre turn at the end, proclaiming that he was a major contributor to Ralph Nader last campaign for President (does he not know how most Public Citizen staff feel about that candidacy?) and demanding that I promptly send a copy of his email to Ralph, to Joan Claybrook (does he not know that she retired as president of Public Citizen years ago?), and to Public Citizen’s board. I could also not help wondering whether Carreon understood how this sort of threat, that he would run up his alleged damages but allow the threat of litigation to linger for years, sets him up for a declaratory judgment action of non-infringement. … Carreon’s initial threat to sue the Doe was made in a letter to Register.com that also threatened to make the domain name registrar the defendant if it did not deny our client’s right to remain anonymous by entering her name into the WHOIS record (Doe had paid extra for Register.com’s privacy service). This aspect of the threatened suit was doubly frivolous — in addition to the flaws in the merits of the claim noted above, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has squarely held that a domain name registrar cannot be sued for trademark infringement. Yet Register.com caved in, putting Doe’s personal information in the WHOIS, violating the promises inherent in its broadly advertised private registration service, as well as the explicit commitment I received from Register.com staff when I called them to make sure that company would stand up for its customer. Happily, both the blogger who broke this story and reporters from Ars Technica who were covering the Carreon story resisted the temptation to identify our client by name in their posts, and by the following day Register.com had responded to my warning that it faced a claim for breach of contract by restoring the privacy of Doe’s domain name registration. … In the comments on one of the posts about Carreon, Marc Randazza argues that domain name registrars can be held liable for the misconduct of their registrants, based on language in an ICANN rule. But ICANN rules do not override national law, and my experience contradicts Marc’s assertion that ‘Domain privacy services all reveal your information if presented with a letter [claiming infringement. The public should certainly be complaining to Register.com for violating its customer’s trust. Other ISP’s have responded to bad publicity about the unreliability of their privacy protections by apologizing and adopting new procedures to protect anonymity....
"Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S.D.C. for the N. Dist. of Calif. awarded Christopher Recouvreur more than $46,000 in attorney fees and expenses for having had to defend himself against a series of wild and baseless threats of suit for trademark infringement by Charles Carreon ... the judge said that he could not find the threatened trademark claims to be 'frivolous' because if Carreon had mounted a defense, 'he may have been able to raise debatable issues of law and fact.' However, the court held that the fees for seeking service costs were fully justified under Rule 4(d)(2), which encourages defendants to waive service of process, and that Carreon's conduct after the motion for an award of fees was filed was 'unnecessary, vexatious and costly,' thus making the litigation exceptional after that point ... This fee award teaches two important lessons about litigation. First, it reminds us of the adage that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client... A good lawyer would have counseled him not to duck service ... it does not appear to me that Carreon understood, when he sent the offer of judgment, that it was going to subject him to an award of fees ... and a lawyer would likely have advised him not to embark on the course of frivolous and abusive discovery. I urged Carreon on more than one occasion to get himself a lawyer ... this was particularly important because Carreon is a sole practitioner who does not have colleagues off whom he can bounce ideas, and because he rejected private advice from at least one lawyer who has told me of his efforts to help Carreon to steer himself into safer waters... Carreon made clear ... that he had made his threats out of anger at the public obloquy he was facing ... he seemed to be asking me to put myself in his shoes and take pity. On a human level, I can understand how this could happen... but it is not an excuse for what he put Recouvreur through. The second lesson: sometimes you have to be careful about what you ask for, because you might get it... Judge Seeborg sent Carreon a pretty clear hint in his order implicitly allowing some discovery that Carreon should not go overboard. In the end, it is apparent that the Court gave Carreon enough rope to hang himself. In my view, Carreon would still be wise to find himself a lawyer to help him decide on his next steps. To be sure, he has claimed to be as poor as a churchmouse, and make it clear that we are going to have to fight to execute on any fee judgment (any sources out there who know where assets are located, please be in touch). But fees are likely to be awarded for an appeal, and they are also awardables for judgment enforcement proceedings. As Mike Masnick ended his report on today's decision, 'will Charles Carreon stop digging?'
"We owe Ken White a huge debt of gratitude for his selfless assistance throughout this case. He was the first lawyer whom Recouvreur consulted, and his offer to provide advice and assistance throughout the case encouraged me to take it on. He gave excellent advice as well as marking up drafts, in detail and with Litigation-Group-quality edits for almost every document that was filed in the case.... And when we worried about the cost of hiring a process server to sit outside Carreon's house, waiting for him to show his face so that process could be dropped in front of him, it was Ken who posted an appeal on Popehat for funds to support service, although in the end there was a source out there who tipped us that Carreon was scheduled to appear in federal court in San Francisco, where Carreon was eventually served.... Ken blogs and does this sort of work because it is what he thinks is right. This is what good lawyers do."
Licino, Hal @ benchmarkemail.com: "The corollary of actually drawing massive attention to an online element that you want quashed was labeled The Streisand Effect, and the latest instance centers around a lawyer Ars Techinca has labeled 'The Internet's Most Hated Man,' Charles Carreon, and his borderline ludicrous battle against webcomic The Oatmeal. And, it seems, a considerable chunk of the rest of the web.... we have on one side Carreon, an indignant, choleric, wrathful attorney with a subpoena printer floored in fifth gear; and on the other side Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal who found his original copyrighted content slathered all over Funnyjunk, the site Carreon represents, whose users have, without permission, uploaded hundreds of Inman's webcomics to the site over the last several years. Inman issued DMCA takedowns, and in a remarkable turnaround, Carreon demanded that Inman pay $20,000 for defamation of Funnyjunk (which is the infringing party). Both parties proceeded to put out the fire with gasoline and a little nitroglycerin thrown in for good measure. Inman launched a fundraising effort to donate the money to charities rather than pay Funnyjunk, and proceeded to post irreverent and defamatory cartoons targeting his legal opponents, while Carreon went on a subpoena binge targeting Twitter, Ars Technica, ACS, NWS, and pretty well anyone who has ever eaten oatmeal. The EFF has announced that it will represent Inman and called the lawsuit 'a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic.' Regardless of its merits or lack thereof, the suit could establish a precedent of whether copyright infringement accusations fall within the purview of the legal definition of defamation. A positive ruling could send a chill across the web, as site operators who find their content stolen and copied onto other sites might then face extensive legal entanglements should they even dare to publicly mention such a fact. This future legal scenario is somewhat tantamount to having your car stolen, watching the thief drive around town in it and not being able to tell anyone about it, lest the criminal sue you for defaming their character. Carreon's 'I'm gonna sue the world' approach has let loose the hounds of the net, and he has been barraged with attacks to his website, email account and every other aspect of his online presence. The countless thousands of netizens who have taken up The Oatmeal's banner to crucify Carreon are the latest members of the online armies that spontaneously rise from the cyberether to pillory any entity that in their exclusive determination has violated the unwritten, often anarchic, Wild West rules of the internet. But if the internet can take sides, the over $150,000 donated to Inman in the very short time it has taken for this story to catch fire is proof enough that he is the chosen one.... What the Oatmeal has done is hand Carreon and his client back their own gauntlet, and it is brimming with everything the net can offer: swift insult for insult, perverse memetic tomfoolery, nigh instantaneous sponsorship and an absurd yet predictable punishment for those who take the vested power of the web for granted."
vest: to place or give into the possession or discretion of some person or authority; especially: to give to a person a legally fixed immediate right of present or future employment of (as an estate); to grant or endow with a particular authority, right, or property; to clothe with or as if with a garment; especially: to robe in ecclesiastical vestments. -- Merriam Webster
Litte, Jane @ dearauthor.com @anaquana.wordpress.com: "The situation gains the attention of the mainstream media and Carreon begins to make personal threats. He expresses wonderment and dismay at the internet's reaction (he calls it bullying) toward his legal demands of Inman and The Oatmeal ... The internet continues to make fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon's actions which include statements like 'Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that's more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns' undergarments.' ... Charles Carreon's pride has been wounded. In his delusionary state, he must see that the only way out is to double down on the Jack and the Six (i.e., worse blackjack hand in the deck). He takes the situation to DefCon5... Feel free to copy this entire post and repost it (even without attribution) anywhere you can." [Popehat]
Lowry, Michael A. @ blog.michael-lowry.com: “Futurama character Bender repeatedly states in the show his desire to ‘kill all humans.’ This is obviously intended as a threat against Charles Carreon. I don’t expect it’ll be long before Carreon adds Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John CDiMaggio, Fox and Comedy Central to his lawsuit.”
Masnick, Mike @ techdirt.com: “Carreon ridiculously sued Inman, IndiGoGo and the charities. After realizing the case had almost no chance of succeeding, Carreon dropped the lawsuit. However he (along with his wife) have since had an ongoing campaign attacking anyone (including us) who has mocked or criticized the Carreons over the whole Inman/Oatmeal fiasco. In one case Carreon threatened a satirical, mocking blogger, even promising to wait until the public interest was gone to sue at a later date. In response the blogger filed for declaratory judgment that his actions were legit. Carreon responded by literally hiding from being served while also trying to intimidate the blogger, even contacting and threatening to sue his employer. After finally getting served, Carreon basically caved on every point, effectively settling the case. Except Charles Carreon, brilliant legal mind, apparently didn’t realize that he was still subject to having to pay legal fees. Over the past few months Carreon has done everything possible to avoid having to pay those legal fees, lashing out at the lawyers involved, demanding they submit to discovery and depositions, and even claiming that Paul Levy and Cathy Gellis, the lawyers representing the blogger, were involved in some sort of conspiracy against him …
|“Thanks much to the lawyers, law students, paralegals, technical experts, and others who have previously offered pro bono help to people caught up in Charles Carreon’s litigation arising from The Oatmeal v. Funnyjunk perfect storm of internet ridiculousness. I’m writing today, and throwing up the Popehat Signal, to make a very specific follow-up request. I’m looking for a lawyer admitted in United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and preferably working in the Bay Area, to act as pro bono local counsel for someone involved in this case. Lead counsel is a figure of unmitigated awesomeness and consummate qualifications [Paul Levy] for the case at hand. (Please do not speculate about details in the comments. You’ll find out soon enough.) Drop me an email, please…. Kevin and I have offered pro bono help, and I will be recruiting other First Amendment lawyers to offer pro bono help. It’s not just Mr. Inman who needs help. IndyGoGo does to. So do the charities. No doubt the charities already have excellent lawyers, but money that they spend fighting Carreon (whatever the casues of action he brought) is money that they don’t have to fight cancer and help wildlife. That’s an infuriating, evil turn of events. You could still donate through the IndieGoGo program The Oatmeal set up. Or you could donate directly to the American Cancer Society or the National Wildlife Federation. I like animals, and I loved my mother who died at 55 of cancer, but I have no qualms whatsoever about encouraging people to donate to those causes as part of a gesture of defiance and contempt against Charles Carreon and the petulant, amoral, censorious douchebaggery he represents. Spread the word. Tell this story on blogs, forums, and social media. Encourage people to donate as part of a gesture of defiance of Charles Carreon and entitled butthurt censors everywhere. Help the Streisand Effect work.” — The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk: Request for Pro Bono Help in Bay Area, by Kenneth Paul White *** I’d like to ask for a favor. If you’ve enjoyed reading this series, please consider making a modest donation to Public Citizen for the purposes of paying costs in this case, including the cost of serving Carreon. Levy’s post with the donation link is here. I understand that any excess funds will be used to pay litigation expenses in other Public Citizen online free speech cases. That’s a worthy cause.Perhaps you’ll say, “Ken, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?” I’d answer like this: I believe strongly enough in this case that I donated the filing fees and other initial expenses — more than $700 — out of my own pocket. Please step up and throw in a few bucks yourself to help a blogger protect himself from censorious thuggery.*** “I’ve always been a committed fan of free speech. More than a fan, actually: it was something I believed in fighting for. In my previous career as an Internet professional I became more and more concerned that when it came to speech taking place oover the Internet, free speech values were too easily being compromised. I went to law school in order to put myself in a position to do something about it. So when I saw the Popehat Signal seeking a lawyer’s assistance to defend someone’s speech, I knew I had to answer the call. — Catherine Rachel Gellis, cathygellis.com|
while simultaneously arguing (no joke) that he has a First Amendment right to make vexatious legal threats…. The court then laughs off Carreon’s suggestion that legal fees should be merely $200 by noting that Carreon provides no explanation for why, and that this ignores all the time and effort Levy and Gellis had to put in. As for the breakdown of the fees … all stems from Carreon’s crazy fight against attorney fees. All of this from a case that came about because of his own ridiculous legal threats. So the question remains: will Charles Carreon stop digging?”
McAteer, Liberty @ blog.libertymcateer.com: “Charles Carreon: Plot thickens as internet collectively realizes he has a pretty serious disciplinary history … Charles Carreon has a pretty serious history of being censured by the courts for misconduct … these are not trifling matters … it is understandable that one could mess up, but twice, for the same charge? This is less excusable, particularly in the added presence of a censure for practicing without a license in not one, but two jurisdictions. I think the top comments on reddit pretty accurately summarize the situation … I know we have many ass*hles in our profession, but damn few wikipedia-grade assho*les … At this point it is safe to say that the internet has officially labeled Charles Carreon a ‘Wikipedia Grade Assh*le.’ Can this somehow make it into his Wikipedia entry?”
McCain, Robert Stacy @theothermccain.com: “Seems to be an infamous douchebag; not infamaous enought, yet; is he a pervert?; does he hang around middle-school playgrounds selling heroin to children?; is there reason to believe he is a serial killer with a basement dungeon and the bones of prostitutes buried in his backyard?; no, he’s just a douchebag, big-shot lawyer; he got a prompt response to his demand letter that is arguably the most hilarious fuck you in the history of the internet; he gave himself +eleventy in censorious twatwaffle on Klout and the Streisand Effect is looming; fuck him, he’s vermin; he’s not forgivable; let any good he has ever done be wiped out; let the name Charles Carreon be synonymous with petulant, amoral censorious douchebaggery; he cooperated admirably, doubling down over and over, chasing his losses, as a gambler would say; a guy created a site mocking him which led to threads and a lawsuit and he was eventually handed his own ass in federal court; the key to understanding this is his sense of entitledment; he is a big-shot lawyer and therefore entitled to a good reputation, so if people say mean things about him on the internet, he believes he has been wrongly deprived of something that is rightfully his; he whined to NBC News after the Oatmeal mocked him; is his mother a sexual deviant?; he invited me to his reign-of-terror pity party; his mother being a sexual deviant might explain a lot of things; Ken White offers apologies for his reign of terror, but who’s going to apologize for all the hookers who have disappeared from the streets of Tucson in recent years?; what about the epidemic of heroin addition among Arizona middle schoolers?; if anybody has a hunch that his hard drive is crammed full of illegal pornograph, they’ve never mentioned this to me; as for the sexual deviancy of his mother, he didn’t deny it; he probably doesn’t have a torture dungeon in his basement, though you never know; he’s in the Douchebag Hall of fame because of his own actions; he refuses to accept responsibility for this; instead he shifts blame onto scapegoats, demonizing Ken White and others, causing me to take notice of his censorious douchebaggery; he chose poorly again.”
McSherry, Corynne @ eff.org: “Inman sparked a flood of charity donations, and yet Carreon still tried to punish him for making fun of his baseless legal threats by dragging him through the court system. We’re very pleased that Carreon has seen that his lawsuit had no merit, and hope that this is the end of his abuse of the legal system.”
Meyer, Warren @ coyoteblog.com @ climate-skeptic.com: “Charles Carreon and the Streisand Effect June 20 2012,. A quick information graphic for you … This count does not include his Wikipedia page, where about half the content now is about the Funnyjunk/Oatmeal brouhaha. Hilariously, before this happened, Mr. Carreon’s page was nominated for deletion for his being too much of a non-entity. Using a great new phrase I just learned from Ken at Popehat, “on information and belief” the original page was probably put up on Wikipedia by him or one of his paid help. Apparently “On information and belief” is lawyer-speak for “I have no evidence whatsoever, but I kind of like to imagine that it’s true, and who knows what I’ll find in discovery.” Useful term, that. By the way, Ken has lots of updates at that link.
“Charles Carreon Totally Loses It. June 18, 2012, 8:54. I will admit, I can get angry, especially when I believe someone has done me wrong. But over time, I have learned to distrust this anger. About twenty of twenty of the actions that I have most regretted in life or that have backfired on me have been undertaken during such periods of anger — from yelling at innocent airline employees to writing scathing business letters that only make a situation worse. I have learned to impose on myself a sort of count-to-ten rule, where if I am really ticked off about something, I force myself to wait 24 hours before I respond. It works for me. Attorney Charles Carreon needs to figure out a parallel strategy, or else he needs a business partner or family member who can perform an intervention for him. Because last week, he totally lost it. As you might remember from our last episode, Carreon was representing a web site called Funnyjunk where people post content strip-mined from other sites. One of those sites, the Oatmeal, got mad about their cartoons ending up on this site without compensation, and called them out online. No lawsuit, nothing unnatural, just good old American criticism. I don’t know enough about copyright law to know if Funnyjunk was in the right or wrong. The Oatmeal could have tied it up anyway in copyright suits, but chose not to. So of course Funnyjunk responded in asymmetric fashion by hiring Carreon to threaten the Oatmeal with a $20,000 lawsuit. Apparently they were really sad and hurt by the Oatmeal’s criticism, and argued that the Oatmeal abused their copyrighted name by using it online in the criticism (a hilarious charge given how the whole thing started). By the way, in case anyone is confused about this, though this approach is tried constantly, courts have routinely held that there is no such copyright that bars someone from criticism or comment using one’s name. At this point, this all constituted irritating but fairly normal (unfortunately) behavior of people and lawyers online who don’t really understand the First Amendment. Then Charles Carreon drove over the cliff. On Friday, he apparently sued not only the Oatmeal (for criticizing him online, causing other people to hate him, and for violating his copyright in his own name) but also, get ready for this, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Why? Because when the Oatmeal first got Carreon’s demand letter, its proprietor said he would raise $20,000 for charity instead, and send Funnyjunk a picture of the money. To date, nearly $200,000 has been raised for the two charities by Oatmeal fans who wanted to show their support. Apparently, according to Carreon’s suit (I still can’t believe he actually filed this), the money that was raised for these charities was tainted because it was raised in the name of making him look like a doofus. Which, by the way, is exactly right. I am not a huge fan of either charity (they use too much money in both cases for political activism rather than solving problems), but I gave $100 just to help hammer home the point that Charles Carreon is an idiot. Perhaps this guy has no friends. But if he does, one of them needs to be grabbing his collar and shoving him up against the wall and explaining in one syllable words how suing two prominent charities is NOT a path to success in the war to reclaim his reputation. The guy basically kneecapped himself with his opening shot. He will soon learn that while it may be increasingly against the law on college campuses to hurt someone’s feelings with your speech, it is not illegal in the rest of America. And he will also soon learn all about California’s tough anti-SLAPP law, as he finds himself headed to Bank of America to take out a second mortgage on his home so he can pay the legal bills of those he has sued with the intent to suppress their speech. Update: Mr. Carreon, welcome to the Streisand effect. Last Thursday, none of his first page Google results mentioned this incident. Today, there are five. Update #2: Mr. Carreon claims his web site has been hacked. Maybe. But I will observe that for the web NOOB, “buying the cheapest Godaddy hosting account that is fine for my normal 12 visitors but crashes when I get 50,000 hits in an hour from Reddit” and “hacking” often look the same. Update #3 and irony alert: If you want to see something odd, check out the web site he and his wife run. The site is full of very raw critiques that would easily land a desk full of lawsuits in the Carreon mailbox if the legal system routinely accepted the type of censorious lawsuits he himself is attempting to initiate. If he takes the linked site down, the screenshot is here. As an aside, I am constantly amazed at how liberals, including those who claim to be feminists, seem so obsessed with the sexuality of Conservative women and couch so much of their criticism in terms up to and including rape images (particularly oral sex).
“Charles Carreon Discovers the Streisand Effect in 3..2..1… June 13, 2012. I hate excerpting Ken at Popehat in times like this, because I simply love reading all his prose and hope you will do so as well rather than settling for the excerpt only. I love Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon not because it is his best story (it’s not) but because it has some of his best prose. Six pages on eating Cap’n Crunch and ten or so on getting a wisdom tooth extraction, and I was left begging for more. Ken is my blogging equivalent. I could read a whole book just with Ken calling out censorious lawyers for threatening bloggers to try to shut them up. That said, he has been writing of late about a site called Funnyjunk sending a lawyer-cum-Tony-Soprano after the Oatmeal. Today he really rips into said lawyer, named Charles Carreon: “See, a legal threat like the one Charles Carreon sent — ‘shut up, delete your criticism of my client, give me $20,000, or I’ll file a federal lawsuit against you’ — is unquestionably a form of bullying. It’s a form that’s endorsed by our broken legal system. Charles Carreon doesn’t have to speak the subtext, any more than the local lout has to tell the corner bodega-owner that ‘protection money’ means ‘pay or we’ll trash your shop.’ The message is plain to anyone who is at all familiar with the system, whether by experience or by cultural messages. What Charles Carreon’s letter conveyed was this: ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re in the right. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the wrong. It doesn’t matter that my client makes money off of traffic generated from its troglodytic users scraping content, and looks the other way with a smirk. It just doesn’t matter. Right often doesn’t prevail in our legal system. When it does, it is often ruinously expensive and unpleasant to secure. And on the way I will humiliate you, delve into private irrelevancies, harass your business associates and family, disrupt your sleep, stomp on your peace of mind, and consume huge precious swaths of your life. And, because the system is so bad at redressing frivolous lawsuits, I’ll get away with it even if I lose — which I won’t for years. Yield — stand and deliver — or suffer.’ Our system privileges Charles Carreon to issue that threat, rather than jailing or flogging him for it. And so Carreon supports bullying like that. He’s got a license to do it. He knows that his licensed threats — coming, as they do, on the [slightly odd] letterhead of a lawyer — inspire far more fear and stress than the complaints of a mere citizen, and by God he plays it to the hilt. By contrast, Charles Carreon doesn’t like shows of force that you or I can muster. ‘I’m completely unfamiliar really with this style of responding to a legal threat,’ he sniffs. There’s a whiff of Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing in there — the sentiment ‘how was I to know that I was picking on someone stronger than I am? Is that fair?’ But what he means is ‘if the people I threaten don’t have to dig into their pockets to go hire a lawyer, and spend unpleasant hours with that lawyer, and lay awake at night worrying, and rely on a lawyer who is part of my privileged culture, but can stand up for themselves . . . how can I intimidate them so easily?’ Perhaps some rude Oatmeal followers did actually send true threats or abuse to Charles Carreon’s office — which I condemn. That’s morally wrong and not helpful to the cause of free speech; it’s harmful. But I fail to see why Charles Carreon sending that threat letter is more legitimate, admirable, or proper than ten thousand Oatmeal fans sending back the message that Charles Carreon is a petulant, amoral, censorious douchebag. It doesn’t take lawyers, it doesn’t take law school, it doesn’t take any special privilege conferred by the state — it only takes a robust right of free expression — sending it back by blogging it, tweeting it, posting it on Facebook, and posting it in comments on forums. Charles Carreon has power derived from an inadequate legal system and letters of marque from the State Bar; The Oatmeal has the power of goodwill and community respect earned by talent. There’s no reason to exalt Carreon’s power and condemn The Oatmeal’s.” Read it all. The Oatmeal’s response is also classic.” [Popehat]
Murphy, Kevin @ kevinmurphylaw.blogspot.com: “… rude cartoons of Carreon’s mother. Rude but not a crime … This will be an interesting case to watch — a meritless fools errand — but fun to watch. Popehat.com has the whole series as well as links to the pleadings. Charles Carreon’s suit is clearly not having the desired effect. Lawyers and publicists should read up on the ‘Streisand’ effect before launching into a suit of this kind. There is nothing like good publicity but this is clearly nothing like good publicity.” [Popehat]
Myers, PZ @ freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula: “Suddenly lawyer jokes are obsolete, and ordinary shysters look angelic next to Mr. Carreon. All the lawyer jokes will have to be changed to Carreon jokes. Lawyers everywhere will at last be able to defend themselves with the simple words, ‘At least I’m not Charles Carreon,’ and we’ll all stagger back at the enormity of the gulf between ‘lawyer’ and ‘Carreon’ and say, ‘No, no, you’re not — I think I love you, you sweet person, you. Either that, or all the lawyers will see Carreon as a new standard of douchebaggery, and they’ll rise to meet it by, for instance, including baby-punching in their billable hours. Also, the homophonic properties of Mr. Carreon’s name are perfect.” [Popehat]
Okay, Stephen (Intern Mike; Slappy McGillicutty) @ gppcomic.com: “The Golden Douche of the Week goes to Charles Carreon, by Intern Mike on 6/22/2012. THE GOLDEN DOUCHE OF THE WEEK IS AWARDED TO: CHARLES CARREON.”
Opsahl, Kurt @ eff.org: “Matthew Inman spoke out against Carreon’s threat of a frivolous lawsuit in a very popular and very public way. This was nothing more than a meritless attempt to punish Inman for calling attention to his legal bullying. We called him out on this in our briefs, so it’s no surprise that Carreon was left with no choice but to dismiss. … Inman said from the beginning that he was going to donate the money to charity, and he did donate the money to charity. The real reason for the lawsuit was to use a legal attack against a critic.”
Pierron, Dan @ tacticalip.com: “Having only recently become aware of the genius that is The Oatmeal … when TO became embroiled in what is universally recognized as a frivolous suit … filed by Mr. Sex.com himself, Charles Carreon … It is nothing new for a party caught red handed and exposed for making a cheap buck to get angry and sue … TO redirected the venom of this blunder in a judo-like maneuver to utilize TO’s immense popularity for a charitable purpose … this tale of delicious retribution … the communities are donating, taking worthwhile causes on their backs and acting out of nothing but interest in the cause.”
Plait, Phil @ muckrack.com @ BadAstronomer: “‘Petulant, amoral, censorious douchebaggery’ Why, Charles Carreon v. @Oatmeal, I presume. http://is.gd/H5g7Dd.”
Poole, Kyrill @ antisp.in: “Charles Carreon -v- The Internet, by Kyrill, 25 June, 2012 …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. Then, recently, Inman got a letter from FJ’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, 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:(1) http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/12/hey-did-somebody-say-something-was-going-on-with-the-oatmeal/ (2) http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/13/how-dare-you-thats-the-wrong-kind-of-bullying/ (3) http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/15/the-oatmeal-v-funnyjunk-part-iii-charles-carreons-lifetime-movie-style-dysfunctional-relationship-with-the-internet/ (4) http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/17/the-oatmeal-v-funnyjunk-part-iv-charles-carreon-sues-everybody/ (5) http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/19/the-oatmeal-v-funnyjunk-part-v-a-brief-review-of-charles-carreons-complaint/ (6) http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/21/the-oatmeal-v-funnyjunk-part-vi-the-electronic-frontier-foundation-steps-in/ (7) http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/charles-carreon-just-wont-give-up/ (8) http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/funnyjunk-lawyers-wife-wades-into-fray-calls-critics-nazi-scumbags/ (9) http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/defenders-of-the-oatmeal-create-parody-websites-to-pick-up-the-fight/. 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 Inman 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!” [Popehat]
Precious, David (bigpresh) @ preshweb.co.uk: “Charles Carreon sues charities. I think he’s a dick, by bigpresh on Jun.18, 2012, under Wibbles, WTF. FunnyJunk is a website which publishes funny images. Many of these images are stolen from various sources – including hundreds stolen from TheOatmeal. When Matthew Inman, owner of TheOatmeal called out the owner of FunnyJunk.com for hosting lots of stolen comics, including a lot of Matthew’s material. The owner of FunnyJunk.com deleted some of them, but a large number still remained, some with attribution removed to hide the fact they’d come from TheOatmeal. Matthew just left it at that, and the remaining stolen comics continued to be hosted on FunnyJunk without attribution or permission. Recently, almost a year later, Charles Carreon, a lawyer who became famous in the 90s after successfully litigating sex.com, served papers on Matthew representing FunnyJunk, demanding that Matthew remove “false statements about FunnyJunk” from his website, and accuses Matthew of using SEO practices to attempt to come up when people search for “funnyjunk”. (Er, yes, a page written about FunnyJunk will indeed appear in search results for “funnyjunk” – that’s not SEO trickery or any negative action, that’s how the Internet works.) Worse, though, he also demanded payment of $20,000 to be made! Er, yes, good luck demanding unsubstantiated amounts from a fellow citizen; as a lawyer, I’m sure you’d know that Matthew has no obligation to comply whatsoever, until you take a case in front of a judge, and get awarded damages; how you could substantiate that level of damages I’m not quite sure. In response, Matthew launched a fundraiser, intended to raise the $20,000 demanded, which would then be donated to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation, two worthy causes. The $20,000 was raised in around an hour, and ballooned to an incredible sum of over $186,000 at time of writing – that’s an incredible achievement and something Matthew can be proud of. Charles Carreon apparently took offense, though, and told a journalist at MSNBC that he “has sent a request to disable the fundraising campaign”. So, he wants to prevent the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation from receiving over $90,000 each? That seems like something that’ll make you popular. Amazingly, he decided to go on and launch a lawsuit not only against Matthew, but also against IndieGoGo, the company hosting the donation appeal, who are uninvolved in the whole original bitchfight. That wasn’t dickish enough, though; he also decided to sue the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, who have no involvement other than being the intended recipients of the fundraising results. Seriously, dude, what the fuck? I can’t find better words to summarise the situation than these by Ken at Popehat in the link above: “Yes. Charles Carreon, butthurt that someone had leveraged his douchebaggery into almost two hundred thousand dollars of donations to two worthy charities, sued the charities.” Charles Carreon, I think you are indeed a grade-A douchebag. I do hope nobody will ever consider hiring you to represent them in future, except perhaps to unblock their toilets with your tongue. Matthew Inman, I’d like to buy you a beer.” [Popehat]
Prospect, Neil @ heavy.com: “The Oatmeal’s final f&%k you to Charles Carreon: charity and kindness triumph over douchebaggery. Beloved Internet superstar The Oatmeal (aka Matthew Inman) has been in a bit of a spat with thin-skinned legal douchebag Charles Carreon…. [Charles Carreon] stepped out on his own, separate from FunnyJunk, to essentially sue the entire internet … Charles Carreon revealed himself to be worse and worse a person and worse and worse a lawyer. It was all very pathetic. It was an attempt to silence a critic with a lawsuit. Furthermore, the despicable way he and his wife, Tara, handled the entire thing was really just disgusting. Calling people Hitler never wins the argument. Especially when the person you’re calling Hitler is an internet cartoonist. I just feel bad for them. They seem so paranoid and thin-skinned. It must be horrible to go through life like that. Maybe they just need some sleep. But most importantly, today The Oatmeal is victorious and has followed through with his promise of a tremendous f%&k you.”
Quickmeme @ quickmeme.com: “My wife is fucking batshit crazy; They said never go full retard: I did anyway; My mom seduces bears; Don’t defame me bro, I can do it better on my own; Sue bitches, get money; I got 99 problems, but a conscience ain’t one; My name is trademarked, but my asshole is wide open; I treat the law like a second wife, abusively.”
Ramsey, Ana @ anaquana.wordpress.com: [Reposts comments by Jane Litte]
Randazza, Marc @ randazza.com @ randazza.wordpress.com: “Meh, I’m not about to let that annoy me. [Tara]‘s emotionally lashing out at people who are saying shitty things about her husband. You can’t really fault her for that. That said, Chas should have a little stronger pimp hand and tell her to shut the fuck up, because the only people saying dumber things than him at this point are his wife and daughter … I’ve always known him to be a reasonable, intelligent, and speech-protective type of guy. So, I really can’t tell what is going on in his mind. On a personal level, I am tremendously disappointed in him. On a professional level, I’ll be very disappointed in our court system if he is not crushed as a result of what he’s done here….Despite my earlier charitable comments, I can not find any words to defend trying to shut the fundraiser down. I can’t even gin up a minor benefit of the doubt on that one. I can see an ill-considered demand as a mistake in judgment while hoping to gain an advantage for your client. But taking a shot at the fundraiser would not do that – it would just be lashing out to hurt bears and cancer patients? Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that’s more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns’ undergarments.” [Popehat]
RationalWiki @ rationalwiki.org: “[Charles Carreon] has become known for being a frivolous litigant and censorious butthurt nutcake after attempting to shake down Matt Inman … Charles seems not to have spent much time on the Internet, as he was bewildered by Inman’s tactics. Carreon foreshadowed the clusterfuck of hilarity and butthurt that were to come in a quote given to Digital Life … He also falsely accused Inman of directing fans to contact Carreon, he seems to have never considered that the Internet might have risen up to smack him in the face on its own initiative without needing to be directed … Carreon went pro se (aka, representing himself) and fucking nuts … Carreon dropped the case by the beginning of July, declaring ‘mission accomplished’ before the judge could actually act on it and determine how many times he’d be hit with the Rule 11 stick (which is to say, fines for knowingly bringing a lawsuit that has no basis in law when he should’ve known better) and disbarrment from the California bar…. The tastefully-named Rapeutation.com is a website started by Carreon and his wife, likely in response to online attacks on his reputation … the initial post was a bizarre Christmas-themed music video called “Psycho Santa.” The video is said to be related to the controversy, but the Carreons seem to use the Timecube approach to context, sanity and relevance in their posts … Carreon defines a new acronym called ‘Distributed Internet Reputational Attack’ and writes a rambling ‘legal analysis’ calling for oppressive, litigious tools to be brought to bear on any criticism issued over the internet. Because when your butthurt is irreparable, invent legislation to sue for it instead of manning up.”
Recouvreur, Christopher @ charles-carreon.com: “[Charles Carreon supposedly speaking] I now sit here, pondering if dinosaurs sleep standing up and if they dream, and how to best pillage the money Mr. Inman has raised for my dinocloning laboratory. I would also need a good gag order from a court so that Oatmeal guy wouldn’t go blabbing to the internet about how I was try to steal from his ‘charity.’ His internet gang are a ferocious horde or free speakers who will not be silenced no matter how much I threaten them with T-Rex destruction, I hate them, so I must silence their master before he calls upon them.”
Riley, Duncan @ inquisitr.com: “June 13, 2012. The Lawyer Suing The Oatmeal Takes Contact Info Down, Reports ‘String of Obscene Emails’. As we reported earlier, webcomic The Oatmeal posted this week about a request for $20,000 made by FunnyJunk, through a lawyer, ostensibly due to damaging statements made by the former in a year-old blog post. The situation with The Oatmeal, if you recall the original post, was frustrating enough just to read about — so it must have been pretty sucky for cartoonist Matthew Inman, the guy behind the site, to deal with. Sites like FunnyJunk tend to take other people’s content and monetize it, which is not well regarded among content creators, but easy to do with the sheer number of memes floating around the web. Inman was a frequent victim, finding his unique comics reposted on FunnyJunk with little recourse to prevent someone else from making money off them, and then the offending site turns around and sues him for talking about it. But again, as we reported, The Oatmeal — instead of acknowledging the shaky claim — decided to raise $20,000 in response to the claim. Not to give it to FunnyJunk, though. Instead, Inman decided to donate half the funds raised to a wildlife fund and half to a cancer charity. And as you can see, the push was successful — nearly $100,000 over the $20,000 goal was raised — and the lawyer that wrote Inman has been on the receiving end of some complaints from fans of The Oatmeal as well. Somewhat amusingly, lawyer Charles Carreon huffs to 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… I’m completely unfamiliar really with this style of responding to a legal threat — I’ve never really seen it before. I don’t like seeing anyone referring to my mother as a sexual deviant.’ Carreon has responded by attempting to get The Oatmeal’s fundraising attempts quashed under IndieGoGo’s terms, a move that will probably only increase the negative response.
“June 18, 2012. FunnyJunk’s Lawyer Now Suing The Oatmeal Personally. Remember how last week we found out that FunnyJunk tried to shake down The Oatmeal‘s creator Matthew Inman for twenty-thousand clams — and that fans of the hilarious webcomic have donated $160,000 so far over Inman’s goal of $20,000, the amount requested by the lawyer, for cancer and animal charities? To recap, after FunnyJunk demanded the amount through lawyer Charles Carreon, Inman pledged to raise the $20,000 requested — but instead of turning it over, he stated is intention to take a picture of the money and send that along with a comic of the lawyer’s mom ‘seducing a Kodiak bear’ before donating the cash to charity for the ‘BearLove Good, Cancer Bad’ campaign. Within 48 hours, Carreon was huffing to media sites about how internet users had been harassing him and had forced him to remove his personal information from the internet to avoid further contact from people who found his position to be indefensible. Neither Carreon nor FunnyJunk seem to have made any new friends over their decision to sue The Oatmeal, but Carreon hasn’t decided to back down in the wake of the controversy. No, instead of dropping the tenuous claims, Carreon himself is now suing Inman personally, and that’s not all. Carreon is also (really) suing the charities that Inman selected to benefit from his campaign, the World Wildlife Fund and the American Cancer Society. Legal blog Popehat explains first that Inman and IndieGogo, the fundraising site, had fallen into Carreon’s legal tentacles: ‘[Carreon] transcended typical internet infamy when he filed a federal lawsuit last Friday in the United Sates District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland. He belonged to the ages the moment he filed that lawsuit not only against Matthew Inman, proprietor of The Oatmeal, but also against IndieGoGo Inc., the company that hosted Inman’s ridiculously effective fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.’ The blog continues: ‘But that level of censorious litigiousness was not enough for Charles Carreon. He sought something more. And so, on that same Friday, Charles Carreon also sued the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, the beneficiaries of Matthew Inman’s fundraiser.’ Popehat’s explanation of Carreon’s allegations as ‘some good old-fashioned Godwinizing and quasi-Victorian pearl-clutching and couch-fainting” are quite accurate and funny, and the lawyer is accusing The Oatmeal in the suit of ‘trademark infringement’ as well as ‘incitement to cyber-vandalism.’
“July 10, 2012. The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman Raises $211K Total For Charity, Sends ‘Your Mom Seducing a Bear’ Photo as Promised. Webcomic The Oatmeal’s high-profile battle with the site FunnyJunk — and subsequently, a lawyer representing the sticky-fingered humor site — has ended, with enough money collected and donated to charity to purchase a house in much of the country (or pay a half-year of rent in Manhattan.) Creator Matthew Inman seemed shocked, dismayed and disgusted to learn he was being sued by the site FunnyJunk — mainly for pointing out that the latter site had posted his comics without retribution, while taking no actual action against FunnyJunk. So just to be clear, FunnyJunk reposted Inman’s creations — without so much as a link back, much less attribution — and then when Inman complained, they slapped him with a lawsuit and tried to shake him down for twenty large. Allegedly. Actually, it’s pretty well documented, but you know, just want to be on the safe side. So anyway, Inman posted that he intended to raise the $20K from his fans and followers. And then donate it to charity, take a picture of the pile of cheddar, and send the pic to FunnyJunk’s lawyer Charles Carreon, along with a drawing of his mother, seducing a Kodiak bear. Carreon, soon the subject of a few dump trucks full of pure internet outrage (and some very unflattering insinuations about his mother) was predictably annoyed by the fallout. So he decided to sue Inman… and named the charities in the lawsuit as well? It was pretty guaranteed to not work out in his favor, and eventually he dropped the suit. Now The Oatmeal has completed the BearLove Good, Cancer Bad fundraiser, and the final total — $211,223.04 — has been converted into money, which was then photographed as promised, and sent to the lawyer. You can read the full post here, but it seems the first commenter was on the mark when he or she said: “You have beaten the internet… that was the last level…” [Popehat]
Roy, Jessica @ betabeat.com: “The Oatmeal is finally free of Charles Carreon’s bizarre legal machinations.”
Sandlin, Graeme @ thepummelo.com: “Charles Carreon is currently the most hated man on the internet … that’s because the Carrion Masturbaters of America[TM], fine purveyors of humans who masturbate over or alongside dead animals when they are discovered along roads or in the desert, believes that their trademark may be being infringed upon by the sheer madness that Carreon[TM] is creating. ‘That dude is acting like one supreme douchebag,’ said Charles ‘Chuckie X’ Xavier, the public information officer for the non-profit group that is based in Phoenix. ‘He gives good masturbating a terrible name.’ … As you probably know by now, this whole thing started with a feud between Funnyjunk and The Oatmeal. Thanks to the internet, it has reached epic proportions. We’ve sort of helped it along in our own way. Chuckie X also wants to make it known that they don’t desecrate any carcasses. ‘It’s not about bestiality or zoophilia,’ he said, ‘it’s about the smell of a dead, rotting animal carcass being an arousal point for our members. If they do decide to file a lawsuit, the Carrion Masturbaters of America[TM] will not be seeking any financial compensation as they don’t really feel like there is any money lost because of the actions of Charles Carrion[TM]. ‘We just want this douche of a guy to stop doing what he is doing,’ said Chuckie X. ‘People are going to think we’re masturbating to his bad poetry on YouTube instead of what we are actually doing. That thought alone makes me vomit a little bit in my mouth.’ … Then Chuckie X signed, ‘I expect people to condemn me here … but that’s ok, because in the end, when I look in the mirror every morning, I can smile knowing that I’m a better man than Charles Carreon[TM] as I prepare to go find a smelly, rotting corpse.’ …
“Matthew’s decision to choose humor and philanthropy did not appease the attention hunger lawyer … While Carreon(TM) rants about the misuse of charitable funds, inciting cyber-vandalism, and creating a bogus Twitter account, other organizations have come to the forefront to assist Mr. Inman … While no one asked for the assistance, the additional legal and social support is welcomed as a media firestorm is brewing … The Pummelo has learned that The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Human Rights First are pretty sure that they will file a civil suit against Mr. C. for his discrimination against cancer patients and animals … Mr. C has bit off more than he can chew with this legal action. What’s he going to do next, file a lawsuit for all of the naked Octomom pictures floating around because it brings back awkward memories of his own mother? The Pummelo has also learned that Mr. C’s non-profit religious organization, American Buddha, is allegedly involved in a lawsuit with the publishing conglomerate Penguin Group for uploading four copyrighted books for their online library and the Penguin Group holds the rights to the books. Isn’t that considered pirating? … Neither Mr. C. nor his wife would response to our emails about the alleged Penguin Group lawsuit by publishing time.”
|Inman’s lawyer advised him to just call Carreon and straighten it out, but he didn’t. “I figured I would have more of a chance if I had the public on my side,” Inman says. So he posted a drawing that he said depicted the FunnyJunk administrator’s mother seducing a Kodiak bear. Then he launched a campaign on crowdfunding website Indiegogo to raise the $20,000. But instead of paying FunnyJunk, Inman said he would give the $20,000 to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. “Consider this my kind, philanthropic way of saying ‘Fuck off’”…What’s really sad is that a short phone call early on in this whole affair could have prevented it. Mind you, it would also have stopped Inman from raising $198,000 and generating a whole bunch of new traffic for his website. — Danny Bradbury, thestranger.com|
Schroeder, Stan @ mashable.com: “The Oatmeal shows off the $211,223 it raised for charity. This might be the final chapter in the Oatmeal lawsuit saga, but what a satisfying ending it is!”
Seitz, Dan @ uproxx.com: “Charles Carreon recently sent Matthew Inman, artist and owner of The Oatmeal, a letter of questionable legal status … It all triggered a truly massive and hostile response from pretty much every corner of the Internet, something a man who had successfully stripped a website from a porn troll was completely unaware might happen. At this point, of course, Carreon has acknowledged that what he attempted to do had a questionable legal justification and that he should really just pack it up before he gets sucked into a legal vortex that’s probably going to ruin his life. Just kidding! What he really did was sue IndieGogo … and the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation … If you think that makes him a bigger douche than ever, well, actually it’s even worse than you think … He’s trying to poison the well … he’s deliberately trying to create a legal black hole around this fundraiser, because … his ego just can’t take the beating it’s getting? … Carreon is in genuine trouble … Carreon would be subject to serious legal consequences … The really troubling thing about all this is that Carreon was, until recently, a pro-First-Amendment lawyer who’d done good work. This has gone from embarrassing mess to full-on career suicide … [Carreon is] shocked, shocked at the ruffians … Yes, he is insisting that he is the victim here and the Oatmeal is out to get him. After he deliberately picked a fight with the guy. Carreon insists that it’s all the mean people on the Internet making fun of him that are ruining his business, not his increasingly bizarre legal actions that have turned him into both an Interet meme and a laughing stock … Charles Carreon has dropped his lawsuit against the Oatmeal, using the popular tactic of taking your ball and going home. Why did Carreon give up? Essentially, what he wanted to do has officially failed. He was suing to stop Matthew Inman from taking a photo of the money actually raised from IndieGoGo, arguing Inman might see a tax windfall … essentially, it’s all over but the crying. Anything Carreon would have tried legally would have been pointless.” [Popehat]
Steinbaugh, Adam @ adamsteinbaugh.com: “With a mighty roar and great bravado, Carreon issued one of the greatest censorious threats of internet history … It may be that Charles Carreon realized that the moment he stops making an ass of himself Satirical Chas will start to run out of material and Carreon can fade back into the internet ether from which he came … Charles Carreon is crying uncle … After much gusto in threatening endless litigation against Satirical Chas, Charles Carreon is offering to concede that his censorious threats were baseless. But Mr. Carreon isn’t getting away that easy. After Mr. Carreon refused to play nice and waive service of process, he opened himself up to paying the costs of actually being served … he’s also whimpering … If you trumpet trumped-up threats of litigation against your critics, people like Ken White will put up the Popehat Signal seeking assistance for those in need … Carreon’s abusive lording (and application) of his legal skills over a satirist in an attempt to unjustly silence him should hit him in the pocketbook … rather than demonstrate remorse for the chaos his censorious threats wreaked on others’ lives (notably including Satirical Chas), Carreon openly (and needlessly) admits his contempt for his critics … Because Charles Carreon would never publicly impugn the character of his critics. Leave that to his wife, Tara Carreon, who is busy trying to link Matt Inman of the Oatmeal and the Newtown massacre. And let’s just forget about Charles Carreon’s vengeant Rapeutation.com.” [Popehat]
Swanson, Brion “Fat Cat” @ googleplussuomi.com: “Sanity wins! Carreon probably figured he couldn’t afford to fight a losing battle. He fell for one of the classic blunders, the first of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: Never go in against a comic artist, when the Internet is on his side! Ah ha ha ha, ah ha ha ha, ah ha ha…. *thud* Reshared text: At last attorney Charles Carreon admits defeat in his bizarre lawsuit against Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal webcomic. He dismissed the lawsuit just days after EFF and Indiegogo filed briefs explaining all the ways he was wrong.”
Tarvi, Leo @ leotarvi.wordpress.com: “… one of the most impressive lawsuits ever filed. And by ‘impressive’ I mean ‘stupid’ … ashole Charles Carreon.” [Popehat]
Thalwitzer, Aaron B. @ tacticalip.com: “Charles Carreon demanded all manner of things, including that an online fundraiser for The Oatmeal (and some worthy charities) be shut down for vague but ultimately nonsensical issues … Carreon has hopefully ended his ill-considered crusade against a beloved Internet cartoonist.”
Thier, Dave @ forbes.com: “6/18/12, by Dave Thier. Lawyer Charles Carreon Suing The Oatmeal, American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Federation. The story of Funnyjunk lawyer Charles Carreon and Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, is only just now getting serious. Carreon may have come to the situation representing comedy aggregator Funnyjunk.com, but now he’s working on his own. After Inman refused to send Funnyjunk $20,000 for alleged defamation, he decided instead to raise money for reputable charities using his massive following. First Carreon tried to get those charity drives shut down, and now he’s suing not only Inman, but the American Cancer Society, The National Wildlife Federation, and Indiegogo, the website Inman was using to collect donations. “Funnyjunk is a footnote,” Carreon told me. This is according to Courthouse News Service, as first noticed by Lowering the Bar. Lowering the Bar notes that this description might be flawed, but this is how CNS described the case: “Defendants Inman and IndieGogo are commercial fundraisers that failed to file disclosures or annual reports. Inman launched a Bear Love campaign, which purports to raise money for defendant charitable organizations, but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, Funnyjunk.com, and to initiate a campaign of ‘trolling’ and cybervandalism against them, which has caused people to hack Inman’s computer and falsely impersonate him. The campaign included obscenities, an obscene comics and a false accusation that FunnyJunk ‘stole a bunch of my comics and hosted them.’ Inman runs the comedy website The Oatmeal.’ Carreon compared what was happening to him to a fundraiser that lets kids throw balls at girls accused of being witches in dunk tanks. There is money raised for charity, but the witches aren’t in on it. I don’t know enough about the vicissitudes of the law to comment on the strength of Carreon’s case, but if it’s a war he wanted, it’s a war he’s getting. Reports are sketchy at the moment, and we’ll have more on the situation as it develops….
“Go up against the internet, and you will lose … calling Inman out for ‘instigating’ any attacks is shakier than a horse on rollerblades … shouldn’t lawyers accusing others of defamation be extra-careful about how they hurl accusations? … The Oatmeal’s supporters are a rowdy bunch, and a wave of internet hate is impossible to stop, but that doesn’t mean that Inman specifically incited any kind of harassment … Carreon uses strong languages like ‘vile,’ ‘despicable,’ ‘maliciouis,’ and ‘vindictive’ when describing the cartoon of Funnyjunk’s collective mother seducing a bear, but 1st amendment law is clear about protecting even unseemly speech … if it’s a war he wanted, it’s a war he’s getting.” [Popehat]
Underhill, Kevin @ loweringthebar.net: “The lawsuit is captioned Charles Carreon v. Matthew Inman … Charles Carreon appears as ‘attorney pro se,’ meaning ‘I am attorney but am representing only myself’ and ‘I will continue to wreak havoc until forcibly medicated….
“Charles Carreon has again escalated his frivolous lawsuit … this filing is clearly just a BS attempt to hassle the defendants … the idea that an impending transfer of money to these charities was an ‘emergency’ that needed to be dealt with immediately is just nonsense … defendants’ oppositions thrash Carreon’s ridiculous arguments … Carreon doesn’t have standing to sue … Carreon’s real goal is to hassle the defendants … that violates the legal-ethics rules … the first rule of being in a hole is to stop digging … you should not mess with Matthew Inman … [or] Ken over at Popehat … [If you don't fade away, you'll] likely get slapped around a little more.” [Popehat]
Urban Dictionary @ urbandictionary.com: “1. charles carreon: Someone who doesn’t mind hurting lots of people just to spite one person. In 2012 the lawyer Charles Carreon realized that he was looking like a complete and utter asshole in the argument with the internet cartoon The Oatmeal, so he sued to prevent the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Fund from receiving $211,000 in charity that had raised by the cartoon’s owner. The principal is being a Charles Carreon – he just canceled the prom because a guy wanted to bring his boyfriend to it. Don’t be a Charles Carreon, it won’t be just your ex who will get hurt, but all of her friends as well.”
Villyard, Paul (Endswell) @thehighdefinite.com: “Dear Charles Carreon, You’re Making Things Worse.” June 18, 2012 Artsy Shit, Links. Matthew Inman responds to Charles Carreon’s latest ridiculous lawsuit and pleads with him to just take the loss and move on. He hasn’t/isn’t/won’t.
Warner, Kelly @ aaronkellylaw.com: “In a matter of a few days, Carreon became Internet public enemy #1. The hive mind was incredulous that a lawyer could make such ridiculous demands of one of the more popular Web cartoonists around. Part of what was so infuriating was Carreon’s ostensible ignorance of current Internet culture. Not only did he seemingly fail to handle the most basic and foundational aspect of online business litigation by making sure FunnyJunk.com had a proper DMCA disclosure, but instead of cutting his losses after the first threat, he doubled down — thereby making himself a 21st century target and highlighting his arguable ignorance of the market in which he claims expertise.” [Popehat]
Weaver, Nicholas @popehat.com @ http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/: “Apr 13, 2013 @7:04 am Don’t celebrate yet. Charles is amazingly judgement proof: His house is within the limit and his car is a dented door away from Arizona’s bankruptcy protections for personal property, and given how badly he is at paying his bills, it is doubtful he has any other assets. In fact, even the $8K for ducking service and refusing to pay for it when asked is probably unpayable. And that was a bulletproof motion. Thus his decision to go “Full Carreon” in objecting to fees in the way he did rather than just say Your honor, the letter may have been a douchebag move, but its not an exceptional douchebag move makes sense: $8K, $80K, $800K, its all unpayable. So why not make the unpayable amount as big as possible? Thus my bet ($100, payable to public citizen. Any takers? No?): Charles will attempt to delay and appeal. The only thing which might limit his appeals are bond requirements, and he’s going to move that he can’t afford any such bond. Oh, and if anyone gets a threat from Charles Carreon in his capacity as an attorney for someone else (like said SEO dude): His office is in his house in Arizona. Which, according to the Arizona Bar, means he is probably practicing law without a license. Ken, it’s like Tara isn’t trying anymore. I was hoping for at least .2 Cox of craziness here. Instead we get this millicox of weaksauce. Where is the photoshopped penises? Where is the bad song? The Prius won’t be repo-ed: AZ bankruptcy protects a 5k car which sounds about right for an abused 10yr old Prius if Charles puts a couple dents in the doors accidentally.
Wheaton, Wil @ wilwheaton.typepad.com @ wilwheaton.tumblr.com @ tweetwood.com/wilw @ twitter.com @ celebritytweet.com @ thatsnotabadger.com @ afternoonsnoozebutton.com @ shortformblog.com; wilwheaton.net: “I’d like to invite Charles Carreon to kiss my ass. I’d also like to offer a mocking, derisive, contemptuous congratulations to that pile of sun-bleached excrement Charles Carreon for successfully denying two other charities [in subtraction from NWF and ACS] what would be about $50,000 each, because his pathetic little ego means more to him than charities that do good things for the world … Matt Inman is my hero, and Charles Carreon can go fuck himself sideways … Charles Carreon is a pile of shit … there is no possible way he is for real … Suck it, Charles Carreon, you asshat.” [Popehat]
White, Kenneth Paul @ popehat.com: “See, a legal threat like the one Charles Carreon sent — ‘shut up, delete your criticism of my client, give me $20,000, or I’ll file a federal lawsuit against you’ — is unquestionably a form of bullying. It’s a form that’s endorsed by our broken legal system. Charles Carreon doesn’t have to speak the subtext, any more than the local lout has to tell the corner bodega-owner that ‘protection money’ means ‘pay or we’ll trash your shop.’ The message is plain to anyone who is at all familiar with the system, whether by experience or by cultural messages. What Charles Carreon’s letter conveyed was this: ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re in the right. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the wrong. It doesn’t matter that my client makes money off of traffic generated from its troglodytic users scraping content, and looks the other way with a smirk. It just doesn’t matter. Right often doesn’t prevail in our legal system. When it does, it is often ruinously expensive and unpleasant to secure. And on the way I will humiliate you, delve into private irrelevancies, harass your business associates and family, disrupt your sleep, stomp on your peace of mind, and consume huge precious swaths of your life. And, because the system is so bad at redressing frivolous lawsuits, I’ll get away with it even if I lose — which I won’t for years. Yield — stand and deliver — or suffer.’ Our system privileges Charles Carreon to issue that threat, rather than jailing or flogging him for it. And so Carreon supports bullying like that. He’s got a license to do it. He knows that his licensed threats — coming, as they do, on the [slightly odd] letterhead of a lawyer — inspire far more fear and stress than the complaints of a mere citizen, and by God he plays it to the hilt. By contrast, Charles Carreon doesn’t like shows of force that you or I can muster. ‘I’m completely unfamiliar really with this style of responding to a legal threat,’ he sniffs. There’s a whiff of Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing in there — the sentiment ‘how was I to know that I was picking on someone stronger than I am? Is that fair?’ But what he means is ‘if the people I threaten don’t have to dig into their pockets to go hire a lawyer, and spend unpleasant hours with that lawyer, and lay awake at night worrying, and rely on a lawyer who is part of my privileged culture, but can stand up for themselves . . . how can I intimidate them so easily?’ Perhaps some rude Oatmeal followers did actually send true threats or abuse to Charles Carreon’s office — which I condemn. That’s morally wrong and not helpful to the cause of free speech; it’s harmful. But I fail to see why Charles Carreon sending that threat letter is more legitimate, admirable, or proper than ten thousand Oatmeal fans sending back the message that Charles Carreon is a petulant, amoral, censorious douchebag. It doesn’t take lawyers, it doesn’t take law school, it doesn’t take any special privilege conferred by the state — it only takes a robust right of free expression — sending it back by blogging it, tweeting it, posting it on Facebook, and posting it in comments on forums. Charles Carreon has power derived from an inadequate legal system and letters of marque from the State Bar; The Oatmeal has the power of goodwill and community respect earned by talent. There’s no reason to exalt Carreon’s power and condemn The Oatmeal’s.
“Attorney Charles Carreon, who in an ongoing saga this year sent a bumptious and frivolous defamation threat to a popular webcomic, and when met with ridicule and satire, retaliated with frivolous federal litigation seeking to interfere with a charitable campaign that offended him. Also threatened a blogger for satirizing him and wrote to that blogger’s employer. Purports to be an internet lawyer and a defender of freedom, despite having no apparent grasp of the internet and an abiding hatred of freedom.”
White, Robert @ popehat.com: “Chuckles is factually known to have misappropriated employers resources to host his blogs (and pay rent) and whatnot. Theives and crooks, petty or grand, always assume that everyone else is just like them. (Other people do too, which is why most people regularly blurt out “why would anybody do that?” etc. because they could never do whatever.) So the my ex neighbor who is now doing 8 years for theft across state lines, had like nine motion detector flood lights on his property. So chuckle head probably cannot fathom that someone would use their own resources (or something free like wordpress) when they could just as easily misuse the resources of nearby people and businesses. So of course the guy _must_ have used Walgreen’s computers, after all, it’s what censorousdouchbag would do, and so it is what must have happened. This is probably why he sued Inmann. Chucky Cheater knows he would have stolen, misused, and otherwise appropriated a good fraction of the cash, so he must make sure Matt would not. Likewise his actions are always personal attacks so Inmann’s bear love drawing _had_ to be a personal and intended-to-be-factual representation of CC’s mom, just like everything on his blog is intended to be personal and mistake for fact when he posts about Nader and Condy and whomever passes his vision that day.” [Popehat]
Wikipedia @ wikipedia.org: “Charles Hernan Carreon (born 1956) is an American trial attorney who successfully litigated the Sex.com domain name rights case. He currently represents individuals and companies in matters pertaining to Internet law. Carreon was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Arizona State University, but left after meeting and marrying his wife in 1974. He later earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Oregon State College and his law degree from UCLA School of Law in 1986. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1987 and the Oregon State Bar in 1993. He was admitted to the bar for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1987, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in 1995, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 2009. After working in several Los Angeles law offices, Carreon relocated to Ashland, Oregon and worked as a Deputy District Attorney for Jackson County, Oregon. Carreon started a private practice in 1995. He incorporated a new practice in Oregon focusing on online media law in 2001, which is currently based in Tucson, Arizona. The sex.com rights case was brought after entrepreneur Gary Kremen lost control of the domain to Stephen M. Cohen. The case took six years, with a $65 million judgment awarded to Kremen in 2001. Carreon later brought a suit against Kremen over compensation for the case. In 2008, Carreon self-published his account of events as The Sex.com Chronicles through his own imprint. In October 2005, Carreon was suspended by the Oregon State Bar for 60 days for the unlawful practice of law and failing to deposit or maintain client funds in trust. In September 2006, Carreon was also suspended for two years by the State Bar of California, stayed, and placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension for violating his duty to maintain client funds in trust, and for practicing without a license in Canada. Carreon and his wife have two daughters. Their son Joshua died in 2007. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. American Buddha. Carreon represents American Buddha, which he describes as a non-profit religious organization whose director and librarian is his wife Tara Lyn Carreon. Their website hosts a library of books and movies, and publisher Penguin Group sued American Buddha in 2009 over the uploading of four copyrighted books for which Penguin holds the rights. The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk legal dispute. In June 2012, Carreon represented FunnyJunk.com in sending a demand letter alleging defamation and requesting damages from Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal in a long-standing copyright infringement dispute. On June 14, Carreon alleged he suffered ‘security attacks instigated by Matt Inman’. On June 15, Carreon filed a pro se lawsuit Carreon v. Inman et al in United States District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland against IndieGoGo, Inc., the American Cancer Society, and the National Wildlife Federation, for alleged improprieties related to an Oatmeal charity fundraiser created in response to the FunnyJunk demand. Carreon stated he planned to subpoena Twitter and Ars Technica to determine the identity of the creator of a fake Twitter account which parodied Carreon. On June 21, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced they were joining with the lead lawyer representing Inman, stating, ‘This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic.’ Lawyer Rebecca E. Hoffman of Bloomberg BNA said Carreon’s case could ‘only be described as frivolity on top of frivolousness” (referring to the concept of frivolous litigation). On June 25, Carreon amended his lawsuit against Inman and the other defendants to include Kamala Harris, the state Attorney General of California. Carreon also requested a temporary restraining order to stop disbursement of the donations. Carreon filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in his suit against all parties on July 3. In July 2012, Carreon founded the website rapeutation.com and released a music video which mocks Inman. Carreon also alleges that online commentary about him constitutes a “distributed internet reputation attack”. Mashable named Carreon’s case first among their list of ‘silliest tech lawsuits ever’, and InfoWorld’s Robert X. Cringely wrote that Carreon’s actions made him ‘Internet Enemy No. 1′. Carreon also indicated his interest in finding and then suing the owner of satirical site charles-carreon.com, leading Public Citizen to seek a federal declaratory judgment to protect the satirical site’s owner. In April 2013, Carreon effectively lost the battle and was ordered to pay $46,100.25 (USD) in legal fees.
“The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk legal dispute, by Wikipedia. A legal dispute between webcomic The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk, a content aggregator website, began in 2011. The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman alleged in 2011 that FunnyJunk users repeatedly infringed copyright of The Oatmeal’s original content. In June 2012, FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, sent Inman a letter demanding US$20,000 in damages from him, alleging the claims he made were defamatory. Inman responded by publishing the letter on his site, along with a response and announcement that he would be organizing a charity fundraiser through Indiegogo, donating the amount demanded by Carreon to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation. On June 15, 2012, Carreon filed a separate pro se lawsuit Carreon v. Inman et al against Inman, Indiegogo, both charities and a hundred Does for allegations related to The Oatmeal’s response and related actions by other individuals. Carreon dropped this case on July 3 of that year. Mashable named the case first among their list of “silliest tech lawsuits ever.” Carreon was also sued by the anonymous operator of a blog parodying him after Carreon sent letters to the site’s web host demanding they reveal its operator. FunnyJunk is a website where users can upload content they find humorous. According to Ars Technica, key FunnyJunk personnel are Bryan Durel and Benjamin Bunker. In 2010, The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman found that FunnyJunk was distributing copies of comics from his website without permission. He sent e-mails, resulting in removal of some but not all of the comics, and subsequently discontinued attempts at removal. In May 2011, Inman made a post on The Oatmeal’s blog ranting against FunnyJunk and contemplating a cease and desist under the DMCA (see Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act). The FunnyJunk owner known as Admin responded with a message to all users claiming that “the Oatmeal wants to sue funnyjunk and shut it down! He thinks we’re nothing more than dirty content thieves…Contact Oatmeal anyway you can!” and provided links to The Oatmeal’s e-mail and Facebook page. This triggered spamming by FunnyJunk users and a flame war with The Oatmeal readers. Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad. In 2011/2012, FunnyJunk hired Charles Carreon to review its website. In June 2012, Carreon delivered a demand letter via process server to Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal claiming that The Oatmeal’s posts regarding FunnyJunk’s alleged copyright infringement constituted defamation. The letter demanded the removal of references to FunnyJunk and US$20,000 in damages. Inman responded with a The Oatmeal blog post containing an annotated copy of the letter, and refusing to do so. Inman further proposed to raise the requisite $20,000, take a photo of himself with the cash, and send the photograph along with a satirical illustration of FunnyJunk’s mother “seducing a Kodiak bear” to FunnyJunk. Rather than pay the damages, Inman proposed to donate the money to two charities, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. This blog post elicited more popular support for Inman and The Oatmeal than anticipated, and the fundraising effort “Operation BearLove Good. Cancer Bad.” generated the $20,000 in 64 minutes and over $100,000 in under 24 hours, and at completion he raised $220,024. Inman also responded via counsel. As of June 21, 2012 Carreon has abandoned FunnyJunk’s demands because of misinformation. The incident spurred commentary by Dan Mitchell of the SF Weekly on how the Digital Millennium Copyright Act places the onus of policing violations on content creators and by Maxwell S. Kennerly Esquire of the Beasley Firm LLC on whether public accusations of copyright infringement are defamatory. In the aftermath of the blog post, FunnyJunk took down all pages Inman linked as infringement and Carreon sought to hide his e-mail address due to a flood of e-mail. Carreon expressed surprise, stating: ‘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.’ On June 14, 2012 Carreon replaced his contact page with one saying, ‘Due to security attacks instigated by Matt Inman, this function has been temporarily disabled.’ Inman, however, disputed the assertion that he had instigated an attack, noting in a blog post that Carreon’s contact information had been redacted from his initial comic and that he had never directed anyone to attack Carreon. Carreon’s website, Twitter account and WordPress site were all attacked, but he says ‘I welcome the opportunity to confront legally the misuse of a new technology.’ Carreon is trying to identify the operator of the impostor account @Charles_Carreon by subpoenaing Twitter and Ars Technica. As of September 2012, the account was suspended. Carreon sent Indiegogo a request to halt Inman’s charity fundraiser as a terms of service violation, alleging that the charities’ names are misrepresented in violation of California law, and Inman will profit. Inman promised, ‘I won’t use any of the money on legal fees’ and ’100% of it is going to charity.’ Indiegogo investigated the allegations and did not suspend the campaign. When Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad ended, Matthew Inman said that he still plans to go with his plan of taking a picture of the money, sending it to Carreon with the satirical picture, and donating the money, though now both the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society get $105,611.52 each instead of $10,000 each. Inman negotiated to receive the sum in $20 bills from the bank. As of July 1, 2012 Inman has already withdrawn and photographed his own funds, posting the images on July 9. Glenn Fleishman participated in and reported the photo shoot. Inman sent FunnyJunk a framed print of the satirical drawing and a photo of the cash spelling out “F. U.” Carreon v. Inman et al. On June 15, 2012, Carreon filed a pro se lawsuit Carreon v. Inman et al in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland against Inman, Indiegogo Inc., the American Cancer Society, the National Wildlife Federation and a hundred anonymous Internet users for allegations related to the Oatmeal case. In the filing, Carreon says he donated to the fundraiser, which would give him legal standing for his lawsuit. Carreon stated that he wants to prevent charity fraud like the donations from being diverted from NWF and ACS to Inman, Indiegogo or other undisclosed charities. Inman responded to the lawsuit with a blog post, but was advised against giving interviews. Indiegogo responded with a statement calling the lawsuit “frivolous.” Lawyer Rebecca E. Hoffman of Bloomberg BNA said Carreon’s case could “only be described as frivolity on top of frivolousness.” On June 21, 2012, the case of Carreon v. Inman et al was assigned to Judge Edward M. Chen. On the same day, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that it would represent Inman, stating, ‘This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic.’ On June 25, Carreon amended his lawsuit against Inman and the other defendants to include Kamala Harris, the state Attorney General of California. On June 30, Carreon also requested a temporary restraining order to stop disbursement of the donations. On July 1, 2012 Inman’s and Indiegogo’s attorneys filed opposition. According to their filings, credit card donations held by Indiegogo were disbursed directly to the National Wildlife Foundation and the American Cancer Society on June 29 while donations via PayPal were held in a PayPal account. Inman wrote checks to the charities against the PayPal balance and gave them to his lawyer. Inman withdrew and photographed his own funds, posting the images on July 9. On July 3, 2012, Carreon filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in his lawsuit against all parties without prejudice. Carreon declared, “Mission Accomplished,” in an interview with Ars Technica and told Comic Riffs, ‘Inman aborted his ‘publicity stunt’ to photograph himself with the proceeds that were intended to go to charity, the court took cognizance of the issues and ordered Inman to deposit evidence of his disposition of the funds, and Inman deposited the evidence of payments made to the charities.’ Carreon wrote to MSNBC.com, ‘While it’s not the largest sum of money I have ever had a substantial role in raising, it is the first time I’ve seen it go to charity, and I think it’s great.’ Carreon went on to propose a mud wrestling match with Inman but Inman declined. Robert X. Cringely wrote that Carreon’s actions in the dispute made him ‘Internet Enemy No. 1.’ Doe v. Carreon In June, a critic of Carreon set up the site charles-carreon.com, a blog that pretends to be written by Carreon while satirically criticizing him. The Charles Carreon Esq. character is obsessed with dinosaurs. On June 21, 2012 Carreon sent Register.com a letter demanding that they disclose the site’s owner. Register.com acquiesced and briefly revealed the owner’s name in the site’s WHOIS information. “Satirical Charles” was represented by Paul Levy of Public Citizen pro bono. Levy filed a federal suit Doe v. Carreon to seek a declaratory judgment to protect the satirical site’s owner in July 2012. After evading service, Carreon agreed in December 2012 to settle for costs of $725. He then “engaged in unnecessary, vexatious, and costly tactics” to determine the proper amount of attorney fees, but was ultimately ordered to pay $46,100.25. Rapeutation.com. On July 7, 2012, Carreon released a music video ‘Psycho Santa: The Heroic Exploits of Matt Inman / A Work of Perpendicular Fact’ on his new site Rapeutation.com. Carreon alleges that he was the victim of a ‘Distributed Internet Reputation Attack (DIRA)’ perpetrated by ‘large numbers of both human and digital Internet zombies’ acting in concert. Carreon claims to have evidence of a denial-of-service attack.”
Williams, Mary Elizabeth @ salon.com: “Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012. Internet shocker: Kindness wins. When an online feud turned into a demand for money, something amazing happened — generosity. By Mary Elizabeth Williams. The world is overflowing with petty, selfish losers who happen to have Internet access. And usually, the rest of us just accept their trolling and content pilfering and overall grossness as part of the price we pay for sharing our ideas and being able to watch all the videos of otters holding hands we want. But sometimes, somebody has to take a stand for sanity. This is turning out to be a very good week for that sort of thing. First, British comic Isabel Fay went viral with her ode to online a-holes, “Thank You Hater!” On Tuesday, she released the song as a single, with all the proceeds going to Beat Bullying, a U.K. organization that works with young people to mentor them and stop the cycle of bullying. Then there’s Matthew Inman, and his online comic The Oatmeal. Like a lot of its fans, I admit to harboring a long-standing love of The Oatmeal based largely on its grammar posts. (They had me at “Literally.”) But Inman really jumped into online sainthood territory this week when he threw it down against FunnyJunk and its ridiculous attempt to extract a cool 20 grand from him. It started a year ago, when The Oatmeal noted FunnyJunk’s habit of lifting its comics and reposting them on its advertiser-supported site: “What should I do about FunnyJunk.com?,” he wrote. “They’ve practically stolen my entire website.” As Inman pointed out at the time, it wasn’t just his content FunnyJunk was lifting, nor is FunnyJunk the only site that pulls this crap. But what distinguishes FunnyJunk is that it responded to being called out on its behavior in an especially lame manner. First, it did actually remove any images it could find with “The Oatmeal” in the title. But its admins mitigated any goodwill that gesture might have engendered when they also sent out an email to all its members saying that “The Oatmeal wants to sue FunnyJunk and shut it down!,” urging its fans to deluge Inman with protest. As Inman explained at the time, “I never had plans to sue FunnyJunk and get it shut down; I just wanted my stolen comics removed.” Reasonable, right, especially when hundreds of his comics still remained on the site at the time? Not to the folks at FunnyJunk, who, hilariously, sent Inman a letter from Charles Carreon, Attorney at Law, this week, claiming “defamation and false advertising” and “willful copyright infringement,” and demanding “the immediate removal of false statements about FunnyJunk.” Also upsetting to the folks at FunnyJunk – The Oatmeal’s obviously incredibly threatening Pterodactyl-themed imagery, and the fact The Oatmeal comes up prominently when FunnyJunk “is punched into the Google search engine.” I really love that sentence. It’s so 1970s IBM data entry. For the coup de grace, Charles Carreon, Attorney at Law, then demanded The Oatmeal “remove all mention of FunnyJunk and FunnyJunk.com from your website” and “deliver me a check in the amount of $20,000 payable to the order of FunnyJunk.” Ladies and gentlemen, the ballsiest letter ever written. Upon receiving it, Inman was somehow not moved to bust out his checkbook. Instead, he mused on his blog, “You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR shitty website for the past three years?” And he decided to do something else. He challenged his fans to raise that amount anyway. Then, he promised to take a picture of the money, along with “a drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.” (Side note: Anything about Your Mom: always gold.) The money itself would go to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. In its first hour, Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad met its fundraising goal. It has already netted $115,706 for two fantastic causes. Oh, and the most popular image currently on FunnyJunk? Inman’s annotated copy of the letter from Carreon. Good one, Internet. The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person. It takes hard work to not get dragged down into the muck that the cretins are constantly flinging at you. That’s what makes what Isabel Fay and Matthew Inman — and the fans that have rallied around them — accomplished in such a short time so great. It’s the way they met steaming crap with good humor and supreme generosity. They didn’t just make sport of their trolls — although they did that effectively. It’s that they kept going. That they turned their energy toward accomplishing something meaningful. An opportunity to help people and animals. As Inman says, “I’m hoping that philanthropy trumps douchebaggery and greed.” Amazingly, it does. And it also turns out that funny, quite beautifully, trumps junk.”
Zaretsky, Staci @ abovethelaw.com: “June’s [Bad] Lawyer of the Month … he should have been given a Lifetime Streisand Effect Award … [In] response [to] an image of his mother ravaging a cartoon bear … Carreon lashed out with a litany of filings described as ranging from the ‘bizarre’ to the ‘ridiculous.’ You can’t make this stuff up, folks.” [Popehat]
Zimmerman, Neetzan @ gawker.com: “6/13/12. FunnyJunk’s Lawyer Surprised by Internet’s Negative Response to His Legal Threats, Wants to Pull Plug on Oatmeal’s Charity, ‘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,’ FunnyJunk’s lawyer Charles Carreon told Digital Life’s Rosa Golijan. Carreon recently sent Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman a cease and desist on behalf of social aggregation website FunnyJunk informing him that failure to remove any and all instances of ‘defamation’ against his client from his website would result in a lawsuit. The source of the offence was a blog post Inman wrote excoriating FunnyJunk for repurposing his webcomics without attribution. Carreon demanded $20,000 in damages from Inman by June 12th. Inman subsequently started raising the money through the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo — not to pay up, mind you. The 29-year-old plans to donate the money raised — half to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation — after sending FunnyJunk and their attorney a photo of the cash, along with a drawing of ‘your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.’ ‘I’m completely unfamiliar really with this style of responding to a legal threat,’ Carreon complained. ‘I don’t like seeing anyone referring to my mother as a sexual deviant.’ He told Golijan that he intends to request that IndieGoGo disable the fundraising campaign, which has so far received over seven times more than the $20,000 goal Inman initially set. Carreon says he believes Inman’s ‘Operation BearLove Good Cancer Bad’ violates the terms of the site. On Twitter, Inman sought to assuage at least one of the lawyer’s concerns: ‘just to be clear I drew FJ’s mother making saucy advances on the Kodiak bear, not the lawyer’s. I wouldn’t disrespect bears like that.’
6/18/12. Suing Cancer, Wildlife Charities for Receiving Donations from Oatmeal Supporters. Just when you thought the FunnyJunk vs. Oatmeal saga couldn’t get more absurd, it goes and does just that. When last we left off, attorney Charles Carreon, who represents social aggregation website FunnyJunk.com in their battle against The Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman, was expressing shock and awe at being inundated with criticism over his letter to Inman demanding 20 grand in exchange for not being sued. Rather than take a moment to reflect on the possibility that he may have made a mistake, Carreon instead decided to charge full speed ahead and file a lawsuit against Inman on his own behalf. According to Courthouse News Service (by way of Popehat and Lowering the Bar), Carreon is suing Inman, the fundraising website Indiegogo, the National Wildlife Federation, and the American Cancer Society (along with additional unnamed defendants) for ‘trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism.’ What the hell? Ken at Popehat summarizes the CNS report: ‘Inman launched a Bear Love campaign, which purports to raise money for defendant charitable organizations, but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, Funnyjunk.com, and to initiate a campaign of ‘trolling’ and cybervandalism against them, which has caused people to hack Inman’s computer and falsely impersonate him. The campaign included obscenities, an obscene comics and a false accusation that FunnyJunk ‘stole a bunch of my comics and hosted them.”Both Ken and Lowering the Bar’s Kevin Underhill have offered to provide their legal services pro bono to the defendants should they by needed. However, as Underhill points out, Carreon has no case against Inman, ‘partly because the First Amendment protects speech — even speech that advocates violence — unless it is ‘intended to create, and likely to create, a clear and present danger of imminent lawless action.’” That being said, harassing Carreon personally is likely against the law, so Underhill advises against doing that. He suggests that those who want to help do so by donating to to the charities involved either directly or through Indiegogo. As for Carreon, the once-celebrated ‘Sex.com litigator’ may have tarnished his ‘white hat lawyer’ reputation for good, particularly after Inman’s lawyer, Venkat Balasubramani, calmly pointed out to Carreon that he was clearly on the wrong side of justice. UPDATE: Matthew Inman responds to Charles Carreon: ‘My advice: take a few weeks off, stop saying crazy shit to journalists, and come back when you’ve calmed down.’
7/10/12: Troll lawyer Charles Carreon … retreated to his bridge, declaring victory as he slunk. A quick refresher: Carreon filed a suit in early June on behalf of social aggregation website FunnyJunk alleging defamation against his client over a post Inman published detailing how his comics had been unapologetically lifted from his site by FunnyJunk without attribution. Carreon demanded $20,000 from Inman to make the lawsuit go away. Not interested in being blackmailed, Inman responded by launching a ‘defense fund’ on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, promising to send the money not to FunnyJunk, but to cancer and wildlife charities instead. FunnyJunk and Carreon would not be leaving empty-handed, however: Inman vowed to mail them a photo of the cash, as well as a drawing ‘of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.’ Within minutes Inman raised over $20,000. A few hours later, the fund had amassed over $100,000. By the end of the fundraiser, Inman had received over $200,000 in donated cash from fans and fans of justice alike. As promised, Inman withdrew all $211,233 (and 54 cents), and shot a few photos to send to his admirers, Carreon and FunnyJunk. In the comment section, he offered some background on the money transportation process: I had to order the money from Bank of America about a week ahead of time and then go pick it up at a local branch. I didn’t want to take the photo of the money while inside the bank because they only had a tiny room and I felt a bit more secure taking it offsite to somewhere private. One of my oldest friends happens to be tall, scary, heavily bearded, and have a large selection of (licensed) firearms. I asked him to come with me and play bodyguard. We took the money to my office and shot pictures of the photos on the floor. It took about two hours and we returned it to the bank, where they machine-counted all the bills. The whole experience was basically like the movie ‘Bodyguard’ except Whitney Houston had a beard and guns and no one got naked with Kevin Costner.’ Though it would be ideal for this story to end here, legal experts expect we haven’t seen the last of Carreon. Then again, considering the truly epic trolling taking place on both sides, and the amount of much-needed charity funds being raised, perhaps a few more salvos couldn’t hurt.” [Popehat]
2. EXTORTION (Merriam Webster): to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power: wring; also: to gain especially by ingenuity or compelling argument.
Written and drawn by Matt Inman of The Oatmeal
[Bob 1] Hey you ugly little NardMango, give me that pudding cup.
[Bob 2] Don’t make him ask twice, Billy. You don’t want to see him angry. Bob’s like a fighter jet when he’s angry.
[Bob 1] That’s right, you little NardBucket. Hand over the pudding cup or I’ll come down on you with the agony and suffering of a thousand Panzer tanks. I am Genghis Khan. I am the sword. I am your horror, your plague, and your death.
[Bob 2] I’m trying to work with you here, Willy. I’m the good guy. Just give him your pudding cup and everyone wins. Especially Bob.
[Willy] Sniff. Well okay …
[Bob 2] Smart move, little man.
[Willy] You know what Bob?! One day you’re going to grow up and you’ll see the world differently. You’ll find that kindness and compassion are how you get ahead in life. Not violence. Not hate.
[Bob 1] What’s that little NardCopter rambling about? He’s disturbing my pudding feast.
[Bob 2] I’m pretty sure he just called you Captain Booger Balls. You just gonna sit there and take it, Bob?
[Bob 1] IS THAT SO? You like the taste of mulch, you little nardbagel? Do you?!! HRMFPFACKTHPTTH.
[Bob 2] You shouldn’t have hurt his feelings, Willy. This is what happens when you hurt Bob’s feelings.
[Bob 1] I said, give me that tasty sandwich, you little DouchePickle.
[Bob 2] Don’t make him ask again. You don’t want to see him angry. Bob’s like a fighter jet when he’s angry.
Copyright Troll Lawyer Pleads Poverty, Asks To Be Let Off The Hook, by Kelly Phillips Erb, 5/29/13. Brett Gibbs is not a likable guy. Together with John Steele, Paul Hansmeier and Paul Duffy, attorneys at Prenda Law (formerly known, among other things, as Steele Hansmeier, PLLC), he made life fairly miserable for thousands of potential defendants. Prenda sought out web users that allegedly downloaded porn illegally. The firm then filed copyright infringement lawsuits against the users, threatening a lawsuit that would rat the users out for downloading porn and also subject them to a substantial statutory penalty for copyright infringement. Prenda promised that it could make all of that go away for a few thousand dollars (you can read more about the scheme here).
|Sanctions May Be Least of ‘Copyright Troll’ Worries as Matter Is Referred To Feds, IRS, by Kelly Phillips Erb, 5/8/13… Not familiar with Prenda? Let me catch you up to speed. Prenda is a law firm (formerly known, among other things, as Steele Hansmeier, PLLC) that figured out two important things: (1) People like porn. (2) People don’t want you to know that they like porn.Using those two pieces of information, Prenda (as a group or individually through its attorneys) sought out web users that it claimed illegally downloaded porn. The firm then filed copyright infringement lawsuits against the users, initially identifying them only as “John Doe.” Using the power of the subpoena, Prenda filed to get the IP addresses of the alleged users from their ISPs (internet service providers) in order to personally identify them. Once the users were attached to a name and an address, Prenda sent letters threatening a lawsuit which carried with it not only the potential for negative publicity (because, let’s face it, who wants to be known as the guy who got sued for illegally downloading porn?) but also a substantial penalty. But – and here’s the big but – Prenda promised that it could make all of that go away for a few thousand dollars.That strategy did pretty well for the law firm, perhaps netting them as much as $15 million. Prenda attorney John Steele has declined to reveal the actual dollars they’ve collected, remarkably telling Forbes‘ own Kashmir Hill that “We don’t track the amount we’ve recovered. More than a few million.” (That not tracking the amount they’ve recovered? Remember that part.) It also made Prenda – and its principal attorneys – fairly unpopular. While a handful of folks championed the firm for taking on internet piracy (enter your own “Arrrg” joke here), many were uncomfortable with their so-called “copyright troll” practices which felt a lot like extortion. But that sentiment didn’t slow Prenda down – in fact, it did just the opposite. The firm was feared. And as the numbers of defendants – and dollars – got bigger, the attorneys at Prenda were more emboldened. They became those kids who appeared to skate by without any consequences. Until, that is, it all seemed to catch up to them. In September of 2012, Prenda filed a federal lawsuit against a John Doe – the same kind of thing it had done thousands of times before. But this time, a curious thing happened. This “John Doe” didn’t roll over. He fought back. His attorney filed a notice with the court asserting all sorts of irregularities involving Prenda as counsel. This, of course, didn’t sit well with Prenda, who responded in court with a motion that was immediately denied by United States District Judge Otis Wright. More importantly, Judge Wright expressed concern over Prenda’s behavior with respect to these kinds of cases. Eventually, Prenda realized that it wasn’t going to win this particular matter and dropped it. So case closed. Only not so much. Prenda was pretty loud when it withdrew. And the lawyers at the firm had not endeared themselves to the judge with their behavior. Under the law, Judge Wright was entitled to the last word and he took it, using his power to investigate lawyer conduct to follow up on whether sanctions might be appropriate. And it got worse from there. A series of motions, orders and declarations landed the principals of Prenda in the hot seat. Judge Wright ordered nearly everyone involved to appear at a hearing on March 11, 2013. The result? Days ago, on May 6, 2013, Judge Wright did sanction Prenda Law and the principals of the firm, including not only John Steele but Paul Duffy, Brett Gibbs and Paul Hansmeier. The Order Issuing Sanctions (complete with Star Trek quotes and references) wasn’t good news for Prenda. True, the amount of the sanctions ordered by the court was a mere $81,319.72 plus attorney’s fees. But that was as good as it gets for Prenda. Because what was in the Order didn’t go their way at all. Not even a little bit. And if you’ve been reading through and wondering what all of this tech/copyright stuff is doing on a tax law blog, here we go. Your answer is on page four of the Order: No taxes have been paid on this income. You see, what came out of all of the hearing was a clearer picture of what might have been going on behind the scenes at Prenda. And it apparently wasn’t just the practice of law. There had been suspicions all along by various folks about how Prenda was doing business. And while John Steele might have been happy to talk about the money they were bringing in the abstract, following the money has proven to be difficult. In fact, Judge Wright was so concerned about how these transactions were set up by Prenda (including a number of alleged shell companies set up to help cover their tracks) that he included in his Order information that: “The Court will refer this matter to the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. The [sic] will also refer this matter to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and will notify all judges before whom these attorneys have pending cases.” You read that right. Judge Wright has affirmatively directed the matter to the Criminal Investigation Division (CI) of the Internal Revenue Service and the federal Attorney’s office. While I know that the feds work together with IRS on criminal matters all of the time (I wrote about this very thing not so long ago), I’ve never seen it directed in a court order. I asked Ken White, a former federal prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney for his take on the matter. He has been providing some of the best coverage on Prenda on the web – it’s spectacularly funny and snarky as well as informative – over at Popehat. He didn’t seem surprised by the terms of Order; his earlier predictions about what Judge Wright might do were pretty much on the money. White noted that even without the Order, chances were pretty good that the IRS would be involved. IRS agents, he said, were rumored to be in attendance at the hearing, which appeared to be confirmed on Twitter: “There had been questions raised, White noted, about money as the hearing evolved. As the lawyers from Prenda talked – or overshared, depending on your point of view – it was easy to wonder where the money was being held or where money being used to fund litigation came from. Why was money moved from one attorney trust account to another? What about those references to alleged shell companies and potential offshore vehicles? And then, of course, there’s that perplexing statement by John Steele that they “don’t track” the money that they’ve recovered – what does that mean?” With so many questions and with such a high profile case, White told me that it’s not unlikely that the parties would have ended up on the IRS radar anyway – even without Judge Wright’s direction. Of course, now that a referral for criminal investigation is in the works, should we expect to hear some kind of major announcement from the feds soon? White doubts it. He joked with me that time is kind of relative when it comes to the feds though he doesn’t expect for this matter to drag on. He envisions that the feds will take their time and “endless resources” to work together on building a case if one exists – all mostly likely while the individual parties squirm. That said, an appeal has been promised based on the notion that “there was no testimony, no evidence introduced” (Attorney Steele conveniently left out of that particular statement the fact that he refused to testify or offer any evidence). But I have to think that appealing those sanctions is the least of his worries. You might get attorney’s fees dropped on appeal. You might even be able to make a judge take back sanctions on appeal. But closing that box that is an IRS criminal investigation? That’s a lot harder. It may be that the kids who do the wrong thing are getting theirs after all.|
Reportedly, the firm raked in millions as a result. Gibbs wasn’t actually a member of the firm; he was “Of Counsel” – first to Steele & Hansmeier and then to Prenda. “Of Counsel” is sort of the equivalent of an independent contractor in the legal field: you have an affiliation but you’re not a bona fide employee of the firm. Prenda found itself in hot water last year when one of the defendants fought back. The fallout was fairly ugly and eventually, those involved found themselves at the mercy of United States District Judge Otis Wright, who not only issued sanctions and attorney’s fees against Prenda (including Gibbs) but affirmatively directed the matter to the Criminal Investigation Division (CI) of the Internal Revenue Service and the federal Attorney’s office. Pretty sobering stuff. According to Gibbs, who admitted that he played a part in the *ahem* questionable legal practices, he eventually found out that Prenda was sending out letters with his signature that he hadn’t approved. He eventually quit the firm, sort of – only in California (you can read more about his testimony from Popehat) – but it was too little, too late.
|Brett Gibbs Gets His Day In Court — But Prenda Law Is The Star, Mar 11, 2013 , By Ken White…. I found Gibbs believable as a young attorney out of his depth who fell in with the wrong crowd and made bad choices. But Judge Wright was clearly not entirely satisfied. He quizzed Gibbs on why he didn’t file notice of related cases informing the court that the various Prenda Law cases were related. Gibbs responded that courts in San Francisco had said that in Prenda Law cases up there, Prenda improperly joined multiple defendants in the same case even though they should be separate. That, Judge Wright points out, confuses the question of joinder of parties in one case with the question of whether cases are related, as every attorney in the room (save Gibbs’) nodded. Ultimately, on this point as on others, Gibbs said that Steele and Hansmeier made the decision. We’re All Perry Mason In Here In real life, people in the audience in court proceedings do not spring up to make dramatic revelations, because that gets you arrested. Today, it happened. Just after Gibbs testified that he had only limited responsibility for AF Holdings, an attorney in the audience stood and asked to be heard. I cringed, waiting for the kill. But Judge Wright asked him who he was and what he wanted. He identified himself as an attorney for Paul Godfread, who in turn is Alan Cooper’s attorney. Gibbs, he said, spoke with him in November 2012 and represented himself as “national counsel” for AF Holdings, one of the Prenda Law clients. Wright shook his head. “Have you noticed,” he said in rhetorical tones, “that every representation made by a lawyer with Prenda Law is not true.” The lawyer sat back down again. Some might say that didn’t bode well for Prenda….Brett Gibbs is in trouble. I buy him as a dupe here. Indeed, he admitted that “maybe” he felt duped. Yet though he pointed to Hansmeier and Steele as the decision-makers in this travesty, and disclaimed any knowledge of wrongdoing, he and his attorneys seemed oddly reluctant to throw Steele and Hansmeier all the way under the bus. It’s more like he handed them a bus schedule and gave them a gentle shove in that general direction. Gibbs continued to argue that it wasn’t clear until Cooper’s testimony today that the Cooper signatures weren’t genuine, a position that drew guffaws in the courtroom and an incredulous expression from Judge Wright. He and his attorneys seemed to want to suspend judgment about whether Prenda committed any misconduct at all — a tactical error at this point, I think, and harmful to their credibility. The judge interrupted their closing arguing by asking pointedly whether a lawyer — even if he is supervised by people out of state — has an obligation to investigate facts himself. Ultimately, Judge Wright did not sound inclined to accept Gibbs’ innocent stance…My thanks to Mike Masnick at Techdirt for letting me cross-post this there. Megan Geuss from Ars Technica was there too, and has a writeup.|
While many – including Ken White at Popehat – seem to believe that Brett Gibbs was somewhat of “a dupe” in the case, the Judge didn’t give him a lot of leeway. Clearly, Judge Wright felt like Gibbs played a role of some significance in the whole thing. In his final order, Judge Wright found Gibbs, together with Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy as being jointly and severally liable for damages. And that’s where we left things earlier this month.Only there’s one little thing that wasn’t made very public about Gibbs when all of this happened: he’s dying. Literally. It turns out that he has brain cancer. His official diagnosis is stage-3 anaplastic astrocytoma. The typical mortality rate after this kind of diagnosis is 2-5 years. Gibbs was diagnosed in 2009 and has since undergone two brain surgeries, radiation and chemo. Add one terminal illness to a poor career choice and you have poverty. In a document filed last week, Gibbs claims that he can’t pay any of the damages. Among his claims: (1) “My bank account has a balance of less than $500. (2) I currently owe more than $50,000 on a loan I used to pay for my legal education. (3) I also owe money to other creditors. (4) I do not own any real estate or other assets that would allow me to pay the court’s fees and costs order or use as collateral for a bond in the required amount. He also claims that he does not have full time employment and has “earned less than $5,000 total over the span of about two and one-half months.” You can read the entire pleading at Techdirt. Basically, he wants Judge Wright to let him out of order to pay damages. It’s a pretty grim pleading.
|Ex-Prenda Lawyer Brett Gibbs Pleads Poverty To Judge Wright, from the like-the-folks-you-shook-down?, by Mike Masnick, 5/24/13. While Brett Gibbs has “parted ways” with Prenda and its copyright trolling, from all appearances he was an instrumental part of many of its efforts. Of course, the three main players, John Steele, Paul Hansmeier and Paul Duffy, were quick to throw Gibbs under a bus in Judge Wright’s courtroom after Gibb’s repeatedly told courts that he was little more than a puppet for Steele and Hansmeier. In Judge Wright’s order, however, he lumped Gibbs in with Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy as being jointly and severally liable for the amount owed. While Judge Wright’s most recent order told Gibbs to officially withdraw from the cases, it doesn’t mean that Gibbs has been let off the hook for payment. In response, it appears that Gibbs is basically begging Judge Wright for mercy, highlighting that he’s completely broke and has expensive medical bills due to his brain cancer. It is a sob story, and you do feel bad for the guy… but then you remember some of his actions during the course of all of these cases, including more than a few absolutely ridiculous claims and tactics in this case and in how he dealt with opposing counsel. And, of course, there’s the fact that he was involved in an operation that is being widely accused (by a federal court judge, among others) of perpetrating a massive shakedown scheme, threatening people with a lawsuit for gay porn if they don’t pay up. Yes, it’s sad that Gibbs got brain cancer. I don’t wish that on anyone. And it’s sad that he’s got less than $500 in his bank account and over $50,000 in debts. But, perhaps he should have thought of all of that before getting involved in a scheme that threatens thousands of people with highly questionable lawsuits if they don’t pay up. Still, the main targets of Judge Wright’s focus are clearly Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy, so it’ll be interesting to see if he agrees to let Gibbs off the hook in some manner.|
The response to the pleading isn’t overwhelmingly sympathetic. In fact, there’s more than a little schadenfreude (German for “delighting in others’ misfortune”) around the legal community right now. Karma is, they say, a bitch. But let’s say that Judge Wright looks beyond all of the bad lawyering, threats and shakedown tactics and decides, out of perhaps a combination of sympathy and practicality, to let Gibbs out of his share of the damages. What result? It’s a pretty interesting tax question. Generally, for federal income tax purposes, when you borrow money and it is later cancelled, discharged or forgiven, you have to report and pay tax on the amount which was cancelled, discharged or forgiven. So, in theory, the amount that is forgiven should be taxable to Gibbs (he might be able to claim an exception, more on that later). But there are two big problems here: (1) How do you calculate the amount of the debt that is forgiven? (2) What is the triggering event? The debt in this case is subject to joint and several liability. That basically means that the plaintiff can collect the entire judgment from any one of the parties or from all of them. So, if Gibbs doesn’t have the dough to pay “his share”, the plaintiff can collect from the other defendants. This makes a discharge tricky because calculating the amount actually forgiven is nearly impossible: Gibbs could have been forced to pay all or none or anywhere in the middle of the amount due. The IRS tends to handle debt relief of joint and several liabilities by requiring the creditor to issue a federal form 1099-C to each of the parties showing the entire amount of the canceled debt and letting the parties hash it out. But that tends to assume that the debt was forgiven, not just one of the debtors. If Judge Wright lets Gibbs off the hook, the debt remains for Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy. So how much is Gibbs’ “forgiven” portion? That’s hard to say. And that ties into the second issue: what is the triggering event? Generally, before you can issue a form 1099-C, you have to identify a triggering event that indicates that the debt is not to be repaid (this is usually tied to when collection efforts cease). In this case, the triggering event would appear to be an Order, if Judge Wright chooses to issue one, releasing Gibbs from liability. But the entire amount of the debt would, in fact, remain and Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy would still be required to pay. So it would follow that no form 1099-C should be issued to any party and no taxable income would be reported by Gibbs since the debt could still be settled (assuming that Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy pay). Confusing, huh? It would almost follow that Gibbs would be better off staying in the pool of defendants and letting Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy pay up. Debt paid, no confusion (except among the parties, perhaps), no tax consequences. But let’s say that Gibbs was actually relieved of his responsibility to pay the debt and let’s say further that a value (and a date) was somehow attached to that relief. Would Gibbs have to pay taxes on that amount? Based on his pleading, I’d say no. There are a few exceptions to the rule that income due to cancellation of debt is taxable. They are: (1) Bankruptcy, (2) Insolvency, (3) Certain farm debts, (4) Non-recourse loans. Three out of four don’t seem to apply here. But based on Gibbs’ sworn statement as to his income, assets and debts, he is likely to be deemed insolvent. You are considered insolvent if, before the cancellation, your total debts are more than the fair market value of your total assets. As a general rule, assets include everything you own even if they are pledged to others as collateral or are otherwise exempt from creditors. Unless there are factors we don’t know about (I’m not even dipping my toe into those mysterious Prenda beneficiary trusts… yet), it would appear that Gibbs is, in fact, insolvent for this purpose. So perhaps, no harm, no foul. We’ll have to wait to see how Judge Wright rules to firm up the details. Again, it’s a fascinating issue from a tax perspective: who pays what and when and how? In the meantime, there are a lot of good life – and tax – lessons to be learned here. Be careful who you do business with. Be accountable. Don’t assume the “good days” will last forever and plan accordingly. Keep good records. Don’t lie. And remember that what you put out there in the world often comes back to you, so be smart.
|Judge Lashes Out at ‘Fraud’ in Porn Infringement Claim, By Amanda Bronstad, The National Law Journal, May 7, 2013. A federal judge, describing a massive fraud involving the enforcement of copyrights to pornography, has referred four lawyers to licensing authorities for possible misconduct and to federal prosecutors for possible criminal violations of the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. U.S. District Judge Otis Wright in Los Angeles said he would refer John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy and Brett Gibbs — attorneys associated with a Chicago law firm called Prenda Law Inc. — to their respective state and federal bars, concluding that they “suffer from a form of moral turpitude unbecoming of an officer of the court.” He also referred Duffy and Gibbs to the Central District of California’s Standing Committee on Discipline. Finally, Wright, whose chambers are on the second floor of the courthouse that also houses the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California, said he would refer everyone connected with the fraud to federal prosecutors. Wright riddled Monday’s ruling with Star Trek references, including an epigram quoting Spock from the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” He wrote that, “though Plaintiffs boldly probe the outskirts of law, the only enterprise they resemble is RICO. The federal agency eleven decks up is familiar with their prime directive and will gladly refit them for their next voyage.” “Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system,” Wright concluded. “They’ve discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle — for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn.” Wright requested that Morgan Pietz of The Pietz Law Firm in Manhattan Beach, Calif., who alerted him to the situation, file a report within 14 days that lists every state and federal bar where the attorneys are admitted to practice and every judge before whom they have cases. Wright stopped short of issuing “a seven-digit sanction adequate to deter Plaintiffs from continuing their profitable enterprise,” but awarded Pietz and Nicholas Ranallo of the Ranallo Law Office in Boulder Creek, Calif. — both attorneys who appeared on behalf of defendants in the copyright cases — attorney fees and costs of more than $40,600. He then doubled that amount to punish the “brazen misconduct and relentless fraud” of the Prenda Law attorneys. Wright, who asserted that the attorneys had not paid taxes on the settlement payments they had obtained in numerous cases, said he would refer the matter to the criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service. Calls were not returned by Andrew Waxler of Waxler Carney Brodsky in El Segundo, Calif., an attorney for Gibbs; Heather Rosing, a partner and head of the professional liability department at Klinedinst in San Diego, who represents Duffy and Prenda Law; Timothy Halloran, senior shareholder at Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney in San Francisco, who represents Steele; or Phillip Baker, a partner at Baker, Keener & Nahra in Los Angeles, who represents Hansmeier. Pietz called the order “a big win for all of the John Doe Internet subscribers who have been targeted by Prenda over the past two or three years. There’s at least 20,000 of those people.” Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, declined to comment. The ruling came six months after Wright initially became suspicious of several cases before him filed by two companies, Ingenuity 13 LLC and A.F. Holdings LLC, which were represented by Prenda Law of Chicago. The cases were filed against “John Doe” defendants, alleging infringement of their copyrights to several pornographic films and seeking subpoenas to identify the perpetrators. Wright raised questions about Prenda Law’s practice of identifying alleged infringers with only an Internet protocol address. He expanded his concerns after discovering that Gibbs, the lead attorney on the cases before him, may have stolen the identity of a Minnesota resident named Alan Cooper to validate a potentially sham client by holding him out as principal of Ingenuity and A.F. Holdings. On February 7, Wright issued an order to show cause why Gibbs, of Mill Valley, Calif., should not be sanctioned. During a March 11 hearing, Cooper told Wright that he was not the person named in the documents. Cooper has sued Steele, Prenda Law, A.F. Holdings and Ingenuity 13 in the Fourth District Court of Hennepin County, Minn., alleging invasion of privacy and deceptive trade practices. Duffy and Prenda Law have filed a pair of libel suits against Cooper in Cook County, Ill, Circuit Court over statements made on the Internet. Following that hearing, Wright expanded his order for possible sanctions to include Duffy, a principal of Prenda Law; Steele and Hansmeier, who were former law partners at Steele Hansmeier PLLC, the predecessor to Prenda Law; and Angela Van Den Hemel, a paralegal at Prenda Law. He ordered Mark Lutz, identified by Gibbs as chief executive of A.F. Holdings, and an expert witness who Pietz claims is Hansmeier’s brother, to appear in court. Steele, Hansmeier, Duffy and Van Den Hemel showed up in court on April 2 but refused to answer the judge’s questions, citing the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination. In court documents, the four attorneys cited Wright’s threat of “potential incarceration” in their decision to plead the Fifth. They also challenged the evidence of any fraud and Wright’s authority to sanction attorneys not involved in the cases before him. In a footnote to Monday’s order, Wright said that, despite their arguments to the contrary, in a civil matter he was entitled to draw “adverse inferences against” three of the attorneys, whom he referred to as the “principals” of a fraud. “Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy…are attorneys with shattered law practices,” he wrote. “Seeking easy money, they conspired to operate this enterprise and formed the AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 entities (among other fungible entities) for the sole purpose of litigating copyright-infringement lawsuits. They created these entities to shield the Principals from potential liability and to give an appearance of legitimacy.” But neither AF Holdings nor Ingenuity 13 own assets, other than some copyright to pornographic films, Wright wrote. There are no owners or officers, other than the three attorneys, who also owned and controlled Prenda Law. Beginning in 2010, the three attorneys began monitoring BitTorrent downloads of copyrighted pornographic movies, recording the IP addresses of the computers where the downloading took place and filing suit to subpoena the Internet service providers for the names associated with those addresses, he said. They then sent cease-and-desist letters to those individuals, offering to settle their cases for about $4,000 each, Wright continued. Most defendants settled, resulting in millions of dollars for the three attorneys, who deposited the money into their own accounts and not that of AF Holdings or Ingenuity 13, he said. They also engaged in “vexatious litigation” against defendants who refused to settle, filing “boilerplate complaints based on a modicum of evidence, calculated to maximize settlement profits by minimizing costs and effort,” Wright wrote. “The Principals have shown little desire to proceed in these lawsuits when faced with a determined defendant,” he wrote. “Instead of litigating, they dismiss the case. When pressed for discovery, the Principals offer only disinformation — even to the Court.” They also hired other attorneys, such as Gibbs, to prosecute the cases. In his order, Wright concluded that Gibbs was “just a redshirt,” his actions controlled by the principals. By failing to conduct a thorough probe into who had actually downloaded the pornography, rather than simply rely on an IP address, Gibbs conducted a “hasty after-the-fact investigation, and a shoddy one at that.” His claims to have conducted a more complete investigation were lies to the court, Wright concluded. Because the cases at issue have since been dismissed, monetary sanctions were unavailable, the judge said, but an earlier ruling in which he denied requests for discovery was appropriate against Gibbs. “Though Gibbs is culpable for his own conduct before the Court, the Principals directed his actions,” he wrote. “The Principals maintained full control over the entire copyright-litigation operation. The Principals dictated the strategy to employ in each case, ordered their hired lawyers and witnesses to provide disinformation about the cases and the nature of their operation, and possessed all financial interest in the outcome of each case.” Furthermore, he wrote, they stole the identity of Cooper, who was Steele’s groundskeeper, forging his signature to assign copyrights to AF Holdings. Although stealing Cooper’s identity “smacks of fraud,” Wright said, he could not cite additional findings of fraud. “Nevertheless, it is clear that the Principals’ enterprise relies on deception,” he wrote. “Part of that ploy requires cooperation from the courts, which could only be achieved through deception. They anticipated that the Court would blindly approve their early-discovery requests, thereby opening the door to more settlement proceeds.” Wright acknowledged that Van Den Hemel, Lutz and Hansmeier were “not without fault” but, since they were not attorneys or parties in the cases, his sanctioning options were limited. He concluded that the deception extended to other courts, where their statements about how they operate have ranged from “feigned ignorance to misstatements to outright lies.” U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven in Tampa, Fla., for instance, raised questions in a copyright infringement case brought by Sunlust Pictures LLC after the defense attorney accused Prenda Law of hiring local attorneys while clandestinely attempting to extort a settlement out of his client, court records show. She ordered a principal of Prenda Law to show up for a November 27 hearing. Lutz arrived, claiming to be a corporate representative of Sunlust and accompanied by Steele, but failed to answer simple questions about the company, such as the name of the president. Scriven dismissed him, citing “attempted fraud on the Court” and invited a sanctions motion “against this Sunlust entity and everyone affiliated with it.” She also invited a motion for sanctions against Duffy for his “lack of candor in relation to his connection with this matter.” Duffy had written her a letter on November 18 claiming to be sole principal of Prenda Law but denying any association with the case. She dismissed the case on December 18, but said she would consider referring the matter to The Florida Bar. While not the first, Wright’s ruling was the largest sanction to emerge from nearly 1,000 suits filed against individuals during the past three years over copyrighted pornography. Opponents who represent the individual defendants have called the cases part of a legal shakedown to extort settlements from people who don’t want to be publicly identified as having downloaded pornography. Wright, in Monday’s order, said the existing copyright laws have allowed the Prenda Law attorneys to “plunder the citizenry” in the age of the Internet. “Plaintiffs do have a right to assert their intellectual property rights, so long as they do it right,” he wrote. “But Plaintiffs’ filing of cases using the same boilerplate complaint against dozens of defendants raised the Court’s alert. It was when the Court realized Plaintiffs engaged their cloak of shell companies and fraud that the Court went to battlestations.”|
3. ECA’s Hal Halpin: Disbarred Jack Thompson Still a Threat, October 2, 2008: Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) president Hal Halpin told The Escapist that, despite his recent disbarment, anti-game activist Jack Thompson will still be on the attack. “I did take some selfish joy in receiving Jack’s email announcing his formal disbarment, but you need to understand that Jack and I have a long and quite personal history, and in addition, I must receive a half dozen emails from him a day, so this was one that I appreciated receiving. Let’s put it that way. It’s important that gamers, while having every right to rejoice in their karmic victory, should understand that this really doesn’t diminish his ability to be a force against us. Jack’s not going anywhere… believe me.” Halpin also touched upon the controversy triggered by former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein’s criticism of the gaming press over its coverage of Thompson: “I read Doug’s reaction statement with a lot of interest, actually. As many who have been around the industry for some time know, Doug was my mentor when he ran the ESA and I the IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association). I believe I’ve gone on record before saying that one of the single largest mistakes we, collectively, made was ignoring Jack. I was certainly culpable in following Doug’s lead, but in doing so we left Jack as the only voice at the microphone; we empowered him, and it was strategically unsound and, in hindsight, altogether wrong. I know that Doug stands by his decision and instead hoists the blame on the enthusiast press, but I respectfully disagree. It was the endemic media which cast the light on Jack, his misstatements and factual inaccuracies and point-by-point, systematically addressed his assertions… all the while educating their readers, and the mainstream media and public who cared to listen, on the realities of the situation. I’ve always felt that the gaming press was the most underutilized weapon in the arsenal when it comes to battling our detractors and it was one of the first things we went about rectifying when we launched the ECA, just under two years ago.” FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.
Hal Halpin: I get messages (IMs, emails, FB notes, etc.) from members all the time, asking what the (almost daily) notes are from JT. Since this one’s fairly harmless and I’ve redacted anything personal (not that I don’t love getting his threatening cease and desist letters), I thought I’d share it as a pretty typical exchange. They usually begin with a condescending message, addressed to me – and often including Dennis, the EIC of GamePolitics – and carbon copying in an ever-changing list of key enthusiast media (Kotaku, Joystiq, Wired, etc.). Once the pleasantries are finished, he typically closes with any one of his profanity-laden roster of insults (i.e. Hal is/You are an industry whore, shill, a$$h0le etc.). And then he signs off with some holier than thou email sig, which generally contradicts what he just wrote (e.g. I suffer your slander and libel quietly while you rage against injustice wearing the First Amendment like a cloak.). I typically don’t respond, but occasionally will – which sparks a flurry of replies. Fair warning: this stuff is not as exciting as you’re probably hoping, but you asked for it… Oh, one other thing to note: his new – and improved, IMO – sig says, “Only Admitted to Practice in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, Not Admitted in Florida”… Reminds me of those credit card commercials… Priceless… Enjoy!
Jack Thompson, J.D., July 31, 2009: The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20500 Via Fax and e-mail, Re: Murder Simulation Video Games Being Played by American Kids. Dear Mr. President: A video game industry lobbying organization disingenuously calling itself the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) is presently inundating you with canned, prewritten form e-mails from “voters and gamers” asking you to stop uttering anything negative about kids who are wasting their time and thus their lives playing senseless video games. These are not voters. These kids under 17 you are hearing from who are being sold Mature-rated games by major retailers, as the FTC has repeatedly shown. I commend you for urging parents to have their kids shoot baskets rather than virtual police officers. I thank you for suggesting that doing homework is a better way for a teenaged boy to spend his evenings than having sex with prostitutes who are then killed to get the trick money back. And as a father of a teenaged boy I wish to express my appreciation for your own parental values that tell you that a game in which it is proclaimed, “Let’s kill all the dirty Haitians” is not what American kids need to hear. I have had the disturbing privilege of representing families whose loved ones are dead and in the ground because their teen killers trained on murder simulation games to kill them. I would encourage you to have someone on your White House staff contact me so that you might meet with some of these victims to hear firsthand the horror that the video game industry has brought into their lives. Finally, I encourage you, as Commander in Chief, to shut down the Army’s illicit distribution of killer video games to kids, through the DOD’s Institute for Creative Technologies at USC, to hook them on how “ cool” it is to be a soldier and kill people. The fact is, as I stated on ABC’s World News Tonight, the federal government is a reckless participant in the violent video game business. One of the lessons of Columbine is that this collaboration must stop. A dear friend and collaborator with me is Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who wrote On Killing, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Col. Grossman is the world’s leading expert on how video games millions of kids are playing are turning them into Mini-Manchurian Candidates, ready and able to author the next Columbines. You need to know what he knows. Your warnings to parents are possibly more needed than you know. Thank you, one father to another, Jack Thompson. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Hal Halpin, by Wikipedia: Hal Halpin (born September 1, 1969) is an American computer game executive and entrepreneur, and is the president and founder of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). Background: Halpin is perhaps best known as the founder of the US video game industry’s retail trade association, Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) which merged with Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) to form Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) in 2006. He is currently the president of the Crest Group, a consulting company serving the video game industry. Crest Group is the association management company that previously managed IEMA and now manages the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). He is also a Contributing/Guest Editor for 1UP.com, BitMob, Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), Game Informer Magazine, GameDaily, GameTheory, IndustryGamers, and The Escapist. Career: The Entertainment Consumers Association was launched in response to the need for consumer rights advocacy following a string of anti-games and anti-gamer legislation which would have criminalized the sale of certain video games if not for the efforts of trade groups in opposition. The industry itself was well represented by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), and the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), but those that purchase and play games went completely unrepresented until the launch of the ECA. Notable ECA publications include GamePolitics, GameCulture and ECA Today. While running the IEMA, Halpin was involved in a number of historically important changes including the Hot Coffee scandal, retailers carding for mature-rated games, and the standardization of PC games packaging and related platform identification marks. During that time he also became a favourite target of noted anti-games activist and attorney, Jack Thompson. The two opponents were scheduled to debate publicly at the 2007 Penny Arcade Expo, but the debate was cancelled and replaced in the schedule with keynote speaker, Wil Wheaton. Prior to Crest, ECA, and IEMA, Halpin was the founder and president of Cyberactive Media Group, a business-to-business publishing company. There he was publisher of Interactive Entertainment Magazine (formerly known as GameWeek Magazine and Video Game Advisor), which was the leading trade publication serving the sector. He also previously founded and was the publisher of GameDaily, the category’s primary daily news outlet. Although he claims credit for coining the phrase “interactive entertainment,” this claim is certainly untrue. Halpin previously founded and was the publisher of GameDaily, the category’s primary daily news outlet and career site and job board, GameJobs.com, which remains a staple HR tool serving the trade. Halpin also re-published David Sheff’s Game Over, a book on the history of the videogame industry considered by many to be the “Bible” of the video game business and re-launched the industry’s first charitable organization, Games for Good. Representation: While acting as president of the IEMA, Halpin was frequently called upon to represent the sector in mass-media outlets, speaking at conventions and trade shows, and in representing the medium to federal and state government representatives. His role became more public as president of the ECA while advocating consumer rights issues such as Net Neutrality and Universal Broadband, Fair Use and DMCA, ACTA negotiations transparency and Taxation on video games and other digital products. On March 25, 2009, speaking at the FTC workshop on Digital Rights, he recommended in testimony that the presence of embedded Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology be disclosed to customers prior to the sale/license of the software and that End User License Agreements (EULA) – also known as software license agreements – be standardized for packaged goods software. Halpin and ECA also represented the position of game consumers via an amicus brief and online petition regarding the U.S. Supreme Court case, Schwarzenegger v. EMA, known as the violent video games case. Controversy: On December 2, 2009, controversy arose regarding the ECA’s membership cancellation policy, in which the association’s membership terms and conditions were changed without notifying ECA users. The change was made due to an exploit in a partner’s coupon codes. The cancellation policy change temporarily required that members mail a physical letter requesting cancellation while the association upgraded their systems. There were also complaints about the change in the terms and conditions being made without notifying the membership, which struck some members as ironic given the ECA’s stance regarding End User License Agreements. The three-week ordeal ended on December 24, 2009, once the promised new modules went public giving members online account termination and an online auto-renewal opt-out functionality similar to Xbox Live and ECA’s listing with the CT Better Business Bureau was raised to an A-. Media Appearances: Halpin’s brother, Spencer, created a feature-length documentary about video game violence, Spencer Halpin’s Moral Kombat, in which Halpin is interviewed. He also appeared in Playing Columbine, a documentary about the controversial videogame, Super Columbine Massacre RPG!. According to IMDb, in addition to many interviews in the enthusiast gaming press, he has also appeared in episodes of Dateline NBC, CNBC Reports, G4 TV Reports and on NPR. Halpin is a vocal consumer advocate, providing reaction quotes and interviews for news media on topically-important issues and making himself available for national news journalists. Awards: “CheapAssGamer.com”‘s Most Memorable CAG Villain 2010 at the “7th Annual Cheapy Awards”