Even though many people don't recognize his name, 29-year-old Matthew "The Oatmeal" Inman is a popular cartoonist. You've probably seen plenty of his work — such as "10 Words You Need To Stop Misspelling," "What It's Like To Own An Apple Product," or "Cat vs Internet" — in your Facebook feed, on Twitter, or on your favorite blog at some point. It's almost impossible to avoid Inman online.
About a year ago, Inman got fed up with a website — called FunnyJunk — which had become particularly prone to re-hosting and monetizing his work. He wrote a blog post declaring that FunnyJunk had "practically stolen [his] entire website." The website's owner responded by claiming that Inman was threatening to sue him and removing any content which referenced "The Oatmeal."
Even though plenty of his content remained on FunnyJunk, without any reference to his pseudonym, Inman just didn't have energy to file DMCA takedown notices to deal with it. "Let's just leave it alone, I thought," he told me. "That's how it was for a year."
But oddly enough, the folks behind FunnyJunk decided they wanted to revisit the whole situation, almost exactly a year later. Inman discovered this when someone knocked on his door to serve him with papers about a week ago. "It was 8 p.m. — I was having a sushi-making night," Inman explained. The owner of FunnyJunk was threatening to file a federal lawsuit unless Inman paid $20,000 in damages.
"Is it going to get worse," Inman wondered. He consulted a lawyer and sat on the letter for about a week before finally posting it online, along with his rebuttal and an explanation of what he'll do. (His lawyer also mailed a formal reply to FunnyJunk's representative as well, of course.)
"I don't want to get tied up in courtroom nonsense. I don't want to pay more money to my lawyer," Inman declared in that blog post. He outlined why he believed that it was silly that FunnyJunk is demanding money "for hosting [his] unlicensed comics […] for the past three years."
"I've got a better idea," he wrote. "I'm going to try and raise $20,000 in donations. I'm going to take a photo of the raised money. I'm going to mail you that photo, along with this drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear. 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."
Below is his full rebuttal, including the fundraiser, and it's pretty damn funny
I love The Oatmeal. His comics are hilarious! And this whole FunnyJunk lawsuit thing is just pure comedic gold! Seriously, seeing the picture of the mom trying to seduce the Kodiak Bear is worth a donation alone.