The big(ger) picture

4 Jul

The crazy and baffling developments continue in the tale of The Oatmeal and Charles Carreon, censorious douchebag.

After about three weeks of very public hysterics and absurd online antics,  Charles Carreon has dismissed his suit against Matthew Inman, IndieGoGo, the Wildlife Federation Foundation and the American Cancer Association.

Fortunately for the parties involved and so far named, several upstanding and outstanding lawyers had picked up the torch for freedom of speech. One must hope that they remain willing to become involved because, as both Ken at Popehat and Adam Steinbaugh explain, the manner in which this suit is being dismissed will not preclude Charles Carreon from filing it again in the future.¹

On Monday, Ken at Popehat reminded readers that, while Charles Carreon’s behaviour is indeed outrageous and ridiculous at once, it’s not–by far–the worse example of legal intimidation at hand. What’s more, it’s only because Carreon’s originally intended victim, Matthew Inman, is so successful that word of the crazy spread so fast, so far and so often.

But just what happens when the recipient of such legal thread, even one delivered without all the pomp and fanfare of a process server to one’s residence, is a small, unknown blogger?

I don’t know about others, but I know that I would feel intimidated. I don’t have the money or the energy to fight someone who, like Carreon does to John Doe here, threatens to hold a legal sword over my head indefinitely–and I am not confident that I would be able to rally pro bono support from any of the great people helping Satirical Charles out.

I’m not an expert, I am not a lawyer (and I don’t play one online or on tv either) but I can read and I can write. I can read Popehat’s archives and follow links to other sites² with valid legal information about my right to speak out.


And while reading and getting all educated and stuff, you could stroll on over and keep Ann Branson‘s cool fundraising going:

Three days to go and, if she manages to raise some $50 more, Americans for the Arts and the amazingly cool Electronic Frontier Foundation could receive a full $1000 each (accounting for IndieGoGo’s and other processing fees). So c’mon, give a little for freedom of speech.


¹ And if this ‘without prejudice’ means that Charles Carreon will not have to pay for the time lawyers for all the defendants in his bogus lawsuit had to put in, I’m gonna be more than a little upset. Because actions without negative consequences usually become repeated actions, in my experience.


² Also good reading: in another corner of the internet that I am somewhat familiar with, Dear Author Jane has a number of common sense posts (note: not legal advice) on defamation and fair use.

2 Responses to “The big(ger) picture”


  1. Musing: On having “the right equipment” « Her Hands, My Hands - 11/07/2012

    […] following is only tangentially connected to the Carreon farce of the last few […]

  2. A day late, a penny short: a couple of awesome updates. « Her Hands, My Hands - 12/07/2012

    […] BearLove Good, Cancer Bad–and Mathew Inman, pretty much awesomesauce through and through: The Oatmeal blog update has some of the pictures of the money, which will be dutifully send to Charles Carreon¹ via Priority Mail. […]

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