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Jun 18 2012

Douchebag rising

We are privileged to witness something in our generation that will change the world, a series of legal events of awesome import.

Step 1. Humorless organization lacking in creativity builds humor site called FunnyJunk by aggregating webcomics. Not their own creations, of course; they just harvest them off the web without their creators’ permission.

Douchebag Level: Throbbing.

Step 2. One of the victims of this theft of intellectual property, The Oatmeal, complains.

Response Level: Reasonable

Step 3. FunnyJunk hires a lawyer, Charles Carreon.

Douchebag Level: Expectant.

Step 4. Carreon demands that The Oatmeal take down its complaint, and also pay FunnyJunk $20,000.

Douchebag Level: Boiling.

Step 5. The Oatmeal launches Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad. Not only won’t The Oatmeal pay up, but it’s going to raise the money and donate it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Almost $200,000 is raised.

Response Level: Epic

Step 6. Carreon expands his lawsuit against The Oatmeal to include the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. He’s suing charities to harass a web cartoonist!

Douchebag Level: OFF THE SCALE

You do realize what this means, don’t you? 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.

69 comments

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  1. 1
    Riptide Tempora

    That reminds me of the joke: Why did the necrophiliac get arrested at the airport? He thought he was entitled to a carrion.

  2. 2
    Dick the Damned

    My guess is that Mr Carrion’s performance is one which some lawyers will aspire to, while others will abhor it. It’s just the proportions of them that i don’t know.

  3. 3
    jonnyscaramanga

    I started reading the post you linked to in the hope I might get some sense of the logic behind his complaint, but… nope. We appear to be dealing with someone of almost sociopathic ill intent.

  4. 4
    Erin W

    I used to say my profession was ‘attorney… no, not that kind.’ (I do research, I don’t go to court.) Now I’ll have to say ‘attorney… no, not Chuck Carreon.’

  5. 5
    scaryduck

    We need a word that is stronger than “douche” as this guy is insulting to douches.

    Then I realised we already have “lawyer”.

  6. 6
    piffleprattle

    This allusion towards genus Corvus is a damned calumny.
    Besides, unlike this lawyer fellow, Crows perform an excellent service at seeing off the Gulls.

  7. 7
    Deen

    Wow. I thought PZ was referring to Carreon’s statement where he said he was considering to sue the charities, but no, he’s actually filed suit.

    Also, Popehat.

  8. 8
    Anthony K

    Without the Latin, law would be playground pissing contests.

    “No, you pay me.”
    “Well, I’m giving all my money to bears. And cancer.” (Awesome, BTW!)
    “Oh, yeah? Then I’m suing bears and cancer too.”

  9. 9
    ck

    You forgot the part where the lawyer now wants $100,000 instead.

  10. 10
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    I was reading about this the other day. I never would have expected Carreon to sue the charities. That’s utterly fucking absurd.

  11. 11
    pipenta

    This lawyer is like one of the more demented characters in a Tim Dorsey novel.

    Where are Serge and Coleman when we need them?

  12. 12
    ck

    Or maybe I can’t read. Blah. We just had Mr. Carrion’s wife (or a troll impersonator) badly defending here husband’s actions.

  13. 13
    The Mellow Monkey

    Ken’s appraisal of this as “legal cartoon-villainy” seems apt. When I heard he was now suing IndieGoGo and the charities over this my jaw fell open.

    I’m not sure this even qualifies as douchebaggery anymore. This is downright nonsensical.

  14. 14
    julietdefarge

    I suspect The Oatmeal will lose, just because the laws governing fair use of internet content are so effed up.
    It reminds me of when Sony Corp. sued a Filipino restaurant in Baltimore named Sony’s. The woman who ran the place was named Sony, short for Concepcion. She lost.

  15. 15
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    [meta]White lettering on yellow background doesn’t work. Turn it off![/meta]

    [meta meta]That is an appropriate use of meta tags, ¿no?[/meta meta]

  16. 16
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Carreon expands his lawsuit against The Oatmeal to include the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

    Fuck those bears.

    Wait, what?

  17. 17
    puppygod

    Can we have mass driver yet? I just added Mr. Carreon name to my jettison list.

  18. 18
    Sili

    My guess is that Mr Carrion’s performance is one which some lawyers will aspire to, while others will abhor it. It’s just the proportions of them that i don’t know.

    That’s Mr Carreon, Esq to you.

  19. 19
    keenacat

    Fuck ALL the charities!!

  20. 20
    scaryduck

    And could be worse. The lawyer could be Orly Taitz, Esq

  21. 21
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Fuck those bears.

    Leave this to me.

    …Stop staring.

  22. 22
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    From the summery of the complaint (included in the Popehat link):

    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.

    Lawyers, a little help! Is Mr Carrion saying that it’s illegal to give to charities out of spite?

  23. 23
    Moggie

    This is possibly the funniest thing The Oatmeal has ever done. Actually, this is possibly the only funny thing The Oatmeal has ever done.

  24. 24
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    The Old Testament Satan has nothing on this guy.

  25. 25
    Gregory in Seattle

    A burglar robs a house. When the newspaper quotes the homeowner as describing the burglar as a lowlife slime, the burglar sues the homeowner for defamation of character. When the homeowner organizes a neighborhood watch, the burglar sues them as well, claiming that a neighborhood watch hurts his business model.

    I think that sums up the situation.

  26. 26
    Pierce R. Butler

    julietdefarge @ # 14: The woman who ran the place was named Sony, short for Concepcion.

    In the version I heard, “Sony” was (more logically) short for Corazon (same as former Philippine president Aquino). The Baltimore Sun, however, describes her as “Resurrecion “Sony” Robles-Florendo”.

    [/pedant]

  27. 27
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Naked Bunny:

    Leave this to me.

    …Stop staring.

    WRONG KIND OF BEAR!

    RUN, BUNNY, RUN!!

  28. 28
    Randomfactor

    The Old Testament Satan has nothing on this guy.

    Heck, this thug gives the Old Testament YHWH a run for his money.

  29. 29
    Q.E.D

    Carrion is obviously 1) a slime dwelling shit eater 2) a very bad lawyer and 3) has obviously not heard the axiom “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client” (either that or no sensible lawyer would press his claims).

    Lawyer bashing is great fun and deeply rooted in our culture. Even though I am one I am happy to join in when meritted. That said, in the interest of not tarring the rest of the profession with the likes of Carrion, bear in mind that most lawyers (66%) give their time and efforts, free of charge, to help people and charities who cannot afford and/or access legal services pro bono

  30. 30
    brianwestley

    The British already have a movie series going that would fit:
    “Carry On Douchebaggery”

  31. 31
    Q.E.D

    Audley @ 22

    Lawyers, a little help! Is Mr Carrion saying that it’s illegal to give to charities out of spite?

    No, he is saying the LoveBears/Hate Cancer fundraising effort was a pretextual cover for a campaign of harassment against him and FunnyJunk.

    I would be very surprised if Carrion’s complaint survived the charities’ motions for summary judgement for failure to state a cause of action.

  32. 32
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Randomfactor, @28:

    Heck, this thug gives the Old Testament YHWH a run for his money.

    Come on now, at least this douchebag didn’t create The Oatmeal, Funnyjunk, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, all the while knowing he’d inevitably have to sue them…

    So while he’s a douchebag of legendary proportions, You Know Who still has His top spot unchallenged.

  33. 33
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    quoderatdemonstrandum:

    No, he is saying the LoveBears/Hate Cancer fundraising effort was a pretextual cover for a campaign of harassment against him and FunnyJunk.

    Which there appears to be no evidence for.

    Thanks!

  34. 34
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I hear the sound of an incoming SLAPP

    Someone is going to be paying attorney fees to someone that’s not their lawyer.

  35. 35
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    An older case of legal bullying that became a bit of an internet legend.
    This one had a good ending:

    http://www.bluejeanscable.com/legal/mcp/index.htm

    Just read the response pdf — and if you don’t have time to read through the whole thing (try it, it is like a novel with a kicker last chapter) just start at the second-last para on page 5.

  36. 36
    Rolan le Gargéac

    brianwestley @30

    The British already have a movie series going that would fit:
    “Carry On Douchebaggery”

    Nay, nay ! Carreon Up The Shyster!”

  37. 37
    Who Cares

    You forgot the part where he first tried to bully Indiegogo, the site through which the collection is held, into removing said fundraiser.

    If it weren’t a real lawyer I’d think FJ was posing as one to drum up more people for their site.

  38. 38
    The Mellow Monkey

    The complaint: http://charlescarreon.com/Carreon.v.Inman.Gov.Code.25559.Redacted.pdf

    Highlights:

    30. In order to initiate an Internet jihad against Plaintiff and FJ, Inman unloaded the contents of his “Hitler’s porta-potty” on Plaintiff and FJ, drawing a misogynistic cartoon depicting an obese female dressed in her underwear, with pendulous breasts popping out of her brassiere, an enormous posterior distended by an overstretched thong, rouged cheeks, and a crudely-lipsticked mouth, calling out to an apparently disinterested brown bear half her size, “COME HURR AND LOVE MEEEE!” He described it as a “drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear.”
    A true copy of the webpage is attached as Exhibit A.

    60. This is an exceptional case; wherefore Plaintiff is entitled to an award of its reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the prosecution of this action, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117.

    So he’s the attorney and wants to be awarded money to pay himself.

    62. As noted above, Doe1 or Inman proliferated Plaintiff’s email address via a fake tweet made by “@Charles_Carreon.com.” Plaintiff had not posted the [email protected] email address anywhere on the Internet except where required by law and Internet regulations.”

    Except that it’s the contact link on his blog.

    I look forward to more analysis on this.

  39. 39
    Aquaria

    Does this not fall under DMCA?

    People have been slapped with it over less, but surely this is one of the things the law, bad as it is, could protect against.

  40. 40
    Aquaria

    Oh–and the time to become a comic strip aggregator was in 1995. It’s too late now.

  41. 41
    anuran

    There are all sorts of jobs a man can have
    He can work in fast food and be a coke sacker
    He can work in the clothing industry and be a sock tucker
    He can work in a winery and be a cork soaker
    But Carreon is the Real McCoy

  42. 42
    thegoodman

    This guy having the name “Carreon” makes me believe there may actually be gods.

    Judge’s should be able to hold lawyers and plaintiffs in contempt for such frivolous lawsuits. 3 strikes is a felony IMO.

  43. 43
    radpumpkin

    Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you: The new (and improved/crazier) Jack Thompson!

  44. 44
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Does this not fall under DMCA?

    People have been slapped with it over less, but surely this is one of the things the law, bad as it is, could protect against.

    You’re kidding, right?

  45. 45
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    There are all sorts of jobs a man can have
    He can work in fast food and be a coke sacker
    He can work in the clothing industry and be a sock tucker
    He can work in a winery and be a cork soaker
    But Carreon is the Real McCoy

    Supposing he did suck cocks. What conceivable relevance would that have?

  46. 46
    violet

    Ugh I hate people like this. There are tons of lawyers out there who are putting in time to actually help people and this sort of crap attaches to the entire profession. The legal profession has more ethics checks than most and The Oatmeal would be within their rights to report this guy to the bar association for his actions. This sort of thing makes it much harder for legit lawyers to do their jobs as well because it skews public perception of what the job is. For every person in genuine need of help, there is another much louder client who thinks your job is to find them a “loophole” that will allow them to break the law. I honestly tried, but it was people like that that made my legal career very short.

  47. 47
    vexorian

    I agree whole-hearty.

    But please, no more white letters in yellow background. Though maybe you did it intentionally to make the subject even more offensive.

  48. 48
    Amphiox

    Pertaining to a vaguely remembered debate on another thread about lawsuits and the frivolity thereof, with a certain coffee-related action against McDonalds as the focus.

    That was not a frivolous lawsuit.

    THIS, this is a frivolous lawsuit.

  49. 49
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    There are all sorts of jobs a man can have
    He can work in fast food and be a coke sacker
    He can work in the clothing industry and be a sock tucker
    He can work in a winery and be a cork soaker
    But Carreon is the Real McCoy

    lame

  50. 50
    captstormfield

    OTOH, if the Discovery Institute ever needed to replace Casey Luskin…

    Capt.

  51. 51
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Moggie @ 23 – I know what you mean. I, personally, find The Oatmeal hilarious sometimes (seriously, the one about calling customer service made me laugh so hard I pulled muscles)

    Then, there’s shit like this.

  52. 52
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    so, anuran, was it homophobia or misogyny you were going for there? Or both?

  53. 53
    Hayden

    @44

    You’re kidding, right?

    There is a possibility that FunnyJunk is protected by DMCA safe harbor status. FunnyJunk is basically an image host where users can upload content. The DMCA basically says it’s unreasonable to expect a site like that to police all user traffic for copyright infringement. If a user uploads a piece of copyrighted material, the host is immune from liability, provided they follow certain protocols. For example, if the copyright owner notifies the host of copyrighted material being hosted without permission, the host must take down the content.

    Now, IANAL, so I don’t actually know the technical details of what confers DMCA safe harbor status. I also don’t know all the details of what FunnyJunk hosted, when it hosted it, whether there was some formal method The Oatmeal should have but did not pursue to get his comics taken down, etc., etc. Given all this, it may or may not be the case that FunnyJunk “stole” The Oatmeal’s comics.

    In terms of pure douchebaggary, even if The Oatmeal failed to jump through the proper hoops, if FunnyJunk were reasonable and acting in good faith, they should have been more diligent in removing The Oatmeal’s comics, along with other copyrighted content, however that’s just a personal judgement and may have no legal bearing at all.

  54. 54
    A. R

    I believe George Takei has something to say to Mr. Carrion…

  55. 55
    Furr-a-Bruin

    Pedantic, I know – but the problem I see with this characterization is that unlike UpChuck Carrion, a douchebag potentially has a useful function.

    I’d prefer to liken such individuals to toxic or nuclear waste, though that’s probably far too science-y for the general public. (We do at least have the concept of calling someone “totally radioactive” so there might be gradual progress in that direction….)

  56. 56
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    There was another case similar to this a while back. The “douche” was named Eric Bauman, the site was named ebaumsworld.com, and the story was similarly repellant: he took other people’s stuff and put his own watermarks on it, usually cutting off the signatures/watermarks on the original work, and then used it to drive ad revenue. I can’t remember if he ever sued anyone, though — although I recall he was threatened with lawsuits a few times.

  57. 57
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    “Operation BearLove”? I’m sure I’m not the only one who had a MUCH different idea of what that would be about.

    Also, don’t read the comments on the first The Oatmeal link. Stupid has never been so concentrated in one place before outside of a creationist convention or MRA blog.

    Moggie:

    This is possibly the funniest thing The Oatmeal has ever done. Actually, this is possibly the only funny thing The Oatmeal has ever done.

    You, my good fellow Pharyngulite, are lacking in comic taste. I mean, this is the comic that gave us the Gayroller 2000.

  58. 58
    madscientist

    I could never tell in these cases. Carreon’s either incredibly incompetent or he knows how to string along a sucker and bleed him dry while appearing to do something useful. We really need procedures that get more of such plaints put through the shredder rather than wasting a court’s time.

  59. 59
    Rip Steakface

    I also don’t know all the details of what FunnyJunk hosted, when it hosted it, whether there was some formal method The Oatmeal should have but did not pursue to get his comics taken down, etc., etc. Given all this, it may or may not be the case that FunnyJunk “stole” The Oatmeal’s comics.

    There’s a series of posts on The Oatmeal’s blog about FunnyJunk’s refusal to remove stolen, unsourced content. He asked in a cordial, nice manner initially, and then received a big “fuck you” from FunnyJunk. In response, he posted a scathing, hilarious comic. Now Carreon-crawler is suing for defamation/something-or-other (I don’t know the precise legal terminology).

  60. 60
    emc2

    Yes, but has Carreon demanded a camera yet?

  61. 61
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’m pretty sure the DMCA includes explicit provisions to prevent it ever being used by a good person against a bad person.

  62. 62
    Moggie

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    You, my good fellow Pharyngulite, are lacking in comic taste. I mean, this is the comic that gave us the Gayroller 2000.

    Ok, let’s just say that, in my personal and fallible opinion, the comic’s hit rate is too low for it to remain in my list of “shit I must read on the intertron”. YMMV.

  63. 63
    call me mark

    We refer Mr Carreon to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.

  64. 64
    Louis

    Markw,

    You win the internet!

    That is the best legal reply in history. The Eye has a lot of wonderful moments, but that for me is one of the highlights.

    Excuse me, I’m off to cancel my subscription.

    Louis

  65. 65
    call me mark

    An internet all of my very own! Thanks Louis.

    My favourite Eye moment was the following personal ad:

    “Spike Milligan seeks rich, well-insured widow. Intention: murder.”

    It was apparently genuinely placed by Spike Milligan.

  66. 66
    Louis

    The reprinting of the Dear Bill letters interspersed with real quotes was one of my highlights. But how does one choose between sunsets? The Eye is a constant source of brilliance.

    Louis

  67. 67
    Q.E.D

    markw re. Arkell v. Pressdram

    well played sir, well played.

  68. 68
    machintelligence

    re. Arkell v. Pressdram is great, but Popehat is no slouch himself when it comes to insults. Check out: http://www.popehat.com/2011/12/07/tell-me-about-the-rabbit-marc-stephens/
    Especially:

    Marc, kindly take this post — the link to which I will email to you — as a formal, legally binding, 100% certified style invitation to snort my taint.

  69. 69
    aaronbaker

    @8:

    Without the Latin, law would be playground pissing contests.

    “No, you pay me.”
    “Well, I’m giving all my money to bears. And cancer.” (Awesome, BTW!)
    “Oh, yeah? Then I’m suing bears and cancer too.”

    And what sort of playground pissing is a woman seeking an order of protection engaged in?

    Or a prosecutor trying to keep someone genuinely dangerous off the street?

    I don’t mind lawyer jokes in the least–confidently ignorant opining is another matter.

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