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.
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