Carreon Admits His Original Threat Letter Was A Mistake, But Keeps On Digging Anyway

from the stop-digging,-charles dept

Another day, and still, Charles Carreon keeps digging. In case you just woke up from a coma, here are all the earlier posts on Carreon. The latest is both a bizarre semi-backtrack, as well as another case of him feverishly continuing to dig that Carreon Effect hole deeper and deeper.

The “backtrack” comes to us via Popehat, pointing us to an interview with Carreon in which he admits that the letter he sent to kick off this whole mess… was a mistake. Yes. You read that right:

Ironically, the threat of the first lawsuit [Funnyjunk suing Inman] never materialized. Carreon admits he was misinformed: Before demanding the $20,000, which was based on FunnyJunk’s “estimate of advertising losses sustained due to the taint of being accused of engaging in willful copyright infringement,” Carreon was told that all Oatmeal comics had been taken off the FunnyJunk site, even though they hadn’t. “If I had known… no demand would have gone out,” he says.

You would think that, upon realizing this — that the entire premise of his letter which kicked off this entire thing was wrong — he would think better off pursuing a separate strategy in response to the backlash for what he now admits was in error. But, no. Also, as Ken at Popehat points out, saying these things could be construed as “revealing a confidential attorney-client communication between himself and FunnyJunk in order to make himself look less ridiculous.”

And then he continues to dig, dig, dig, dig dig.

You see, in another interview (dude gets around), this time with Ars Technica, Carreon trots out his latest bizarre theory of liability for Matthew Inman. In the lawsuit, he claimed that he thought Inman might keep everything raised above the target goal of $20,000, even though Inman never made any suggestion that was true, and in fact, Inman had said quite clearly (way before Carreon’s rampage and lawsuit) that he was going to donate 100% of everything raised to charity. But Carreon says it doesn’t matter:

“It sounds like he stands to make $180,000,” Carreon said. “He’s the authorized agent of IndieGoGo. I know this shit is hard to put together. That’s why we hire lawyers, because we read the statute and we take the risk.” (“Inman’s commitment after the fact is not evidence of his original intention,” Carreon clarified later by e-mail).

It should be noted, of course, that it does not appear that Carreon has “hired a lawyer” since he filed the case pro se (representing himself). The whole “authorized agent of IndieGogo” thing seems to be an astoundingly weak attempt to twist what IndieGoGo does and what Inman did to fit it under the California law on commercial fundraisers.

But, here’s where Carreon goes really far out on a limb. On the very same post where Inman tells everyone that 100% of the money is going to charity, he also points out that he is going to add some other charities to the list. Nearly everyone thinks this is a really good thing. More money going to more charities. Awesome. But, no, not to Carreon. Apparently this is evidence of a nasty “bait & switch”

“Inman’s idea to add two more charities is another act that shows the risk of money being raised for one purpose to be diverted to another. For example, I raise money for an Israeli charity to pay for trips to the Holy Land, but then decide that half the money should go to Palestinian orphans, or more disturbingly, to Hezbollah, which also has a charity wing. It’s one more reason why IndieGoGo should not contract with agents like Inman who do not know that ‘adding charities’ to a campaign is obviously ‘bait and switch’ false advertising.”

Yeah, because everyone is just so sure that Inman’s now going to add two charities that involve speeding up cancer causing agents and killing off bears to counter his original two charities.

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Comments on “Carreon Admits His Original Threat Letter Was A Mistake, But Keeps On Digging Anyway”

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69 Comments
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

He claims to have sent out this type of letter in the past, I really wish we could find the recipients of them.

He claimed to have been working for funnyjunk for 5-6 months, and in that time he never thought to check the claims?

Yay for breaking privilege to try and regain some credibility (?!) but he keeps going.

I await the arrival of his wife screaming something nonsensical about how we are all against him because of something other than him being a giant moron.

varagix says:

Re:

Not true. Many have succeeded at this. Granted, it tends to be both unintentional and at the cost of their career. Like Jack Thompson for example.

Though you need to be careful; lawyers like them tend to be like Beetlegeuse or the Devil. Say their names and they will appear, and all that. Thankfully Thompson at least is disbarred, so the best he can do if he appears is to jump up and down throwing a fit like an enraged monkey.

Jayster says:

One valid point

I personally think Carreon is an ass, and the only valid point he has made is the one about adding the additional charities. I like to know where my money is going, and Inman makes it clear that two charities are going to receive the money; however, when other charities are then added after the fund raising has already started, it is funneling money away from the charities that the original giver was supporting. I think that is called fraud.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

One valid point

His goal was only to raise the $20,000 to be divided between the 2 charities.
I believe he got about 10 times that amount so far.
I’m not sure what other charities he had thought about donating the rest to, but his intention was to spread out the donations because he was surprised about the amount pouring in.
If there is an actual problem with him adding more, I am sure he will honor the original agreement to divide the amount raised between the 2 charities.
I think the bigger issue is there is only 1 donor, Carreon who only donated to get standing to have his hissy fit, has made any objection to there being additional charities added to share in the donations.
I think many people view the additional charities like a kickstarter project kicking in more benefits as the project surpasses the goal.
They have the list of donors, it shouldn’t be difficult to see if anyone, besides Carreon, objects to their donation being “split”.

iamtheky (profile) says:

One valid point

I’m going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

So as long as they get 10k a piece I believe he has fulfilled all statements on the fundraiser. And if he ends up donating any overage to any number of other admirable causes, I hardly see how that will be proven as fraudulent.

A Guy (profile) says:

Exit Strategy

He should just donate a little to the fundraiser himself, apologize (jokingly) to his mother for getting her dragged into this, and, most importantly, show he can laugh at himself online by making a self deprecating statement about the whole mess.

That or he could just keep digging I guess. Either way, he will provide at least another week of entertainment, maybe more.

Jayster says:

One valid point

One other note: a lot of people have been asking what I plan to do with the extra money we raised over the initial $20,000. 100% of it is going to charity. I?m going to add 2 more charities to the list, in addition to the ACS and the NWF. – Inman

The update he wrote does say that the additional amount will go to 2 other charities as well. I just wish he would share the list of charities.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re:

He actually does have a point about adding charities though. It’s almost certainly illegal to split the money that has already been donated to the original two charities to charities that weren’t on the list when people made the decision to donate.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that making a promise in exchange for money and later abandoning or modifying the promise is called fraud. Unless it involves a politician, of course.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re:

And before the Jewish people pop out from the woodwork to call me an anti-Semite, I observed this first hand in Israel.

Jim Morrison said it best…”people are strange.”

You can be against the actions of the country of Israel or against the political actions of Israel and not be anti-Semite. I sat in a technical symposium once where a very well known (one of the letters in RSA) scientist who happened to be of Jewish descent sat next to a cryptography expert who happened to be of Palestinian descent, and the point that neither of them would be sitting next to each other if they were in Israel, talking as if they were best friends (they were,) and enjoying each other’s company was not lost to the rest of the folks in the room. They were asked by someone how this is possible, and Adi responded (I am paraphrasing here since it was a while ago and don’t remember his exact words) that it is far easier to think clearly the further away you get from Israel. People so close to a conflict can only think about the conflict.

Part of the process of justifying violence on another person is dehumanizing them. Once you dehumanize them, it is far easier to treat them with little respect. One of the ways to dehumanize someone is to treat them as though they are something they aren’t…a ploy used quite regularly here at Techdirt by the trolls (we are all pirates, right?) Justifies the insanity.

Though I’d suggest that like every conflict, there are folks on both sides dehumanizing one another. The fight’s been going on so long that the folks don’t even remember what the fight was originally about.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“You can be against the actions of the country of Israel or against the political actions of Israel and not be anti-Semite.”

When you say anything bad against Israel the first thing thrown at you is you are an anti-Semite.

Just like when pointing out contradictions and lies of the Obama campaign, I was a racist.

Just covering bases.

[citation needed or GTFO] says:

This won't end for at least a week...

I think Carreon will keep digging until the fundraiser’s over. Then he’ll demand from each charity how much they received and if the total amount doesn’t match how much was raised, he’ll sue Inman for fraud.

…Or maybe he’ll just keep rubbing his religious beliefs all over the internet with crappy poems and links to that poorly designed website his wife co-created all over the comment sections…

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re:

The amount of the stated goal is irrelevant, only the stated destination of the money at the time it was donated is relevant. Saying donations after this point will be split among more charities is fine but diverting money that was donated prior to that point could land him in prison.

I’m not busting his chops for trying to do something nice but he should really get some legal advice before he writes any checks.

Lurker Keith says:

One valid point

Exactly. To comply w/ the stated update, all he has to do is give each charity $50,000+ (since he was around $118k or so at the time of the update, iirc, if the 2 days is correct)… & even if IndiGoGo does get 4%, he’s already beyond the point where the 4% doesn’t even affect the $50k split.

In fact, the fundraiser is now at $210,450, w/ yet another 2 or 3 days to go! (4% isn’t even $9k)

Anonymous Coward says:

Fun with Alliteration

I want to see the additional charities be the ASPCA and Boys Town. Imagine the fun that can be had with him opposing those two charities, then he actually toes the line of being a puppy punter and orphan oppressor, as well as the current two showing him as potentially being a cancer celebrator and wildlife whacker. Any other good charities to add, to see him rally against?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

The fundamental claim that he made publicly when asking for money was that he wanted people to give him money so that he could raise the $20,000 that Carreon demanded and donate it to charity. He initially named two charities as recipients, and it is probably better PR to give at least the original $20k to them, but the basic request he made, which is what the case should turn on, was “Give me money so I can donate it to charity to make a point.” He didn’t say “Give the American Cancer Society money through me” or “Give the BearLove Foundation money through me.”

PaulT (profile) says:

The last point is very mystifying, but even it were true, would donators be able to request a refund? The nature of the contract has changed after the donation has been made, so what would IndieGoGo’s policy be in situations where people find the new terms unacceptable (I assume they’d be liable somewhat since they apparently allow projects to be altered after they start raising funds).

Oh well, silver linings and all. The longer this idiocy continues, the more free advertising IndieGoGo gets and the more people realise that Kickstarter is not unique or a monopoly in the indie crowdfunding space. This can’t be anything other than a good thing IMHO.

ChimpObama McBinLadenBurton says:

Palestinian Orphans can suck it according to Carrion

Carrion says:
“For example, I raise money for an Israeli charity to pay for trips to the Holy Land, but then decide that half the money should go to Palestinian orphans, or more disturbingly, to Hezbollah, which also has a charity wing”

More disturbingly?

So you’re saying that it’s disturbing to offer support to the innocent orphans of religious violence?

Yeah, fuck all those Palestinian children who lost their parents to Israeli tanks. They aren’t the chosen ones, so they can fend for themselves. Better to raise money so that pro-jewish Americans can afford plane fare to Israel.

You suck dude. Really really suck.

COMBB

saulgoode (profile) says:

Re:

Mr Inman’s statement (on Indiegogo was “I’m going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

Anybody who donated money based on that statement is justified in expecting their donation to indeed be sent to the NWF and ACS. Full stop. Whether their donation took the total collection from $1 to $2, from $19999 to $20000, or $180000 to $180001 does not change the purpose for which the donation was solicited.

If Mr Inman wishes to declare (at some point) that any further donations may be directed elsewhere, that is his prerogative; nonetheless, all donations accrued before that point must be distributed per the agreement at the time they were solicited.

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