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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    blaktron (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:10am

    HAHAH He clearly broke privilege there. Incoming "Funnyjunk V Carreon" to close the loop.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:16am

    What would my day look like without the daily Carreon Show? A lot less funny I suspect...

     

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    Chas Carreon, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:17am

    STOP DEFAMING ME!

     

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    Malibu Cusser (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:17am

    I like the adoption of the 'Carreon Effect' into everday parlance. It can easily be used in the context of someone who has created a huge spectacle, but wants everyone to ignore it, such as: 'Nothing to see here, Carre(y)-on!'

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:18am

    He's starting to sound like Achmed, the dead terrorist...total state of denial.

     

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      Manabi (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      At least Achmed has the excuse that the bomb blast addled his brains before it killed him. ;)

       

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        ChimpObama McBinLadenBurton, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:48am

        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

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:50pm

      Re:

      >He's starting to sound like Achmed, the dead terrorist...total state of denial.

      If so, I think he needs to bring his daughter to "Bring Your Child to Work Day".

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:20am

    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.

     

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      GMacGuffin (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      Even with the weakness of the claims, it was a pretty standard C&D/Demand letter ... in 1999, to, e.g., a widget manufacturer who had posted actual defamatory claims against a competitor, and wasn't likely to post it online.

       

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:40am

        Re: Re:

        I would be curious to see what else rose the to the level of needing a C&D letter with a demand for cash. Having seen the insane letter he sent Google after they delisted the buddha site thing, I'm pretty sure we could find a pattern.

        People are slowly waking up to the fact that just because a lawyer says it doesn't make it true.

         

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      Manabi (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:42am

      Re:

      He claimed to have been working for funnyjunk for 5-6 months, and in that time he never thought to check the claims?
      He also didn't think to file the DMCA agent form until May 25th or so. (Not reading that article again to confirm.) So it took him 4-5 months to have the site properly comply with the DMCA. Quality lawyer there.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:22am

    This is getting tiresome. It was "funny" at the start, but now it is just boring. Just stop giving Carreon "airtime", and this lawsuit will die rather quickly.

    The dude is, quite obviously, just trying to get as much publicity as possible.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      World-wide celebrity by stupidity. Many have tried and failed...but now...

       

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        varagix, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:42am

        Re: 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.

         

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      The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:13am

      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.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        The stated goal of the fundraiser was to raise 20K for those two charities. Those two charities will receive 20K (more actually) so technically no bait and switch. They stated goal of the fundraising has not / will not change.

         

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          The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:42am

          Re: Re: 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.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Ummm... what would be wrong with donating to Palestinian orphans?

     

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      weneedhelp (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:51am

      Re:

      To Israelis and militant supporters of Israel, Palestinian's are animals not worth a thing, and need to be wiped from the planet. Nice huh?

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

       

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:28am

        Re: 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.

         

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          weneedhelp (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 11:57am

          Re: 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.

           

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        The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re:

        And the Palestinians (and a comfortable majority of the entire middle east) say the exact same thing about Israel. Publicly and often. Anyone who could continually soak up that kind of hate without returning it in kind is far more tolerant and understanding than I'll ever be.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:37am

    please make it stop he's already made a massive fool of himself. This is sad T_T. Please Mr carreon your not going to come out of this very well.

    :(

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:39am

    One of the charities is for killing off bears? If that's correct, and not a typo, I'd be pretty pissed too.

     

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    ScytheNoire, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:40am

    Definition of stupidity

    Definition of stupidity: Knowing something is wrong, but continuing to do it anyways.

     

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:32am

      Re: Definition of stupidity

      Definition of stupidity: Knowing something is wrong, but continuing to do it anyways.

      I thought that was the definition of insanity...though with a twist, "doing something over and over again and expecting different results."

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:44am

    can someone please put us out of his misery? pretty please?

     

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    Jayster, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:44am

    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.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:55am

      Re: 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".

       

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        Jayster, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re: One valid point

        Personally, I would have a problem giving to an unknown entity.

        Apparently, Carreon is only using the addition to the charity list as a means to pursue Inman. He's an ass.

         

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:36am

          Re: Re: Re: One valid point

          No he is using the addition of other charities and the $20K cap to pursue.
          Floating the idea that Inman will keep the other $180,000 raised beyond the original $20K

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2012 @ 6:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: One valid point

            Since when do charities stop collecting money when the charity thermometer over flows?

            My goal is to make X dollars. If I make 10X dollars do I stop collecting money and return 9X dollars just because what I am doing is more popular than I knew. I don't think so.

             

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      iamtheky (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re: 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.

       

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        Jayster, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:12am

        Re: Re: 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. Iím 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.

         

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          WDS (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:06am

          Re: Re: Re: One valid point

          The notice/update about adding the 2 additional charities was made 2 days after the campaign started, on the campaign site, so as long as the original 2 get all of the amount at that time, I don't see where there is room to complain.

           

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            Lurker Keith, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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)

             

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      [kb] (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 11:22am

      Re: One valid point

      I also thought about this, and I'm sure Inman has by now as well. If I were him, I'd divide the money between the two charities, and make a *request* to them that they in turn donate a portion to other charities (at their discretion) in his name.

       

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    WDS (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Missing the Point

    What Carreon need to realize is that the appeal made by Inman was not "Help cure Cancer, and Help Save Bears", the appeal was "Help me tell Funnyjunk, 'Up Yours'".

    The fact that he is now at over 1000% of that goal should give Carreon some clue that he isn't on the right side of this thing.

     

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      Jayster, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re: Missing the Point

      I agree with that point. Funnyjunk can go to hell, but you cannot start a campaign and change the rules in the middle.

      What's even worse is that I couldn't find what the other two charities were. For all I know, the money is going to Hezbollah, too.

       

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        techflaws (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re: Missing the Point

        Right, cause that's the most likely option.

         

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          Jayster, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Missing the Point

          LOL, no. It's just a worse case scenario.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Missing the Point

            'It's just a worse case scenario."

            No, it's you assuming it's a worst case scenario.
            And, you know what happens when you assume, boy...

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re: Missing the Point

        I believe the rules haven't changed. Oatmeal: help me flip a bird at those jerks by raising their extortion amount and giving it to charity instead. Public: hellyeah!

        If you think people are donating just so those two charities can get some funds, you have read a different farce than I.

         

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    A Guy (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:06am

    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.

     

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    saulgoode (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:16am

    Diversion of funds to alternative charities is something to be concerned about. Matthew Inman should ensure that the original two charities receive all donations up to the time the possibility of additional charities gets announced.

     

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      Simple Mind (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      Exactly. You don't change the rules after the game starts (especially when people's money is involved). Inman hasn't shown to be the brightest bulb in all this mess, either. Just Carreon's idiocy dwarfs everything else.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:40am

      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."

       

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        saulgoode (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:18pm

        Re: 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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    milrtime83 (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:21am

    At what point do you start to think he might just be doing most of this for the publicity?

     

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    Sneeje (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:37am

    My prediction came true...

    I would just like to point out that my prediction about something of equal or greater "face-palmage" rising to replace Righthaven has come true.

     

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    izzitme101, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:37am

    because it was very late in the last post on this topic.
    Im gonna make a movie,
    i will call it Carreon digging,
    a comedy based on real events, i dont really think i would need to add any extra drama or comedy moments.

     

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    drewdad (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:44am

    Ah, narcisism...

    ...how empty our entertainment would be without ye.

     

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    Nick (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:51am

    I can technically see where he comes from, with this "bait and switch" argument, but...

    There isn't a man alive in this WORLD that would prosecute someone that adds another charity to this (assuming a nice safe one like another cancer research, etc, and not a iffy depending-on-your-politics one like -for instance- palistinian aid) though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:52am

    This whole FuckingJunk case should have never happened.

    http://imgur.com/e1GWE You mad bro?

     

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    [citation needed or GTFO], Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:39am

    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...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:57am

    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?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:14am

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Maybe it's just me, but I think Carreon might be a liiittle bit obsessed at this point. Just slightly.

     

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    Lurker Keith, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    20 min. Tek Syndicate video

    I've never ran into Tek Syndicate before, but they have a 20 min. video up covering Carreon's insanity. The video was made before the fundrasier broke $190k.

    http://teksyndicate.com/videos/tek-charles-carreon-vs-internet-suing-oatmeal-indiegogo-nwf -acs

    They do quote Techdirt.

     

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    Deselect, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:03pm

    Not like Carreon would sue for dinosaurs right?
    http://charles-carreon.com

     

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    Lurker Keith, Jun 26th, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Final fundraising total

    Inman's final total is $220,024.

     

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    Lurker Keith, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    more links: Charles Carreon ammends his complaint

    Popehat: Update: Charles Carreon Files First Amended Complaint
    (the comments are disecting it)

    Lowering the Bar: Carreon Complaint Amended, Still Odd

    Plus The Ammended Complaint it self, via Lowering the Bar, courtesy of Popehat

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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