What started out as a copyright infringement dispute between The Oatmeal and Funny Junk has spawned numerous lawsuits and some unwanted publicity for Internet Lawyer Charles Carreon and alleged hacking of his business’s website. for a great overview of this tragic comedy of errors, I recommend reading ‘The Oatmeal’ Internet lawsuit dismissed, but litigation continues.
What are the lessons you can learn from these Internet lawsuits?
1. Copyright infringement issues continue to bedevil the heck out of website owners and the Internet attorneys who represent them.
2. Social media contains a court of public opinion that is sometimes more effective than a court of law.
3. There are no winners when a lawsuit gets filed. At best, you’re dealing with mitigating damages. Often, it’s a case of digging a deeper hole.
This is not the first case where an Internet lawyer ended up with an online backlash. For example, there’s an Internet attorney who asserted a copyright for the HTML on his website and apparently was Google bombed for it.
One of the great things about my Internet law practice is that I focus exclusively on Internet business transactional law instead of lawsuits. Although it means occasionally crossing swords with Internet scam artists, that doesn’t involve hostile social media responses and lawsuits. After all, Internet con men don’t want their dirty laundry aired in court.