Oatmeal has turned a potential lawsuit into a philanthropic campaign and has raised more than $120,000 in less than 24 hours. We posted, yesterday, about the public dispute that started almost a year ago when Matthew Inman, Oatmeal's comic artist, publicly complained on his blog about FunnyJunk and other image hosting sites that allow uncredited ad-serving images of his work.
“It’s kind of a new business model where you just collect images from the Internet, submitted to a blog by users or you, then make a living from the ad revenue,” Inman said. “None of the work on there belongs to them.”
FunnyJunk responded by sending Inman a public serving on Monday, demanding $20,000 for public defamation and malicious practice of SEO. Inman said there has been no interaction between the two sites since last year.
Instead of mailing the $20,000 to FunnyJunk’s CEO, Inman planned a fundraiser that’s proceeds would distribute evenly between the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. He would then plan to send a photo of the money in cash with a drawing of his “mom seducing a kodiak bear.”
“Operation: Bearlove Good. Cancer Bad,” raised the $20,000 in 10 minutes and $120,000 in 24 hours. The number is still increasing at the time of writing.
The goal for Inman was to get FunnyJunk to drop the lawsuit, and “go away.” The campaign has been so successful that Inman is considering splitting the proceeds between four charities instead of just two.
FunnyJunk has not responded to Inman or spoken publicly about the campaign.
According to Inman, Carreon has not responded to the campaign.