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The Courts

Charles Carreon Finally Surrenders To the Oatmeal 173

Posted by timothy
from the getting-off-easy dept.
First time accepted submitter Guy From V writes "Charles Carreon, zany lawyer and poster-child for the Streisand Effect (sorry Babs) for his lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Mattew Innman last year in his original role as legal counsel for Funnyjunk, as reported by ArsTechnica, seems to have finally called it quits. In other news, the River Styx has reportedly dropped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit."
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Charles Carreon Finally Surrenders To the Oatmeal

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  • Warning! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:54AM (#44894777)

    I will sue anyone who mocks me in this thread! - CC

  • by Xaedalus (1192463) <Xaedalys AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:55AM (#44894787)
    Hopefully it involves Sriracha, bears, and blasphemous sexual positions.
  • Too bad (Score:5, Funny)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:00PM (#44894841)

    That's too bad. It was very entertaining to watch Mr. Carreon find new and innovative ways to dig his hole deeper and deeper.

    • Re:Too bad (Score:4, Informative)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:17PM (#44895011)

      It's still going on. From TFA:

      I never thought that people would say things about me that they did.

      Mean people say mean things about him.

      If you'd like to see a picture of Carreon's criticsâ"including an Ars Technica writerâ"spewing fecal matter out of their mouths, that too can be accommodated.

      But that's okay because ... because ...

      My goal is to help people to realize that youâ(TM)re not the only person who gets rapeutated.

      ... because I'm the victim.

      Rapeutated. Heh heh heh. Get it?

      I bet that he'll be digging that hole for years to come. Just not as expensively as before. Yet.

    • Take a read at his write-up of events from his point of view [rapeutation.com]. It's actually scary if you consider what happened - essentially the online equivalent of a huge vigilante mob crying for his blood. If this were real life he would have been lynched or quartered & drawn or at least run out of town. About the effects of being on the receiving end of this:

      I have at least two tweeters claiming to be me, slinging shit at people, offending people in my name. Twitter took altogether too long to get rid of them — a day or so. I send demands to preserve evidence to Twitter. This provokes speculation about whether I’ll sue Tweeters, as I’ve reserved spaces for them as “Doe defendants” in the Inman lawsuit, in my claim for the new tort of the era, the DIRA. If the courts recognized this tort, it would give grounds for a civil claim against those who make active netwar against other Netizens.
      [...]
      Contemplating today the IRL (in real life) effects of a DIRA [Distributed Internet Reputation Attack]. As I am a pretty quiet person working out of a home office, I have few people who see me on a regular basis. But I shop at Trader Joe’s where I am a well-known face, and you really get to know the people. I even have one actual friend on staff there. I was lined up with my online image and instantly indicted as an asshole by this one Trader Joe’s employee, who until then, had been quite nice to me. Now, he was literally giving me the hairy eyeball. Well eventually my friend got him straightened out with better information and now we are friends again, but for a while there it was touch and go. So that was weird, actually, very weird.

      Then there was the unbelievable slam at me in the print and online editions of the Tucson Weekly, taken by some bonehead named Dan Gibson who hadn’t even bothered to call me up. I called him up and said we should get together for a drink and talk so he could know the person he was writing about. He agreed to, then bowed out last-minute saying he had a job interview because he was being paid terribly at Tucson Weekly.
      [...]
      Being the object of hatred in a DIRA is going to put your family members in an unfriendly spotlight, especially if they have active social media profiles. ust as celebrity/VIP status has a halo effect that suffuses those in the entourage with cachet drawn from the main celebrity, so your kids will be negatively viewed by many social media zombies. They will be forced to defend themselves in supernasty online exchanges with people who hate “YOUR NAME HERE”– that guy who does so many bad things. They essentially reply, “Who are you to talk, and why do you care? You don’t even know my Dad. He’s the coolest fuckin’ Dad that ever fuckin’ walked the earth, you piece of shit. You would be lucky to beg a dollar from him, and he would give you a twenty, you idiot. If you were in trouble, he’s probably the only lawyer who would even care about a fool like you.” [...]
      [...]
      Maria, the elder daughter, is a very smart woman, and for a while did a lot of whip-smart tweeting. When the DIRA record blew in, one zombie tweeter in particular went absolutely psycho on her, and Maria responded effectively, which of course just caused the zombie to go into hyperdrive with her invective. When Maria sees that the psycho-tweeter is deleting her own most-inflammatory tweets, she screencaps all that remain. Indeed, it’s the beginning of IRL effects for Maria. The psycho-tweeter is threatening to contact Maria’s boss and accuse her of unprofessional use of Twitter. Daddy didn’t raise no fools, so Maria moves first, visiting the HR office with printouts in hand, to get her story in ahead of the zombie attack.

      Maria’s HR manager asks a few questions, looks at the psycho-tweeter’s off-the-wall tweets, and says to Maria, as if she’d have nothing to fear from a complaint by such a person, “But this person is obviously crazy — no one will pay attention to her.” Maria’s response was pure New York City: “Never underestimate crazy.” Or zombie, as the case may be.
      [...]
      I watched a good friend of mine who tried to say good things about me on his own blog eight months after the initial rapeutation kickoff in June 2012. These networked trolls obviously have Google alerts on “Charles Carreon,” so they can immediately attack or add fuel to any fire where the fires of the neverending DIRA are still burning. They discovered that my friend was engaging in douchebaggery by trying to help me out with a little good press, truthfully posting that I had been helping him a lot with his business, and that I was the kind of lawyer who was helpful when times are tough. Like Scientologists descending upon a suppressive who’s been newly-marked as “fair game,” the Charles Carreon rapeutationists simply added my friend to their list of people to fuck and set his reputation on fire at a thread in Tech Crunch. Some of his competitors showed up to declare him a disgrace to his profession for even working with Charles Carreon. When my friend started posting at Tech Crunch to answer the abuse, his bold sallies were quickly repulsed with loads of invective that would have sunk a garbage ferry. He quickly retreated, punched silly by a gang of rapeutationists who had finally got a chance to release that blast of hateful steam I’d been avoiding for the better part of the prior year.
      [...]
      Now suppose I start a whispering campaign to disseminate lies about my victim, and it includes, as DIRAs always do, active impersonation of the victim, by impersonators who engage in socially offensive behavior that can then be misattributed to the victim. For example, fake Twitter accounts like @charles-carreon, that had quite a few people confused before I got it disconnected. God knows what the phony CharlesCarreon that was signed up at Pornhub was doing — maybe not much — I only got one invitation to adultery in my email. I had to tell the disappointed online lot-lizard that I was charmed by her interest, but it was not I who had offered his services for a hot time in Tucson. This kind of activity easily extends into active life-wrecking behavior that could see a person criminally charged. If someone pretending to be you was claiming responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombing, for example, that would obviously be an intentional tort, a new species of defamation, essentially. You only have to produce an extreme example like falsely “claiming credit” for a celebrity crime and exposing the victim to arrest and mass hatred to see that such a tort would probably be recognized by the courts as promptly as it was asserted.
      [...]
      Tort laws say that if an act is foreseeably going to cause unlawful injuries to others, you have a duty not to commit that act, and if it causes injury, you are liable for it. Since a DIRA is intended to pick up steam, like a hurricane, eventually blowing completely random shit around like pianos through your window, putting boats in your bedroom and dead people on your porch. Due to the insane distortion of facts in the Internet echo-chamber, the instigator of a DIRA should be held liable for the consequences of their acts, they could easily go so far as to instigate a physical attack by a deranged individual.
      [...]
      I have suffered a whole series of injuries that take time to deal with, and are very stressful to process. As an author, I have suffered reduced sales on Amazon of The Sex.Com Chronicles due to the phony “reviews” posted for the sole purpose of “one-starring” the book, bringing my 5-star rating down to 3, and festooning the sale page with many comments derisive of me and the book.

      About Carreon's reasoning for his actions involving the charities:

      So for what do we sue the insolent stranger? We’ve got “count one, pretending to fundraise on behalf of entities that don’t know you from Adam,” and then count two, “pulling a bait and switch” by using the names of the ACS and NWF to raise the money, then deciding, as Inman did, to expand the circle of generosity to include “some other nonprofits.” Oh, with that one brief statement, he opened up a gap large enough to allow me to claim that we needed a judicial order. Because the money’s at risk of being diverted, in some part or all, to the Seattle Retired Cartoonists Foundation, conveniently being formed right now by Venkat Balasubramani [Inman's lawyer], who is catching up on California nonprofit law with the help of Indiegogo lawyers.
      [...]
      [...] something strange is happening. Something that has never happened in the 12 years I’ve been using the Northern District ECF System. It’s down, without prior notice. That means I can’t file my Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, because all filings must be done electronically.

      This is the critical moment, when the money gathered in the Bear Love Campaign, all $220,000 of it, is going to pass from Indiegogo to Matt Inman. That’s pinch-point number one, where I can get an order that compels two of our adversaries to do my will.

      There is still pinch-point number two, after Inman gets the money but before he pays out anything. But Indiegogo is definitely engaging in unregistered fundraising here, right along with Inman, and taking a 4% cut of this spite-money, which is disgusting for a business that is usually doing legitimate stuff, the equivalent of online bake sales for all manner of good causes. I want them to read the law they’re breaking, and learn for the future. That’s my gift to the world.
      [...]
      I finally get the papers filed after days of delay. Of course, Indiegogo ignores the pendency of the TRO and transfers the money out from under the judge’s nose. I get an order, though, at pinch-point number two. Telling Inman to do something. To file photocopies of the checks he pays to NWF and ACS. He has about 24 hours to do it.

      I monitor the ECF site. The moment that Inman’s filed his copies of the checks in compliance with the order, I file my notice to dismiss. No need to deal with motions to dismiss, ANTI-SLAPP motions to strike, all that nonsense. Thank you all for coming. Of course, I’d love to litigate the DIRA claim, but this is not the time. Point made. Retreat is mandatory. Thus says Che Guevara.
      [...]
      My dismissal of the case is roundly reported as an ignominious defeat. My own impulses are, however, satisfied. I reached out, placed my adversaries in the magic circle of the Court’s jurisdiction, and obtained an order that prevented Inman from doing what he’d promised to do — photographing himself with the money. He had to send the Indiegogo money to the NWF and ACS, and never got to touch it.
      [...]
      No one teases out the fact that my lawsuit demonstrably did everything I wanted it to — it prevented Inman, an unlicensed fundraiser, from being able to play Midas with money collected in the names of ACS and the NWF. If I hadn’t sued him, they would each have gotten less, undoubtedly much less than they were entitled to as the stated beneficiaries of the Bear Love campaign. Inman’s ego would have been boosted more than it was, and his influence as a dispenser of largesse would have been increased. We may not obtain awards of damages against every legal foe, but we can restrain them, and Inman had to bow to the Court’s authority. He had to listen to lawyers; he had to think about his conduct. Undoubtedly, of course, these lawyers were all assiduously blowing smoke up his arse, celebrating his brilliant manipulation of the Internet to take free speech into realms of vileness previously undreamed-of. But let’s face it. Hanging out with lawyers who are billing their time is just not that much fun for everybody else.
      [...]
      But Inman’s got to complete his publicity stunt, so he goes down to the bank, and, so he says, withdraws $220,000 from his account, and photographs himself with all of this U.S. currency stacked in a large “FU,” with him smiling in the midst of it. Of course, no one can examine these stacks of cash. Eventually it occurs to me that maybe it was actually “joke money.” Money that you can print up at moneyinstructor.com, or kidsmoneyfarm.com. That would be exactly the sort of thing that Inman would enjoy doing.

      Moral of the story: Don't get on the internet's bad side. Which is nothing but rule by mod

  • Impressive... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:00PM (#44894853) Journal
    Despite being the one who got the ball rolling with the vexatious litigation and absurd threats in the first place, he appears to have learned absolutely nothing from the experience, blaming his failure on the fact that he doesn't have sufficient 'legal remedy' against people calling his idiocy idiotic online, and even manages to drop in a self-pitying line about how lawsuits are just occupying too much of his time.

    Guy is so dense and immutable that he could probably be sliced into thin layers and used as armor plate.

    (And, since he is a master of good taste and his wife is even crazier, they've given the world http://rapeutation.com/ [rapeutation.com] complete with caricatures (and the guy complains that there aren't enough laws against saying mean things on the internet?) of their enemies. Class act guys, class act.)
    • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:09PM (#44894947)

      Guy is so dense and immutable that he could probably be sliced into thin layers and used as armor plate.

      I don't think there's a laser, or any other tool, powerful enough to slice material that dense. Your best bet would be to tie him to the front of a tank and use him to ram things.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:15PM (#44894997) Homepage

        Your best bet would be to tie him to the front of a tank and use him to ram things.

        Hmmm ... I like your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

        We could use lawyers for car bumpers, that would save them having to chase the ambulances.

        You may be onto something here.

        • How about the spare tire in a truck? You know, the type that are bolted underneath the bed. Just leave them there until needed, still full of hot air of course.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      Bear in mind, he's a lawyer. His job involves selling an argument and he's rarely concerned with who's actually in the right. This is just rhetoric.
      • Re:Impressive... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:42PM (#44895235) Journal

        Bear in mind, he's a lawyer. His job involves selling an argument and he's rarely concerned with who's actually in the right. This is just rhetoric.

        I'm hesitant to dismiss him as insincere just because of the sheer, utter, insanity (from the perspective of, say, a value-rational human being who wants to make money by being a lawyer) of his behavior in pretty much all aspects of the case beyond the first opening shot or two (where he might actually have been writing demand letters for a client, just a day on the job).

        A good con-man knows when to skip town(which was a hell of a long time ago in this case, there were plenty of situations where he could have just backed down and let the internet's almost-nonexistent attention span solve the problem for him; but instead he doubled down on the crazy). It's possible that Carreon is just a bad con-man; but that level of not knowing when to skip town reeks of a true believer.

        • The poker rule says that when you sit down at the table, you look for the sucker. If you can't find them, it's probably you.*

          If Carreon's a con man, he's spectacularly bad at it, failed the poker rule from the beginning, and deserves any education he's gotten, which unfortunately seems to be "not much".

          (* The Questionable Content [questionablecontent.net] version of the sucker rule is to look for the drunkest person at the party, and if you can't tell, it's you, and you should stop for now.)

      • "Bear" in mind. Haha. I think.

        • No, this is the right bear. "Bare in mind" is something else altogether. Sort of like "situationally stupid".

    • by imidan (559239)

      Yeah, the poor guy. He dedicates considerable text to repeatedly pointing out his "Buddhism" and how enlightened he is. But over the course of the whole year-long experience, he never gives any indication of actually learning anything about either himself or the world around him. He tells an anecdote about getting into a physical fight with some road-rager, and he seems to completely miss the fact that the altercation was utterly pointless, and that his enlightened self should have been able to eventuall

    • What confounds me is why the PR effort to save face? Why not openly admit what you greedily tried to do and that you failed? It's not like that's going to change anything. The court isn't going to say "Oh, well given your graceful press statement after the ruling, we're going to reconsider somethings. Case REOPENED!"

      If he had said "Yeah, we tried to steal and then sue when we got called out for it," would the courts have disbarred him? (Honest question, that).
    • by Amouth (879122)

      Guy is so dense and immutable that he could probably be sliced into thin layers and used as armor plate.

      All i can say is, thank you, you just gave me this awesome idea to use in an upcoming SR game when my char goes batshit crazy.

  • Forbes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:11PM (#44894955) Homepage Journal

    The Forbes site linked to in TFS is quite funny. There's a hilarious article on why insider trading is a good thing. In some ways it out-onions the onion.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:22PM (#44895053)

    “So when you take a situation in which the legal rules don’t impose any effective sanctions on people for that kind of behavior, mob behavior on the Internet, then a legal analyst like myself should look at that situation and say: ‘You can’t fix everything that’s broken,’” he said. “There is not a proper legal remedy for it. I attempted to do something and I made it worse.”

    So the problem is not that he was attempting to bring a lawsuit that was clearly without merit in order to harass an innocent comedian, but that the internet mob can't be reasoned with or controlled?

    I agree it can't be controlled, and he's a pretty stupid guy for not realizing that going in. But maybe he should also admit (at least to himself) that he's a horrible piece of shit that hates free speech.

    • by khasim (1285)

      But maybe he should also admit (at least to himself) that he's a horrible piece of shit that hates free speech.

      Read a bit of his website. That is not going to happen. Here's a chunk of it.

      I decide to include a screencap of the pterodactyl in the source code of Inmanâ(TM)s webpage and its weird, coded-in threat to "ptero you a new asshole." That sort of defines weird, hidden aggression, and has overtones of conjuration and magic that are rather sinister.

      Pay particular attention to that last sentence. An

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:31PM (#44895117)

    Shit, talk about a run-on, convoluted sentence..

    Charles Carreon, zany lawyer and poster-child for the Streisand Effect (sorry Babs) for his lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Mattew Innman last year in his original role as legal counsel for Funnyjunk, as reported by ArsTechnica, seems to have finally called it quits.

    • Shit, talk about a run-on, convoluted sentence..

      Charles Carreon, zany lawyer and poster-child for the Streisand Effect (sorry Babs) for his lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Mattew Innman last year in his original role as legal counsel for Funnyjunk, as reported by ArsTechnica, seems to have finally called it quits.

      Which do you propose doing first?

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        That's a good question. I think after reading that sentence I did take one. That means it was the latter rather than the former.

  • “So when you take a situation in which the legal rules don’t impose any effective sanctions on people for that kind of behavior, mob behavior on the Internet, then a legal analyst like myself should look at that situation and say: ‘You can’t fix everything that’s broken,’” he said. “There is not a proper legal remedy for it. I attempted to do something and I made it worse.”

    Well, when the man's right, the man's right. You truly can't fix everything that's broken.

  • Charles Carreon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:51PM (#44895341)

    Charles Carreon. You're a fucking asshole.

  • by regular_gonzalez (926606) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @01:05PM (#44895469)
    You need legal representation. You can not represent yourself. Your two options are Charles Carreon and Jack Thompson. Who do you choose?
  • translation (Score:4, Funny)

    by sjames (1099) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @01:19PM (#44895621) Homepage

    I believe I can translate and make for a shorter read at the same time:

    Haw HEhawwwwwwwwww, He HAWWWwwwwwwww.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @01:57PM (#44895993)

    Wilford Brimley is pleased, and hopes he won't get diabeetus.

  • Green Card Lawyers and what happened after their postings to various Usenet groups. The only difference is the size of the mob.
    • by Richy_T (111409)

      Even the green card lawyers never learned from the green card lawyers. I believe Canter and Siegel were unrepentant.

      • Even the green card lawyers never learned from the green card lawyers. I believe Canter and Siegel were unrepentant.

        Perhaps; but sometimes, like the Titanic, your sole purpose in life may be to serve as a lesson to others...

  • And of course, he's such a classy guy that his "surrender" communication basically drew an equivalence between "people said bad things about me on the internet" and "rape". What a charming fellow he must be!

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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