A few brief updates on the circus that is Charles Carreon, internet-“rape” survivor (um.):
The Oatmeal has posted the promised photos of the money raised for charity — photos, you’ll remember, Carreon sought to prevent him from taking on the purported basis that Inman might skim from the top. Inman wound up having to use his own money to take the photo in order to avoid Carreon’s attempted restraining order, which would have delayed the delivery of the money to the charities.
But it’s not over yet: the case of Doe v. Carreon continues, wherein the anonymous author behind satirical site Charles-Carreon.com is seeking a Federal court’s declaration that his use of the domain name is not trademark infringement. Carreon’s answer to the complaint could come any day, and if this Boston Herald article is any indication, it’ll be, um, crazy.
The Boston Herald article says:
Carreon said he never threatened to sue, only to collect evidence of any trademark damage.
Compare that to the email Carreon sent Paul Alan Levy, the attorney representing Satirical Charles:
As far as when and where I sue your client, be certain that it will occur if your client does not cede the domain[. …]
[Let your client know that] a judgment that recites that the domain was obtained by fraud upon the registrar, in the form of a misrepresentation that she did not know of my trademark on the claim, might well be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Never threatened to sue? Um. Right.
Finally, having declared victory and dismissed his case against Inman, Charles is now proclaiming himself the victim of a brand new tort — the “Distributed Internet Reputational Attack.” The alternative name? “Rapeutation.” Now, ignoring the abject, unadulturated insensitivity of the name — comparing others’ speech to rape is the sort of hyperbole that used to be reserved for Usenet groups and the Westboro Baptist Church — Carreon’s legal analysis is barely worth addressing, both because there’s little there and because what little is there doesn’t even appear to contemplate the First Amendment ramifications — instead, he relies on a recent Fourth Amendment case to prove that, um, sometimes peoples’ rights in a new technological era need even more protection than prior approaches were capable of providing.
Carreon’s legal analysis continues its paranoid, conspiracy-theory implication that Inman and all of Carreon’s critics are somehow connected and working in tandem. While I await Carreon’s more developed legal analysis — on pins and needles, I assure you — suffice to say, I expect the outcome will be that critics can’t say things to large audiences in an attempt to deter perceived ill behavior (like suing a charity?), but it’s okay to file a lawsuit in order to deter behavior Carreon doesn’t like (like criticizing him).