Charles Carreon

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Charles Carreon
(November 2008)
Charles Hernan Carreon

(1956-04-07) April 7, 1956 (age 67)[1][2]
Alma materSouthern Oregon State College
UCLA School of Law
Known forThe Oatmeal and FunnyJunk legal dispute, case, internet law
Spouse(s)Tara Lyn Carreon

Charles Hernan Carreon (born April 7, 1956) is an American trial attorney best known for his involvement in a legal dispute between The Oatmeal webcomic and content aggregator FunnyJunk. As of 2012, he represented individuals and companies in matters pertaining to Internet law.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Carreon was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1987 and the Oregon State Bar in 1993.

In October 2005, Carreon was suspended by the Oregon State Bar for 60 days for the unlawful practice of law and failing to deposit or maintain client funds in trust.[4]

In September 2006, Carreon was suspended for two years by the State Bar of California, stayed, and placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension for violating his duty to maintain client funds in trust, and for practicing without a license in Canada.[5]

Carreon and his wife have two daughters. Their son Joshua died in 2007.[6][7][edit]

Carreon was part of the legal team that successfully litigated the domain-name rights case.[8][9]

The rights case was brought after entrepreneur Gary Kremen lost control of the domain to Stephen M. Cohen.[10] The case took six years, with a $65 million judgment awarded to Kremen in 2001.[11] Carreon later brought a suit against Kremen over compensation for the case.[12] In 2008, Carreon self-published his account of events as The Chronicles.[13]

American Buddha[edit]

Carreon represents American Buddha, which he describes as a non-profit religious organization whose director and librarian is his wife Tara Lyn Carreon.[14]

In 2009, publisher Penguin Group sued American Buddha over the uploading of four copyrighted books for which Penguin holds the rights.[15][16]

The Oatmeal[edit]

In June 2012, Carreon represented in sending a demand letter alleging defamation and requesting damages from Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal in a long-standing copyright infringement dispute.[17][18] On June 14, Carreon alleged he suffered "security attacks instigated by Matt Inman".[19][20]

On June 15, Carreon filed a pro se lawsuit Carreon v. Inman et al in United States District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland against IndieGoGo, Inc., the American Cancer Society, and the National Wildlife Federation, for alleged improprieties related to an Oatmeal charity fundraiser created in response to the FunnyJunk demand.[21][22][23] Carreon stated he planned to subpoena Twitter and Ars Technica to determine the identity of the creator of a fake Twitter account which parodied Carreon.[24] On June 21, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced they were joining with the lead lawyer representing Inman, stating, "This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse the legal process to punish a critic."[25]

Lawyer Rebecca E. Hoffman of Bloomberg BNA said Carreon's case could "only be described as frivolity on top of frivolousness" (referring to the concept of frivolous litigation).[26] On June 25, Carreon amended his lawsuit against Inman and the other defendants to include Kamala Harris, the state Attorney General of California.[27] Carreon also requested a temporary restraining order to stop disbursement of the donations.[28] Carreon filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in his suit against all parties on July 3.[29][30][31] In July 2012, Carreon founded the website and released a music video which mocks Inman.[32] Carreon also alleges that online commentary about him constitutes a "distributed internet reputation attack".[33] Mashable named Carreon's case first among their list of "silliest tech lawsuits ever",[34] and InfoWorld's Robert X. Cringely wrote that Carreon's actions made him "Internet Enemy No. 1".[35]

Carreon also indicated his interest in finding and then suing the owner of satirical site, leading Public Citizen to seek a federal declaratory judgment to protect the satirical site's owner.[36]

In April 2013, Carreon effectively lost the battle and was ordered to pay $46,100.25 (USD) in legal fees.[37]

In September 2013, Carreon dropped his final appeal in the case, saying, "it was a dumb thing" and "I made it worse".[38]


  1. ^ Hubbell, Martindale (December 1992). Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory: California, A-O (Volume 2 - 1992). Martindale-Hubbell. ISBN 9781561600212.
  2. ^ United States Public Records, 1970-2009 (California, Oregon, 1986-2007)
  3. ^ "About Charles Carreon" Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine on the website
  4. ^ Oregon State Bar (November 2005). Charles H. Carreon OSB #93469. Oregon State Bar Bulletin
  5. ^ "California Bar Journal, February 2007". Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  6. ^ Staff report (February 16, 2007). Updated: One person dies in collision. Archived June 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Redding Record Searchlight
  7. ^ Staff report. Farewell To A Good Man. Archived June 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Ashland Free Press
  8. ^ Philipkoski, Kristen (August 4, 2000). This Sex Drama's Getting Hot. Wired
  9. ^ Staff report (June 13, 2003). Six-year battle over settled. Sydney Morning Herald
  10. ^ McCarthy, Kieren (2007). One Domain, Two Men, Twelve Years and the Brutal Battle for the Jewel in the Internet’s Crown. Quercus. ISBN 978-1-905204-66-3
  11. ^ lawsuit: Attorney List, Charles Carreon Declarations, Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Court Order Granting Preliminary Injunction
  12. ^ Glasner, Joanna (March 9, 2001). Spends Day on Trial. Archived June 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Wired
  13. ^ Carreon, Charles (2008). The Chronicles. 1 Prime Publishing, ISBN 9781439201015
  14. ^ Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. American Buddha, Case No. 09 CIV 00528 (S.D.N.Y.): Declaration of Charles Carreon
  15. ^ Virtanen, Michael (March 24, 2011). NY court: Keep Internet copyright disputes at home. Archived September 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Bloomberg Businessweek
  16. ^ Docket list: Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. American Buddha, Case No. 09 CIV 00528 (S.D.N.Y.)
  17. ^ Williams, Mary Elizabeth (June 12, 2012). "Internet shocker: Kindness wins". Salon. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  18. ^ Inman, Matthew (June 2012). FunnyJunk is threatening to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay $20,000 in damages. The Oatmeal
  19. ^ Carreon's website Accessed:June 14, 2012
  20. ^ Thier, Dave. "Funnyjunk's Lawyer Accuses The Oatmeal of Instigating Attacks Against Him" Forbes (June 14, 2012)
  21. ^ Biggs, John (June 17, 2012). Can I Sue You People? Troll Lawyer Sues The Charities The Oatmeal Supports. TechCrunch Accessed June 18, 2012
  22. ^ Thier, Dave (June 18, 2012). Lawyer Charles Carreon Suing The Oatmeal, American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Federation. Forbes
  23. ^ Carreon v. Inman et al via Santa Clara Law Digital Commons
  24. ^ Thier, Dave (June 21, 2012). Charles Carreon Subpoeaning Ars Technica, Twitter in Oatmeal Suit. Forbes
  25. ^ Electronic Frontier Foundation (June 21, 2012). EFF Will Represent The Oatmeal Creator in Fight Against Bizarre Lawsuit Targeting Critical Online Speech.
  26. ^ Hoffman, Rebecca E. (June 28, 2012). He let the world know about some infringement and now he's getting sued for raising $200K for charity. Wait, what? Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine Bloomberg BNA
  27. ^ "FunnyJunk attorney ropes California Attorney General into The Oatmeal lawsuit". Ars Technica. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  28. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (July 1, 2012). FunnyJunk lawyer aims to halt distribution of "BearLove" money. Ars Technica
  29. ^ Electronic Frontier Foundation (July 3, 2012). Charles Carreon Drops Bogus Lawsuit Against The Oatmeal Creator.
  30. ^ Vaugh, Alexa (July 3, 2012). Lawsuit against The Oatmeal comic dropped. Seattle Times
  31. ^ Geuss, Megan (2012-07-04). "Carreon claims victory, drops his lawsuit against The Oatmeal et al". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  32. ^ "A Distributed Internet Reputation Attack or, What You're Left With After You've Suffered One". Rapeutation. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  33. ^ Hutchinson, Lee. ""Rapeutation": Charles Carreon still not done with The Oatmeal". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  34. ^ McClelland, Jo (July 12, 2012). Top 9 Silliest Tech Lawsuits Ever. Mashable
  35. ^ Cringely, Robert X. (July 13, 2012). FunnyJunk vs. Internet: The good guys won. InfoWorld
  36. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (July 3, 2012). Former allies turn on Carreon, sue to halt his threats. Ars Technica
  37. ^ Masnick, Mike (April 11, 2013). Charles Carreon Has To Pay $46K In Legal Fees. Techdirt
  38. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (September 19, 2013). Charles Carreon finally quits fighting, calls Oatmeal battle “a dumb thing” Ars Technica

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