Keep using the little frog cartoon to push your racist agenda and you’ll get sued
Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe the Frog, has been involved in an increasingly tense battle with the ‘alt-right’. In several bids to reclaim his character from the man baby fascists, Furie has killed off his character in his comic book and relaunched him as a cool, non-racist frog; he’s also gone after an Islamophobic children’s book that used Pepe and infringed on his copyright, forcing the book's creator to donate his profits to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Now, Furie is once again on the offensive: his legal team has sent cease and desist letters to alt-right and neo-nazi community members including the oh-so-punchable Richard Spencer, Baked Alaska, conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, and Reddit's The_Donald forum.
“After we have received confirmation that you have ceased infringement, we will contact you to discuss what additional information we need from you to calculate the appropriate amount of damages,” the letters, via VICE, read.
A majority of the links referenced in the legal orders have been taken down. Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests, which would see any infringing content posted on the likes of Amazon, Google, Reddit and Twitter pulled down, have been issued.
As EndGadget reports, Furie’s attorney Louis Tompros says that books using Pepe without permission have already been removed from Amazon. Google has also shut down an Android app filled with the frog meme. Spencer, the alt-right poster boy, uses the meme in his podcast logo. Though Tompros claimed it would be more difficult to get individuals like Spencer to stop meme-ing, he claims Furie’s legal team would go ahead with lawsuits if they refuse.
It’s a pretty strong case – copyright of the frog has been infringed upon countless times by racist groups, sites and blogs. However, rebuffing individual trolls would be harder, and it’s likely alt-right ogres would lash out. Nevertheless, similar legal moves by game developer Campo Santo were pretty successful against YouTuber PewdiePie. After he used a racist slur in a live stream, PewdiePie was made to remove all his Camp Santo games videos.