Infowars has settled the Pepe the Frog lawsuit with creator Matt Furie for a “licensing fee” of just $15,000, a tiny amount considering Furie’s lawyers had demanded over $2 million in damages.
Last year, Furie alleged that Infowars was responsible for copyright violation over a stylized poster sold on the Infowars website created by a third party which featured a small depiction of the cartoon frog that became a mascot for the Trump campaign during 2016.
The judge in the case ruled that Furie wouldn’t be expected to obtain anything more than $14,000 in legal fees, so Furie’s lawyers sought a settlement of just $15,000.
Although the media attempted to hype the case by accusing Alex Jones of contributing to the notion of the Pepe meme as a symbol of white supremacy, the cartoon frog was actually just a small part of the original poster, which featured numerous other iconic images linked to the 2016 Trump campaign.
The corporate press will undoubtedly frame this as a victory for Furie. It wasn’t. The result clearly represents a strategic victory for Alex Jones.
The Pepe creator and his legal team – Hillary Clinton’s law firm – were looking for a jury trial and over $2 million dollars in damage, but ended up with a relatively tiny settlement. Jones also saved hundreds of thousands in potential legal fees.
According to lawyer Robert Barnes, acting on behalf of Free Speech Systems, Furie “may have spent over a million in legal fees,” rendering the eventual outcome a huge defeat for the Pepe creator.
Furie’s argument was probably not helped by the fact that in a 2015 interview with the Daily Dot about Pepe the Frog, he openly invited anyone to “profit off of” his creation.
Statement from lawyer Robert Barnes;
“Happy to announce the folks suing Infowars over Pepe the Frog have agreed to settle, and accept a licensing fee of $15,000. We were originally sued for millions. Some people thought we wouldn’t fight the case. We did. We would only pay an honest licensing fee, and nothing more.
The other side may have spent over a million in legal fees themselves. They wanted millions. They thought we wouldn’t fight. They thought we wouldn’t win in court. They thought wrong.
We will always stand up for the rights of the people, and will never be bullied by lawsuits, even those brought by big corporate law firms with $1000/hour lawyers. They would have made more money if they went and waitressed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a few months. So, the Pepe trial is over. We made our point.”
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