Matt Furie’s lawsuit against Alex Jones for copyright violation over his Pepe the Frog cartoon has taken an interesting turn after an interview was uncovered in which Furie openly encouraged anyone to “profit off of” his creation.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday, Furie alleges that Infowars is responsible for copyright violation over a stylized poster sold on the Infowars website which features a small depiction of the cartoon frog that became a mascot for the Trump campaign during 2016.
According to the civil complaint, “Furie did not authorize the use of the Pepe image or character in this poster, and does not approve of the association of Pepe with Alex Jones or any of the other figures shown in this poster, or the ‘MAGA’ slogan.”
However, in a 2015 interview with the Daily Dot about Pepe the Frog, Furie openly invited anyone to “profit off of” his creation.
Furie was asked directly if he was comfortable with people profiting off Pepe, to which he responded in the affirmative.
“I believe in supporting people’s decisions to profit off of Pepe in order to provide them with the most positive business experience possible,” said Furie. “I strive to be an advocate for Pepe in both love and enterprise and hope to help business people to have an empowering and joyful experience while making an ocean of profits as limitless as the universe.”
Jones said that he will not tolerate having Infowars’ name dragged through the mud by attempts to equate the news organization with white supremacists and the “Alt-Right,” which adopted Pepe as a mascot.
According to the Infowars founder, Furie’s 2015 invitation for people to “profit off of” Pepe completely sinks the credibility of a case that had none to begin with.
Infowars’ use of the image is clearly transformative and “is 100% protected by the courts, protected by the First Amendment, protected by fair use,” according to Jones.
Jones is now demanding that Furie apologize for filing the frivolous lawsuit and give up the name of the individual or group that put him up to it.
The radio host says Furie is merely using the case as a PR stunt to get his name in the media.
Over the past few weeks, Infowars has been subjected to a pile on from numerous parties as part of a wider demonization campaign, most recently with CNN lobbying to have the Alex Jones Channel on YouTube shut down.
Jones sees this as part of a broader move to swamp Infowars in an attempt to bring it down.
“We will not tolerate these dirty tricks, we will stand up for ourselves,” said Jones.
“There have been many famous trolling operations on the Internet, where stock photography companies, and others put out an image and say it’s free to use for the world, then years later they start trying to punish people for using it,” he added.
“There are scores of news articles celebrating that I’m being sued as some sort of intellectual property thief and none of them are quoting our response that we intend to counter-sue,” said Jones, adding that Infowars didn’t even design or produce the poster and is completely protected as a third party.
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