He mentions in his departing SEOMoz blog post that the company that acquired Mingle2 wanted "to leverage my viral marketing and linkbait abilities" - back in 2007.
Fun to look at this through understanding that he's a SEO guru and viral-marketing genius.
Perfect David vs. Goliath headline, tons raised for charity so he comes out looking flawless, 3220 new inbound links for theoatmeal, etc.
Funnyjunk didn't do that. However, he didn't take legal action. He wrote a blog, and exercized his right to free expression. Nothing about the blog was factually incorrect. The links are dead because the images have been taken down.
To be honest, he does come out looking flawless! If someone can point out what he's done wrong, I'm very curious. Certainly the letter he recieved from the lawyer is absurd... Starting from the top:
1. "FunnyJunk, LLC. ("FunnyJunk"), a competitor of TheOatmeal.com in the field of online humor". Where can you go with this? TheOatmeal isn't competing with them.
2. He took an old blog post from last year, then stated that the screenshot was "taken long ago". As is pointed out in the annotated letter, this means nothing.
3. Google cache shows that they had hundreds of images, many of them with the attribution removed.
... more points, but is it necessary?
I am just in awe of how well this response was executed and learning from it.
I would suggest that FunnyJunk get themselves some competent legal counsel, because right now it doesn't satisfy DMCA 512. According to 17 USC § 512(c)(2), safe harbor protections "apply to a service provider only if the service provider has designated an agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement".
FunnyJunk LLC. need to provide these details "by making available through its service, including on its website in a location accessible to the public". They need to provide at least "the name, address, phone number, and electronic mail address of the agent".
And I'm sorry, but the webform at http://www.funnyjunk.com/copyright/ doesn't do this. I can assure you, that there is absolutely no way to transmit a physical or electronic signature as they have stated on their page via their form.