Web Comic Writer Trolls Huffington Post For Republishing His Work


If you don’t already know who Matthew Inman is, you should. He’s the hilarious writer and illustrator behind the popular web comic The Oatmeal, and his most recent publication, “Having a baby VS having a cat” is already a viral sensation. Hence why Huffington Post’s UK site decided to re-purpose the entire thing for their comedy website.

“Aggregation” is the name of the game these days. It’s how most online publishing words (like here at Mediaite), and so long as original ideas and content are appropriately attributed and not stolen or copied outright, then everything is fine. Hell, HuffPost wasn’t even the first website to aggregate Inman’s comic — a website called Bored Panda beat them to the punch.

The problem with HuffPost’s aggregation of the comic, however, was that they (1) re-published the entire thing, and (2) simply “hotlinked” every single image. In other words, instead of hosting the images on their own servers, HuffPost linked to each individual panel of the comic. (At least Bored Panda copy and pasted each image to their own server.) Not only did this bog down Inman’s website bandwidth, which he pays for, but it also did nothing for his website traffic.

So Inman did what he does best and changed all of the images that HuffPost had linked to. Instead of the original comic, each panel reproduced a message from Inman and a screenshot of his monthly web-hosting bill. “Please don’t hotlink images,” he said. “It cost me money to host these.”

The day before, when Inman first noticed what HuffPost had done, he bantered about it with actor and social media personality Wil Wheaton.

HuffPost has since altered the original post with an editor’s note, commenting on their changes and apologizing to Inman.

This article previously featured images from The Oatmeal website without proper attribution. The images have been removed and replaced with a more prominent link to the author’s website. We regret the error.

[h/t Washington Post]
[Image via Matthew Inman/Twitter]

— —
>> Follow Andrew Husband (@AndrewHusband) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: