Infowars will pay $ 15,000 for unauthorized posters of Pepe the Frog



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A website promoting the Infowars conspiracy will disburse $ 15,000 to resolve a lawsuit involving the sale of a poster featuring the image of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character who was hijacked by extremist extremists and racist trolls on the Internet.

Alex Jones, presenter of the show "Infowars", signed Monday the settlement agreement of his company with the creator of Pepe, Matt Furie. The California artist said he was not allowing Infowars to sell a "MAGA" poster depicting Pepe alongside images of Jones, President Donald Trump, right-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos and from other right-wing personalities.

Louis Tompros, one of Fury's lawyers, said the settlement amount was greater than the $ 14,000 generated by Infowars from the poster sales. He added that his client planned to give an additional $ 1,000 to Save the Frogs !, a California-based conservation organization.

"It was more than we could have obtained at trial and it avoids the costs of a trial," said Tompros.

An article posted on the Infowars website talks about a "strategic victory" for Jones. One of his lawyers, Marc Randazza, said that Furie's lawyers had asked Jones for more than a million dollars, but had finally solved the problem for a fraction of that sum after an expensive legal battle .

"This should be a message for anyone who wants to file a lawsuit against him for political reasons and anti-freedom of expression," Randazza said.

The settlement agreement comes less than a month after the judge's decision, which significantly limited the amount that Furie could recover from Infoway. US District Judge Michael Fitzgerald ruled that it was forbidden for Furie to claim legal damages and legal fees.

This precluded the possibility of a six- or seven-figure judgment. Tompros said the plaintiffs' lawyers should ask a jury to award about $ 14,000, which represents the profits derived by Infowars from the sale of the poster.

The judge also declined to file the case last month. Infowars' lawyers argued that Pepe's portrayal on the poster was "fair use", but Fitzgerald ruled that a jury had to decide this issue. The trial of Furie before jury was to begin July 16 in Los Angeles.

The settlement agreement provides for Infowars to destroy any copy of the poster in its possession and prevent the site from selling other copies. Infowars also agreed not to sell anything else to Pepe's image without permission.

Infowars' lawyer, Robert Barnes, said the settlement contained no confidentiality clause because Jones "wanted to tell the world" how much he was paying.

"It's an amount we would have been willing to pay from the start," Barnes added.

Fury's "Chill Frog-guy" debuted in a comic entitled "Boy's Club" in 2006 and has become a popular canvas for benevolent internet memes. But the mutations generated by users have become increasingly hateful and ubiquitous more than a year before the 2016 presidential election, when the creation of Fury became an online mascot for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists.

The Anti-Defamation League described Pepe as a symbol of hatred in September 2016 and encouraged Fury's efforts to recover the character. Last year, Furie solved a separate lawsuit for copyright infringement accusing a Missouri woman of abusing the character to sell oil paintings that incite hatred.

Tompros said he hoped the settlement agreement would deter others from misusing the creation of Fury.

"If anyone thinks he's going to make money with Pepe, he's wrong," he said.

Jones is still facing another litigation arising from his inflammatory words. Relatives of children killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 sued Jones for libel after he wondered if the shooting was a hoax.

Jones airs his show on the Infowars website, but he lost access to other platforms. Twitter and Facebook have definitely banned.

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