The internet wars are raging over the copyright of a meme.
Jerry Media, owner of @fuckjerry and its more than 14 million followers, said it is considering taking legal action against content creator Olorunfemi Coker, who alleged in a lawsuit filed on March 19 that the company had copied and pasted a meme he had created to @fuckjerry. Corker had asked for $150,000 in damages before dismissing the suit. The post in question had promoted Jerry Media founder Elliot Tebele's tequila company JAJA.
Two days after filing the lawsuit, Coker and attorney Scott Burroughs dismissed the suit after Jerry Media's investigation revealed Coker was not the original creator of the content, and as such could not lay claim to its copyright.
Now Jerry Media says it is considering taking legal action against Coker. "Our clients are now considering taking their own legal actions, including for defamation, against the responsible parties," said Jason P.W. Halperin, an attorney for Jerry Media. If there are any future lawsuits, Jerry Media said it will "defend itself vigorously."
Despite the lawsuit being dropped, the situation does nothing to help Jerry Media's image, which has continued to deteriorate ever since the company gained notoriety for planning social media for the catastrophic Fyre Festival. Netflix and Hulu documentaries about the festival, and Jerry Media's involvement in it, were released in January.
There has also been ongoing backlash against the company for copying and pasting comedians' jokes, with people, especially comedians, using the hashtag #FuckFuckJerry to get others online to unfollow the account. In a post on Medium on February 2, Jerry Media founder founder Elliot Tebele addressed the backlash, apologizing and saying the company would no longer use content without consent.