Alex Jones and InfoWars has decided to settle with Pepe creator Matt Furie instead of going to court. Jones and InfoWars are accused with appropriating the use of the cartoon frog in merchandise sold by the site.
The image was used in a poster sold during the 2016 election. The two were set to go to trial next month but instead InfoWars has agreed to pay Furie $15,000. The poster depicted right-wing personalities such as Jones, Roger Stone, and Donald Trump.
Furie has been aggresively enforcing his copyright of the character going on the offensive ever since it was co-opted by the alt-right.
The fight began in 2017 when a Texas school administrator released an islamophobic children’s book featuring Pepe which then landed him a deal with Simon & Schuster distributed Post Hill Press. Furie stopped the publication and donated profits from the book’s sale to the Council on American-Islamic relations.
Jones was sent a cease and desist letter and a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notice but continued to sell the posters. He is the only individual who has tred to fight Furie’s lawsuit claiming fair use.
InfoWars has attempted to spin their settlement as a “licensing fee” and it’s some sort of win because they didn’t pay out “millions.”
Louis Tompro, one of Furie’s lawyers, said:
InfoWars had said it planned to ‘free Pepe once and for all,’ but it backed down rather than face trial and lose. If anyone thinks they can make money selling unauthorized Pepe merchandise, they’re wrong. Mr. Furie will continue to enforce his copyrights, particularly against anyone trying to profit by associating Pepe with hateful images or ideas.