March 09, 2018 02:07 PM | Updated March 09, 2018 02:08 PM
The cartoonist who created Pepe the Frog has resolved a copyright infringement lawsuit that accused a Missouri woman of misusing the character to sell hate-promoting oil paintings.
The settlement is the latest milestone in California-based cartoonist Matt Furie’s legal campaign to reclaim his creation from far-right extremists who hijacked Pepe, mixing images of Furie’s “chill frog-dude” with Nazi symbols and other hateful imagery. On Monday, Furie sued conspiracy-promoting website Infowars for selling a poster that included an image of Pepe.
A court filing Friday says Furie and Kansas City resident Jessica Logsdon agreed to the dismissal of the federal lawsuit he filed against her in October. Each side is bearing their own legal expenses.
Furie isn’t seeking any money from Logsdon, who agreed to stop using Pepe’s image, according to a statement released by one of Furie’s attorneys. Logsdon didn’t immediately respond to a phone call or email seeking comment.
The statement says Logsdon admits she inadvertently and unintentionally infringed on Furie’s copyrights. It adds that Logsdon disavows any association with the “alt-right,” a white nationalist, anti-Semitic fringe movement that adopted Pepe as a mascot.
“As a political artist, Logsdon documented the 2016 election. Logsdon maintains that she creates artwork that promotes unity and laughter, the exact opposite of hate and violence,” the statement says.
Furie, however, viewed her artwork as misappropriation of Pepe’s likeness to promote hate and violence. One of her paintings, called “Antifa,” depicted a masked Pepe holding a rifle in front of what appears to be the White House, the lawsuit says. Another of her paintings, entitled “Pepe Patrol,” included an image of Pepe pointing a gun over a wall labeled “U.S. Border,” according to the lawsuit.