It was nearly a year ago that meme artist Carpe Donktum suffered a permanent Twitter ban over a meme allegedly for copywright infringement. Those who felt they had been infringed upon lawyered up, and as that case now heads to court, lawyer Ven Johnson for the plaintiffs released a video on Twitter. He has been roundly ratioed for his efforts.
Ven Johnson, of Ven Johnson Law, can be seen sitting in a corporate setting discussing the meaning behind Juneteenth, and his support for it. "We have that chapter behind us, and obviously, we need to face our past and we we gotta be in this thing together, all races working together," he said.
Then he got to the point of the video. "I also want to remind you," he said, "that last year, on Juneteenth, then President Trump thought it'd be a good time to post a racist, doctored video that involved my client, we call that the 'Toddler Video Case.'"
"That case is still pending in state court," the lawyer said. "We'll be arguing a huge motion to dismiss coming up, where the defendants—Trump, and others—are trying to throw it out of court, we'll say 'no,' of course, and we'll fight for our clients and I'll report back to you."
He stated his solidarity with "African Americans folk and all folks of color," vowing to "never let that happen again anywhere in our world."
Signing off, he said "keep on fighting, no justice no peace."
At the time of writing the video had over 450 scathing comments, hundreds more than the 44 retweets and 13 likes Ven Johnson Law garnered.
Replies included memes that showed a tin for "butt-hurt salve," and another that said "keep on Trumpin'."
Others pointed out that clearly neither Johnson nor his clients had any understanding of satire. It goes on this way for seemingly endless scrolling.
What did Donktum do? He used a meme to create another meme. Donktum's meme used footage of two toddler boys running down the street, a black boy is running in front of the white boy.
It satirized the breathless and hysterical coverage of CNN with a purposely misspelled caption reading "Terrified toddler runs from racist baby," then a reveal shows the original video of the boys embracing in order to deliver the message: "America is not the problem. Fake news is the problem."
The intention of it was to point out the fake news put out by CNN and mainstream media. It showed how easy it is for news media to take video and manipulate it to support their narrative of reality. It was, as Ven Johnson notes, tweeted out by the Trump campaign.
The meme was in the public domain, according to Donktum, but the meme's original creator lawyered up in an attempt to punish Donktum because the meme was popular with supporters of President Trump.
Donktum replied at the time, saying "Yes, I have been permanently banned from Twitter for 'copyright infringement.' I have always abided by any DCMA takedown I have received. I have NEVER violated a takedown. The most recent takedown was this morning and it was fraudulent. The Toddler video was and is public domain and protected by the law under satire and parody. Thanks for your support."