'Pepe is a peaceful frog who represents togetherness and fun—not hate.'
Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe the Frog, has taken legal action against the alt-right. Furie's legal team at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP have issued cease and desist letters to alt-right figures such as Richard Spencer, Baked Alaska, and Mike Cernovich and Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices to the platforms that allow the alt-right to profit off of its Pepe memes.
Motherboard has obtained copies of those letters, which we've published below. As a condition for publishing the letters, Motherboard agreed to redact contact information for everyone except for Furie's lawyer, who provided them to us.
Each letter is different and references different URLs, podcasts, and products, but the tone is always the same—Pepe The Frog does not belong to the alt-right and the recipient's abuse and profit of him must end.
"Your use of Pepe the Frog in connection with your promotion of hate is unauthorized and unacceptable," the letters sent to Spencer, Cernovich, and Alaska said. "Pepe is a peaceful frog who represents togetherness and fun—not hate."
Furie's legal team makes clear that Furie plans to ask Spencer, Cernovich, and Baked Alaska for money in addition to demanding they stop using Pepe's image: "After we have received confirmation that you have ceased infringement, we will contact you to discuss what additional information we need from you to calculate the appropriate amount of damages," the letters read.
Many, though not all, of the URLs referenced in the letters are now dead. Mike Cernovich and Baked Alaska in particular seem to have quickly complied. Cernovich, Spencer, and Alaska did not immediately respond to request for comment.