Fringe conspiracy-theory outlet InfoWars settled a lawsuit Monday over their use of cartoon character “Pepe the Frog,” paying $15,000 to Pepe’s creator and promising never to use the cartoon again.
Pepe—a morose, previously apolitical character created by cartoonist Matt Furie—was co-opted by far-right groups and Trump supporters during the 2016 election. Furie has since tried to regain control over the character’s image, pursuing legal action against a series of websites.
The InfoWars lawsuit, filed last year, centered on a poster sold by InfoWars featuring Pepe alongside Trumpworld personalities like Roger Stone, InfoWars founder Alex Jones, and pundits “Diamond & Silk.”
Before settling, InfoWars tried a novel legal strategy of suggesting, without evidence, that Furie had actually based Pepe on an Argentinian amphibian cartoon character named “El Sapo Pepe.” But on Tuesday, InfoWars agreed to destroy all remaining copies of the poster, and pay back the $14,000 it made from the poster sales—along with an additional $1,000.
“From our perspective, we got everything we wanted,” said Louis Tompros, one of the attorneys representing Furie pro bono.
Despite paying Furie $15,000, InfoWars also claimed vindication, describing the settlement as a “strategic victory” in a blog post.
“They would have made more money if they went and waitressed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a few months,” InfoWars attorney Robert Barnes said in a statement. “So, the Pepe trial is over. We made our point.”
Furie is donating the extra $1,000 to amphibian conservation group Save the Frogs.
“It’s a charity dedicated to frog preservation,” Tompros said. “Real frogs, not cartoon frogs.”