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Type of site
|Created by||Eric Bauman|
|Launched||2001 (incorporated since December 3, 2002)|
|Revenue||$5.2 million in 2007|
|1,708 (April 2014[update])|
eBaum's World is a website based in Rochester, New York featuring entertainment media such as videos, Adobe Flash cartoons, and web games. It is controversial for many reasons, primarily because much of the content on the website is taken from other sources without permission and rebranded with the eBaum's World logo. The site was owned by Eric "eBaum" Bauman and co-owned by Bauman's secretary and father, Neil. They sold the site to ZVUE Corporation in August 2008 for $15 million cash and $2.5 million in stock, with further payouts upon performance.
On January 31, 2009, Bauman reported that ZVUE fired him and the rest of the staff and replaced them with a new team, and that ZVUE was falsely using his name in connection with new material, making it look as if Bauman were still employed.
The site features individual celebrity soundboards, where users can click buttons to hear quotes or phrases spoken by that celebrity. By pressing certain buttons in an organized order, users can simulate the celebrities saying unusual things.
There is a chatroom, and a store which sells eBaum merchandise. There is also a section called "Moron Mail" which features feedback sent in by users.
eBaum's World has a very large collection of prank and comedic photos which are divided into signs, Photoshop images, and misleading croppings of normal pictures, etc.
This site also has a large collection of Flash movies and games from across the internet. Some of the more famous ones are Peanut Butter Jelly Time (despite the creator's explicit statements that he does not want it hosted on eBaum's World) and Badger Badger Badger.
Copyright infringement and controversy
eBaum's World has garnered controversy in different Internet communities over the years due to numerous incidents of content being taken from other sites (such as YTMND, Something Awful, Albino Blacksheep, 4chan, Olde English, Weebl's Stuff and Newgrounds) without attribution. Companies such as Viacom have claimed that the Baumans have infringed on their copyrights as well. Eric Bauman denies critics' claims that the site's content is stolen, citing research done by site editors and the consent form that must accompany uploads of material. He claims to honor all requests to remove unauthorized material.
- As early as 2003, Eric Bauman had been threatened by legal action by corporations, citing unauthorized use of trademarked names or copyrighted material. One notable case involved the "soundboards" and the audio used within them.
- Since November 2005, several arguments between eBaum's World forum members and Something Awful forum members have occurred concerning the posting of "Photoshop Phriday" images on eBaum's World without permission.
- In January 2006, an animated image titled "Lindsay Lohan Doesn't Change Facial Expressions" was lifted from YTMND.com and posted at eBaum's World with the latter site's watermark superimposed. The incident touched off a feud between the two sites, resulting in eBaum's World removing the animation.
- On May 26, 2006, several images from the Something Awful forums were displayed on the eBaum's World website.[unreliable source?] The images on eBaum's World were cropped to remove the Something Awful watermark. The page was removed later in the day following multiple complaints being expressed on the eBaum's World forums. As a result, Something Awful switched to a more invasive watermark template.
- On June 12, 2006, Steven Lerner of Albino Blacksheep explained that eBaum's World took the popular Flash animation "Animator vs. Animation", and the creator of the Flash animation, Alan Becker, would take legal action against eBaum's World. Albino Blacksheep has also threatened legal action and claims that other websites have also asserted difficulties with Eric Bauman. Lerner and Becker used the MochiBot Flash tracking tool to track who used the animation on their web sites. Lerner also explained that the Flash animation is legally protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Furthermore, when the flash was posted on eBaum's World, it had been decompiled and the line "Hosted on albinoblacksheep.com" was removed. On June 9, Bauman sent Becker a $250 check as well as entering him into a monthly "contest" (of which Becker was the de facto winner) in hopes of having any legal charges dropped. Becker was also told to submit a pre-written statement claiming that none of eBaum's World's content was stolen, and that Bauman had contacted him prior to his content being posted on the site. Alan accepted this proposal, and later submitted this letter of apology to the Flash community of Albino Blacksheep:
Hello, I am the author of Animator vs. Animation...
I feel so ashamed, and the world is ashamed of me.
I fell into eBaum's trap. I gave them fuel to fight back.
With their constant persuasion and offers for money, they made me write a quote saying that everything was fine. Of course everything was fine for me, because I had the money they had given me. What can you expect, I was dead poor before, I have no experience with business. The quote says they contacted me before they posted my animation on their website, however I did not give them permission to put it on.
On June 26, 2006, eBaum's World removed the animation and the apology from Becker from their web site.
- On July 9, 2006, eBaum's World hosted an animation called "Dumb Dinosaur", originally found on Albino Blacksheep and Spinnerdisc.com. They subsequently removed the animation, and issued this apologetic statement to Drew Mokris, creator of Dumb Dinosaur:
We were recently contacted by a fan of yours in regards to the July 9th post on your website declaring that you did not give us permission to feature your flash animation. First off, I apologize for the mixup, your flash was submitted to us via our upload form and our clearance dept's initial review led us to believe it was submitted by the original author. I have removed the animation from the system, although it may take a few hours for the changes to be reflected for all users. Once again, my apologies for the mixup, and keep up the good work, we are big fans of your animations!
It went on to issue him a draft notice to join Eric's program for Flash animators to put eBaum's World logos in all their animations.
eBaum's World on television
TV series attempt
On January 24, 2006, USA Network made a deal with the Fox Television Studios to create a television program based on eBaum's World. Producers described it as a late-night companion special to air with WWE Raw featuring clips from the website, as well as new and exclusive content including interviews with former and current eBaum's World subjects. The Show was to feature former TechTV Host Martin Sargent of Unscrewed and professional wrestler Chris Jericho. The show was being executive produced by Simon Andreae through his production company, The Incubator, in association with Fox Television Studios. The cease and desist letters from this company were removed when this show was announced.
On February 27, 2006, a researcher named Bradley Scott from eBaum's World TV show contacted the webmaster of Albino Blacksheep, asking the webmaster to sign over the site's content while refusing to admit what show it was for. The producer of eBaum's World television show finally admitted who he was but did not directly acknowledge the content that appears on eBaum's World, including Albino Blacksheep's. The webmaster recorded samples of these calls for their message boards.
- "HandHeld Entertainment to Acquire eBaum’s World, a Premier Online Entertainment Site". 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- "Ebaumsworld.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- Bauman, Eric (2009-01-31). "Welcome". Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- "Wired 14.10: Dude, That Is So Not Funny". Wired.com. 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "court TV becomes truTV". Courttv.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "Funny Videos, Funny Pictures, Flash Games, Jokes". Ebaumsworld.com. 2009-12-13. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "EBaum's World - YTMND wiki, explaining the Internets one article at a time". Wiki.ytmnd.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "Mixed-up Movies". Somethingawful.com. 2005-07-29. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "alanbecker on deviantART". Alanbecker.deviantart.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "June 2006 | Archive". Albinoblacksheep.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- WEBSOUP SEASON 3 THIS WEEK IN FAIL - eBaum's WOrld Blog (released APril 10, 2011)
- eBaum's World - Official Website.