An Internet meme, more commonly known simply as a meme (// MEEM), is a type of meme that is spread via the Internet, often through social media platforms. Traditionally, a prominent form of such memes consisted of image macros paired with a concept or catchphrase. In some cases, these memes used words and phrases contain intentional misspellings (such as lolcats) or incorrect grammar (such as doge and "All your base are belong to us"). However, in more recent times, memes have evolved from simple image macros with text to more elaborate forms such as challenges, GIFs and viral sensations. These small movements tend to spread from person to person via social networks, blogs, direct email, or news sources. They may relate to various existing Internet cultures or subcultures, often created or spread on various websites. Fads and sensations tend to grow rapidly on the Internet, because the instant communication facilitates word of mouth transmission. Examples of such fads include posting a photo of people lying down in public places (called "planking") and uploading a short video of people doing the Harlem Shake. “Dank” memes have emerged as a new form of image-macros, defined by the inclusion of more surreal and nonsensical themes.
The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene as an attempt to explain how ideas replicate, mutate and evolve (memetics). The concept of the Internet meme was first proposed by Mike Godwin in the June 1993 issue of Wired. In 2013, Dawkins characterized an Internet meme as being a meme deliberately altered by human creativity—distinguished from biological genes and his own pre-Internet concept of a meme, which involved mutation by random change and spreading through accurate replication as in Darwinian selection. Dawkins explained that Internet memes are thus a "hijacking of the original idea", the very idea of a meme having mutated and evolved in this new direction. Furthermore, Internet memes carry an additional property that ordinary memes do not: Internet memes leave a footprint in the media through which they propagate (for example, social networks) that renders them traceable and analyzable.
There are two central attributes of internet memes: creative reproduction of materials and intertextuality. Creative reproduction refers to “parodies, remixes, or mashups,” and include notable examples such as “Hitler’s Downfall Parodies,” and “Nyan Cat,” among others. Intertextuality is demonstrated in example of a collision of Korean culture "Gangnam style" and “binders full of women,” a 2012 Mitt Romney presidential debate's assertion, in Psy’s meme with “my binders full of women” written on it. This indexes intertextual practices in political and cultural discourses of two nations.
Early in the Internet's history, memes were primarily spread via email or Usenet discussion communities. Messageboards and newsgroups were also popular because they allowed a simple method for people to share information or memes with a diverse population of Internet users in a short period. They encourage communication between people, and thus between meme sets, that do not normally come in contact. Furthermore, they actively promote meme-sharing within the messageboard or newsgroup population by asking for feedback, comments, opinions, etc. This format is what gave rise to early Internet memes, like the Hampster Dance. Another factor in the increased meme transmission observed over the Internet is its interactive nature. Print matter, radio, and television are all essentially passive experiences requiring the reader, listener, or viewer to perform all necessary cognitive processing; in contrast, the social nature of the Internet allows phenomena to propagate more readily. Many phenomena are also spread via web search engines, Internet forums, social networking services, social news sites, and video hosting services. Much of the Internet's ability to spread information is assisted from results found through search engines, which can allow users to find memes even with obscure information.
The earlier forms of image based memes include the demotivator, image macro, photoshopped image, LOLCats, advice animal, and comic. The Demotivator image includes a black background with white, capitalized, text. The objective of using this format was to parodize inspirational and motivational posters, where the name "demotivator" is derived from. Image macro consists of an image with white Impact font within a black border. The text/context of the meme is at the top and bottom of the image itself. The photoshopped image is closely related to the macro image, but often is created without the use of text, mostly edited with another image. Advice animals contain a photoshopped image of an animal's head on top of a rainbow/color wheel background. It includes the image macro of the top and bottom text with Impact font. LOLCats incorporate the design of image macro and advice animals, but instead of just the cat's head, it is the entire picture unedited with top and bottom text, often with the usage of Internet slang. Comics follow a typical newspaper comic strip format. There are a variety of different ways to create one, as multiple images and texts can be used to create the overall meme.
Evolution and propagation
Internet memes grew as a concept in the mid-1990s. At the time, memes were just short clips that were shared between people in Usenet forums. As the Internet evolved, so did memes. When YouTube was released in 2005, video memes became popular. Around this time, rickrolling became popular and the link to this video was sent around via email or other messaging sites. Video sharing also created memes such as "Turn Down for What" and the "Harlem Shake". As social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook started appearing, it was now easy to share GIFs and image macros to a large audience. Meme generator websites were created to let users create their own memes out of existing templates. Memes during this time could remain popular for a long time, from a few months to a decade, which contrasts with the fast lifespan of modern memes.
An Internet meme may stay the same or may evolve over time, by chance or through commentary, imitations, parody, or by incorporating news accounts about itself. Internet memes can evolve and spread extremely rapidly, sometimes reaching worldwide popularity within a few days. Internet memes usually are formed from some social interaction, pop culture reference, or situations people often find themselves in. Their rapid growth and impact has caught the attention of both researchers and industry. Academically, researchers model how they evolve and predict which memes will survive and spread throughout the Web. Commercially, they are used in viral marketing where they are an inexpensive form of mass advertising.
One empirical approach studied meme characteristics and behavior independently from the networks in which they propagated, and reached a set of conclusions concerning successful meme propagation. For example, the study asserted that Internet memes not only compete for viewer attention generally resulting in a shorter life, but also, through user creativity, memes can collaborate with each other and achieve greater survival. Also, paradoxically, an individual meme that experiences a popularity peak significantly higher than its average popularity is not generally expected to survive unless it is unique, whereas a meme with no such popularity peak keeps being used together with other memes and thus has greater survivability.
Multiple opposing studies on media psychology and communication have aimed to characterize and analyze the concept and representations in order to make it accessible for the academic research. Thus, Internet memes can be regarded as a unit of information which replicates via the Internet. This unit can replicate or mutate. This mutation instead of being generational follows more a viral pattern, giving the Internet memes generally a short life. Other theoretical problems with the Internet memes are their behavior, their type of change, and their teleology.
Internet memes have been examined by Dancygier and Vandelanotte in 2017 for aspects of cognitive linguistic and construction grammar. The authors analyzed some selective popular image macros like, Said no one ever, One does not simply, But that’s none of my business, and Good Girl Gina to draw attention to the constructionality, multimodality, viewpoint and intersubjectivity of these memes. They further argued that with the combination of text and images, the internet memes can add to the functioning linguistic construction frame as well as create new linguistic constructions. 
Writing for The Washington Post in 2013, Dominic Basulto asserted that with the growth of the Internet and the practices of the marketing and advertising industries, memes have come to transmit fewer snippets of human culture that could survive for centuries as originally envisioned by Dawkins, and instead transmit banality at the expense of big ideas.
Dank memes are a subgenre of memes usually involving meme formats but in a different way to image macros. The term "dank", which means "a cold, damp place", was later adapted by marijuana smokers to refer to high-quality marijuana, and then became an ironic term for a type of meme, and also becoming synonymous for "cool". This term originally meant a meme that was significantly different from the norm, but is now used mainly to differentiate these modern types of memes from other, older types such as image macros. Dank memes can also refer to "exceptionally unique or odd" memes. They have been described as "Internet in-jokes" that are "so played out that they become funny again" or are "so nonsensical that they are hilarious". The formats are usually from popular television shows, movies, or video games and users then add humorous text and images over it. The culture surrounding memes, especially dank memes, grew to the point of the creation of many subcultures surrounding them. For instance, a "meme market", satirizing on the kind of talks and stocks found normally on Wall Street, was created in September 2016. Originally started on Reddit as r/MemeEconomy, people would only jokingly "buy" or "sell" shares in a meme to indicate how popular a meme was thought to be. The market is seen as a way to show how people assign value to commonplace and otherwise valueless things such as memes.
One example of a dank meme is the "Who Killed Hannibal", which is made of two frames from a 2013 episode of The Eric Andre Show. The meme features the host Andre shooting his co-host Buress in the first frame and then lamenting that his co-host has been shot in the next, with Andre often depicted blaming someone else for the shot. This was then adapted to other situations, such as baby boomers blaming millennials for problems that they allegedly caused.
Dank memes can also stem from interesting real-life images that get shared or remixed many times. So-called "moth" memes (often stylized with diacritics on the "o": "möth") came about after a Reddit user posted a close up picture of a moth that they had found outside their window onto the r/creepy subreddit. This image of a moth became popular, and began to be used in memes. These moth memes usually revolved around the moth wanting to find a lamp. According to Chris Grinter, a lepidopterist from the California Academy of Sciences, these memes took off because people find moths' attraction to lamps quite strange and this phenomenon is still not completely explained by science.
Many modern memes stem from nonsense or otherwise unrelated phrases that are then repeated and placed onto other formats. One example of this is "they did surgery on a grape," from a video of a da Vinci Surgical System performing test surgery on a grape. People sharing the post tended to add the same caption to it ("they did surgery on a grape"), and eventually created a satirical image with several layers of captions on it. Memes such as this one continue to propagate as people start to include the phrase in different, otherwise unrelated memes.
The increasing trend towards irony in meme culture has resulted in absurdist memes not unlike postmodern art. Many Internet memes have several layers of meaning built off of other memes, not being understandable unless the viewer has seen all previous memes. "Deep-fried" memes, memes that have been distorted and run through several filters, are often counter-culture and strange to one not familiar with them. An example of these memes is the "E" meme, a picture of Markiplier photoshopped onto Lord Farquaad from the film Shrek, photoshopped into a scene from Mark Zuckerberg's hearing in Congress. "Surreal" memes are based on the idea of increasing layers of irony so that they are not understandable by popular culture or corporations. The strange irony has been discussed in the Washington Post article "Why is millennial humor so weird?" as a disconnect from how millennials and other generations conceive of humor; the article itself also became a meme where people photoshopped examples of deep-fried and surreal memes onto the article to make fun of the point of the article and the abstraction of meme culture.
Matt Furie's cartoon character Pepe the Frog became an Internet meme when its popularity steadily grew across Myspace, Gaia Online and 4chan in 2008. In 2014, images of Pepe were shared on social media by celebrities such as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. This resulted in a significant rise in popularity. By 2015, it had become one of the most popular memes used on 4chan and Tumblr. Different types of Pepe include "Sad Frog", "Smug Frog", and "Angry Pepe". Since 2014, "Rare Pepes" have been posted on the (satirical) "meme market" as if they were trading cards.
During the 2016 United States presidential election, Pepe became associated with racism, the alt-right, and support for Donald Trump. Shortly following this, Pepe was designated as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, though not every Pepe meme is classified as one. Until September 2018, Social media service Gab used a Pepe-like illustration of a frog (named "Gabby") as its logo. The site is popular with the alt-right.
Pepe's likeness was used by protestors in the ongoing 2019–20 Hong Kong protests as a symbol of defiance and resistance to the government of Mainland China. In contrast with the meme's public perception in the West, protestors saw it as a cartoon that "looks funny and captures the hearts of so many youngsters. It is a symbol of youth participation in this movement."
After the success of the application Vine, a format of memes emerged in the form of short videos and scripted sketches. Vine, in spite of its closure in early 2017, has still retained relevance through uploads of viral vines in compilations onto other sharing social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube. Since Vine's shutdown, the service TikTok has been described as a better version of Vine and many comparisons have been made between the two platforms; also based on the upload of short-form videos, TikTok, however, allows videos and memes up to a minute in length rather than six seconds.
With the usage of Vine and TikTok, the short-form videos are used on other social media sites, such as Twitter, as a form of reacting and responding to posts. These videos become replicated into other contexts and often become part of Internet culture. An example of a TikTok meme is the cosplay by Nyannyancosplay juxtaposed to the musical track “Mia Khalifa” by ILOVEFRIDAY. This meme later became known as Hit or Miss. Hit or Miss has been referenced multiple times, including Pewdiepie’s 2018 Rewind as one of the most influential memes of the year alongside numerous other influential memes of the year. Pewdiepie’s 2018 rewind video has been viewed over 70 million times and has 8.9 million likes as of April 28, 2020. Hit or Miss has been remixed as well, including by other social media influencers such as Belle Delphine. SirKibbs’ YouTube has uploaded a video of Belle Delphine and Kat (Nyannyancosplay) side-by-side comparison and has garnered 2.7 million views as of April 28, 2020.
Public relations, advertising, and marketing professionals have embraced Internet memes as a form of viral marketing and guerrilla marketing to create marketing "buzz" for their product or service. The practice of using memes to market products or services is known as memetic marketing. Internet memes are seen as cost-effective, and because they are a (sometimes self-conscious) fad, they are therefore used as a way to create an image of awareness or trendiness. To this end, businesses have taken to attempting two methods of using memes to increase publicity and sales of their company; either creating a meme or attempting to adapt or perpetuate an existing one.
Marketers, for example, use Internet memes to create interest in films that would otherwise not generate positive publicity among critics. The 2006 film Snakes on a Plane generated much publicity via this method. Used in the context of public relations, the term would be more of an advertising buzzword than a proper Internet meme, although there is still an implication that the interest in the content is for purposes of trivia, ephemera, or frivolity rather than straightforward advertising and news.
Examples of memetic marketing include the FreeCreditReport.com singing ad campaign, the "Nope, Chuck Testa" meme from an advertisement for taxidermist Chuck Testa, Wilford Brimley saying "Diabeetus" from Liberty Medical and the Dumb Ways to Die public announcement ad campaign by Metro Trains Melbourne.
The eligibility of any memes to get copyright protection would depend on the copyright law of the country in which such protection is sought. Some of the most popular formats of memes are cinematographic stills, personal or stock photographs, rage comics, and illustrations meant to be a meme. In a cinematographic still, part of the entire end product is taken out of context and presented solely for its face value. The still is generally accompanied by a superimposed text of which conveys a distinctive idea or comment, such as the Boromir meme or Gru's Plan.
Other memes are created based on online phenomena or individually-created content. Photographs of people or animals, especially stock photos, can be turned into memes by superimposing text, often to depict an emotion such as in the Distracted Boyfriend and Overly Attached Girlfriend memes. Rage comics are a subcategory of memes which depict a series of human emotions and conclude with a satirical punchline. The sources for these memes often come from webcomics. Other memes are purely viral sensations such as in Keyboard Cat and Bongo Cat.
Under United States copyright law, a creation receives copyright protection if it satisfies four conditions under 17 U.S.C. § 102. For a meme to get copyright protection, it would have to satisfy four conditions:
- It falls under one of the categories of work which is protected under the law
- It is an "expression"
- It has a modest amount of creativity
- It is "fixed".
17 U.S.C. § 102 enumerates the subject matter over which copyright could be enjoyed namely, literary work, musical work; dramatic work; pictorial; graphical and cultural works; motion pictures, etc. Broadly memes could fall under any of the heads of pictorial, graphical or motion picture.
In copyright law, ideas cannot get copyright protection but the expression of an idea can be protected. This is fundamental to copyright law. This means that the form and manner in which an idea is expressed is protected not the idea itself. This was given in the case of Baker v. Selden. Since a meme is essentially a comment, satire, ridicule or expression of an emotion it constitutes the expression of an idea.
For the meme to successfully claim protection, it would have to show that it is original work of the author and has a modest amount of creativity, since the United States has a low threshold for what constitutes creativity. Memes are comments about the popular culture or social ideas and therefore the use of the text would have some amount of creativity.
17 U.S.C. § 101 requires the work to be 'fixed' which means that its "embodiment in a copy or phonorecord is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory nature". The medium here could be a book, musical recording, video and has also been widened to include publication on the Internet.
Under Section 2(c) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, a meme could be classified as an 'artistic work' which states that an artistic work includes painting, sculpture, drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possesses artistic quality. The section uses the phrase "whether or not possessing artistic quality", the memes that are rage comics or those such as Keyboard Cat would enjoy protection as they are original creations in the form a painting, drawing, photograph or short video clip, despite not having artistic quality. Memes that made from cinematograph still or photographs, the original image in the background for the meme would also be protected as the picture or the still from the series/movie is an 'artistic work'. These meme are a modification of that already existing artistic work with some little amount of creativity and therefore, they would also enjoy copyright protection.
Copyright infringement and possible defenses
If it is found that the meme has made use of a copyrighted work, such as the movie still or photograph without due permission from the original owner, it would amount to copyright infringement. Rage comics and memes created for the sole purpose of becoming memes would normally be original works of the creator and therefore, the question of infringing other copyright work does not arise. This does not mean that all memes made from movie still or photographs are infringing copyright. There are defenses available for such use in various jurisdictions which could exempt the meme from attracting liability for the infringement.
Fair use in the United States
Fair use is a defense under 17 U.S.C. § 107 of the US Copyright Law which protects work that have made using other copyrighted works. The section provides that if a copyrighted work is reproduced for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research, it would not amount to infringement. Notably for memes, the use of the term "such as" in the section denotes that the list is not exhaustive but merely illustrative. Furthermore, the factors mentioned in the section are subjective in nature and the weight of each factor varies on a case to case basis. All the factors have to be weighed together and an overall assessment is made whether the infringing work would qualify as fair use.
The four factors are:
- The purpose or character of use,
- The nature of the copyrighted work,
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used, and
- Effect on the market.
The purpose and character of the use involve how the original copyrighted work's purpose differs from the meme's purpose, as well as commercial uses of products that use copyrighted material. In Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. the court introduced the concept of transformation which goes into the inquiry whether the infringing work altered the original with a new expression, meaning or expression or merely superseded or supplanted the original work. Memes are transformative in nature as they have no relation to the original work and the motive behind the communication of the meme is personal, in terms of disseminating humour to the public. Such memes being transformative would be covered by fair use. However, copying memes that are made for the sole purpose of being memes would not enjoy this protection as there is no transformation- the copying has the same purpose as original meme which is communicate humorous anecdotes.
Purpose and character of use weighs in against memes which have been used for commercial purposes because then the work has not been created for the communication of humour but for economic gain. For example, Grumpy Cat won $710,001 in a copyright lawsuit against the beverage company Grenade which used the Grumpy Cat image on its roasted coffee line and t-shirts.
The nature of the copyrighted work weighs asks what the differences between the meme and the other material are. This factor applies to many types of memes because the original work is an artistic creation that has been published and thus the latter enjoys protection under copyright which the memes are violating. However, as memes are transformative, this factor does not have a lot of weight.
The amount and substantiality of the portion used tests not only the quantity of the work copied but the quality that is copied as well. Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises clarified this position. For cinematograph still, only a small portion of the entire film is copied whereas for rage comics and personal photographs, the entire portion has been used to create the meme. Despite this, all categories of memes would be considered to be falling under fair use because the text that is added to those images adds value, without which it would just be picture. Moreover, the heart of the work is not affected because the still/picture is taken out of context and portrays something entirely different from what the image originally wanted to depict.
Lastly, the effect on the market offers court analysis on whether the meme would cause harm to the actual market of the original copyright work and also the harm it could cause to the potential market. The target audience for the original work and meme is entirely different as the latter is taken out of the context of the original and created for the use and dissemination on social media. Rage comics and memes created for the purpose of being memes are an exception to this because the target audience for both is the same and copied work could infringe on the potential market of the original. Warner Brothers was sued for infringing the Nyan Cat meme by using it its game Scribblenauts.
Fair dealing in India
Any distribution of a work which has a copyright, wholly or partly, would constitute an infringing copy under Section 2(m)(i) of the Copyright Act, 1957. India follows a Fair Dealing approach as an exception to copyright infringement under Section 52(1)(a) for the purposes of private or personal use, criticism or review. The analysis requires three steps: the amount and substantiality of dealing, the purpose of copying, and the effect on potential markets.
The amount of sustainability of dealing asks about how much of the original work is used in the meme, or how the meme transforms the original content. A meme makes use to existing copyright work whether it is a cinematograph still, rage comic, personal photograph or a meme made for the purpose of being a meme. However, since a meme is made for comedic purposes, taken out of context of the original work, they are transforming the work and creating a new work.
The purpose of copying factors in the purpose of the meme compared to the purpose of the original work. Under Section 52(1)(a) the purpose is restricted to criticism or review. A meme, as long as it is a parody or a criticism of the original work would be protected under the exception but once an element of commercialization comes in, they would no longer be exempted and because the purpose no longer falls under the those mentioned in the section . When the Indian comedic group, All India Bakchod (AIB) parodied Game of Thrones through a series of memes, the primary purpose was to advertise products of companies that have endorsed the group and it would not be fair dealing.
Memes generally do not have an effect on the potential market for a work. There must be no intention on part of the infringer to compete with the original owner of the work and derive profits from it. Since memes are generally meant for comedic value and have no intention to supplant the market of the original creator, they would be squarely fall within the ambit of this section.
- Dawkins, Richard (1989), The Selfish Gene (2 ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 192, ISBN 978-0-19-286092-7, archived from the original on March 16, 2015, retrieved June 16, 2015,
We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. 'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene'. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory', or to the French word même. It should be pronounced to rhyme with 'cream'.
- Solon, Olivia (June 20, 2013). "Richard Dawkins on The Internet's hijacking of the word 'meme'". Wired UK. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013.
- Dawkins, Richard (June 22, 2013). "Just for Hits". The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase. Archived from the original on June 17, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. (video of speech)
- Coscia, Michele (April 5, 2013). "Competition and Success in the Meme Pool: a Case Study on Quickmeme.com". arXiv:1304.1712 [physics.soc-ph]. Paper explained for laymen by Mims, Christopher (June 28, 2013). "Why you'll share this story: The new science of memes". Quartz. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013.
- Shifman, Limor, 1974- (2015). Memes in digital culture. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4619-4733-2. OCLC 926526630.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Cantrell, Asher (January 22, 2020). "The oldest memes on the internet". Grunge.com. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- "Memes On the Internet". Oracle Thinkquest. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Marshall, Garry. "The Internet and Memetics". School of Computing Science, Middlesex University. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Denisova, Anastasia. Internet memes and society : social, cultural, and political contexts. New York, NY. ISBN 978-0-429-46940-4. OCLC 1090540034.
- Watercutter, Angela; Grey Ellisby, Emma (April 2018). "The WIRED Guide to Memes". WIRED. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
- Kempe, David; Kleinberg, Jon; Tardos, Éva (2003). "Maximizing the spread of influence through a social network" (PDF). Int. Conf. on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. ACM Press. doi:10.1145/956750.956769.
- Castaño, Carlos (2013). "Defining and Characterising the Concept of Internet Meme". Revista CES Psicología. 6 (2): 82–104. ISSN 2011-3080. Archived from the original on July 13, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Julien, Chris (June 30, 2014). "Bourdieu, Social Capital and Online Interaction". Sociology. 49 (2): 356–373. doi:10.1177/0038038514535862. Archived from the original on October 13, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
- Zetter, K. (February 29, 2008). "Humans Are Just Machines for Propagating Memes". Wired website. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
- Dancygier, Barbara; Vandelanotte, Lieven (August 28, 2017). "Internet memes as multimodal constructions". Cognitive Linguistics. 28 (3): 565–598. doi:10.1515/cog-2017-0074. ISSN 0936-5907.
- Basulto, Dominic (July 5, 2013). "Have Internet memes lost their meaning?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 5, 2013.
- Hoffman, Ashley (February 2, 2018). "Donald Trump Jr. Just Became a Dank Meme, Literally". TIME. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- "Dank Memes — What does dank meme mean?". Dictionary.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
- Griffin, Annaliese (March 9, 2018). "What does "dank" mean? A definition of everyone's new favourite adjective". Quartzy. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- Plaugic, Lizzie (January 10, 2017). "How a group of Redditors is creating a fake stock market to figure out the value of memes". The Verge. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Mary von Aue (April 19, 2018). "Meme About 'Who Killed Hannibal' Is Reddit's Current Obsession". Inverse. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- u/No_Reason27 (July 2018). "Close up of moth outside my window". Reddit. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
- Spalding, Katie (October 2, 2018). "The Latest Viral Meme Trend Is (Possibly) Not As Stupid As You Think". IFL Science. Archived from the original on October 2, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
- EdwardHospital (August 11, 2010). "da Vinci Surgical System: Surgery on a grape". Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018 – via YouTube.
- Feldman, Brian. "They Did Surgery on a Grape". Intelligencer. NYMag. Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Hess, Peter. ""They Did Surgery on a Grape" Meme Began With Legally Suspect Medical Tool". Inverse. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Santiago, Amanda Luz Henning. "'They did surgery on a grape' is the weird meme that's your new obsession". Mashable. Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Know Your Meme. "Deep-fried memes" Archived March 27, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- The Daily Dot. (2018). "The 'E' meme shows just how weird memes can get" Archived March 26, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Mashable. (2019). "Surreal memes deserve their own internet dimension" Archived March 27, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Washington Post. (2017). "Why is millennial humor so weird?" Archived May 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Know Your Meme. "Why is millennial humor so weird?" Archived March 26, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Kiberd, Roisin (April 9, 2015). "4chan's Frog Meme Went Mainstream, So They Tried to Kill It". Vice. Archived from the original on January 31, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- Collins, Sean T. (July 28, 2015). "The Creator of Pepe the Frog Talks About Making Comics in the Post-Meme World". Vice. Archived from the original on January 31, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- "1,272 Rare Pepes". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on September 30, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- Hathaway, Jay (December 9, 2015). "Tumblr's Biggest Meme of 2015 Was Pepe the Frog". New York Magazine. Archived from the original on July 25, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- "Pepe the Frog". Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "We Asked The Art World How Much Rare Pepes Are Going For". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "About US – Rare Pepe Directory". rarepepedirectory.com. p. 122. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Nuzzi, Olivia (May 26, 2016). "How Pepe the Frog Became a Nazi Trump Supporter and Alt-Right Symbol". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on May 30, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "Pepe the Frog". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Ellis, Emma Grey (September 14, 2016). "Gab, the Alt-Right's Very Own Twitter, Is The Ultimate Filter Bubble". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on December 4, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- "Archived copy". www.thejc.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "How alt-right cartoon frog became face of Hong Kong protests". South China Morning Post. August 17, 2019. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- Jude Dry. "Vine Is Gone, But Not Forgotten: Why Twitter's Defunct Platform Was an Incubator for Digital Creatives." Archived November 12, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 19, 2019.
- Julia Glum. "Millions Are Obsessed With Vine Compilations on YouTube. Now There's a Battle Brewing Over Who Should Get Paid." Archived September 16, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Money.com. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
- Brad Esposito. "Tik Tok Is Winning Because It Finally Gives Us What We Want." Archived May 24, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 19, 2019.
- Julia Alexander. "Your Guide to Using TikTok." Archived August 19, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 19, 2019.
- "Nyannyancosplay / Hit or Miss". Know Your Meme. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- YouTube Rewind 2018, but it's actually good, retrieved May 2, 2020
- Hit or miss - Belle Delphine vs Kat, retrieved May 2, 2020
- Flor, Nick (December 11, 2000). "Memetic Marketing". InformIT. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- Council, Forbes Communications. "Meme Marketing: How Brands Are Speaking A New Consumer Language". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Carr, David (May 29, 2006). "Hollywood bypassing critics and print as digital gets hotter". New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
- "We Found The FreeCreditReport.Com Band, and They Aren't Who You Thought They Were". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on April 19, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- S Iyer, Aishwaria; Mehrotra, Raghav. "A Critical Analysis of Memes and Fair Use" (PDF). Rostrum Law Review.
- "One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor". Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "Gru's Plan". Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on April 19, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "Distracted Boyfriend". Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on April 19, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "Rage Comics". Know Your Meme. Retrieved April 20, 2019.[permanent dead link]
- "Bongo Cat". Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "17 U.S. Code § 102. Subject matter of copyright: In general". Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Rout, Shrabani. "Memes and Copyright: Fair Use or Infringement?". Mondaq. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Feist Publications, Inc., v. Rural Telephone Service Co.", Wikipedia, March 6, 2019, archived from the original on November 27, 2019, retrieved April 25, 2019
- "17 U.S. Code § 101. Definitions". Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 20, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Agarwal, Devika. "Keep Calm and Share: Internet Memes & Copyright". Spicy IP. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Offsay, Max. ""What Do You Meme?": A Fair Use Analysis". Columbia Journal of Law and Arts. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "17 U.S. Code § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use". Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Patel, Ronak. "First World Problems:' A Fair Use Analysis of Internet Memes" (PDF). UCLA Entertainment Law Review. 20 (2).
- Mishra, Meghna; Nigam, Anusuya. "The Viewpoint- Game of Thrones Memes: Potential Copyright Infringement or Fair Use?". Bar and Bench. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Nakamura, Reid. "Grumpy Cat Wins $710,001 in Copyright Lawsuit: 'Memes Have Rights Too'". The Wrap. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539 (1985). This article incorporates public domain material from this U.S government document.
- M. Lantagne, Stacey. "Famous on The Internet: The Spectrum of Internet Memes and The Legal Challenge of Evolving Methods of Communication" (PDF). University of Richmond Law Review. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 27, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc, Nos. 15-3885, 15-3886 (2d Cir. Feb. 27, 2018)". Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Woollacott, Emma. "Warner Brothers Sued For Infringing Cat Meme Copyright". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- "Copyright Act, 1957". June 4, 1957 – via indiacode.nic.in. Cite journal requires
- "Blackwood & Sons Ltd. v. A.N. Parasuraman [AIR 1959 Mad. 410]". Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Blackmore, Susan (March 16, 2000). The Meme Machine (Volume 25 of Popular Science Series ed.). Oxford University Press, 2000. p. 288. ISBN 978-0192862129. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Shifman, Limor (November 8, 2013). Memes in Digital Culture. MIT Press, 2013.
- Wiggins, Bradley E. (September 22, 2014). How the Russia-Ukraine crisis became a magnet for memes. The Conversation. Theconversation.com
- Wiggins, Bradley E.; Bowers, G. Bret (2014). "Memes as genre: A Structurational Analysis of the Memescape". New Media & Society. 17 (11): 1886–1906. doi:10.1177/1461444814535194.
- Distin, K. (2005). The selfish meme: A critical reassessment. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Internet memes.|
- Gary Marshall, The Internet and Memetics – academic article about Internet and memes.