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eBaum's World

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eBaum's World is a popular entertainment website, established in 2001. The site is owned by Eric Bauman and his father, Neil Bauman. It features many videos, Flash animations, and other media, old and new, culled from all over the Internet. Because of the nature of the site, eBaum's has sparked controversy in recent years over the legality of how the content is acquired. Despite the site's infamy, eBaum's receives over 1 million hits a day, and was once ranked in the top 500 sites in terms of traffic according to Alexa.com.


ControversyEdit

Historically, eBaum's World has been the subject of significant controversy in many Internet communities due to numerous incidents of content being taken from other sites; such as YTMND, Something Awful, Albino Blacksheep, 4chan, Olde English and Newgrounds and thatvideosite.com without attribution. For example, Olde English always finishes their videos with a screen that states that "This video is protected under a Creative Commons License"; in more than one video copied from Olde English to eBaum's World, the final screen is cut out of the video, whereas YouTube and other video sites have it in to credit the creators. Companies such as Viacom [1] [2], 20th Century Fox [3], and Sega have all claimed that eBaum's World has 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 [4], but this is contested by some content creators. In particular, web artist and animator Jonti Picking, was only able to have his animations removed at the beginning of 2006. [5] Bauman has claimed that he formerly worked with Picking, though Picking has stated that this is false. [6] [7]

A web site, eBaumsWorldSucks.com, has been set up by Newgrounds/Something Awful supporters Neil Cicierega (Lemon Demon), Shawn Vulliez (AltF4), and Abi Rendon (LegalCondom, a former eBaum's World employee) to document the ongoing eBaum's World controversy. The site hosts a page containing statements from content creators claiming that some of their works appear on eBaum's World without permission.

Timeline of controversiesEdit

  • 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. [8]
  • In early 2005, Hasbro sent a cease-and-desist letter claiming that the GI Joe parody videos, originally made by independent producer FenslerFilm, violated their registered trademarks and copyrights. The videos were not removed, since FenslerFilm did not face any legal action.
  • 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 late 2005, Sega threatened to sue eBaum's World after a copy of the game Super Monkey Ball was posted on the site. Not only was the Flash-based game posted on the site, it was "hot-linked," meaning that the game was merely displayed on the webpage while being hosted on Sega's official website; most of eBaum's detractors take this as direct proof that eBaum's World employees knowingly host stolen material, and screenshots of the page loading text and page source code are easy to find using a search engine. The page was removed, and eventually it was replaced with an image of Erik Estrada pointing to the viewer, with the text "YOU'RE A HOMO" in large bold letters on the bottom of the image.
  • On January 6 2006, eBaum's World hosted and watermarked a Lindsay Lohan montage created by Derek Lutz (a.k.a. YTMND user SpliceVW), while crediting neither he nor YTMND. Users from YTMND responded by disrupting the eBaum's World forums with spam posts and Denial-of-service attacks. On January 10, eBaum's World alleged the attacks were a form of "cyber-terrorism", and on January 11, Neil Bauman stated publicly that arrests were being made in relation to the attacks (though none have been made public as of yet.) Max Goldberg, the owner of YTMND, and Neil Bauman eventually came to an agreement, with Bauman agreeing to remove the montage from his website, and in return, for Goldberg removing any reference to "eBaum" from his website. Despite the resolution, both sites experienced DDoS attacks on the morning of January 12, 2006.
  • On February 23 2006, Michael Parker, an eBaum's World representative, appeared on G4's Attack of the Show to try to clear up the recent controversy with YTMND. Kevin Pereira, co-host of the show, asked Parker explicit questions about the alleged infringing. [9] Parker claimed:
"There aren't any written rules or regulations. We're trying to do our due diligence and do the things that we feel are right by not taking other people's material without crediting them or contacting them first. We try to...we contact all these people. Like if we something we like, like a game, we don't just put it on our site [sic]. We contact these people. And if you notice with all our new Flash games, we have our own intro in them, and it's done by the creators and we pay them for that."
  • On May 26 2006, several images from the Something Awful forums were displayed on the eBaum's World website. [10] 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 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." [11]
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 about a temporary tattoo of a dinosaur that looked dumb ("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 the animation:
"Mr. Mokris,
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
(http://upload.ebaumsworld.com) 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 in exchange for more money. eBaum's World also has quotes from authors who had good experiences with him, which can be found Here.
  • In December of 2006 and January of 2007, individuals who identified themselves as being from eBaum's World (among other websites) "raided" Hal Turner in a DDoS attack, taking his site offline and racking up thousands of dollars of bandwidth bills, according to Turner himself.[1]
  • Soon after the site's Emuse feature was put up, a user uploaded a file of someone commiting suicide; which Ebaum's World has yet to take down, even linking to it on the main page in several instances.

eBaum's World on televisionEdit

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. [12]

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. [13]

The show's pilot was expected to air in August 2006, but USA passed on the pilot.[14]

Other endeavorsEdit

As of July 2004, eBaum's World sponsors professional boxer Hasim Rahman. [15]


External linksEdit


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