Internet memes are a source of fun for many people around the world. All-day long, people scroll past funny memes, liking and sharing them on-the-go because they are just so relatable and funny. What actually is a meme? A meme or an internet meme is an idea that is communicated by altering a previously-created content in a sarcastic or humorous way.
The idea of internet memes was first put forth in the June 1993 issue of Wired, an American magazine published monthly. The term was popularized by Mike Godwin. Since then, many individuals have set up meme websites which later on turned into teams. Some of the most popular meme websites include You are The Man Now, Dog (YTMND), The Chive, Know Your Meme and Ebaumsworld.
The Beginnings of eBaum’s World
eBaum’s World was launched in 2001 by a father-son duo, Eric Bauman and Neil. The website began as an entertainment hub and published primarily audio clips, viral videos, images, memes and other forms of puns with sarcastic nature.
The website also had a feature called ‘soundboards,’ where one could listen to quotes by famous personalities by clicking on the buttons provided. A user could also get the celebrities to say ‘unusual’ things by manipulating the buttons in a specific order. Ebaum’s World website consisted of chat rooms and owned an eBaum merchandise store. The website was also open to users’ feedback and collected it in its ‘Moron Mail’ section.
Fame and Notoriety
While on one hand, eBaum’s World had become extremely famous among its fans across the world for its viral content, on the other, it was being equally despised by the memers’ community. The reason was simple; eBaum’s World was stealing other websites’ and individuals’ content and posting it as their own. Not just that, instead of acknowledging anywhere in the post that their content was taken from another source, they were literally watermarking the content with their seal and coming off as the original creators. This behavior landed them into various copyright infringement feuds with leading entertainment websites and developers such as Viacom, YTMND, Something Awful, Albino Blacksheep and Alan Becker.
By 2007, eBaum’s World had become quite notorious for its acts and had made numerous apologies to other content creators for their misdoings.
The Series of Events (2001-2009)
In 2007, Bauman sold eBaum’s World to HandHeld Entertainment for a total amount of $15 million dollars. HandHeld Entertainment, also known as ZVUE Corporation paid the $2.5 million amount in form of HandHeld’s stock and the promised to pay the remaining $12.5 million over a period of 3 years in cash and stocks form. Until 2008, Bauman remained employed with the Handheld Entertainment. However, things took an interesting turn when in 2009, Bauman and his employees got fired from the ZVUE Corporation. Bauman took this as betrayal and made a blog post discussing this removal while mentioning to make a comeback with ‘eBaum tv’.
Despite his efforts, Bauman was not able to gather much support from his ex-employees, co-workers, and fans across the world because of his website’s notorious conduct in the past. As of today, there are no traceable signs of Bauman or his proposed project – ‘eBaum tv’. However, there is only a twitter account by the name ‘ebaumtvblog’ with a post announcing a new website called ‘eBaum’s Nation’. The account has not been properly updated and has only 19 followers. The new website, which has been mentioned in the tweets, is also to be found nowhere on the internet.
Post-2009: Under the ZVUE Administration
After removing Bauman, eBaum’s World, now run by the ZVUE Corporation, partnered with ABC-Disney’s in 2012 and has been hosting a weekly segment called ‘Right This Minute’ since then. It also partnered with ‘Web Soup’, a G-4 television show in 2011, for hosting a segment called ‘This Week in Fail’. Both these shows gained popularity and the segments hosted by eBaum’s world became a hit among fans.
Later on, ZVUE Corporation moved to San Francisco and let go of eBaum’s World.
eBaum’s World’s Current Standing
Currently, eBaum’s world is owned by Literally Media, a powerhouse organization that owns and operates more than one entertainment websites such as Know Your Memes. Literally Media acquired eBaum’s World in 2016 and operates via user-submitted content. eBaum’s World now hosts the same user-generated content as it used to before and pays its developers via the ‘eBones’ system.
Although eBaum’s World’s copyright infringement complaints have come to a halt, its old reputation still overshadows its content. There are various YouTube channels that either tell or mock Eric Bauman’s story and the internet is flooded with venom spewing articles about eBaum’s World’s misconduct. The website is still referred to as ‘the notorious one’.
As of today, eBaum’s World has a website that goes down occasionally for site maintenance and various social media profiles including Facebook and Instagram. It still hosts the segment ‘Right This Minute’ and still has a fan following of its own, no matter what the competitors say. However, there are no signs, mentions or official accounts of Eric Bauman except for a few articles and YouTube videos.
eBaum’s World’s evolution over the years conveys an important message to all creative peeps out there. It is good to get inspired by an idea and create your own thing but it is never okay to copy someone else’s content without their permission and giving credits. Doing so brings more harm in the long run than the short-lived success.
While eBaum’s World did gain followers and success in the shorter period, in the longer run, all blame of copyright offenses fell on Bauman’s shoulder and he has lost his credibility among his fans and the internet memers’ community too. Had Bauman used his own talents instead of copying others, he could have been given better chances at creating memes by top-notch entertainment industry professionals.
After all, who doesn’t want to associate themselves with the trending sensation among youngsters? Everybody does and so does the entertainment industry for the sake of endorsing their brands and conveying their ideas. The best course of action, then, is to pursue one’s ambitions without risking one’s credibility and trustworthiness.