Stolen Works ……. On the Internet, No Less!!
Weird. I was casting around for something to write about here and failing miserably. It was a toss up between inventing something random and not bothering at all. And then it struck me.
If you look at my links to the right, you will see that I have the Something Awful site linked. This site is a humour site and, I will warn you now, it’s not for everyone. But I find it funny. At the same time, they have (as does everyone else, apart from me) a forum. This forum has come up with a number of wonderful “PhotoShopped” pictures (for Photoshop Phriday) and a host of other humorous articles. There are also a number of informative debates on there. As a paid forum ($10 to join), standards are high and it is extremely easy to be banned there. I am a member of these forums. And haven’t been banned. Yet.
At the same time, elsewhere on the internet, there exists a site called EBaumsworld, started by Eric Bauman and his dad. This site posts up the majority of those wonderful videos, songs, jokes and webcomics that turn up in your inbox, with a “this is really funny, lol” message.
What is known, to those who know it, is that many of these articles are not original. Not a big deal is it? As long as the person who created it is credited. But therein lies the rub. Even if you watermark your creation, the site will go to great pains to remove your watermark and substitute it with their own. Occasionally, this will be obvious because they have failed to remove your watermark and have attempted to overwrite it with theirs.
On the site, there is a link for the creator to click to request that the work be taken down. Don’t bother clicking it, the site has a long tradition of ignoring the request. What compounds this further is that Eric Bauman and father have become extremely rich from doing this and so, even if you threaten legal action, they will quite happily ignore you knowing full well that they are more likely to financially survive a lawsuit than you are.
Probably the only way a lawsuit would work is if either a very rich creator were to raise a suit or if all the people who had their work stolen were to get together and raise a class action suit. Neither of which is likely to happen.
My gripe with this is not that the site is removing the millions from the individual creators, but that he’s taking their credit. Imagine being sent your own creation in an email with someone saying “this site rocks. Look what they made!!” Wouldn’t that make your blood boil?
Probably the best way to get back at him is to create a Flash movie which ridicules the man. By the sheerest coincidence, if you go to www.ebaumsworldsucks.com you will see such a movie. Created by “Forum Goons” AltF4 and Trapezoid, it’s a mix of music and Flash. If that link is down, here are some more:
Incidentally, my not linking to the offending site is deliberate – why should I give them more clicks? So, spread the word and maybe, just maybe we can stop this happening.