Famous joke, humor and video site eBaumsWorld announced its sale yesterday to HandHeld. The acquisitions, worth fifteen million in cash and 2.5 million in stock if targets are met, is set to go through later this year.
Many will remember that, over a year ago, eBaumsWorl, and its founder Eric Bauman became embroiled in a copyright battle as many content creators accused the site of taking their works, re-watermarking them and reuploading them for profit.
These hostilities not only spawned attacks on the site itself, including vandalism of Bauman’s headquarters, but also anti-Bauman sites such as eBaumsWorld Sucks.
The terms of the deal, which are very complicated and somewhat unusual, could net Bauman over $50 million over the next few years depending on performance.
Though this is definitely a very nice payday for Bauman, many are quick to point out that eBaumsWorld has been in a slide over the past few years. Other sites in related fields have generated a much larger payday for their creators including YouTube, which sold for over a hundred times the amount offered to Bauman.
What copyright holders should expect is a changing of the guard at eBaumsWorld and, hopefully a more cooperative face when it comes to content theft matters.
Though it remains to be seen if and how HandHeld will change eBaumsWorld’s copyright policy, with significantly more money at stake, staying the course does not seem likely.
Though many will lament the fact Bauman received such a large paycheck for his alleged infringements, it may work out to the benefit of content creators in the long run if eBaumsWorld is placed into responsible hands.