“YouTube Slashes Two Billion ‘Fake Views’ Of Music Video Channels”

After an audit of views, Google slashed billions of views from music channels, including Universal Music (a defendant in the notorious “dancing baby” DMCA takedown case). The article says:

Record companies representing stars like Rihanna, Justin Biber and Alicia Keys may not be as popular as they hoped – as YouTube wiped two billion “fake views” from their channels on the site video sharing site.

I wonder whether the companies are involved somehow in the inflated views. For example:

Google slashed the cumulative view counts on YouTube channels belonging to Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, and RCA Records by more than 2 billion views Tuesday, a drastic winter cleanup that may be aimed at shutting down black hat view count-building techniques employed by a community of rogue view count manipulators on the video-sharing site.

I honestly don’t know whether the companies are involved. But suppose, hypothetically, the companies were involved. Notably, the feds tried to criminally prosecute a woman for making a fake MySpace profile a few years back. Maybe they’d do the same to record companies? . . . . Not!

H/T Pete Fein @wearpants on Twitter.  Cross-posted to my Infoglut Tumblr.

Advice for new law students, part V: avoid Monty Python “Yes it is!, No it isn’t!” argumentation

When engaging in legal analysis, avoid being conclusory.  As I tell my 1Ls, always follow the advice of Dorothy from the song Follow the Yellow-Brick Road (emphasis added):

If ever, oh ever, a Wiz there was the Wizard of Oz is one because
Because, because, because, because, because
of the wonderful things he does.

Always give the “because.”  If you state a conclusion (that the Wizard of Oz is a “Wiz”), make sure you give the reasons — i.e., state the issue, rule of law, analysis, and counter-analysis — that support the conclusion.  Thus, always make sure you’ve given the “because, because, because.”  Why is he a wizard?  Because of the wonderful things he does.

Of course, Dorothy’s analysis is still lacking.  She says the Wizard of Oz is a Wiz because of the wonderful things he does.  What are those things?  Explain.  Why are those things wonderful?  Because . . . .  And so on. So Dorothy shows what should be done: always give the “becauses.”

An illustration of what not to do can be found in Monty Python’s classic sketch Argument Clinic.  When I was in law school, one of my professors would mock students who engaged in what he called “Monty Python” arguing.  In the sketch, Michael Palin buys a five-minute argument.  John Cleese, in turn, simply contradicts everything Palin says.  Exasperted, Palin argues with Cleese over what is a proper argument:

Palin:  An argument is a connected series of statements to establish a definite proposition.

Cleese:   No it isn’t.

Palin:  Yes it is! It’s isn’t just contradiction.

Cleese:   Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.

Palin:  But it isn’t just saying “No it isn’t.”

Cleese:   Yes it is!

Palin:   No it isn’t!

Cleese:   Yes it is!

Palin:  Argument’s an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.

Cleese:  No it isn’t.

Advice part I (life and stress) here.
Advice part II (studying and attitudes) here.
Advice part III (back up your data) here.
Advice part IV (essay exams) here.
Advice part V (conclusory argumentation) here.
Advice part VI (incomplete argumentation) here.

Wii cool invention and video!

Today’s Times has an article on Johnny Chung Lee, who came up with a way to use a Nintendo Wii remote with a video display to give a more interactive experience.  When you move around the room, the view on the screen changes.  This is unbelievably cool and I hope it’s used in video games and other technologies soon.  Also interesting is how Lee used YouTube to publicize his ideas.  As the Times notes:

He might have published a paper that only a few dozen specialists would have read. A talk at a conference would have brought a slightly larger audience. In either case, it would have taken months for his ideas to reach others.

Small wonder, then, that he maintains that posting to YouTube has been an essential part of his success as an inventor. “Sharing an idea the right way is just as important as doing the work itself,” he says. “If you create something but nobody knows, it’s as if it never happened.”

The video, viewed over 6 million times, is a must-see:

Physics and rap music

Geek alert: the Large Hadron Collider (“LHC”), making its debut this year, is the world’s largest particle accelerator.  Built by CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research), the LHC is a 27 km particle accelerator near Geneva, running through both France and Switzerland.  As noted in the NYT, the LHC “will smash together subatomic particles at a rate just short of the speed of light in search of new forms of matter and new laws of physics.”

Some have objected to the LHC as creating an unnecessary risk of, um, destroying the world, such as by creating a micro black hole that swallows the planet.  Several LHC opponents have filed a federal lawsuit seeking delay of its operation, and the government is seeking dismissal.  Ultimately, it’s somewhat moot, as the LHC makes it official debut on “Red Button Day,” Sept. 10, about a week after the court hears the motion to dismiss.

Although I love physics, my physics knowledge is more of the “wouldn’t warp travel be really cool” variety.  So I don’t know how risky the LHC really is.  However, I can say with more confidence that this rap video explaining the operation of the LHC, apparently done by folks connected to CERN, is pretty entertaining (if you’re a physics geek, that is):

Bonus assignment: check out PBS’ program The Elegant Universe, a three-hour miniseries on the development of physics string theory.

H/T on rap vid: SlashDot