Lebron James in High School Musical 3, SNL

September 30, 2007

Video of the week: Renetto, “Tube It,” the YouTube song

September 28, 2007

Catchy song from Renetto (who used to sing in a band in his former life).

Honey, I shrunk YouTube

September 27, 2007

News: Last night, YouTube performed some maintenance. The result today is that the thumbnails on YouTube are even smaller (or flatter) than before, with a new border thatc compresses the actual image. Take a look below for a comparison.

New thumbnails


Old thumbnails


Analysis: The new thumbnails look too small to me.

Congratulations, Terra Naomi

September 27, 2007

News:  Sorry, I’m a little late in reporting that Terra Naomi has officially released her debut album “Under the Influence” with Island Records in the UK.   If you have iTunes, you can flip your switch at the bottom to “United Kingdom” to buy the album because (for archaic reasons employed by music labels) it’s not yet available in the United States version of iTunes.

Analysis:  Awesome achievement.  From YouTube to a music label within a year.  Without a doubt, Terra Naomi is the most important musician to come from YouTube.  Her song “Not Sorry” is doing well on iTunes (and apparently on the radio in the UK).

Chef Gordon Ramsay on YouTube

September 26, 2007

News:  Acerbic British chef Gordon Ramsay (of Hell’s Kitchen) has a new show tonight (FOX, Wed. 9 p.m.) for the U.S. market called “Kitchen Nightmares.”  It’s based on a show he’s already marketed in the UK.  The basic premise is that Chef Ramsay goes into struggling restaurants and tries to whip (no pun intended) them into shape.

Analysis:  I saw the BBC version and loved it.  Ramsay could start his own consulting business for restaurants.

Esmee Denters launches “Around the World” video on YouTube

September 25, 2007

News: Esmee Denters is one of the biggest musical discoveries on YouTube. This spring, she signed with Justin Timberlake and got to perform with him in Europe. Here’s Episode 1 of her mini-documentary, “Around the World with Esmee.” For more posts on Esmee, visit here.

Analysis: The best part is the ending, where we get to know Esmee a little more.

uTunes music Monday: Bobby Thompson, “Ireland”

September 24, 2007

News: I will be making a more concerted effort (no pun intended) to feature talented amateur musicians. I’ve been doing this already (in my posts called uTunes), but I will try to make it a regular Monday feature (maybe every other week, if not weekly). To be honest, it’s been hard to find a steady crop of talented singers on YouTube after Terra Naomi and Esmee. I will keep trying, though.

Today’s featured artist is Bobby Thompson. He just joined YouTube and just posted his original song, “Ireland.”

Analysis: So far, male amateur artists have not hit it as big from YouTube as the women. I like the tone of this guy’s voice. Very clear, and a catchy, lyrical tune.

Turkey and Thailand look to censor YouTube

September 23, 2007

News:  Turkey just ordered YouTube blocked in its country in response to a video insulting Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  (More)   Not to be outdone, after banning YouTube for 5 months, Thailand wants YouTube to remove two videos that narrated “accuse General Prem Tinsulanonda, 87-year-old adviser to the widely respected King Bhumibol Adulyadej, of masterminding the coup in September 2006.” (More)

YouTube’s “Little Loca,” aka Stevie Ryan, premieres tonight on CW network

September 23, 2007

News: Little Loca, aka Stevie Ryan (who in real life is white, even though she plays a Latina on YouTube), gets her own TV show tonight on the CW network, 7:30 p.m. It’s called “Online Nation” and it will be all about amateur user-generated videos. The LA Times has a feature on Stevie in its Sunday edition. Below is a promo:

Analysis: This is ironic. Just as ABC, NBC, and CBS announced this week free videos of their shows online, online amateur videos will be migrating to TV, albeit on the unknown CW network. One day soon, the Internet + TV will be the same thing–or at least delivered on the same device.

Mazda mashup: fastest 3 minutes, zoom3

September 22, 2007

I remixed my Mazda video, shortening it to 3 minutes. It’s faster.  (For the background to this video, visit here.)

Pres. Bush mistakenly declares “Mandela is dead”

September 21, 2007

Nelson Mandela reports that he is, in fact, alive.

Video of the week: Miss Horrorfest contest on YouTube

September 21, 2007

You can win $50,000 for creating a 90 second video. Here’s the write up from YT:

1) Film yourself explaning why you would be the next best Miss Horrorfest. Your submission can be only :90 seconds in length and should include the words “MISS HORRORFEST” and “HORRORFEST, NOVEMBER 9-18, 2007” somewhere in the video.

2) Create a Youtube profile and upload your video.

3) Join this group: http://www.youtube.com/group/misshorrorfest2007 and submit your video for approval.

For Official Rules please visit: http://liquidgaming.net/horrorfest_2007/rules.html

When Mazda meets bloggers, what next?

September 20, 2007

Magical. That’s the best word I could come up with to describe last weekend, which I spent with people from Mazda along with a handful of talented bloggers (Beatrice, Chris, John, Matt, Robert, Sarah, and Tony) in Monterey, California. The Mazda meet-up was hosted at the five-star Bernardus lodge, nestled in the scenic Carmel Valley.

I’ve been to Monterey plenty of times, having lived in the Bay Area for several wonderful years. But this visit to Monterey was like none other that I had before. Every minute was so unbelievably, pinch-me-is-this-real amazing. I knew things would be different when Mazda had a chauffeur waiting to pick up my sister and me from the airport. We were then whisked away in a new CX-7. After five hours of flying coach, the new leather seats felt — and, yes, smelled — so good.

From the moment we stepped foot on the grounds of the enchanting Bernardus Lodge, we were treated like VIP like you wouldn’t believe. (But who were we? We were just bloggers. I keep on asking that question.) A cheerful, fetching young concierge greeted us with glasses of wine. Then Melanie Froysaa, the Mazda rep behind the entire event–and one of the most warm and gracious people you’ll ever meet, greeted us, making sure to get us on time for our massages and spa treatment, all onsite. Let me just say, I now know the best way to cure the terrible feeling you get after sitting over five hours on a plane is to get an immediate massage. I felt like a new person. Rejuvenated.

I told my sister at that point, if the weekend ended then, it would have been a success. But the weekend didn’t end. It only got better and better. Unbelievably so. There were wine-tasting and bocce ball on the lawn, followed by an absolute feast prepared family-style for our group to partake on a long banquet table, sitting on the front lawn where the lodge hosts weddings, with the mountains overlooking in the background. The chef whipped up so many splendid dishes–caesar salad, mixed salad, grilled veggies, mozarella and tomatoes, prosciutto, lamb, chicken and couscous, halibut and snapper (both freshly caught)–I’m not sure I remember them all. But they all were so good. Heavenly.

Instead of babbling on about how great the weekend was, I’ve put together a short video above of some of the other highlights. If you like fast cars, you’re going to want to watch the end of this video. Trust me, that’s not me driving. Zoom. Zoom. Zoom.

Resident Evil trailer on YouTube: 1 day, 1 million views

September 20, 2007

I’m not sure how this trailer has generated so many views in 1 day.  But going over the 1 million mark without being featured on YouTube is pretty impressive.

NBC plans on offering shows free online for 1 week

September 20, 2007

News: NBC made a major announcement today: starting in November, it will offer NBC shows for free downloading online for a 1 week period after airing on TV. The free videos will have commercials. Viewers can pay extra for a commercial-free version. “With the creation of this new service, we are acknowledging that now, more than ever, viewers want to be in control of how, when and where they consumer their favorite entertainment,” said Vivi Zigler, executive vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment. (More)

Analysis: Tech Crunch blog wonders whether NBC’s decision will hurt its joint effort to launch the Hulu site with News Corp, the so-called “YouTube killer.” Regardless, NBC’s decision is of huge significance. I expect CBS and ABC to follow suit. This may be the beginning of TV’s migration to the Internet.

YouTuber Chris Crocker lands TV show deal

September 20, 2007

News:  Openly gay YouTuber Chris Crocker signed a TV deal with 44 Blue Productions.  The show will follow his life as a gay male in a small town.  Crocker recently made a name for himself by defending–in a passionate, teary-eyed rant–Britney Spears from her detractors for her MTV flop.  Crocker’s video got over 8 million views.  More.

iJustine gets Apple tattoo

September 20, 2007

I once wrote a law school exam problem involving tattoos and possible copyright infringement.  This scenario would also raise a trademark issue.

Florida student tasered for disturbance at Kerry speech–video on YouTube

September 18, 2007

News: This video provided by The Gainesville Sun. A longer version is below. The University of Florida student appeared to be disruptive and at the very least, rude. It’s hard to imagine why he got so worked up about John Kerry, of all people. Apparently, Andrew Meyer has his own websites and makes prank videos, so maybe he wanted all the publicity. More from Washington Post.

Here are two more videos:

YouTube duo Mike O’Connell and Ken Jeong get MTV film deal

September 17, 2007

News:  According to the BBC, MTV just signed faux rap stars Mike O’Connell and Ken Jeong to a film deal, which “will centre around the rise of a delusional rapper and his Asian foreign exchange student friend as they take on the world.”  The pair go by the name Million Dollar Strong.  

Analysis:  Wow.  To make a feature length movie from a YouTube music video, that’s pretty amazing.  Lonelygirl15 didn’t even do that.

Happy anniversary to The Utube Blog

September 14, 2007

To my dear readers,

One year ago, I began this blog. A number of people have asked me then and now why blog about YouTube, as if I were nuts. One common response I give to people is that so I can watch YouTube videos at work (just in case if the Dean pops into my office). But the real reason is for my own scholarship: I write about copyright cases, especially ones involving the Internet (see here for a sample).

Something unexpected, though, happened along the way. The copyright lawsuits I thought would be filed against YouTube weren’t filed — at least not until March 2007 and later. Meanwhile, I discovered something else on YouTube — a whole slew of amazing videos created by amateur singers, actors, comedians, artists, commentators, teenagers, eighty-year-olds, you name it.

Today, I am absolutely convinced that YouTube is the most important website to come along in the 21st century. I don’t think the question is even close. Because of YouTube, it no longer takes imagination to see how the Internet will become a predominant, if not the predominant, media vehicle for entertainment. Goodbye, regular tube–hello, YouTube. It will be very interesting to see, though, how all the copyright lawsuits against YouTube shake out this year.

Before I go, I wanted to thank everyone who’s visited my site. There have been a few truly special days when The Utube Blog has cracked the Top 10 — and even Top 5 — Most Visited blogs of the over 1 million blogs on WordPress. I am especially thankful for all the comments and emails I received; I learned a lot from them. And, of course, I have to thank the YouTube community for sharing their incredible and often inspiring works. In the coming year, I hope to announce even bigger and better news. For now, I will leave you with following message (borrowed from someone else’s video below).


Prince takes on YouTube for copyright infringement

September 13, 2007

News:  Prince has hired the service Web Sheriff to patrol YouTube for unauthorized videos of his music and concerts.  So far, reportedly the Web Sheriff has asked YouTube to remove 1,000 unauthorized clips.  John Giacobbi, managing director of Web Sheriff, says, “At the end of the day, if you take copyrighted music and film off YouTube, most of its business would be gone.”  (More)

Analysis:  I hate to say it (because I used to be a big fan of Prince) but Prince is washed up.  The worst concert I went to last year was Prince in a hotel bar in Las Vegas.  The performer was two hours late (apparently, that’s his MO) and then performed songs that were unrecognizable to most.  You had to pay extra for seats, so most people had to stand or sit on the floor for two hours or more.  I would have had no problem if the show times were accurately reflected on the tickets, but the promoters of the show obviously must have known that it would lose a lot of customers if the tickets said “Prince, 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.”   

Comscore stats on videos and YouTube

September 13, 2007

News:  According to the NYT, Comscore has some interesting stats on video viewing online.

1.  75% of Internet in the US now watch an average of 3 hours of video online per month

2.  The average viewing of a video is 2.7 minutes

3.  2.5 billion videos were viewed on Google sites in July, of which 2.4 billion came from YouTube

National Lampoon does Britney Spears at MTV Video Music Awards

September 13, 2007

For more videos from National Lampoon, go here.

Barack Obama campaign buys YouTube ad

September 13, 2007

News: I just noticed an ad from Barack Obama’s campaign on YouTube. It’s the first I’ve seen from a presidential candidate.


Henry Blodget on YouTube’s business

September 13, 2007

News:  Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider has some insightful analysis of William Morrison’s analysis of Comscore’s recent data on Google and YouTube.  (Sorry for the double hearsay.)   Here’s the good and the bad for YouTube:

The good:  YouTube accounts for 28% of the total minutes spent on Google sites.

The bad:  YouTube’s profit margins are still very low compared to other Google services.

According to Blodget, “The bigger YouTube gets as a percentage of users and minutes, the more Google’s profit per user/minute is likely to drop.”

Analysis: All of these numbers can shift if YouTube’s InVideo ads actually attract advertisers.  Google is banking on this new system to generate revenues for YouTube.  Of course, the copyright lawsuits against YouTube could throw a major monkey wrench into these plans, particularly if YouTube suffers a major defeat in one of the bigger cases.

YouTube about to launch news videos with ads

September 13, 2007

News:  Google VP David Eun was in Korea for the  Dicon 2007 conference.  He announced that YouTube is negotiating with content providers to feature news videos on YouTube, which will be synched with relevant InVideo ads as a part of revenue-sharing deals.  (More)

Analysis: This makes sense on both sides.  News organizations are hurting for revenue, given the Internet’s popularity and ability to make news free.  YouTube needs “safe” videos (not copyright infringing) that will appeal to advertisers whom YouTube wants to attract to its site.  It will be interesting to see, though, if people watch news on YouTube, especially if it comes from mainstream media.

Viacom admits mistaken DMCA notice after EFF gets involved

September 13, 2007

News: I reported here a couple weeks ago about the questionable DMCA notice that Viacom (MTV) sent YouTube to take down the short video below posted by Chris Knight. MTV had taken footage from Knight’s YouTube video and played it on the MTV show, “Web 2.0 junk.” Knight found out about his video making it on MTV, so he posted the short clip of his video as shown on MTV. The only problem — MTV complained to YouTube that it was copyright infringement — even though Knight’s own video really was what the content was all about.

Well, now finally sanity has been restored. Viacom has backed down and admitted (at least internally) its own mistake. Chris Knight reports on his blog that YouTube has restored his video, after intervention from EFF’s Fred Von Lohmann. Knight is also quick to write that he has no hard feelings with Viacom and asks that his readers not have any, either.

Analysis: My guess is that maybe MTV didn’t even know Chris Knight was the one posting on YouTube the clip from MTV showing Knight’s own video. It’s good that MTV/Viacom came to their senses and realized that they would be on the losing end if this ever went to court, especially after EFF got involved.

Esmee Denters makes No.17 on Blender’s Hot 100 list

September 13, 2007

News:  Esmee Denters is No.17 on Blender’s list of “Hot” 100 artists of 2007.  You have to go to the magazine because I can’t find the photo of Esmee online.

Analysis:   I’m a little surprised Esmee is ranked that high because she still is somewhat unknown in the U.S.  She beat out a lot of more well-known artists, so props to Esmee!

Esmee Denters returns to YouTube

September 12, 2007

9/11 tribute

September 11, 2007

2,749 individuals at the World Trade Center

184 individuals at the Pentagon

40 individuals in Pennsylvania on United Flight 93