Copyright Scandal On YouTube Gaming

A minor scandal popped up this morning and has been making the rounds of YouTube’s gaming section. YouTube user Mumbo Jumbo, famous for his Minecraft videos, suddenly had hundreds of his videos claimed by Warner Chappell – in other words, Warner Chappell claimed that the videos used music they owned, and by claiming the videos, they earned a percentage of the profit the videos generated.

Mumbo Jumbo announced his issue on Twitter this morning:
https://twitter.com/ThatMumboJumbo/status/1130009515766755328 .

Screenshot of Mumbo Jumbo's original tweet asking for help from YouTube.

Twitter user Fwiz, the head of YouTube Gaming, replied that he was looking into it:
https://twitter.com/Fwiz/status/1130128085347516417 .

Screenshot of Fwiz's tweet acknowledging they were looking into Mumbo Jumbo's copyright claim issues.

A lot of news media outlets are picking this story up such as HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19953532 and I expect we’ll see a lot more news when business opens on Monday.

YouTube Marks Notre Dame Fire As Conspiracy

An interesting story out of Bloomberg: Youtube accidentally marked a livestream on yesterday’s Notre Dame fire as a 9/11 conspiracy.

Bloomberg Twitter post with screenshot of Notre Dame fire.

The article is here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-15/youtube-flags-notre-dame-fire-as-9-11-conspiracy-in-wrong-call – it comments that YouTube’s automated anti-hoax systems mislabeled the video.

It’s an interesting and difficult problem to algorithmically categorize videos – in this case, it’s easy to see how the Google AI fouled up: both 9/11 and Notre Dame fires were in tall buildings, with a cityscape surrounding them – from an AI perspective both look very similar. YouTube is such an important source for fresh news, I almost think that they should have people on 24/7 monitoring popular livestreams.

Bloomberg Global News On YouTube

I love YouTube live streaming for all the interesting information it has. Recently I’ve been watching the Bloomberg Global News channel, located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp8PhLsUcFE . They keep up a constant stream of business news and information about the economy.

It’s definitely a channel to bookmark if you’re interested in business, or just want some background talk while coding.

Bloomberg News screenshot on YouTube.
Bloomberg News screenshot on YouTube.

YouTube Shortcuts

Youtube has so many shortcuts, it’s easy to forget about them. So there’s an easy way to quickly look up all of the available keyboard shortcuts. First, go to a YouTube page (I love Disney’s YouTube channel):

https://www.youtube.com/disney
Disney's YouTube page

From there, hold down the [Shift] and [?] keys. The following screens should pop up:

Youtube shortcuts, screen 1
Youtube shortcuts, screen 2

Make sure you read through these keyboard commands, they make it easy to quickly review a YouTube video for information – especially instructional videos!

YouTube – Search Found Nothing

As I’ve said before, I love collecting samples of error pages, especially when companies take the extra time to personalize or make the error funny.

Perhaps this isn’t an error per se, but I love the image YouTube pops up when its search function can’t find anything relevant to the query:

no results found on youtube search. image shows a twisted telescope.

Newsworthy And Non-Newsworthy Searches

I stumbled upon this interesting article from The Verge, where YouTube modified its search results by tagging Brie Larson as part of the news: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/8/18255265/brie-larson-youtube-captain-marvel-mcu-algorithm-review-bomb-trolls .

In short, YouTube searches for Brie Larson were initially returning videos about boycotting the movie Captain Marvel. By tagging Larson as a news item, the search results immediately changed to reflect videos from authoritative news services: ABC, CBS, Entertainment Tonight, and so forth. This is a useful function for most people searching, as most users will be looking for late night interviews, news media reports, and so forth.

A search for Brie Larson on YouTube returns videos from news services – note the Top news notice on the top of the image.

As this article demonstrates, search context can be very important. To fully learn about a topic, it’s vitally important to search Google, review the results, then make more searches that are informed by your previous searches. Let’s say you’re a journalist, and want to write about Brie Larson. You’d start out with a general Google and YouTube search about Larson. Then by reviewing the search results (at least the first 2-3 pages of results) you’d learn that there was controversy over Larson playing Captain Marvel. Then you could search for Brie Larson Captain Marvel. Then Brie Larson controversy.

Possibly you might dig a bit deeper and search for Brie Larson boycott. After you’ve exhausted that route, follow other discussion threads: for example, searching for Brie Larson fans, or Captain Marvel box office numbers.

A search for Brie Larson boycott reveals further information for an aspiring journalist. Why is there a boycott? Further Google searching would help.

There are numerous ways that a good journalist could dig up even more information about this issue – for example, why not use Google’s date searching feature to exclude recent news reports and only search earlier postings?

Googling current-news topics can be difficult, as you’ll see many current news items pop up on your results. With intelligent Googling, you can extract useful knowledge about almost anything.

Extracting The Latest Video From YouTube’s Data API

Here’s a simple function demonstrating how to access the YouTube Data API. This code extracts the title and URL of the latest video uploaded by a given user, then records the information to logs.

The title and URL of the video are contained in the variables video_title and video_url . This code snippet pulls the latest video uploaded by the user TEDtalksDirector – this can be changed by editing the url variable.

/**
 * In this method, we'll pull the latest video uploaded 
 * from a specific user.
 * 
 * @throws IOException May be thrown by the low-level URLFetch service.
 */
public void getYouTubeVideo() {
    try {
        //This is the API url for videos uploaded by the user TEDtalksDirector
        URL url = new URL("http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/users/TEDtalksDirector/uploads?prettyprint=true&v=2&alt=jsonc");
        //Have the URLFetch library grab the contents of the URL.
        HTTPResponse response = URLFetchServiceFactory.getURLFetchService().fetch(url);
        String response_contents = new String(response.getContent());
        //If the response was successful, process the returned JSON.
        //This line goes through the JSON tree to find and retrieve 
        //the JSON object representing the last uploaded video.
        JSONArray video_list = (new JSONObject(response_contents)).getJSONObject("data").getJSONArray("items");
        JSONObject latest_video = video_list.getJSONObject(0);
        //Pull out the video title and url.
        String video_title = latest_video.getString("title");
        String video_url = latest_video.getJSONObject("player").getString("default");
        System.out.println("Latest YouTube Video Title: " + video_title + " URL: " + video_url);
    }//end try 
    catch (IOException e) {
        System.err.println("IOException while retrieving YouTube data: " + e.getMessage());
    }
    catch (JSONException e) {
        System.err.println("JSONException while parsing YouTube response: " + e.getMessage());
    }
}//end getYouTubeVideo()

To use this code, you’ll need to add in the org.json library and import the following packages:

import java.net.URL;
import com.google.appengine.api.urlfetch.HTTPResponse;
import com.google.appengine.api.urlfetch.URLFetchServiceFactory;
import org.json.*;
import java.io.IOException;