Last week, a group of five women law students from Columbia University took seats on a small makeshift stage, dressed in identical skimpy black hot pants and white tank tops, mimicking law students in classes taught by their 34-year-old professor, Tim Wu. A voice-over pretended to broadcast the contents of the female students’ wandering minds.
“Is Tim asking me whether I want to have his baby?” the voiceover intones. “I only took this class so I could stare at him.” Finally, “Ain’t no other man but Wu.”
As a band struck up, the women stood in a girl-group formation, spun around and showed their posteriors to the crowd, branded with lettering that read “I ♥ Wu.”
The video of the performance, which was part of the biannual “Columbia Law Revue,” quickly made its way to the Internet video-sharing Web site YouTube.
In 2006, Mr. Wu co-wrote the book Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World.
According to the book’s editor, Who Controls the Internet?, which came out this past March, has sold between 8,000 and 10,000 copies. The number of people who have watched the video on YouTube within a week of the performance was 251.
Absurdly, the way things are going in publishing, in law and on the Internet, it’s hard to know which number is the better indicator of Mr. Wu’s prospects as a legal superstar.