As reported earlier by the Open Video Alliance, the German film company Constantin Films AG has mis-used the DMCA provision of Notice & Takedown and YouTube’s ContentID system to have YouTube remove a huge number of parody videos that made use of a scene from the film Der Untergang (Downfall) featuring Hitler ranting in his bunker. The official website for the film is here.
The parodies all made use of sub-titles to put words in Hitler’s mouth allowing him to vent on everything from LOLCats to Michael Jackson and anything else imaginable. It was always great fun whenever a new one would crop up and some of them were piss your pants hilarious. It was perfect use of digital media to craft parody and satire. Be sure to read Alex Leavitt’s post on the whole Hitler Video Meme – it’s fascinating stuff.
Unfortunately Constantin Films used YouTube’s ContentID system which commits wholesale removal of materials identitified by the copyright holder without properly checking to see if copyright has indeed been violated. Under the dumbass rules of the DMCA, if a violation of copyright had been committed, YouTube would be obliged to act and remove the videos in question – unless, of course, they were clearly examples of Fair Use. While it is true Constantin Films controls the rights to the original film there are provisions in the DMCA that are supposed to protect Fair Use (also known as Fair Dealing here in Canada and India) which allows for the creation of works of parody and satire – but that rarely happens as large media companies continue to throw their weight around and just fuck everything up.
But why listen to me kvetch? Let Hitler explain it all for you.
Since YouTube has turned off embedding it’s no longer viewable through them except by going to their own pages here. But, since YouTube might take it down entirely – and since I see this as being a true case of Fair Use I fixed it so you can just watch it here:
And you can download your own copy here: Hitler_Parody.MP4
Constantin Films AG should really watch this one before they pull this or any others offline. And if you are interested in seeing the original film you can buy it here – and you do that you might also want to send Constantin Films an email telling them you did just that.
P.S. These video responses to Constantin Films on YouTube are also good:
This one is not only funny it’s also educational – srsly:
Hitler and Jodl show you HOW TO UNBLOCK COPYRIGHTED DOWNFALL PARODIES!!!!
And this one is great:
Hitler and Fegelein Join Forces To Take On Constantin Films
UPDATE: Doctorow posted on BoingBoing on hw Google has responded to the outrage over the ContentID instant takedowns by highlighting the Fair Use button. Click the button and your video goes back up and the folks who submitted the takedown then have to take you to court to get the video off.
Tags: alex leavitt, boingboing, Canada, constantin films ag, copy that -roger roger - what's your vector victor, copyfight, copyleft, copyright, cory doctorow, der untergang, dmca, downfall, fair use, hitler parody videos, i just think it's funny to watch hitler swear about useless shit - it really reduces him - like in a mel brooks movie or something, india, open video alliance, youtube