Many of you probably would never have heard of the World War II film Downfall if it weren’t for the slew of hilarious parodies that popped up in the past couple of years. They all use the same clip: a scene in the film where Hilter goes on a furious tirade upon realizing that the war is lost. Since it’s a foreign language film, inserting English subtitles is a seamless way to create hilarious parodies. Thanks to some very creative folks (and in theory, fair use law), Hilter has ranted about everything from Windows Vista to politics to sports teams losing to… well, the fact that everyone’s making all these darn parody videos.
You might remember YouTube’s “fair use massacre” last year, and some of the Hitler parodies were already disappearing even then thanks to takedown notices from the film’s production company. And now the automatic content filtering system has made this even easier, and you’d be hard pressed to find one of these videos on YouTube that isn’t replaced with a black screen saying “This film contains content from Constantin Films, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”
Of course there’s nothing like pure irony to draw attention to this sort of thing, and after EFF’s Brad Templeton created a Hitler parody about YouTube’s takedown procedures, it too got taken down. And though Templeton knows his rights and cares enough to file a dispute and actually assert that the video is a parody and therefore most likely fair use, many creators just don’t bother.
Luckily, Vimeo isn’t quite as trigger-happy as YouTube, so in the interest of not eventually having a black screen of fail, here’s an embed from the Vimeo version so that Hitler can tell you all about the DMCA: