Is Constantin Film Taking Down Hitler Parodies?

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Many of us have at one point enjoyed the seeing Hitler scream at some random object or wrath in a re-subtitled scene from Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Der Untergang (Downfall). Even the director has confirmed that he enjoys the meme, saying that “The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality…I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like.” With detailed specs of Apple’s next iPhone leaked yesterday, a host of self-styled comedians attempted to upload new versions of the parody onto Youtube, presumably to depict the furious verbal storm at Apple headquarters. However, Constantin Film, the German film production and distributor behind Downfall, has apparently had enough.

According to Techcrunch, Constantin Film has begun filing copyright notices against the videos, resulting in takedowns by Youtube. According to one commenter about his own Hitler parody video, “Constatin Films [sic] has filed a copyright infringement claim against this video, right before it was about to reach 500,000 views! Even though it falls? under Fair Use, I suspect this video will be taken down soon. Sad face.“ Parodies of all types are apparently being removed, although the vast diversity and locations of parodies will make it a difficult task for Constantin to achieve total Hitler clip eradication.

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It’s unclear why they are only now initiating these takedowns, as many of these videos have been online for quite some time. They also serve as great (albeit unintentional) viral marketing for the film. For my money, I actually watched Downfall as a result of seeing one of these parodies, and think it is a gut-wrenching recounting of Hitler’s final days.

If you’ve had a Hitler parody taken down, feel free to e-mail what happened to slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Below you’ll find one of my favorite Downfall parodies (which at this point still remains live). This clip really captured my feelings around owning HD-DVD players and discs during the time of Blu-Ray’s victory.

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