Google Taking Down Political YouTube Parodies of the Hitler Downfall Movie

From an article at on Apr. 20 (Hitler’s birthday):

YouTube has recently begun removing videos that feature content from Constantin Films’ 2004 film, Der Untergang (“Downfall”), despite the fact that many of these videos are parodies and thus constitute fair use of the material. […]

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), these videos are being removed because of YouTube’s automated Content I.D. system, which allows copyright owners to disable any videos that contain its content–regardless of whether the videos may be legitimate because they contain other elements. Many of the parodies are still up, as YouTube’s Content I.D. system is not perfect–but it’s probably only a matter of time before the filtering system hunts them down and removes them.

Of course, the real question is: why? Why has Constantin Films chosen to suddenly claim copyright on these clips after six years–especially when the clips generate interest from parties who are otherwise unlikely to even look at the film (the film, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, was independently produced and is entirely in German). Certainly plenty of wayward YouTubers and Internet-goers have been driven to discover the source of the clips that provide them with so much entertainment. So, yes, you wonder why Constantin Films is suddenly putting the kibosh on this obvious stream of free publicity.  […]

What Constantin Films should do is file a DMCA complaint–the DMCA files parodies under “fair use,” so our beloved internet meme won’t die–but will also protect Constantin Films from what (I assume) it actually fears–legitimate copyright infringement.

The platform of the United States Pirate Party calls for the repeal of the DMCA.

Here is a new Downfall parody targeting the recent takedowns:

Here is a Downfall parody about how comparisons with Hitler are over-used in connection with the Tea Party movement:

Here is a playlist of other funny political Downfall videos, one of which (about Glenn Beck) has already been taken down.  Watch the rest before they’re gone.

0 thoughts on “Google Taking Down Political YouTube Parodies of the Hitler Downfall Movie

  1. paulie


    It makes one wish there were Nuremberg war crimes style trials for these arschlochen.

    On a slightly more serious note, I’m classifying Pirate Party stories as non-left/right. I know they sit on the left in European parliaments, but unless they have platform stances on unrelated issues I don’t know about, many libertarians agree with pirate ideology as well.

  2. Sean Scallon

    Well that sucks! I remember the first one I saw called “Hitler Discusses the Cinncinnati Reds” and it was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. Now of course it’s pretty old hat but I still remember how funny the first one I saw was. Very creative.

    Looks like it was a pretty good film.

  3. Law Abiding Pirate

    Thanks for the wonderful Pirate Party story.

    In other pirate party stories…more pirate party stories please…

    Pirate Party Founded in Bulgaria
    From the Sofia Echo:

    After years of sporadic online discussions, the formal founding forum of Bulgaria’s Pirate Party was held in Sofia on April 11 2009. Delegates from 20 Bulgarian towns adopted the articles of constitution and the party’s political programme, the party said in a statement on its website. Like other similar parties world-wide, the Bulgarian Pirate Party identifies changes in the existing copyright and patent laws as its main reason for existence.

    “Copyright and patent laws today lead to the harmful creation of monopolies, the loss of important democratic values, obstacles in the way of creating culture and knowledge and obstacles in the way of citizen access,” the party’s political programme said.

  4. Law Abiding Pirate

    Also at TPID, more exciting Pirate Party news

    WA: Pirate Party Organization Taking Shape in the Evergreen State
    Brian Rowe writes at Freedom for IP:

    It looks like the US Pirate party is getting more organized. I have not been involved personally for a while. I am more on the radical side supporting the platform of the EU party. The US party is more moderate on several issues.
    I unfortunate can not make the meeting. I am very courious to hear what they have planed. If anyone who reads this goes please send me a link to any notes from the meeting:

    “I invite you to join the IRC and be an active member of the Washington Pirate Party. We need you to help voice our concerns and show congress what we care about. Not sure how to join the IRC, see the discussions page or email washington@pirate-;”.
    Event: First Meeting
    What: Rally
    Start Time: Tuesday, April 20 at 7:00pm
    End Time: Tuesday, April 20 at 8:00pm
    Where: IRC – server:; channel: #WAPP

    The pirate party is about to board the ship of state…ahoy…

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