From an article at PCWorld.com 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.