Sunday, April 25, 2010

Constantin Film Is Now On My Enemies List

This video contains content from Constantin Film, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. That's what I read after going back and attempting to play a fondly remembered video, in a post I titled Hitler Reacts to Balloon Boy Hoax.

That was the first of the "Hitler Parodies" that I saw, and now it is gone. There is at least one other "balloon boy" parody still up (no pun intended), but it isn't as good.

Over a number of years these Hitler parodies on various subjects have popped up on YouTube, always using the same bunker scene from the German film Downfall.

The clips in question always show the bunker scene from the movie, overlaid with new subtitles -- Hitler getting mad at Twitter being down, Hitler being upset about the plot of "Avatar," Hitler reacting to Kanye West running out on stage with Taylor Swift, Hitler planning to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 -- you get the drift.

Hitler parody videos latest copyright fight

The original movie itself is very good, with probably as accurate a portrayal of what actually happened during Hitler's last days as we're going to see in a fictional film. But the company behind the film is now going after the short (only a few minutes) parodies and having them taken off YouTube. This is occurring not with DMCA , but with YouTube's own system called Content ID, a filter that allows copyright holders "direct access to videos on the site thanks to audio and video fingerprinting".

This, of course, allows copyright owners to go as far as they want. If they so choose, they can flip the switch on everything they don't like -- even if the clips otherwise constitute fair use -- and watch the videos disappear. The EFF has publicly hammered YouTube to tighten its ContentID requirements, but the company seems content to let copyright owners themselves determine what's OK and what's not.

Well, thanks YouTube and Constantin. In honor of your disregard of basic fairness, I present Hitler Rants About the Hitler Parodies:

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