Stories about film studios that have had YouTube rip down
videos featuring copyrighted works are a dime a dozen, but it’s not that often that you
see the surfers of the Web unite in protest over it.
Constantin Films is in the middle of a PR disaster for just
this reason, though. The German production company has asked the streaming
video service to remove the hundreds of parody videos that used the climatic
scene from its film “Downfall”.
What’s a little baffling is the timing. The parodies kicked
off over three years ago, when some savvy editors put false captions to the
German language scene showing Hitler furious he had been banned from Xbox Live.
Other notable versions had him making plans to attend Burning Man, railing
about the real estate bubble and even frustrated that his plans to dub his own
Hitler meltdown video had already been done.
The studio says the parodies could trivialize the Holocaust, so it wants them down. Critics note that if the company felt that strongly about it, they could have (and should have) filed the copyright claim years ago.
In the end, the parodies may have been funny stuff, but they used copyrighted material and
Constantin apparently felt enough was enough. The Internet, though, doesn’t
seem quite ready to let go.
Videos continue to surface, with settings attempting to
bypass the removals. (The above video is a good example, assuming it stays up
for any length of time.) And smaller video sites are still running the site.
It’ll be interesting to see if Constantin sticks by its
guns, despite the Internet outcry or decides that it was a bit too late to the
party to claim to be offended by the films.
(A warning about the above embedded video. It contains some harsh language.)