Hitler Rants Video About DMCA Takedowns Is Taken Down Itself

from the recursive-loop dept

The super popular “Hitler rants…” meme is now under fire by Constantin Film, the German production company behind Downfall, from which the original clip is taken. According to TechCrunch, Constantin started filing DMCA takedowns on many of the popular YouTube variants of the oft re-subtitled clip. Particularly ironic is the fact that the director of the movie enjoys the clips himself — but of course, since the producer holds the copyright to the movie, the director has no real say in the matter.

In a mind-blowing meta way, the most amusing video caught in this mess is the takedown of the video that parodies these takedowns themselves:

Since this video, which uses the same Downfall clip in question, can be considered parody, then it should be covered under fair use. Since its creator filed a dispute after it was taken down, for now, the video is viewable on YouTube (and on Vimeo, as in the link above), awaiting review from Constantin on the copyright claim.

That said, Constatin has a lot of work to do if it truly wants to remove all instances of this video online. There are thousands of variants available and, in looking through a list of the some of the most popular videos, not even all of those have been taken down yet. Even so, when a popular variant is taken down, the video can be posted to other sites, as in the case of “Hitler Finds Out About the iPhone 4g Leak,” the video that supposedly was the first of the videos to be taken down.

It’s not clear what Constantin is looking to gain by issuing these takedowns. Constantin is killing the very promotional vehicle that has been driving sales and rentals of Downfall itself. Each viewing of these videos has played a part in pulling the 2004 movie out of oblivion — without these millions of views, very few, if any, people would have ever heard of the movie.

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Companies: constantin film

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Comments on “Hitler Rants Video About DMCA Takedowns Is Taken Down Itself”

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Paddy (profile) says:

You were going well until the last paragraph. This isn’t an unknown film at all. It was nominated for an Academy Award, and fairly well publicised across Europe on its release.

It’s fair to say that these parodies have helped sustain it’s popularity beyond the expected timeframe, but it isn’t an unknown film in Europe.

Having said all that, removing parodies that drive viewers to your film is completely insane.

Rob says:

-1 sale

I passed at the opportunity to watch Downfall when it was on TV because I didn’t like how Hitler looked and the ads didn’t exactly portray the movie as one worth watching.

Having watched a few funny clips of him recently, I had already changed my mind and was going to buy a copy of Downfall.

Now they’re being assholes about it, I don’t think I’ll bother.

known coward says:

The Streisand effect works in many ways

One thing I find interesting is that the Streisand effect can give and the Streisand effect can take away. The you tube video’s brought attention to the movie and make folks think about it and maybe seeing it again or for the first time.

Now the effect is going to be what an asshole this guy is and how he try’s to squash the little guy who is trying to have some fun. So I will not give him money to see his movie.

Maybe one of the positives of the internet age is the greater roll of the feedback “of the masses”

Anonymous Coward says:

I really want to see the movie now.

I’ve watched about 5-6 of the parodies and laughed my head off at… some of them. Anyway, now I have to see the actual movie. Seeing those clips and that performance and how much attention the movie is getting, makes me want to go watch it. If it’s good enough, I’ll be buying the DVD for my father-in-law who really likes WWII movies.

That said, before the parodies I didn’t even know this movie existed. If I’d seen the preview of that part, I would’ve figured it to be like any other movie and not given a crap about it.

Question for anyone who’s seen the movie.
Is the movie:
a) really that good?
b) factually correct or at least as close as they can get?

AC & Your Sunshine's Banned says:

Re: I really want to see the movie now.

“Question for anyone who’s seen the movie.
Is the movie:
a) really that good?
b) factually correct or at least as close as they can get?”

You should just buy it for your Dad-in-law; “Downfall” is an AWESOME movie!

I can’t imagine a WWII film more plausably realistic, especially heard in DTS on a decent surround sound system.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Original movie still on Youtube

If the movie is good enough, I’ll pay to rent or buy it to support the producer, movie crew, actors, etc. I don’t mind it if the movie is good. I’d rather sit through the movie and enjoy it rather than worry about clicking on clips of the movie strung together.

Richard (profile) says:


Now strictly speaking parody is only fair use if you are parodying the work itself or its creators. Using somebody else’s work to parody a 3rd party doesn’t count.
So when this video was created it (strictly) wasn’t fair use and therefore the takedown is OK.

However once the takedown is issued the producers of the original film become the object of the parody and so it becomes fair use. Thus this DMCA takedown invalidates itself.

ShellMG (profile) says:

The Striesand Effect BIG Time

Say what you will about Rush Limbaugh, but he discussed this story today and his comments were a mirror image of Techdirt comments. He also added that he doesn’t rent DVDs he BUYS them, and seeing the parodies on YouTube caused him to purchase the movie and watch it. He added he never would’ve known about the film — which he liked and thought it was very good — if it hadn’t been for the parodies.

So his mike just reached millions of listeners.

Fester Bestertester says:

Well, that's why I bought the DVD.

I saw a few of the parodies – and then bought the DVD. I doubt I would have done so otherwise. It’s not heavily advertised, and I didn’t see it during its relatively short and limited tenure in the theater.

Anyway, it’s too late to close the barn doors on this one. This clip has attained almost iconic status – people who don’t know anything about the movie, never mind the events it portrays know all about “The Hitler Rant”.

Steve R. (profile) says:

New York Times Article

New York Times Article. Poorly written, but at least it is a recognition, in the Times, that DMCA can be used in an abusive manner. Gasp! They even reached out to quote TechDirt. Amazing to see a New York Times article that even acknowledges the existence of those opposed to so-called “intellectual property”.

Twitter, DMCA Take-Downs & the Prior Restraint of First Amendment Speech

the downfall of intelligence says:

big in europe... and... ?

seriously… do you think the majority of americans give a flying flip about something that’s “big in europe” …seriously… u think the people who think of david hasslehoff as a “great musician” really matter to your average american (not saying much, i know…) to whom hip hop, lady gaga, kanye west, et al are philosophical geniuses and popular icons? pull your head back into the sunshine my friend.

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