If you missed the recent wave of Hitler “Downfall” parody videos, you may be out of luck.
On Tuesday – coincidentally, Hitler’s birthday — many of the parodies were removed from YouTube over copyright claims.
"Downfall" director Oliver Hirschbiegel doesn’t seem to mind that his very serious film "Der Untergang" has provided the basis for the popular internet meme, but German production company Constantin Films, which owns the rights to the movies, is less pleased.
Constantin has filed a copyright claim that already has resulted in "Hitler gets banned from Xbox live" and "Hitler wants to know who lost the 4G iPhone" being taken off of YouTube.
The videos have been blocked by YouTube’s Content ID automated system. Content ID spots a match between a posted video and content that has been claimed by a copyright owner, in this case Constantin. The video poster can submit a "dispute" to YouTube. This may result in getting the video reinstated, but it also notifies the copyright owner, who then can submit a formal DMCA takedown notice to get it removed again.
The DMCA takedown notice is the result of a formal notice of copyright infringement from copyright owners to YouTube. The DMCA takedown, part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, says providers such as YouTube must implement a "notice-and-takedown" system and cancel the accounts of "repeat infringers." The takedown system works on a "three strikes" model.
Hirschbiegel is all for the parodies, he told /Film: “The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality … I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like.”