Parodying Hitler is verboten und geschlossen

Posted by Emory Kale

One of the only joys left in copyright infringment is raus. No more Hitler parody videos on YouTube. They were funny. Hitler was not.

Some years ago, Woody Allen's first directorial credits was a movie called What's Up, Tiger Lily? It was based on a Japanese faux espionage thriller, itself riding the wave of James Bond fever in the 1960s. So, Allen is commissioned to write a script that pretty much turns the movie, in its English language dubbed format, into a kitsch comedy classic.

Fast forward and you've got Downfall. It's a pretty good movie, if you have the stomach for watching the last days of the Third Reich, and the unravelling of its leaders in a Berlin bunker. Bruno Ganz, the noted German thespian, does an extraordinary job of pulling off Hitler without making him a parody.

Hah! Who needs thespians when we have YouTube. Scenes from the movie have been hijacked by people everywhere, and through the use of well timed subtitles, turned into highlarious spoofs of current events. Now, for some reason that just doesn't make sense, the production company for Downfall, Constantin Films is reasserting its ownership of the clips and removing the parodies from the web.

Dudes, you are insane in the membrane. If it wasn't for the parodies that movie of yours would be a depressing testament of the most depressing era in human history. It would be buried. No one wants to revisit that stuff.

No one has come forward to claim that Germans have no sense of humor at this juncture, but we are waiting it out for now.

Man, this is sad. If you hurry, you might still catch the odd parody still online. But, we're pretty certain you have probably seen at least one sometime, somewhere.

We got this news off of The Guardian, England's lefty paper of choice for people of substantial means:

"Few film sequences lend themselves so readily to online parody as the German film Der Untergang (Downfall), which portrays Adolf Hitler's deranged rant against betrayal in his besieged Berlin bunker.

The clip has been replayed on YouTube and other sites millions of times, with the dictator's subtitles cunningly adapted to ridicule contemporary setbacks – usually of a less catastrophic nature.

But not, if the film's producers have their way, for much longer. Constantin Films, the company that made the 2004 movie, is stepping up its campaign to assert its copyright to the material and demand that the lampoons are taken down.

One of the earliest spoofs involved the sullen Nazi leader being given the typed-up football results and learning that Sheffield United has been relegated. "Now we will have to live with this injustice," the Führer fumes.

Other versions have the German actor, Bruno Ganz, ranting at the news that Oasis is splitting up, that Usain Bolt has broken the 100 metre record, or on being banned from playing his Xbox Live."

What are we going to do now?? We have so much spare time.