Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Week in Idiocy

If you're a regular Internet user, the chances are at least 50/50 that you've seen examples of The Downfall meme: a clip of the scene in the movie in which Hitler realizes his military situation is hopeless with the real subtitles replaced with ones showing Hitler to be reacting to something else: so far there have been clips with Hitler as Hillary Clinton realizing she's lost the nomination to Obama, Hitler outraged that he's been banned from Xbox Live, Hitler reacting to Sarah Palin's resignation, and countless others.

Well Downfall producer Constantin Film has decided that these parodies constitute copyright infringement (even though parody, as I understand it, falls under fair use and the popularity of the meme probably got people who had never heard of Downfall to rent it from Netflix). The company asked Google to remove all the Downfall meme clips from YouTube. Google surrendered even faster than the French did to the real Hitler.

In the spirit of the occasion, I give you the Downfall video on fair use created by Brad Templeton of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

He's filed an action against its removal, so it should be around for a while.


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