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Thursday, 22 April 2010 13:35

Downfall memes pulled from YouTube

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Not because of Hitler, but over copyright issues


Hundreds
of 'Downfall' memes on YouTube are no more. The classic spoof revolved around a scene from the 2004 motion picture Downfall (Der Untergang), which depicted the last days of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen in Berlin.

The memes dealt with all sorts of issues, ranging from Apple products, through current political events to Kanye West's downright daft on-stage antics at the MTV Video Music Awards. While some of them were quite funny, the thrill wore off quickly, as the same concept was chewed over hundreds of times, much like plots in sitcoms or reality shows.

On several occasions human rights campaigners warned that the memes were insensitive in that they used a mass murderer for cheap laughs, thus trivializing the crimes of his genocidal regime. However, in the end the memes were not pulled because of poor taste, but because of copyright infringement. The makers of the memes argued that they were using the footage for parody, making it fair game under the "fair use" doctrine.

However, since the music and movie industry is trying to mimic the Third Reich by controlling the media and limiting free speech, the arguments fell on deaf ears.

More here.

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