Techcrunch pointed out this morning (my time) that Constantin Film apparently has forced YouTube to take down the latest take on the Hitlermeme, in which he (Hitler) goes off on the iPhone 4g. This film was just the latest installment of films I really enjoy watching, despite or because I am German. We are known for being very hard on ourselves when it comes to anything 3rd Reich-related, but the brilliance of Bruno Ganz’ performance being juxtaposed by plain humor – I don’t know about you but I find that funny.
However, not funny is the position Constantin Film is taking here. It is stupid. They actually have something going for them. The meme is huge, loads of videos: here are some. iPad. And not just tech-related. Michael Jackson passing away (Hitler hatd tickets), Take That reunion, Springsteen, you name it. Constantin could have been the one different company in an industry that just doesn’t know where it’s heading, only knowing (claiming) that it is losing money and a lot of it. Why not create an official video pool where the best videos are collected and can be voted on? People enjoy this scene so much that they are creating mash-ups. Let them. Empower them. Be a linchpin!
Note: I put in call with Constantin Films inquiring if they will force to take all other Downfall-mash-ups down but was kindly asked to write an email to legal. Which I did.
UPDATE: Constantin Film kindly asked me to understand that they would not comment on this.
UPDATE 2: Samuel Axom reports on Mashable that indeed YouTube was asked to take down several films and for many of the remaining users will now get a “Content is blocked” message. He also provides a quote from the director of the movie:
Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel told New York Magazine that he laughs at the parodies. “You couldn’t get a better compliment as a director,” he said. Unfortunately, Constantin Film’s legal team isn’t as easygoing about it.