YouTube pulls Hitler Downfall parodies

One of the most popular Internet memes of recent years looks to be coming to an end as YouTube has begun removing satirically subtitled clips of Downfall (Der Untergang), the award winning film by Oliver Hirschbiegel about the last days of Hitler’s regime. One scene in the film, where Hitler (played to wide acclaim by by Bruno Ganz) realises that the war is lost, has been used repeatedly to parody modern concerns, including getting banned from Xbox Live, Hitler finding out there is no Santa Claus and the leaking of the iPhone. All have now been withdrawn from YouTube. Ironically, one of the few Downfall parodies still left up is of Hitler complaining about all the Downfall parodies on the internet. Content owners will be watching the takedown carefully to see how the online community responds. With YouTube currently facing legal action over its use of copyrighted material on the site the efficacy of its removal procedures is under scrutiny and media owners may well see this as a signal to purge YouTube of unauthorised content


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