In 2007, Adolf Hitler and Xbox Live helped start an internet meme that started the whole world laughing. Three years on, the distributors of the film the clip is based on have yanked it from YouTube.
The clip, and countless others that have been posted in its wake, took footage from the award-winning 2004 film Downfall (Der Untergang in its native German), to which Constantin Films owns the rights, and changed the subtitles to make it appear Hitler was angry not at his lost war, but at something far more trivial. In this case, how he was banned from Xbox Live.
Deciding enough was enough, Constantin has filed a copyright protection claim with YouTube, and as a result the service's Content ID program has begun removing the videos from the popular online video sharing site.
A shame for those who spent the time constructing the clips, then, but in all honesty the joke had run its course a couple of years ago. Having it scrubbed from the decks of the internet might be for the best (provided, that is, some copies are still floating around for posterity's sake).
You've got to wonder about Constantin's motives in this, though. And the timing. Sure, on the one hand it was a little crass reducing the most powerful moment of such a powerful film to expletive-riddled comedy, but surely it also encouraged millions upon millions of people who otherwise hadn't see the small-scale movie to go check it out?
Hitler "Downfall Meme" gets taken down [Open Video Alliance]