As a lawyer and someone who has thought long and hard about our legal system and the basis of justice I have to say that there is no other part of our legal system that is more messed up then copyright infringement law. If you haven’t heard the latest, the copyright holders of some lame German Hitler movie that no one ever heard of is demanding that YouTube pull down what has become a pretty funny Internet meme. Thanks to the YouTube community, the film has gotten a lot more exposure than it ever would have.
So, in their infinite wisdom they send Google a take-down notice under the DMCA which requires Google to take down all parody videos with this clip. The thing that is really annoying about this is that in court Constantin Film AG would stand virtually no chance in a copyright claim. The Supreme Court has consistently held that parodies are protected speech and not subject to copyright claims, thus Weird Al Yankovich can make all those songs. However, no single user on YouTube has the money to hire a lawyer to challenge something like this and it’s not clear that they would have the standing to do so any way.
Google, who is one of the richest companies in the world, should be the ones standing up to this kind of behavior. They should have mailed that DMCA take down notice back with a .wav file of Nelson saying “ha ha”. I’m pretty sure this is the basic reason that Google is pulling out of China, because they were being too restrictive of free speech.
So, without further ado, please watch the Hitler reaction to the Hitler parodies being removed.