Is there a "Happy Hitler" Meme?

Patrick and I got into a comment fight earlier this week over the Downfall DMCA takedowns. It was my opinion that Google had no choice, given how the DMCA was structured. It was Patrick's opinion that Google was a bunch of gutless phonies hiding in a corporate castle counting money and ignoring the cries of the helpless. I may be taking some poetic license.

In any event, Google has heard the cries of the helpless and is making it much easier for parodists to get their videos back online. YouTube now has a "fair use" button, so if the creator of the original content pulls your video, it is simple to claim fair use and have the parody restored. The ball is back in the court of the person claiming the original copyright to do the hard work of filing a formal DMCA complaint, which is more work than simply pushing a button.

The solution isn't perfect, because if a company can easily generate boilerplate takedown notices, deep pockets continue to give them a structural advantage (as always). At the same time, the DMCA notice have to be submitted in the face of a claim of fair use, which ups the ante if the parodist submits a counterclaim for abuse of process. And anything that makes it more difficult to pull a video is better for fair use.

Via BoingBoing. (In the course of writing this, I saw that Chris put it in the comments of the original post as well, so thanks for the tip, Chris.)

Last 5 posts by Charles


  1. Patrick says

    And yes, while it isn't a perfect solution, it is far better for the common internet user as well as artists, comedians, satirists, and others who use snippets of copyrighted material to get a message across. That it took the Hitler video meme, and the subsequent outcry, to push even Google this far shows how entrenched Big Copyright is on the internet.

    But the internet itself has changed the culture. We're now a people of reference, meme, and inside jokes, a worldwide Mystery Science Theater 3000 audience and Mashable mix. The film studios are just a little behind the record labels, who are already figuring out that they're going to have to accommodate their audience if they want to survive.