Downfall ParodyNein! Nein! Nein! Gottverdammt YouTube! Gottverdammt Constantin Film! Es ist wahr! Mein Leben ist vorbei.

What the hell YouTube, you did this on Hitler’s birthday?!? WTF. Reports Mashable:

The movie studio responsible for the award-winning, German-Austrian film Downfall (German: Der Untergang) has asked YouTube to take down several videos from the massively popular subtitled “Hitler finds out…” meme, and the site has complied.Search YouTube and you’ll still find hundreds of Downfall parodies, but click through to some of the bigger ones and you’ll now get the message, “This video contains content from Constantin Film, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

Downfall No More...

Yep, all the ones we have on are gone…

At right, the cover for the first edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, which featured the first appearance of that martini-drinking secret agent with a license to kill. (Photo gallery of Casino Royale‘s various covers found on the Guardian). Here’s an excellent essay from Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain:

Casino Royale, Marilyn Monroe’s Playboy cover, The Adventures of Augie March, the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Crick & Watson’s Nature article decoding the double helix, Disney’s Peter Pan, The Crucible

Current US law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. (Corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years.) But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years). Under those laws, works published in 1953 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2010.

What might you be able to read or print online, quote as much as you want, or translate, republish or make a play or a movie from? How about Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel? Fleming published Casino Royale in 1953. If we were still under the copyright laws that were in effect until 1978, Casino Royale would be entering the public domain on January 1, 2010 (even assuming that Fleming had renewed the copyright). Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2049. This is because the copyright term for works published between 1950 and 1963 was extended to 95 years from the date of publication, so long as the works were published with a copyright notice and the term renewed (which is generally the case with famous works such as this). All of these works from 1953 will enter the public domain in 2049.

From Boing Boing via

The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama’s administration refused to disclose due to “national security” concerns, has leaked. It’s bad. It says:

* That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.

* That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet — and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living — if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.

Jonathan Melber, Huffington Post:

President Obama just appointed Victoria A. Espinel to be the first U.S. copyright czar. The position sounds like one more unnecessary addition to Washington bureaucracy (and it probably will be), but Espinel actually has a real opportunity to help fix our profoundly broken copyright laws, which–rather than fostering creativity, as they were originally intended–now inhibit it at every turn.

Over the last century our copyright system has been co-opted by large corporations whose profit motives often conflict with the fundamental goals of copyright policy. Indeed, the job of copyright czar was created as part of yet another industry-approved intellectual-property law that ratchets up enforcement and strengthens copyright protection despite any real evidence that such measures are necessary, let alone desirable. (Full legislation here.)

If she hasn’t seen it, the first thing Espinel should do is watch RiP: A remix manifesto, Brett Gaylor’s superb documentary about the serious social and economic damage caused by our overly aggressive copyright regime.

The film makes its point by focusing on the culture surrounding remixes: those multimedia, digital mashups that exemplify expression in the internet age. Its central character is the popular musician Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis), a remix artist whose songs are made entirely from digitally manipulated samples of other songs. Gillis’ instrument is his laptop. Given the history of music as one of influences, sampling and (analog) remixing, he doesn’t see what he does as any different from what Led Zeppelin did when they took “You Need Love” by Muddy Waters and turned it into “Whole Lotta Love.”