Critical Commons vs. Hitler: resource for free/open media and fair use

Critical Commons has created its own entry in the great Hitler in the bunker remix meme. Steve Anderson sez, "The video is also promoting the fair use advocacy site Critical Commons, which is a fair use advocacy and media sharing site, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This is currently the most radical media-sharing site on the open internet. Designed for media educators and students, Critical Commons makes high-quality, copyrighted media publicly available by placing it in a critical context and informing users about their rights under fair use."

Critical Commons


  1. Once again using Downfall, one of my favorite all-time movies. Since I’ve watched this movie dozens of times I don’t need the subtitles anymore. So when I see these ‘remixes’ using Downfall I just shake my head and move on. I hear what they are saying in German, knowing the lines from the movie, so all the remixes do is piss me off, ruining a perfectly good movie by using it in some other context.

    If I had never seen Downfall I can see how it would work for some people. Come on now though, using Hitler as the cartoonish bad guy is so overplayed as to make it meaningless. You might as well use the Emperor from Star Wars, that’s how much watered down Hitler has become by turning him into a joke.

    Using Downfall is a pet peeve of mine every time I see one of these.

    1. Get off my lawn!

      And on another note, I love the excessively weeping girl outside. Don’t you all love her too?

  2. Antijoe – Yes! I was just thinking that my favourite bit of these things is always whatever they have the other girl saying to her.
    My understanding of German is rudimentary enough that it doesn’t get in the way, but enough to appreciate it when they make an effort to sync up the subtitles with the tenor of what’s being said. And in this case, that they cheekily equated Google with Stalin.

    1. “Antijoe – Yes! I was just thinking that my favourite bit of these things is always whatever they have the other girl saying to her.”

      Yeah, I always look for that, and what they’re going to use for “Stalin!” Either can make or break a Downfall vid, IMHO.

  3. I have never seen Downfall and not been introduced to this meme of remix until yesterday. I was at first turned off as the use of Hitler as a comedic figure generally misses the mark. However, this made me pee my pants.

    I found the link in the reader comments section of this science blog (which is awesome in and of itself):

  4. When it’s done so it fits right, this always makes me laugh. This one’s pretty good, but I’m still not over the balloon boy one.

    They really need to dub it in Russian or something, so people who know German can also enjoy it.

  5. :yawn: This is a meme that played itself out a year ago. I don’t care if I never see another Downfall resubtitled parody again.

  6. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for. YouTube’s format doesn’t allow at all for embedded critical commentary, and when Vimeo started up, I spoke to them about a wish list of features that educators would like. Nothing came of it. This group has created exactly what I was asking for. Thanks for the tip, Cory.

  7. No, the Downfall meme is one of the few I will never, ever, ever tire of.

    Making fun of a film portrayal of Hitler doesn’t dilute what kind of man the actual Hitler was and the things he did.

    Sorry, I can easily laugh at a Downfall remix and still get chills watching video of the Nuremberg rallies. Part of hating a figure can be making fun of him; I’m thinking of all the period posters and cartoons that ridiculed him and didn’t always revere him as some kind of untouchable figure of evil.

  8. Honestly, I think this meme should be declared dead.
    As soon as I see that it’s this scene, I stop and go on to something else.

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