Regular readers who can get to London within the next three weeks might want to visit the ‘Parody, Pastiche and Piracy’ show I wrote about here. It will be a good exhibition with many fantastic contributing exhibitors, many from the UK’s procartoonists.org.
Parody takes many forms and one of the most popular in recent years has been digital short-form video. Indeed, it has produced memes such as ‘Downfall’ in which the excellent movie by Constantin Films became an audio-visual staple for disasters of all sorts.
The attitude of the producers of the film to this wild popularity held up a fascinating mirror to the issues around IP and parody in a global network. Everyone felt they owned a piece of a great film and wanted their own networks to love a bit of it too.
So popular did the internet meme become that eventually content distributors such as YouTube (Google) felt pressured to remove all of the parodies that were appearing featuring the original sequence from the movie.
Happily, however eventually Constantin Films also came to understand this was a self-defeating view even though in law they were or had been correct. The effective ban on publication of such video parodies using this clip was lifted in 2010.
The example above features a UK centric parody by Paul Bernal about the dubious reuse of NHS data in a project called Care.Data.