MultiChoice not amused by Hitler parody video

DStv installer loses accreditation over making a “Der Untergang” parody video for promotional purposes

By - April 5, 2012
DStv Hitler

A video parodying a famous scene from the film “Der Untergang” used to promote Satellite Solutions, a DStv installer, has cost the company their status as a MultiChoice accredited installer.

Entitled “Hitler’s DStv XtraView experience”, the clip is based on a meme where users subtitle their own inaccurate translations of the German dialogue, typically as a form of satire.

According to Satellite Solutions’ Hennie Pretorius, they received a notice from the customer care technical support manager (CCTS) at MultiChoice, Arthur Brookes, on 13 February 2012 to remove the video, which they immediately complied with.

Pretorius said that on 15 February 2012 he discovered that their accreditation appeared to have been suspended without notification, but Brookes did not confirm this until asked about it in person more than a week later.

In a letter formally terminating the accredited installer status of Satellite Solutions dated 22 February 2012, Brookes said that the video is “use of MultiChoice’s intellectual property without MultiChoice’s consent [which] infringed MultiChoice’s rights and brought MultiChoice’s name into disrepute.”

Pretorius showed further e-mail correspondence dated 5 and 6 March 2012 between his wife, the owner of Satellite Solutions, and Sharon Padayachee, another CCTS support manager at MultiChoice.

The e-mails said that to re-apply for accreditation, Satellite Solutions would have to change its name and Pretorius would have to submit an affidavit stating that he is not involved in the new company.

A superficial name change would also not be sufficient according to the e-mails, with Padayachee saying that a new Closed Corporation would have to be registered and new banking details submitted.

When it was pointed out that it isn’t possible to register new CCs, and that the CC trading as Satellite Solutions, as well as the banking details were always in the name of Pretorius’ wife, Padayachee simply replied: “Satellite Solutions accreditation was terminated.”

Asked why the accreditation of Satellite Solutions was terminated, MultiChoice said that it requires its accredited installers to comply with certain terms and conditions to protect its brand and subscribers.

“In certain instances where an installer fails to adhere to the terms and conditions, MultiChoice will have no choice but to revoke the accreditation.”

MultiChoice added that installers who have had their accreditation revoked have 30 days in which to appeal the decision and that accreditation of installers remains at the sole discretion of MultiChoice.

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