A lurid video posted last week by North Korea showing an imaginary attack on a US city has been removed by YouTube after games giant Activision objected to the regime’s use of footage from Call of Duty.
The bizarre propaganda creation appeared on the Google service at the weekend, featuring a North Korean photographer apparently dreaming about flying over a US city being reduced to flames by an imaginary space shuttle.
Perhaps tongue in cheek, the soundtrack used was an instrumental version of Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie’s 1985 charity tune, We Are The World.
A voice and textover read: "somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing. It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze with the fire started by itself," to quote the BBC’s unofficial translation.
But perhaps conscious of budgetary constraints, the North Korean film-makers used footage from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to bulk out the destruction fantasy, resulting in the video being removed from YouTube “due to a copyright claim by Activision Games Inc.,” the YouTube message now reads.
The video has since also been removed by the site’s North Korean admins.
If North Korea had intended to attract attention to its obscure YouTube channel then the fuss over the video and its removal has probably done its job.
Viewers can still view an extensive back catalogue of content that constitutes the world’s greatest surviving public repository of Marxist-Leninist political kitsch of a type that even the former East German politburo would have hesitated to transmit.
The removed footage can still be viewed on The Guardian website.