DMCA takedown removes River City Ransom Underground from Steam

Shard

XBLAnnoyance
#1
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/07/dmca-takedown-takes-river-city-random-underground-off-steam/

River City Ransom Underground was removed from Steam late last week, part of an unfolding legal drama surrounding a composer who has been directing DMCA copyright-infringement takedowns at games she says don't have the rights to her music.

Conatus' Andrew Russell, one of the developers of River City Ransom Underground, said in a short statement that "we are aware that RCRU is down on Steam. We have contacted Valve's copyright department, and will let you know when access is restored." But composer Alex Mauer confirmed to Destructoid that the removal was the result of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act request she made against the title.

"Conatus never got my written permission to use my music in the game," Mauer told the site. "As far as I know, they have Disasterpeace's [one of the game's composers] signature and are trying to act like that alone is enough to have secured rights."

Mauer has previously issued DMCA takedown notices for a number of RCRU YouTube videos that she says feature her music without permission. Conatus took to the Steam forums earlier this month to clarify that the company was not behind those YouTube requests and to defend a right to use Mauer's music. "Alex Mauer produced, in collaboration with others, works for RCRU as a subcontractor, and Conatus believes that it possesses the legal right to use those collaborative works in the game," the company wrote.
 
#6
Huh. I assumed this would be related to a dispute over license rights to the River City Ransom franchise itself. But I guess Alex Mauer's path to self-destruction continues.
 
#8
God fucking dammit.
Like how the hell do you think this will help you in any way in your court date?
She only want to destroy herself, mark my words.
And I hope RCRU back on Steam ASAP.
 
#17
Feel free to get this when it's back up, people. Game is solid, devs are hard working and apparently they need a little extra support right about now.
 
#18
Temporary inconvenience, it'll be back up in short order.

This person clearly needs help.

Feel free to get this when it's back up, people. Game is solid, devs are hard working and apparently they need a little extra support right about now.
Will buy the GOG version next time it goes on sale.
 
#21
I hope she loses in court and gets punished for abuse of the system. Won't happen as big corporations get free passes to abuse the system on a daily basis
 
#23
If I recall I think it was against the other game (Starr mazer). RCR is still fair game.
Judge should issue a C&D for all DMCA-related activity until their court date. Also, I really hope they charge her for perjury for these false DMCA claims. Sick of people and corporations not getting their due for abusing it.
 
#24
I really hope someone ends up suing the hell out of her.

Its fucking sad how easily and abusable DMCA takedowns still are after all the shitstorms surrounding them. Enough of this already.
 
#26
Wait I backed this game on Kickstarter and chose the Steam version. Not at home right now but does this mean I no longer "own" this game?
No you still have it and can download it. AFAIK, there hasn't been a game on steam that has been removed from people who bought it after it was taken down.
 
#27
Mauer really needs to feel the swift boot of justice up her ass and quickly. I don't know how anybody could still be defending her after all of this.
 
#39
If she actually made death threats, you'd think some sort of action would be taken, ick.
Oh there's screen caps of her emails where she says "I want to kill myself, but I have to kill you first" to SidAlpha (youtuber)

She was taken into involuntary custody for mental health but cleared for public within days.

She needs to be locked up.
 
#41
... again?

I thought Alex had an injunction filed against her that would keep her from filing anymore DMCA requests until the court date.
I think that was specifically over Starr Mazer. Different game, different copyright, and so the restraining order doesn't provide protection.

I'm glad that the more mainstream gaming/tech adjacent press is covering this story. There's a lot of toxic bullshit in the backlash against Mauer due to her gender identity and a perception that the press is "protecting her". Echoes of GamerGate, but this time the Gaters have a nominally righteous cause.
 
#42
I think that was specifically over Starr Mazer. Different game, different copyright, and so the restraining order doesn't provide protection.

I'm glad that the more mainstream gaming/tech adjacent press is covering this story. There's a lot of toxic bullshit in the backlash against Mauer due to her gender identity and a perception that the press is "protecting her". Echoes of GamerGate, but this time the Gaters have a nominally righteous cause.
Honestly I never got involved/looked into GamerGate and I don't care to.

All I see here is a human being who is going way off the rails and breaking laws along the way. Gender should not even be part of the discussion.
 
#45
Mauer really needs to feel the swift boot of justice up her ass and quickly. I don't know how anybody could still be defending her after all of this.
Eh, let's look at where the case goes without jumping to conclusions. Did the developers have the right to her music? If so, she's insane indeed. If they didn't then she is perfectly okay to pursue DMCA takedowns.

Devs should just take out her music in return. Patch it out.

That or devs should just show the damn receipt for the rights to her songs so this can be settled once and for all.
 
#46
I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that if you're doing this enough to the point where people recognize who you are because of it, then maybe you are the problem.
 
#48
If she believes she has legal copyright if the music then she's justified in filing the DMCAs. The issue here is that it *appears* she misunderstands how copyright works in regards to work for hire on these games.
 
#49
Eh, let's look at where the case goes without jumping to conclusions. Did the developers have the right to her music? If so, she's insane indeed. If they didn't then she is perfectly okay to pursue DMCA takedowns.

Devs should just take out her music in return. Patch it out.

That or devs should just show the damn receipt for the rights to her songs so this can be settled once and for all.
At least in Starr Mazer's case, they have. Mauer's contract looks pretty bog standard, and has a specific clause in it that what she makes, they own the rights to. Even if it wasn't explicitly stated, it's pretty well established case law that the contractor doesn't have rights to what they make under contract unless otherwise specified.