I have been holding back with this OP of mine for a couple of weeks time now, and the reason is simply because I haven’t ever experienced anything like this before (I also wanted to get some legal advice when it comes to DMCA and copyright claims on Youtube). Well, long story short.
On the 4th of April Alex Mauer (a chiptune musician who has made music for games like “River City Ransom: Underground”, “Duck Game” and “Starr Mazer DSP“) sent a DMCA claim to our Youtube channel, (I didn’t find out about Mauer’s DMCA claim before the 9th of April though) and that sure came out of nowhere…Because I/we haven’t heard a word from either Mauer or Youtube about this matter (no warning, no nothing). So all of this hit us like a sucker sneaky sucker punch.
Anyways, I think you get the idea. So here’s the outcome of it all. Mauer ‘s DMCA claim against our Youtube channel resulted in the following: 1. Our “Starr Mazerr” trailer got pulled from Youtube (we got the trailer from the game’s publisher many years ago, and we had their approval to upload the trailer on our Youtube page), and 2. Our Youtube channel has been hit with a Youtube class 1 copyright warning for three months (that means that our Youtube page will be closed down if we get two more warnings within the coming months).
I would also like to point out that I didn’t find out about what had happened to us until fans of SidAlpha started to drop a lot of comments on our videos on Youtube. So once I started to look into the matter, I soon realized that this rabbit hole goes wayyyy deeper than I thought. For starter, this is what SidAlpha said on Youtube on the 9th of April (Sid did so in his “Alex Mauer: The Devil of DMCA Returns” video):
“Alex Mauer has begun threatening the developers of River City Ransom and also representatives of Valve . In those threats she is apparently holding YouTube Content Creators hostage in an attempt to apply pressure to force their capitulation by virtue of a 2nd wave of DMCA strikes.” – SidAlpha, via Youtube
That’s right, Mauer is once again sending out DMCA claims on Youtube (the last time I checked Mauer had sent out eight new DMCA claims on Youtube alone…). So this is pretty much part II of Mauer’s DMCA madness from last year. In other words, Mauer hasn’t learned a single thing from last year. So I take it that Mauer will continue to send out DMCA claims until she ends up in jail, because there seems to be no end to Mauer’s DMCA madness.
Nevertheless, I’m just as mad at Mauer as I am at Youtube, because how is it even possible for Mauer to keep on sending out new DMCA claims on Youtube like there is no tomorrow? (its way too easy for people to do what Mauer is doing in terms of abusing the DMCA claim/report system on Youtube).
Sure, I may not be a lawyer, but from what I understand. Mauer has no legal right to send out DMCA claims for videos of “Starr Mazer”, because it appears as if Mauer doesn’t even own the rights to that IP.
Even so, when I first found out about this matter. I was somewhat lost on how I should tackle Mauer’s DMCA claim on our Youtube page. This is also why I got really happy when I saw all the support that we received from SidAlpha’s fans on our Youtube page.
You see, not only did they tell us to keep on doing our thing and keep on fighting against Mauer’s DMCA madness, but they also gave us some advice on what to do. Advice such as the following (you can read all the comments via our Youtube page and our “Light Fall” demo gameplay video):
“I’m no expert in Copyright strikes, but I can tell you that when you appeal it you should make refference to the settlement reached that orders Alex to give up all claims (past and future) to all of the related materials. Since Alex has no legal basis for the claim, the strike is unenforceable. You might also try contacting Leonard French directly, as he is the attorney who handled the case. SidAlpha has offered his aid, and YouTuber Jim Sterling will certainly be tossing his hat into the ring. It may take a bit, but I’m confident all will be made right. Vigilance and Virtue.” – Hibiki TheInkFox
“I came from sidalpha, file a counterclaim and in it state that alex mauer has no copyright claim and is acting in violation of her settlement with Imagos software the attorny for imagos is already aware of the violation and will deal with that.” – GeekMoto13
Other than that, I was also given the advice to reach out to Leonard J. French for legal help (French is a copyright attorney, and his also the same guy who helped Imagos Softworks in their legal battle against Mauer). So that’s exactly what I did, and good thing that since French himself wrote about Mauer’s new wave of DMCAs not too long ago (French published the said post on the 4th of April). Anyways, this is the e-mail that I sent to French on the 16th of April:
“Hi there Leonard =)
I just wanted to inform you that we (TGG, The Gaming Ground, thegg.net) are one of those who have been affected by Alex Mauer’s new wave of DMCA attacks on Youtube. You see, a couple of days ago I found out that Alex Mauer had sent a DMCA claim to our Youtube page due to a really old “Starr Mazer” trailer (http://www.youtube.com/user/theGaminggrounds – Youtube has already deleted the video from our Youtube page on request by Alex Mauer…).
Well, long story short. SidAlpha made a video about the matter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrKYXiPxR5k), and he sent some much-needed love and support our way. So we were told to reach out to you for help (I just read through this post of yours: http://leonardjfrench.com/2018/04/04/new-wave-dmcas-alex-mauer/).
So I’m sorry to bother you, but we really need your help…Because as of now, our Youtube page will be stuck with Mauer’s DMCA claim for three months. In other words, we could lose our Youtube earnings and much more. I for one wish that I could sue Mauer, because from what I can tell, she has no legal right at all to do this (she doesn’t own the rights to “Starr Mazer”)” – Robin Ek, TGG via e-mail 2018-04-16
Well, sadly enough, I haven’t heard anything from French just yet. So I have mailed Youtube about the matter as well (I used the “Copyright strike basics” and “Dispute a Content ID claim” pages for information and help). In other words, I think that I’ve done everything that could be done at this time. So the only thing left for me to do is to wait and see how all of this will turn out. I for one just hope that we (and others) won’t get more DMCA strikes from Mauer…
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
SidAlpha (“Alex Mauer: The Devil of DMCA Returns”)
Musical Anti Hero (“ALEX MAUER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – DMCA TAKEDOWN MADNESS”)
News Cartridge (“My “Interview” with Alex Mauer”)
Leonard J. French (“New wave of DMCAs from Alex Mauer seem to violate Settlement and Restraining Order”)
Sirtaptap (“Alex Mauer Debacle: The DMCA Abuse That Is (and Isn’t) Possible on Youtube”)
One Angry Gamer (“River City Ransom: Underground DMCA’d By Alex Mauer, Removed From Steam”)
SidAlpha (“Alex Mauer threatens a 2nd wave of DMCA strikes”)
DC Conatus (“Why will we replace the music in River City Ransom: Underground?”)
caesaredouard (“The Gospel According to Alex Mauer”)
Reddit (“What’s the deal with Alex Mauer and river city?”)
Lawful Masses with Leonard French (“Imagos WINS! Alex Mauer agrees ‘no more DMCAs'”)
Lawful Masses with Leonard French (“Stop calling me”, says Judge, sets Hearing date”)
Lawful Masses with Leonard French (“Judge responds to myriad Mauer messages”)
Lawful Masses with Leonard French (“Update: Imagos v. Alex Mauer”)
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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