Conatus Creative’s River City Ransom: Underground has been removed from Steam thanks to the DMCA trigger-happy Alex Mauer.
Mauer, who has previously filed DMCA strikes against Star Gazer DSP, Death Road to Canada and YouTubers playing the titles, claimed the Steam Store page over, yet again, a music rights dispute.
In an article by Destructoid, Mauer confirmed that she was the one behind the claim as well as the claims against numerous YouTube creators playing the game. “Conatus [River City Ransom: Underground’s developers] never got my written permission to use my music in the game,” Mauer said. “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.”
Andrew Merrit, River City Ransom: Underground’s Lead Programmer, has released an official statement on River City Ransom: Underground’s Steam discussion thread. “We are aware that RCRU is down on Steam,” Merrit wrote. “We have contacted Valve’s copyright department, and will let you know when access is restored”
According to another statement on the Steam forums, Mauer was involved in the creation of Ransom Underground’s music as a sub-contractor. The company believes that they have the legal rights to use the music that Mauer and numerous others have collaborated on during the game’s development.
According to Destructoid, Mauer has said that if Conatus wish to have the DMCA claim revoked they’ll have to take her to court just like Star Mazer DSP’s developer Imagos Softworks. Mauer wrote, “Imagos Softworks successfully got their DMCAs retracted by bringing me to court and getting a restraining order. Conatus could do the same. These companies think that acting like they have secured rights is the same as actually having secured rights. Neither Imagos nor Conatus have, but the public is quicker to believe them over me, just because they are game developers.”
Star Mazer DSP and River City Ransom: Underground are both from fairly small-scale developers with both games needing Kickstarter support to finish their development. The DMCA claims from Mauer are undoubtedly damaging to these small companies leading companies like Imagos Softworks turning to IndieGoGo in an attempt to gain funding to stop Mauer from harming any more.