Alex Mauer's DMCA rampage on Starr Mazer videos

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Abusing the DMCA system to silence criticisms and gaming Youtubers is a common tactic used by dodgy game developers who don't want negative criticism. If a video receives a copyright strike, it is removed immediately, and the Youtube Channel loses many privileges. By YouTube's rules, having 3 copyright strikes at once will result in the channel being terminated. This incident, however, is a different type of DMCA abuse against YouTube Gamers.

Alex Mauer is a music composer who was hired by Imagos Software to compose the soundtrack for their game Starr Mazer and its related products. According to Alex's contract, the copyrights to the soundtrack belongs to Imagos Software NOT Alex, which they later used for the games' spin-off Starr Mazer DSP. However Alex had to drop from the development due to medical reasons.

Imagos Software intended to pay Alex for the work she had done and extra compensation, however Alex apparently believes Imagos still owes her money. This began a dispute between Alex and Imagos over the ownership of the soundtrack copyright ownership. Alex seems to argue that because she wasn't fully paid, the contract should be void and she own the copyrights back. She filed a DMCA strike against Starr Mazer DSP on Steam, forcing the game to be removed from Steam so the music could be removed. She also tried to sell the soundtrack for $1,000. Imagos countered the DMCA but the game was still not back for a while. This wasn't the only DMCA Alex filed over this argument, as she manually filed DMCA strikes against every YouTube video she could find that involved Starr Mazer DSP and the soundtrack she composed. Alex had filed more than 74 DMCAs against more than 60 YouTubers, some of which had 2 strikes or even 3. This means Alex has put over 60 people at risk of losing their channels forever, including TotalBiscuit. YouTuber Sidalpha was the first to report Alex filing so many DMCAs, followed by TotalBiscuit as he was one of the affected channels. Further research showed that Alex is not the owner of the soundtracks in Starr Mazer, which would make all those DMCA claims fraudulent, and even if she were the owner this would still be an abuse and improper use of the DMCA system. This potentially opens the possibility to sue Alex over this incident.

According to evidence found, Alex intended to strike those Youtubers with DMCAs to pressure Imagos into giving her the money she think she owned. Essentially, Alex was using DMCA claims as a form of extortion to force over 60 people to do her bidding. She even sent messages to the people she filed those DMCAs hoping to get information then she refused to remove the strikes when no one did what she wanted. No one did that because Alex was the one who filed those claims, not the developer. It was also reported that Alex was sending threatening messages to others, and showed signs of unhinged behavior.

On June 28, 2017, it was announced that Imagos Software would indeed file a lawsuit against Mauer, and on December 1, Imagos won. It was decided that Imagos was the only legal owner of the soundtrack, Alex now is unable to make any more DMCA complaints regarding it, and there are basis to create a legal precedent against using the DMCA system against gamers.



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