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River City Ransom: Underground Removed from Steam due to DMCA Claim by Alex Mauer

Update (7/14/2017) @ 4:29PM – GOG version of the game appears to still be live

Original Story – Licensed indie beat-em-up River City Ransom: Underground has been pulled from Steam earlier today as a result of a DMCA takedown request from Alex Mauer, who composed some of the music for the title in collaboration with other artists. 

In a now-deleted tweet showing an email to Disasterpeace (another composer for the title), Mauer makes several claims:

  • Claim requiring split revenue between her and Cheap Dinosaurs (another composer for the title)
  • Claim that she is owed a mastering fee
  • Claim that she is owed back pay
  • Claim that she and Cheap Dinosaurs must be added to the credits

The game’s soundtrack is no longer available via its Bandcamp page on Disasterpeace’s account, likely due to a DMCA claim from Mauer. Neither Cheap Dinosaurs nor Disasterpeace have made any comment on the issue as of yet.

River City Ransom devs Conatus Creative provided an official statement via the game’s Steam Community forum: “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.”

This claim from Mauer comes just a few months after the start of their contract dispute with Imagos Softworks, wherein Mauer claimed that she was not paid for her work in Starr Mazer: DSP, and had the game taken down from Steam with a DMCA claim as of February 23, 2017. Mauer also mass-filed hundreds (perhaps thousands) of DMCA takedowns on Youtube videos containing video of Starr Mazer: DSP. Imagos Softworks responded by releasing the details of their contract with Mauer, which specifies that they had a work for hire agreement with her and that all work she created as part of the agreement was the intellectual property of Imagos Softworks and not Mauer, and that Mauer was paid to the tune of ~$36,500 for her work with Imagos. The issue was then taken to court

Starr Mazer: DSP was eventually reinstated onto Steam as of July 11, 2017. Imagos Softworks have been granted a temporary restraining order as of July 13, 2017 by the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court, instructing her from filing any further copyright claims or takedown notices on any work related to Starr Mazer, and that she must rescind all current takedown notices currently pending related to Starr Mazer. 


Taylor Whaley

Taylor is an avid enjoyer of the indie gaming scene and the games industry. He got his start in video games journalism back in 2012 when he started writing for a small online publication. Since then he has written for several others and now contributes to Two Credits. Often accused of being addicted to coffee.

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