DMCA takedown removes River City Random Underground from Steam

DMCA takedown removes River City Random Underground from Steam

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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 Millenium 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.

The RCRU takedown follows a similar situation surrounding Star Mazer: DSP, another game Mauer had removed from Steam via a DMCA takedown over music rights. Star Mazer‘s developer, Imagos, set up a GoFundMe page to fund their legal effort against that takedown and eventually got a restraining order against Mauer that led to the game’s return to Steam last week.

“Imagos Softworks successfully got their DMCAs retracted by bringing me to court and getting a restraining order,” Mauer told Destructoid. “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.”

While Conatus goes through the DMCA process with Steam, River City Ransom Underground is still available on GOG as of this writing.


via Ars Technica

July 17, 2017 at 11:33AM


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