An ‘Unpaid’ Video Game Composer is Blackmailing YouTubers with DMCA Strikes

As anyone who runs a YouTube channel will tell you, the current situation with copyright online is deeply messed up. It’s been used to take down criticism of bad games and companies. It’s been used to remove footage of popular games that companies simply don’t want advertised at all.

And where music is concerned… well that’s another kettle of fish entirely. You seemingly can’t use any song in a YouTube video without worrying that some fraudulent holding company or another will content ID the video to serve ads on it.

It’s absolutely ridiculous.

However, the recent incidents involving Starr Mazer: DSP are even worse. Why?


Because it’s not the game’s creators taking down videos.

It’s the game’s music composer issuing copyright strikes because she thinks the game’s developers didn’t pay her for her work.

Basically, she says that Imagos Softworks owes her $10,000 for unpaid music work. So she’s decided to use the DMCA system to ‘raise awareness’ about the issue, with said copyright strikes only being removed if the YouTube video creators post a news story about how the game’s developers owe you money.

As a result, you’ve suddenly got a bunch of YouTubers dragged into the middle of a firefight between an angry composer and a game development team. With their potential careers in jeopardy as a ‘bargaining chip’.

It’s pretty ridiculous all around. Illegal too, given how it’s misusing the DMCA system.

So I’m gonna try and end this by saying one thing to Alex Mauer here.


Yes, I know why you’re angry. Having your work ripped off (if your claims are true) is a horrible thing for any artist.

However, here’s the thing:

The YouTubers you are targeting had nothing to do with this. They didn’t ask the company not to pay you. They’re not celebrating your personal situation, or laughing at your expense.

No, they’re just recording a game because they enjoy it. Or they feel their fans will enjoy it.

So why are you punishing them like this? You know they could lose their accounts because of crap like this. You know how ridiculous YouTube gets after copyright strikes.

Yet you still target innocent people to ‘make a message’. That’s not being a good person. That’s being an utter bully and scumbag.

It’s like being a fired employee who sabotages their ex company’s customers to ‘get back at the boss’. Like that recent example of a web hosting company admin who wiped his ex company’s hard drives because they had a falling out with their employer.

It’s petty, it’s unprofessional and makes everything worse for no gain whatsoever.

So just stop, okay? If you have problems with Imago Softworks, take it up with the company themselves.

Abusing YouTube’s broken copyright system is not a good way to ‘send a message’ or ‘raise awareness’. It’s petty, and makes you come across as a bully, especially when the people you’re targeting have nothing to do with your situation.

Thank you.


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13 Comments on "An ‘Unpaid’ Video Game Composer is Blackmailing YouTubers with DMCA Strikes"

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Do people not like feet anymore? Why more and more people are just shotting their own feet like this? She couldn’t have imagined “Nothing could go wrong with holding people hostage because of my problems with the company. Nothing at all. Yep. I will come out of this completely unscathed”. I cannot believe this was her line of thought.


Also her claims are completely specious. As you might expect of someone trying to weaponize DMCA take downs.

Music also has copyright on it. If the music was indeed used without the payment for it having been made, then the copyright claims are legit as the copyright will still be in the composers hands. It’s not the composers problem whether or not the Youtubers were the ones who originally infringed on the copyright, because if the composer is telling the truth then it is a real infringement. The Youtubers are caught in the middle, but that’s just the risk of uploading content that contains other peoples work. Even the request to create a post about the devs having… Read more »

Wow that was a great post. Ive been reading – listened to TBs thing for a while now but it just didnt feel “right” somehow. It didnt add up. Thank you very much for this. Its a really shitty situation that has been presented as something very black and white, when it really wasnt. I do worry that the internet community isnt going to understand the enormous difference between this and the very “black and white” attacking of criticism etc. that has been going on, making youtubers worried and on edge.

There are two very important points however that nullify your argument and put her squarely back in the wrong. 1) Many of the videos showing footage of the game were doing so in a way that falls under “fair use” and it would be abuse of the system to issue a takedown to those videos even as the holder of the copyright. 2) For the videos she tagged that don’t fall under the protection of fair use, it’s still abuse because at the moment she does NOT own the copyright to any of the music. Imago does. She signed a… Read more »
Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. The composer doesn’t have ownership of the music license until she’s paid. Imagos Softworks owned it from the moment it was created, as per the terms of their contract. The only thing the contract entitles the composer to is the agreed on monetary compensation. If she truly wasn’t paid, she can pursue her pay through a number of means, but there just isn’t a situation where she will be able to just assume ownership of something she never owned in the first place. That’s how work for hire music composition goes. You aren’t… Read more »

She sign a work for hire contract, while that contract might be void, the product of the contract is still the Game developer’s intellectual property, just like Cane said. Also, she is not issuing a DMCA claim, Youtube has made it very clear that their system is NOT an actual DMCA claim and only modeled on it, that is why you can make a claim and not be guilty of perjury.


“There is nothing illegal about what the composer did according to US and European copyright laws”

. Exactly which law school did you study at to reach that conclusion? I know there are several comments on your post already telling you exactly why your entire comment is incorrect, but please just leave the law to people who understand it.

It is absolutely a DMCA abuse. Once your mark on a piece of work is dispute between contract holders it is up to them to decide who’s work it is. If they cannot reach an agreement on the rights holder, it goes to arbitration by court. She bypassed her contract and went straight to DMCA claims with the intent to hold those claims until said Youtubers dealt with the game developers themselves. Basically extorting them into making the you tube channels do the work she needed to do herself. On top of that, Let’s Plays, Reviews and such fall under… Read more »

She’s targeting these Youtubers because she doesn’t think working as a Youtuber is a real job. She thinks she’s above anybody trying to make a living off of Let’s Plays, and therefore she has the right to fuck with these people. What a c… crass… person.