Go Back   Fratching! > General > Pop Culture

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

The Alex Mauer YouTube DMCA Debacle
  #1  
Old 06-27-2017, 02:44 PM
EricKei's Avatar
EricKei EricKei is offline
Fratchimungousaur
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NOLA Expatriate
Posts: 260
Default The Alex Mauer YouTube DMCA Debacle

Big kerfluffle that has been building up for some time exploded over the weekend:

  • - A composer (Alex Mauer) was hired to write music for a game, Starr Maserr DSP (sp?) by Imagos Films/Imagos Softworks
  • - She says she was not paid for the full contract (after she was released from it early); Says she was shorted about ten grand
  • - She claims that the music she wrote (this was a work-for-hire contract) is copyrighted to her; the company says otherwise
  • - In response to being allegedly shorted cash, she could (and probably should) have decided to address her grievances in court with the company...
  • ...Instead, she issued roughly seventy (70) DMCA takedowns to any YouTuber she could find who was using her music from SM: DSP in any way (apparently without stopping to consider Fair Use potential first); it has recently come out that she has issued as many or more claims to Twitch streamers for the same reason.
  • This appears to have gotten at least one YT channel and one Twitch streamer's accounts summarily deleted, and put dozens more of each in jeopardy of the same.


...And here's the rub: Her reason for doing this was to try and get these content creators to complain to her contracted former employer on her behalf (while also saying openly that they are stupid and none of them have real jobs...yes, even the ones who were making thousands of dollars a month before this). In return, she would rescind her DMCA strikes (an offer which she has now renegged on). In other words, blackmail.


She has now expressed her utter shock and amazement that none of her targets were willing to play along with her "request." She complained far and wide, unable to comprehend that the people she issued these strikes to were complaining to her instead of to Imagos.


For more details from folks who know much more about the sitch: Go to YT and look for videos by SidAlpha, Total Biscuit, and copyright attorney Leonard French (note: he has agreed to work as Imagos' attorney in this matter; he is in Mauer's home jurisdiction) -- see his livestream from this Sunday for his feelings on the matter from *before* he actually came on board as an attorney for Imagos.


Side notes:


  • According to French, Mauer never had the copyright anyway; not that it would have mattered, as she still would not have the right to abuse YT's DMCA system in this way
  • Imagos offered to give Mauer the copyrights just to get her to shut up, go away, and rescind all of the Strikes; she refused
  • Imagos has had to pull the game off of Steam until they can get a new soundtrack written for it
  • Mauer has been pleading her case on the Steam fora recently -- with her position basically being "YT/playing games and streaming isn't a real job and those who do so are idiots. So, idiots, why the hell aren't you on my side, here???"
  • YT'ers have noted that some of the scummier denizens of the interwebs have been doxxing Mauer, sending death threats, and the like. As usual, completely inappropriate (and arguably illegal). If you hear of anyone doing so, please try to get them to grow up and knock it the hell off; they're not helping.


So....as many of my few threads here begin....


Thoughts?
__________________
"Judge not, lest ye get shot in your bed while your sleep." - Liz, The Dreadful
"If you villainize people who contest your points, you will eventually find yourself surrounded by enemies that you made." - Philip DeFranco

Last edited by EricKei; 06-29-2017 at 05:42 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old 06-27-2017, 05:21 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,475
Default

I did some looking into this. Here are some other key points:

Mauer was the one who backed out of her contract, for health reasons. Ergo, the company paid for work done. Sounds reasonable enough to me.

In such a contract (as is often standard practice), Imagos is the owner of the IP created by Mauer. So, her copyright claims are unfounded.

She sounds like a rather petulant child throwing a tantrum over things that didn't go her way. She couldn't sue because she had no grounds to sue, so instead she went on a rampage and is wondering why everyone is blaming her for it.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old 06-27-2017, 10:34 PM
EricKei's Avatar
EricKei EricKei is offline
Fratchimungousaur
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NOLA Expatriate
Posts: 260
Default

Agreed. The copyright lawyer I mentioned, among others, pointed out that even if she actually had the copyright, it would still be considered either Misuse of a DMCA claim or perjury, depending on who you ask (YT says it's perjury). Not good either way.

On another side note: She had the soundtrack up on BandCamp for a short while -- for a piddly one thousand dollars per copy O_O ...that is, until Imagos filed a DMCA claim against her for doing so. She has reportedly since posted it elsewhere, for free, and they decided not to bother with going after her for that.
__________________
"Judge not, lest ye get shot in your bed while your sleep." - Liz, The Dreadful
"If you villainize people who contest your points, you will eventually find yourself surrounded by enemies that you made." - Philip DeFranco
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old 06-28-2017, 12:16 PM
EricKei's Avatar
EricKei EricKei is offline
Fratchimungousaur
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NOLA Expatriate
Posts: 260
Default

New details :

Wed AM

- In the court case, it seems that Imagos is only asking for the Court to formally lay down who owns the copyrights. No money demands save for their attorney fees.

- Mauer sat down for an interview in which it became clear that she doesn't understand quite how the YT copyright strike system works (either that, or they've quietly changed it so that multiple strikes from one source count as just one strike)...and then promptly sent the interviewer a copyright strike for using a single photo of her in the video -- one which is easy to find online.

- Mauer has emailed SidAlpha -- with some "rationalization" not worth repeating -- with more than one rather overt death threat. There have already been several people saying that they're concerned about her mental state, but this is....Wow. >_< It has been reported to the police, just in case.

Wed PM

- YouTube has agreed to escalate all of the videos claimed that the owners have filed disputes over -- in other words, they're having actual people look them over, and much, much sooner than usual. TB sent them a list of known targets to facilitate this.

- The main commenters (SA, TB, and French) seem to be more and more of the opinion that this lady may have some mental issues going on.
__________________
"Judge not, lest ye get shot in your bed while your sleep." - Liz, The Dreadful
"If you villainize people who contest your points, you will eventually find yourself surrounded by enemies that you made." - Philip DeFranco

Last edited by EricKei; 06-29-2017 at 05:43 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old 06-29-2017, 11:11 AM
Andrew B Andrew B is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 102
Default

It has gotten worse. She has sent death threats to SidAlpha.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old 06-29-2017, 11:37 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2,208
Default

There's basically three issues.(aside from the death threats)
1. is she owed money under the contract. That isn't entirely clear. (basically, it would need a provision in the original contract, or a specific agreement between her and the company to let her off the rest of the contract in exchange for no further billing. Theoretically, they could both be in breach of contract.)
2. The copyright. It's...complicated. It's not as simple as "hire someone to make something and you get the copyright"- Work For Hire is more "Your employer owns the copyright for your work" as I understand it. However, it's all but universal that contracts of the type she would have include assignment of copyright anyway. I suppose theoretically if they were in breach of contract, but that's reaching somewhat.
3. the DMCA abuse. you DON'T use the DMCA that way.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old 06-30-2017, 02:04 AM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,475
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_stabeler View Post
There's basically three issues.(aside from the death threats)
1. is she owed money under the contract. That isn't entirely clear. (basically, it would need a provision in the original contract, or a specific agreement between her and the company to let her off the rest of the contract in exchange for no further billing. Theoretically, they could both be in breach of contract.)
I've done contract work in the past (in software engineering, slightly different from creative work, but similarly a work-for-hire situation). Every single contract I've signed said payment was conditional on work completed. If work I did was incomplete, typically the arrangement is I'm paid pro-rated based on the previous completed milestone. Meaning, if I got certain parts of the software done (say, a proof of concept, or it made it to a testing phase), I'd get paid for that work. But I won't get paid for the unfinished work after that.

That's only if the contract is on a task basis (e.g. I charge a set price based on an estimate and scope of work, everything I do within that scope is for that price, regardless of time spent). If it's on an hourly basis, then I'm paid right up until I say I don't want to continue the contract anymore. Although the client would likely have grounds to sue me for at least partial repayment if they felt I did so unjustifiably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_stabeler View Post
2. The copyright. It's...complicated. It's not as simple as "hire someone to make something and you get the copyright"- Work For Hire is more "Your employer owns the copyright for your work" as I understand it. However, it's all but universal that contracts of the type she would have include assignment of copyright anyway. I suppose theoretically if they were in breach of contract, but that's reaching somewhat.
IANAL, but the only realistic scenario that I could see is if the hired artist went out and said "this contract is hereby null and void" which means they'd get no compensation for any work created, but theoretically it also means the artist is free to do with the work as they see fit. Then again, it might mean the work is in a state of limbo where neither the artist nor the commissioning customer is entitled to the copyright. I'm really not sure how that would work.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old 06-30-2017, 04:01 AM
EricKei's Avatar
EricKei EricKei is offline
Fratchimungousaur
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NOLA Expatriate
Posts: 260
Default

Latest: Full story here -- video by attorney Leonard French: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryWjMNVb3sI

TL;DW (didn't watch) version:

- She's sent him overt threats as well; he's juuuust a bit stressed out as a result...and it shows
- The case is going forward; French is working for half his usual rate. A GoFundMe has been set up for it, and reached its goal in 2 days. Any leftover funds will go to the Child's Play charity once it's done. (He waxes a bit emotional -- in a good way -- over this)
- French (among others) has been working (in some way that he is not currently free to discuss) to get Alex "some of the help that she needs" -- in other words: He's implying "help" of the psychiatric variety.
- He explains, briefly, some of the steps to be taken as far as the case itself is concerned -- among which: He will try to obtain a court order to keep her from issuing any more Strikes
__________________
"Judge not, lest ye get shot in your bed while your sleep." - Liz, The Dreadful
"If you villainize people who contest your points, you will eventually find yourself surrounded by enemies that you made." - Philip DeFranco

Last edited by EricKei; 06-30-2017 at 04:04 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old 07-04-2017, 01:07 PM
EricKei's Avatar
EricKei EricKei is offline
Fratchimungousaur
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NOLA Expatriate
Posts: 260
Default

Well, this explains why Mme. Mauer has been quiet -- Her ex wife (Mauer is Transitioning, MtF) had her committed O_O;> Alex was released after 5 days and pretty much picked up where she left off, even doubling down in her threat to Turner Broadcasting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnLZVmMLM3M

edit/update:

(news starts at 2:33 or so) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUEECgeBMg0

It just keeps getting more and more...something; not sure anymore which word to use. Now Mauer has tried to DMCA a game on Steam, and has referred to Valve's actually checking things out (with an actual person) before flagging/banning the game as being a "hiccup" in their system. Upon being stymied, she threatened *that* game's developer, telling him that she would up the pressure on the YT vids if he didn't voluntarily take the "offending" game down. She also sent a DMCA to BandCamp regarding said game.

Bonus: Near the end: A message from French talking about the legal precedent that establishes the ownership of the music -- namely, with Imagos, NOT with Mauer.
__________________
"Judge not, lest ye get shot in your bed while your sleep." - Liz, The Dreadful
"If you villainize people who contest your points, you will eventually find yourself surrounded by enemies that you made." - Philip DeFranco

Last edited by EricKei; 07-05-2017 at 06:37 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old 07-05-2017, 03:23 PM
Andrew B Andrew B is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 102
Default

If this was someone's customer on CS, we'd be recommending it for a war story. If anyone believed it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 08:24 PM.


vBulletin skins developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.