PixelJam and Imagos Softworks’ Starr Mazer: DSP was a promising crowd-funded Kickstarter project giving gamers a high-octane bullet-hell shooter experience… or so, it seemed like that’s what it was going to provide before they were hit with legal troubles from their own composer.
Starr Mazer entered into Early Access back in August of 2016 after successfully being Kickstarted. The game had to be pulled after the developers ran into some copyright troubles with the composer.
A recap and a plea for help was posted up over on the Leonard J. French legal website. Imagos Softworks’ Don Thacker took the opportunity to update the community on why the Kickstarted bullethell shooter was removed from the Steam store and why they’re currently in a gridlock with the game’s composer, Alex Mauer.
Mauer filed copyright claims against Imagos, forcing the game off of digital storefronts, as well as using DMCA takedowns to ban promotional material off the web, including going after YouTubers and their Let’s Play content, and live-streams from Twitch. There was a video made about the incident, giving the gaming community a quick update on everything that transpired.
As mentioned in the post on the website…
“Unfortunately, the copyright system in the United States has allowed her to assert rights that she does not actually own. And her assertion of those rights has caused Imagos and Don to lose credibility with many of the people and companies they do business with.
“This has resulted in Imagos and Don losing developers, financial support, potential and existing film clients, and that has further caused them all a great deal of stress. They have tried to handle the matter quietly so that Alex would have the best chance of improving.
“Alex has recently become very public about the matter. We have decided to pursue court action solely to adjudicate Imagos’ rights and to clear up any dispute with Alex. This is all in the hopes that the developers, including Don, can continue with their first love, development of the game.”
The post offers up a link to a GoFundMe.com page to help pay the legal fees to win back the ability to sell the game and overcome the DMCA abuse issued by Mauer.
They’ve already managed to accrue $11,700 as of the wrtiting of this article, surpassing their $10,000 goal.
A lot of this came after news popped up that Alex Mauer had sent death threats to YouTuber, SidAlpha.
Some gamers are distraught that they are unable to purchase Starr Mazer from the store at the moment, while others are just confused about the behavior from Mauer. Content creators like TotalBiscuit have published public empathy, while others have chronicled the events from afar as they continue to unfold. Most gamers simply want to be able to get back to the game without having to worry about all of the legal drama.
(Thanks for the news tip Hawk Hopper)