Following releasing many of the false DMCA’s they issued with the intent of extorting YouTubers into expressing grievances with developer Imagos Softworks in order to settle a questionable contract dispute, former industry composer Alex Mauer returned to issuing the malicious and spurious DMCA claims in what is a clear cry for attention and an attempt to feel in control of a spiraling situation they clearly cannot navigate in any manner other than recklessly.
Shortly after my last report on Mauer went out, attorney and YouTuber Leonard French, representing Imagos versus Alex, released an update video. Included in it was the First Amended Complaint in the Imagos vs. Mauer case which pretty clearly spells out how and why Mauer is legally in the wrong, in addition to disclosing information such as the direct death threats that Mauer has made to the plaintiffs and their families as well as spelling out their attempt at extortion.
Leonard goes on to explain that, due to the threats of violence, he is also filing for a Temporary Restraining Order in an effort to expedite the process, therefore allowing a legal presence to step in and assert control over the havoc that Alex is reaping.
At this point in time, Leonard French and Imagos have also resumed fundraising on GoFundMe in order to deal with the increased expected costs to deal with the raised security concerns and to combat whatever defense Mauer’s lawyer may conjure up – but we’ll get more into that shortly.
Shortly after the First Amended Complaint video was uploaded, news began to spread that Alex’s unwarranted DMCA abuse was now being targeted at River City Ransom: Underground, another Kickstarter-funded game, this time by developer Conatus Creative, a small indie team of veteran developers and designers. While it is fortunate that the game wasn’t taken down prior to the end of the Steam Summer Sale, I regret to say that shortly before I started working on this update, River City Ransom: Underground had in fact been removed from the Steam storefront.
I’m going to stop here for a moment, to talk about the Steam Summer Sale. Although it is a surge of funds for developers, it is still a surge of funds that they to some extent anticipate within their budgets and rely on to keep the engine of their operation running, i.e. paying their development team and staff members. Starr Mazer: DSP was removed from the Steam Store Front during the Steam Summer Sale and as a result, Imagos missed a projected several thousand units of sales. These are gamers like you and me, many of which have families to feed and who work long, hard hours for their salaries; when someone acts as ignorant, irresponsible, and despicable as Alex has these past few weeks, it appalls me to no end that someone’s ego can be so inflated, that someone can be so conceited, that someone can hurt so many others with such reckless abandon – and play the victim card turn after turn, begging for it to carry some modicum of weight, if only one time. Imagos has at this point decided to litigate Alex fully, which I think is not only appropriate but at this point is mandatory; we cannot allow entitled brats to dictate which developers get to participate in one of the largest gaming sales of the year, or allow them to put their former colleagues’ livelihoods at risk. There’s also the matter of the dozens of YouTubers they have displayed the same grotesque lack of consideration towards, but I feel as if the point has been made.
“These are gamers like you and me, many of which have families to feed and who work long, hard hours for their salaries; when someone acts as ignorant, irresponsible, and despicable as Alex has these past few weeks, it appalls me to no end…”
Following the news of River City Ransom: Underground being Alex’s latest target, the Alextravaganza would state that they didn’t see how the case would ever make it to court, before following that up with indication that they were in fact seeking a lawyer and also publicly disclosing that they had a pending DMCA strike against SidAlpha.
Shortly following those events, Alex would announce they were successful in taking down the Starr Mazer: DSP YouTube channel. This once again clearly demonstrates that they are fully aware of the extreme consequences of their ruthlessness upon others and the extent to which they are damaging these brands, and their sharing a screenshot of the terminated channel even seems to imply a sense of pride or achievement. Alex Mauer celebrates harm.
Mauer would release an email dated March 6th from a supposed lawyer named “Cory Shackelford,” which seems like a meme but is an actual lawyer. However, I want to point out that Shackelford practices law in California and cannot represent Alex in this particular case (without some complicated maneuvering) for that reason, and the gist of the services Shackelford provides seems to primarily be sending intimidating letters with a legal letterhead in an effort to encourage compliance with whatever profound demands their quote-unquote clients may have.
While Alex published old, largely irrelevant paperwork, Leonard French would file a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against Alex, which is available on his website alongside the First Amended Complaint if you’d like to review either document. Pursuant to the motion, an appearance before the judge was set for Thursday, 13 July at 11am.
Leonard French would go on to update the Legal Support GoFundMe, indicating that Alex had in fact finally retained an attorney that could represent them in Pennsylvania. Further investigation revealed not only that this attorney was most likely hired by Alex’s father, but that the lawyer hired, Frank Mazzeo, is quite accomplished and competent in the field of copyright law.
Following the news of Mauer’s attorney, the Alextravaganza seemed to settle for a dozen or so hours, and all was quiet ‘til the morning of 13 July, when the following texts were leaked by Mauer following the TRO hearing, during which the Temporary Restraining Order against Mauer was granted, asserting that any further DMCA takedown requests filed by Alex would result in a violation of the TRO, in addition to a number of other conditions designed to mitigate any further potential damage Alex may intend to cause.
The text string shows what we can assume to be Mazzeo attempting to follow up with Mauer following the granting of the TRO, only for them to return fire with an indication that they consider Mazzeo to be fired at this point.
Despite a reasonable response indicating Alex’s best interests were in Mazzeo’s mind, Mauer simply cannot resist any opportunity to swiftly play the victim card, insinuating that Mazzeo’s text messages are some sort of intended attempt at harassment. The sheer audacity and ignorance is just unfathomable.
A former 12-year close friend of Mauer’s who’s also been victimized by them reported that the TRO hearing was over and done in only nine minutes, with others seemingly fluent in legal proceedings indicating that the bail amount indicated for the TRO was absurdly low, amounting to only $100, indicating that the judge is most likely in favor of plaintiffs Imagos Softworks’ and Leonard French’s side of the case.
Thinly Veiled Threats
The Alextravaganza went on to publish an intimidating photo of a package addressed to the judge that presided over their TRO hearing along with the home addresses of both themselves and the judge. Shortly thereafter, orders of pizza began arriving at Alex’s home, as tends to happen when someone under intense public scrutiny doxxes themselves. My opinion is that it is Alex’s desire that someone physically transgress against them, that they might finally have some weight behind their relentless pleas that they are a victim and not the major offending transgressor in this entire matter.
As of the writing of this report, due to the continued DMCA’s against River City Ransom: Underground, it appears that Alex has violated the terms of their Temporary Restraining Order. [Edit: see first update below regarding this statement.] The TRO specifically states Alex is not to issue any further DMCA’s, including to non-parties, without prior written permission from the court, per page 2 section c. Alex is also on probation for what I understand to be a separate, unrelated incident. Typically violating a TRO in Pennsylvania carries a maximum sentence of up to 6 months in jail and/or a thousand-dollar fine, but given the extreme malice Alex has exhibited in conjunction with their prior legal complications, I doubt any leniency will be shown to them, and rightly so.
I’d say things can’t get any more ridiculous than they already have, but I think we all know I’d be quite naive in that declaration. I want Alex to get the mental help they so obviously need, but I am simultaneously all for making an example out of what has been the most disgusting and childish abuse of the DMCA system that I know of. I’m sure the courts will deliver just rewards to those who bargain for them. Speaking of which, it seems Alex has finally gone silent on Twitter. This may indicate that they were arrested, or have finally made one reasonable move – or it could soon prove to be yet another farce.
“I want Alex to get the mental help they so obviously need, but I am simultaneously all for making an example out of what has been the most disgusting and childish abuse of the DMCA system that I know of.”
I’ll be continuing to give updates on Twitter as they arise, and may follow this story up sooner rather than later should the Alextravaganza continue, but I would be none too surprised if incarceration were exercised given where things stand presently.
Update: Upon review of the TRO, while it looks like Alex can easily be in breach of the granted terms, it seems that the RCRU/non-party DMCA’s in particular do not constitute a breach. Thanks to YouTuber Charles Miller for pointing this out to me!
Update 2: Alex has become active on Twitter again, and has also filed a motion to withdraw their attorney.