With DMCA complaints currently being a huge issue over at Youtube, it seems that visual novel Major\Minor is now having issues as well, as developer Kyle Lambert, also known as Klace, has had his game pulled off of Steam due to a DMCA claim.
According to a post to Major\Minor’s Steam community page, the game was taken down due to someone claiming they had the rights to one of the characters used in Major\Minor’s trailer. Klace claims that these accusations are false, stating that the character was not copyrighted until after the trailer was released and was a reward for helping fund the game over Paetron. Klace says that the character was only in the trailer for two seconds, and that he had worked out a deal to remove the character from the trailer and game, but that he got permission to keep the current trailer up until he could work a new one. He also notes that the accuser’s only proof was a link to a character reference sheet that was on popular furry art website FurAffinity.
Major\Minor is no stranger to copyright drama. Earlier this year Klace found himself responding to various criticisms of the game, one of the bigger ones being that he had used a fictional species created by Trancy Mick without getting permission. The character was removed, but not before Klace accused Mick of being greedy, though he did eventually pay Mick and apologize for his actions.
Likewise, this isn’t the first time that Steam has had a problem with copyright claims. Some of them are legitimate: indie zombie survival game 7 Days to Die was taken down after it was discovered they were using models from indie arena survival game Killing Floor. It was later discovered they had just bought a model pack off of the Unity Asset Store and were not aware where the models came from. Some are less so: parody game NotGTAV was taken down after Valve was contacted by Rockstar who claimed that the title was too similar to the acronym for their game Grand Theft Auto V. In a strange twist, a few hours later the game was put back up after it was discovered that the person claiming to represent Rockstar actually did not. Other games taken down include MMO Divergence Online and software Steam Cleaner.
Klace said that Valve was taking the claim very seriously and shortly after made a second post saying that the game will be put back onto Steam in two weeks. According to Klace they need to wait two weeks to comply with standard DMCA timeline regulations, but that his counter-claim was enough to get it put back. The demo is still currently available to download on Steam despite the full game being down.
What do you think about this situation? Are the DMCA too easy to abuse? Or is this a legitimate case? Share your thoughts in the comments below!