American McGee’s name reached developer Rockstar status thanks to his contributions to Doom and Quake – to the point at which his early efforts as a game director came with titles like American McGee’s Alice. You’d think that kind of name recognition would grant you a little extra leeway when it comes to copyright allowances for your own games, but it seems YouTube has other ideas.
While Alice: Madness Returns doesn’t have quite the same name branding as its predecessor, it does say ‘An American McGee Game’ on the front of the box. Creative director McGee has posted Let’s Play videos of Madness Returns on his YouTube channel over the years, but those videos are now subject to copyright claims.
Though an overzealous bot attempting to monetise an American McGee gameplay video out from under American McGee is absolutely funny, this copyright dispute is actually much more widespread. Besides McGee, YouTuber SidAlpha, IGN’s Mitchell Saltzman, and numerous others have reported a massive wave of claims from a group called Illustrated Sound Music.