Male Drosophila are monosomic for the X chromosome, but survive due to dosage compensation. They use the Male Specific Lethal (MSL) complex composed of noncoding roX RNA and histone modifying enzymes to hypertranscribe most genes along the X ∼1.6-1.8 fold relative to each female allele. It is not known how the MSL complex achieves this precise adjustment to a large and diverse set of target genes. We carried out a genetic screen searching for novel factors that regulate dosage compensation in flies. This strategy generated thirty alleles in a previously uncharacterized gene, over compensating males (ocm) that antagonizes some aspect of MSL activity. The mutations were initially recovered because they derepressed an MSL-dependent eye color reporter. Null ocm mutations are lethal to both sexes early in development revealing an essential function. Combinations of hypomorphic ocm alleles display a male specific lethality similar to mutations in the classic msl genes, but ocm males die due to excessive, rather than lack of dosage compensation. Males that die due to very low MSL activity can be partially rescued by ocm mutations. Likewise, males that would die from ocm mutations can be rescued by reducing the dose of various msl and roX genes. ocm encodes a large nuclear protein that shares a novel cysteine rich motif with known transcription factors.