Roblox hit with $200 million lawsuit over creators' use of unlicensed music

midian182

Posts: 7,077   +62
Staff member
What just happened? Roblox, one of the most popular gaming platforms in the world, has been hit with a $200 million lawsuit from the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) for illegally using music uploaded by users.

Variety reports that NMPA president/CEO David Israelite announced the lawsuit at the trade group's 2021 annual meeting, highlighting Roblox's millions of daily active players and alleging that it goes to great lengths to avoid paying artists for using their music.

"Roblox has earned hundreds of millions of dollars by requiring users to pay every time they upload music onto the platform — taking advantage of young people's lack of understanding about copyright — and then they take virtually no action to prevent repeat infringement or alert users to the risks they are taking," Israelite said.

Around half of Roblox's 42 million active daily users are under the age of 13—it's the most popular title among 7- to 16-year-olds in the UK. The company went public earlier this year and has a market cap of $52 billion.

Adding music or sound to your Roblox creations involves uploading a file from a computer. Users are then given an estimated price of the upload, likely based on its size and length, that has to be paid in Robux, Roblox's real-money currency.

The lawsuit states that some of the songs being used in Roblox without the artists being compensated include those recorded by Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, deadmau5, Ed Sheeran, and the Rolling Stones. It seeks a minimum of $200 million in damages "for Roblox's unabashed exploitation of music without proper licenses."

Roblox wasn't Israelite's only target. He also said Twitch continues to fail to license music, noting that the NMPA will step up its campaign to remove content that it alleges owner Amazon refuses to pay for.

An "intensive enforcement program to ID and remove unlicensed songs from [Twitch]" is already underway and will be increased, Israelite said.

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madboyv1

Posts: 1,713   +632
Well, I assume their onus is directed more at the streamers of Twitch, but I suppose between subs and other buy-ins it's not a hard pivot to target Twitch for monetizing copyright infringement... but the Roblox situation is as flagrant as it gets. XD
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 948   +1,749
My only feelings on this are that the RIAA needs to be forced to disband and be permanently dissolved: we have moved past the need for music producers and distributors and the fact that they are this powerful when they are in effect just parasites making money off platform companies, media companies (You know that actually host and/or create media, not just "music" which is a small part of it) and particularly the artist they claim to represent.

Yet is a testament of how much power they were able to bribe politicians into giving them (Some may say "lobbying" but that's just a way to legalize bribes so lets call it what it really is) and now other companies probably need to band together and come up with sane copyright laws and principles that don't just limit them greatly.
 

BadThad

Posts: 616   +657
My only feelings on this are that the RIAA needs to be forced to disband and be permanently dissolved: we have moved past the need for music producers and distributors and the fact that they are this powerful when they are in effect just parasites making money off platform companies, media companies (You know that actually host and/or create media, not just "music" which is a small part of it) and particularly the artist they claim to represent.

Yet is a testament of how much power they were able to bribe politicians into giving them (Some may say "lobbying" but that's just a way to legalize bribes so lets call it what it really is) and now other companies probably need to band together and come up with sane copyright laws and principles that don't just limit them greatly.

I feel sorry for musicians! The industry is packed full of parasites earning money on the backs of performers. The revenue earned from album & song sales it next to nothing for the musicians as the parasites suck away 90+% of sales. Meanwhile, the only way for a musician to make money is touring and shows.