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Roblox facing $200 million lawsuit for using music without permission | Pocket Gamer.biz

Update: Roblox has released a statement addressing how it utilises artist’s music in the platform and the reported lawsuit.

“We do not tolerate copyright infringement, which is why we use industry-leading, advanced filtering technology to detect and prohibit unauthorised recordings,” it reads.

“We expeditiously respond to any valid Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request by removing any infringing content and, in accordance with our stringent repeat infringer policy, taking action against anyone violating our rules.

“We are surprised and disappointed by this lawsuit which represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Roblox platform operates, and will defend Roblox vigorously as we work to achieve a fair resolution.”

The statement concludes by saying the company is “committed to continuing to partner with the music industry to unlock new, creative, and commercial opportunities for artists and songwriters through virtual merchandise, exclusive virtual concerts, launch parties and more.”

Original Story: A lawsuit has been filed against Roblox from The National Music Publishers’ Association for allegedly using numerous songs within the game without permission.

As reported by Variety, the group is seeking a minimum of $200 million in damages for featuring songs from the likes of Ariana Grande, Deadmau5, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, The Rolling Stones and more.

It was noted that Roblox boasts more than 42 million daily active players and that the firm has gone to great efforts to avoid paying artists.

Roblox has held numerous concerts in-game over the past year or so, including a performance from US rapper Lil Nas X in December 2020. It is also set to hold a virtual block party on June 11th to celebrate the launch of In the Heights, a musical motion picture.

“Taking advantage”

NMPA CEO and president David Israelite confirmed that the company would be going ahead with the lawsuit against the user-generated platform at the 2021 annual meeting of the trade group.

During this, he stated that Roblox had accumulated: “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.”

As part of the lawsuit, the NMPA “will ensure songwriters are fully paid for their works on the platform and that Roblox takes seriously its obligations to those who have made its service so popular and profitable”.

PocketGamer.biz has reached out to Roblox for comment.

Roblox generated $387 million in revenue throughout Q1 2021, representing a rise of 140 per cent over the same period in 2020.

We recently spoke to Roblox vice president of engineering Julian Walshaw-Vaughan who believes it’s on companies to create a welcoming environment where people of all backgrounds can thrive.


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