Children’s game Roblox is facing a lawsuit from the National Music Publishers’ Association, with damages to the tune of $200 million.
In a report by Variety, they note that the National Music Publishers’ Association or NMPA is looking to hit Roblox for copyright infringement. This stems from the licensed music being used in the game’s online game platform.
Roblox lawsuit comes from top US music publishers
Roblox reportedly is getting as many as 42 million active daily players and 200 million monthly users. The game is particularly popular among children and tweens who are looking to play with their peers.
— NMPA (@NMPAorg) June 9, 2021
The game’s creator, Roblox Corporation, recently went public, with a market valuation of around $52 billion. Now, the game is facing its biggest lawsuit yet, with one of America’s biggest forces in the music industry.
“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,” said NMPA president David Israelite.
The lawsuit comes on behalf of several publishers, including publishers that represent some of the biggest musicians in the world. These include the likes of Deadmau5, Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, Rolling Stones, and even Ed Sheeran.
Roblox game allows music uploads too easily
The National Music Publishers’ Association details a very good point when it comes to music uploads to Roblox. In the game itself, it’s very easy for players to upload music without hitches.
The game lacks content ID too, which is common across many platforms that allow such uploads. For players to upload sound files, all players need to do is to use files from their devices.
The website will then calculate the price it would cost to upload, using the game’s currency, Robux. Longer bits of music would likely cost more. Even then, there’s no consideration for the licensing costs of the music’s copyright.
Robux makes the company real-life currency too, with 800 Robux sold at $9.99. This valuation means that Roblox charges real money for their service, of which none comes back to the publisher and artists.
In the same vein, Israelite also criticized Twitch and its lack of effort in their music licensing practices.
“Twitch appears to do nothing in response to the thousands of notices of music infringement that it has received nor does it currently even acknowledge that it received them, as it has done in the past,” said a letter from NMPA.
Roblox has not given a comment about the lawsuit from the National Music Publishers’ Association. More news should come in the months to come.
Featured image courtesy of Roblox/Youtube Screenshot