Record labels sue Roblox for letting users upload pirated songs

Filed in Internet by on June 11, 2021

Roblox has been sued by the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) for allowing users to upload music by Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, deadmau5, and other artists without paying a licensing fee. The lawsuit wants $200 million in damages as well as a court order for Roblox to take action against piracy.

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of many major music publishers yesterday.

It accuses Roblox of providing a shared library of copyrighted but unauthorized tunes. Roblox is a hugely successful, kid-focused platform for games and social activities. Roblox “actively preys on its impressionable user base and their thirst for popular music, teaching minors that pirating music is entirely normal,” according to the suit.

nd Roblox with vigor as we try to reach a just resolution,” the statement reads. It mentions that Roblox has collaborated with record labels for permitted events such as a Lil Nas X performance last year and that the firm struck a licensing agreement with APM Music in 2018.

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“We do not tolerate copyright infringement, which is why we detect and ban unauthorized recordings using industry-leading, advanced filtering technology.”

According to the complaint, searching the Roblox library for precise names such as “Ed Sheeran” or “Ariana Grande” yields no hits. However, searching for partial words such as “Sheeran” or “Ariana Grande” would return records labeled with popular songs by both singers.

(Not all of the file names are accurate; for example, one file named “Ed Sheeran – The Shape Of You” is actually a sound clip from The Purge.) According to the lawsuit, “Roblox’s employment of filtering technologies has been nothing more than an empty gesture to disguise its long history of inciting, inducing, and encouraging users, particularly children, to infringe on copyrighted music.”

Almost every major digital platform has a run-in with record labels at some point, and the firms frequently settle their differences. In 2011, the NMPA and Google reached a similar settlement regarding YouTube copyright infringement, resulting in the present royalty-sharing agreement.

The NMPA also announced a “significant ramp-up” of copyright takedown letters against Twitch, putting pressure on parent company Amazon to expand a currently restricted licensing contract.

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