The National Music Publishers’ Association sued the popular gaming platform Roblox for copyright infringement on behalf of several music publishers in a lawsuit seeking $ 200 million in damages.
The Association alleges that Roblox “actively encourages” its players to use the music of artists like Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and others without paying the appropriate license fees.
“That Roblox’s platform has become a repository for unlicensed commercial music sharing is no accident,” according to the lawsuit. “Roblox actively encourages its users to download and share popular music to make the games on its platform more appealing and appealing to its young audience, fully aware that it has not been granted the necessary permissions. “
Roblox, a global online gaming platform popular among young people, offers in-game users the ability to manually download audio files that the Association says are used to pirate music. They accuse Roblox of preying on its “impressionable user base and their desire for popular music, by teaching children that pirating music is perfectly okay.”
The lawsuit says Roblox hired more than a thousand human moderators to review every audio file uploaded to its system, and that searching for certain artist names in the game is prohibited. However, complainants allege that Roblox allowed loopholes in its process, claiming that users can instead search for song titles or partial terms, rather than artist names, to successfully download copyrighted music. author.
“Roblox is aware of this widespread practice and has nonetheless conditioned its users to believe that minor edits to an audio file void copyright protections,” the Association wrote.
The games company said Thursday it “does not tolerate copyright infringement” and was “surprised and disappointed with this lawsuit.” Roblox mentioned previous authorized partnerships with big labels and publishers like Lil Nas X and Zara Larsson.
“As a platform powered by a community of creators, we are passionate about protecting intellectual property rights – from independent artists and songwriters to labels and music publishers – and demand that all members of the Roblox community respect our community rules, ”the company said in a statement.