NMPA president and CEO David Israelite announced the lawsuit at the tarde groups annual meeting. “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,” he said. The lawsuit has been filed by publishers representing acts such as Ariana Grande, deadmau5, Imagine Dragons and Ed Sheeran. Roblox has yet to comment.
Roblox is currently one of the most popular gaming platforms worldwide (although “game” is a taboo word to the Roblox Company now), with over 21.3 million daily users under the age of 13 according to statistics aggregator Statista. It would figure these users aren’t up on their copyright law, and uploading music to Roblox is an admittedly simple process. If you want to use a sound file in your Roblox game/experience, all you have to do is take a file on your computer, upload it and wait for the website to estimate the price of the upload in Robux, Roblox’s own currency. The longer or presumably bigger the file is, the more it costs to upload. Robux are a real-money currency, as such the NMPA’s claim that Roblox is making real money from such uploads appears to be true, but currently the upload site itself contains no warning regarding licensed music.
Israelite also held Twitch to account for what he perceives as consistently lax music licensing practices. Twitch previously disputed this claim last October, but since then several music publishers have issued DMCA takedowns, and Israelite says “NMPA is stepping up its copyright-takedown campaign against Twitch and will continue removing music that the trade group alleges Amazon refuses to pay for.”
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