Roblox Hits Back at NMPA Lawsuit, Vowing to Defend Itself ‘Vigorously’

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Roblox has fired back at the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), vowing to “defend Roblox vigorously” against a $200 million copyright infringement lawsuit the NMPA filed against the gaming platform yesterday.

In its lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of leading publishers, the NMPA argues that Roblox has committed copyright infringement “on a massive scale” by hosting a library of unlicensed songs uploaded by users to incorporate into games. In a statement published early Thursday (June 10), representatives for Roblox wrote that the company is committed to protecting intellectual property rights, and was “surprised and disappointed” by the lawsuit, which they say “represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Roblox platform operates.”

“As a platform powered by a community of creators, we are passionate about protecting intellectual property rights – from independent artists and songwriters, to music labels and publishers – and require all Roblox community members to abide by our Community Rules,” the statement reads. “We do not tolerate copyright infringement, which is why we use industry-leading, advanced filtering technology to detect and prohibit unauthorized recordings.”

The statement also referenced Roblox’s process of responding to copyright infringement takedown requests in a process outlined by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However — similar to arguments the NMPA has made against emerging platforms like TikTok and Triller in the past — the organization argues that Roblox is merely using the DMCA, which shields content-hosting platforms from liability for users’ copyright violations, as an excuse to avoid paying for music licenses.

The lawsuit arrives at the same time as Roblox has recently begun partnering with the music industry to host in-game virtual music performances. Notably, while Universal Music Group is among the plaintiffs in the NMPA lawsuit, absent from the list is Warner Music Group, which has worked with Roblox to put on concerts for artists like Ava Max, Why Don’t We and Royal Blood. Sony Music Entertainment, which worked with Roblox on performances for Zara Larsson and Lil Nas X, is also absent.

“We are 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,” Roblox’s statement concludes.

Billboard has reached out to the NMPA for additional comment. Read Roblox’s statement in its entirety below.

As a platform powered by a community of creators, we are passionate about protecting intellectual property rights – from independent artists and songwriters, to music labels and publishers – and require all Roblox community members to abide by our Community Rules. We do not tolerate copyright infringement, which is why we use industry-leading, advanced filtering technology to detect and prohibit unauthorized recordings. 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.

We believe the Roblox metaverse provides a massive opportunity for the music industry, and have partnered with major labels and publishers to host successful music events, attended by millions of fans, for such artists as Ava Max, Lil Nas X, Why Don’t We, Royal Blood, and Zara Larsson. We are 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.

 
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