Another day, another legal hurdle for Roblox. The multi-billion-dollar game creation platform is being sued by the National Music Publishers’ Association, which claims that Roblox is illegally using songs from a number of artists it represents.
According to Variety, the NMPA is seeking $200 million in damages “for Roblox’s unabashed exploitation of music without proper licenses.” Its president and CEO, David Isrealite, claimed that Roblox is “taking advantage of young people’s lack of understanding about copyright” in requiring them to pay when they upload music to the platform and then taking “virtually no action to prevent repeat infringement or alert users to the risks they are taking.”
Roblox responded to Variety, saying that it would defend itself “vigorously as we work to achieve a fair resolution” with the NMPA.
Roblox isn’t the only creative service in the NMPA’s sights. The organization is also taking aim at Twitch, with Variety reporting that it will be “stepping up its copyright-takedown campaign against Twitch and will continue removing music that the trade group alleges Amazon refuses to pay for.”
The use of music in online ventures without a proper license is something that’s been a ticking time bomb for creators for some time now, and that time is just about up. Twitch users have been under fire, and receiving DMCAs, for the simple act of streaming games that include licensed music or, in the case of IRL streamers, having a song play in the background of their location. Personally, I think those kinds of claims are silly, but if you’re intentionally playing music — or uploading it for use in your Roblox “experiences” — then I think the NMPA has more of a point.