This morning, we reported on the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) lawsuit against games platform Roblox, on behalf of several of its members. Now the company has issued its response, in a statement sent to Music Ally.
“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,” said the statement.
“We do not tolerate copyright infringement, which is why we use industry-leading, advanced filtering technology to detect and prohibit unauthorised 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,” continued Roblox’s statement.
“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.”
As a reminder, the NMPA is suing Roblox and seeking damages of $200m, accusing the company of “unabashed exploitation of music without proper licences”, and claiming that it has found infringement of songs recorded by Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, deadmau5, Ed Sheeran and the Rolling Stones on Roblox.
(One important point: Roblox is scanning uploaded music for copyrighted recordings, but the NMPA lawsuit is focused on songs – the works – which could be one way they slip through filters.)
We’ll await more developments to find out more details. But while we’re waiting, you can listen to today’s Music Ally Focus podcast, in which journalists Joe Sparrow and Stuart Dredge discussed the lawsuit – before the release of Roblox’s statement – and wider implications of this legal battle.
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