New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
The National Music
Publishers' Association (NMPA) is suing Roblox for allegedly using songs from a number of artists without permission. The NMPA is seeking a minimum of $200 million in damages, and claims that artists including Ariana
Grande, Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, and the Rolling Stones, have had their work illegally used in games hosted on the platform.
Roblox is an online platform that lets users build their own games and play experiences created by others. It has become incredibly popular in recent years and boasted over 150 million monthly active users as of July 2020. It also continues to attract sizeable investments, and most recently received $520 million in fresh Series H funding to expand beyond the world of games.
Announcing the lawsuit against Roblox at the NMPA's annual meeting, group president David
Israelite highlighted the platform's huge user base and indicated it was deliberately avoiding paying music creators.
"[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," they commented.
The lawsuit itself was filed on behalf of music labels and publishers including Big Machine Records, Concord Music
Group with Pulse Music
Group, Downtown Music
Publishing, Reservoir Media Management, Spirit Music
Group, UMPG, and more.
It is specifically seeking monetary damages for what it describes as "Roblox's unabashed exploitation of music without proper licenses," and intends to "ensure songwriters are fully paid for their works on the platform."