Roblox allows its players to add virtual players into their games to listen to music. That, however, didn’t sit well with major music labels who accused the company of causing the loss of profit. They are now demanding at least $200 million in damages.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the list of publishers includes Universal Music, Big Machine Records, Concord Music Group, and Downtown Music Publishing. The lawsuit filed by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) says that Roblox hasn’t licensed songs recorded by artists like Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Deadmau5, The Rolling Stones, and Imagine Dragons.
Music labels claim that the popular gaming platform allows users to put virtual music players into games they create. People can listen to popular songs, violating copyright. According to the lawsuit, these players were installed by hundreds of thousands of players.
“[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,” NMPA CEO David Israelite said at the group’s annual meeting, according to Variety.
However, Roblox isn’t the first company that faced complaints or lawsuits from music labels. Major publishers have already discussed similar problems with TikTok, Pelton, and Snapchat. Sometimes companies reach agreements by licensing music on their platforms.
After the lawsuit was filed, Roblox released a statement on its official website. “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,” the message reads.
The company brought up its previous collaborations with artists like Lil Nas X, Royal Blood, and Ava Max. Roblox also went on to say that it will continue to work with the music industry to “unlock new, creative, and commercial opportunities for artists and songwriters.”