Roblox sued for greater than $200m by music publishers over licenses

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A group of major indie and major music publishers are suing video game platform Roblox through the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) for over $ 200 million in damages, alleging the company has committed widespread copyright infringement.

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The news was confirmed today (June 9) by NMPA President and CEO David Israelite during his annual State of the Industry Address, in which he accused Roblox of “rampant” disregarding music licensing requirements.

The NMPA’s lawsuit against Roblox was filed today on behalf of plaintiffs including ABKCO Music & Records, Big Machine Records, Concord Music Group (with Pulse Music Group), deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman), Downtown Music Publishing, Hipgnosis, Kobalt Music Group, MPL Music Publishing, peermusic, Reservoir Media Management, Spirit Music Group and Universal Music Publishing Group.

Missing from that list: Warner Music Group, which acquired a minority stake in Roblox in January, and Sony Music Group, which worked with Roblox on in-game events with / by artists such as Little Nas X and, more recently, Zara Larsson.

Roblox went public in March and then achieved a company valuation of $ 45 billion. Its current market capitalization is $ 51.9 billion, according to Google Finance data.

David Israelite said today: “[Roblox has] Earned hundreds of millions of dollars by having to pay users every time they upload music to the platform – taking advantage of young people’s lack of understanding of copyrights – and then taking virtually no action to prevent repeated infringements or the users on the To make them aware of the risks they are taking. “

He claimed Roblox had a library of “hundreds of thousands of songs,” including a portfolio of commercial tracks that Israelite said Roblox had “refused to license”.

The NMPA claims that songs recorded by artists such as Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, deadmau5, Ed Sheeran, and the Rolling Stones are all used in Roblox without adequate compensation to their authors and copyright owners.

In addition, Israelite officially launched a major ramp-up today in the NMPA’s takedown campaign against Twitch, owned by Amazon, another of the world’s most popular video creation and gaming platforms, with over nine million active streamers.

Israelite said, “Twitch should serve its users by fully licensing music that would allow the platform to thrive and adequately compensate copyright holders.”Music business worldwide

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