The National Music Publishers’ Association, on behalf of a number of music publishers, has sued Roblox for $200 million.
The NMPA says Roblox, which has more than 42 million active daily users, has failed to compensate writers or copyright holders for songs used in the game.
David Israelite, president of the NMPA, said that Roblox is making “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.”
The music publishing industry’s total revenue in 2020 was over $4 billion. Artists ranging from Ariana Grande to The Rolling Stones are named in the suit.
Roblox said it is “surprised and disappointed by this lawsuit which represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Roblox platform operates.”
Others have come under fire from the NMPA.
- In 2019, Peloton was sued by 10 music publishers from the group for $150 million for failing to “obtain synchronization rights for more than 1,000 songs” used in its fitness classes. The suit was settled in February 2020 for an undisclosed amount.
- While Amazon’s Twitch hasn’t been sued, Israelite said an “intensive enforcement program to ID and remove unlicensed songs” is underway for the platform.
Roblox went public in early March and, last month, reported $387 million in Q1 revenue.