Roblox settles $200 million lawsuit with music publishers

Roblox
(Image credit: Roblox Corporation)
Audio player loading…

The National Music Publishers' Association has settled its $200 million lawsuit against Roblox Corporation, announcing today that it has entered into a new opt-in agreement that enables NMPA members to come up with their own individual licensing deals for the use of their music in Roblox.

The lawsuit was filed in June over complaints that Roblox charges its users to upload music to the platform—users must spend "Robux," the game's real-money currency, to upload audio files, with pricing based on the length of the clip—but takes no steps to prevent copyright violation.

"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 president and CEO David Israelite said at the time.

Specifics of the deal weren't revealed in today's announcement, only that Roblox "will work closely with the global music publishing industry to help them unlock new ways for music to be more meaningfully integrated into the global Roblox community."

"Moving forward, we are committed to partnering with the music industry, as a whole, to create an exciting new social era of the music business which engages fans and artists in an unprecedented way in the metaverse," Roblox vice president and global head of music Jon Vlassopulos said.

The timing is definitely interesting, though: The announcement of the settlement with Roblox comes less than a week after NMPA announced a similar (and similarly vague) deal with Twitch, after months of escalating tensions between them. That deal, like the Roblox settlement, also promises an opt-in program for music publishers "to bring new facets to both the gaming experience and songwriter exposure," but does not actually change the rules about music usage for streamers.

I've reached out to Roblox and the NMPA for more information on how the settlement will impact Roblox players, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.