Roblox and Music Publishers Settle Copyright Dispute

Roblox IPO, on the New York Stock Exchange, March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/

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  • NMPA says popular gaming platform encourages ‘massive’ user infringement
  • Announcement that the settlement allows for “innovative partnerships” in the metaverse

(Reuters) – The National Music Publishers’ Association has settled its copyright dispute with the creators of popular video game platform Roblox for allegedly encouraging copyright infringement on “a massive scale”. , according to a filing Monday in federal court in Los Angeles.

The trade association – which represents publishers for artists such as the Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande – has also announcement Monday that the settlement “paves the way for innovative partnerships between Roblox and publishers that will give songwriters new ways to monetize their songs and catalogs.”

The parts jointly moved to dismiss the claims with prejudice, and said in the announcement that their agreement is “industry-wide” and lets individual publishers decide whether to sign up. The deal also opens up a period for members to negotiate individually with Roblox Corp.

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NMPA President and CEO David Israelite said in a statement that the group is “extremely pleased” with the deal as Roblox “continues to provide a unique platform for musicians and songwriters. in the metaverse”, referring to the game universe for shared experiences.

Roblox Vice President and Global Head of Music Jon Vlassopulos said the company is “pleased to have been able to get along with some NMPA members, building on our existing relationships with major publishers. “.

NMPA attorney David Steinberg of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Roblox attorneys Andrew Gass of Latham & Watkins and Colleen Bal of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. .

The San Mateo, Calif.-based Roblox game-making platform and system is popular with kids and teens and was valued at more than $45 billion after its March IPO.

The announcement says the agreement with the NMPA will “open up new ways to more meaningfully integrate music into the global Roblox community of more than 48 million daily active users.”

The NMPA announcement a similar partnership with popular video game-based live-streaming platform Twitch last week.

The NMPA’s June complaint said Roblox encouraged users to upload and share popular music to make games on its platform “more engaging and appealing to its young audience, fully aware that it has no not obtained the necessary authorizations”.

Roblox responded that he was “surprised and disappointed” by the lawsuit and does not condone copyright infringement, and denied the allegations in August in a to respond to the complaint.

The case is ABKCO Music Inc v. Roblox Corp, US District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2:21-cv-04705.

For the NMPA: David Steinberg of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp

For Roblox: Andrew Gass of Latham & Watkins; and Colleen Bal by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Read more:

Music publishers sue Roblox over alleged use of unlicensed songs

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