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The National Music Publishers' Association has sued the popular gaming platform Roblox for copyright infringement on behalf of several music publishers in a lawsuit seeking $200 million in damages.

The Association alleges that Roblox "actively encourages" its players to utilize music from artists like Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and others without paying appropriate licensing fees.

 

"That Roblox's platform has become a repository for sharing unlicensed commercial music is no accident," according to the lawsuit. "Roblox actively encourages its users to upload and share popular music to make the games on its platform more appealing and attractive to its young audience, fully aware that it has not obtained the necessary permissions."

Roblox, an online global gaming platform popular among young people, offers users in-game opportunities to manually upload audio files that the Association said is being utilized for pirating music. They accuse Roblox of preying on its "impressionable user base and their desire for popular music, teaching children that pirating music is perfectly acceptable."

The lawsuit states that Roblox has hired more than a thousand human moderators to review each uploaded audio file into its system, and that searching for certain artist names in the game is prohibited. However, plaintiffs allege that Roblox has allowed loopholes to its process, saying that users can instead search song titles or partial terms, rather than artist names, to successfully upload copyrighted music. 

"Roblox is aware of this wide practice, and has nonetheless conditioned its users to believe that making minor modifications to an audio file nullifies copyright protections," the Association wrote.

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The gaming company on Thursday said that they "do not tolerate copyright infringement" and were "surprised and disappointed by this lawsuit." Roblox mentioned previous authorized partnerships with major labels and publishers like Lil Nas X and Zara Larsson. 

"As a platform powered by a community of creators, we are passionate about protecting intellectual property rights — from independent artists and songwriters, to music labels and publishers — and require all Roblox community members to abide by our Community Rules," the company said in a statement.

News Source: CBS News

Tags: search copyright infringement gaming platform the association the association popular music its users the lawsuit the lawsuit

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Mets owner Steve Cohen addresses MLB trade deadline, Jacob deGrom contract

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WASHINGTON – As Steve Cohen approaches his first trade deadline as Mets owner, he’s keeping an open mind.

The Mets most notably are thin on starting pitching depth, and the rookie owner said Sunday he would like to see what becomes available between now and July 30.

But he also acknowledged the competitive balance tax, applied to dollars spent beyond the $210 million payroll threshold, will come into play. Spotrac places the Mets’ payroll at $199.9 million.

“It’s something to think about because there is a price to pay if you go over [the threshold] for the following year or the year after,” Cohen said before the Mets faced the Nationals. “I am not going to go over for a million or two million. That’s stupid, so if you are going to do it you are going to do it, so we’ll see what’s available.”

The hedge-fund billionaire, in his first in-person meeting with reporters, was asked if the team has begun discussing a new contract with Jacob deGrom, whose current $137.5 million deal contains an opt out following the 2022 season. DeGrom, who has won two Cy Young awards in the last three seasons, is pitching to a 0.54 ERA this year.

“I’m focused on this year,” Cohen said. “I don’t think it’s the right moment. We’re focused on this year, so obviously it’s something we’re thinking about. We love Jacob.”

Mets owner Steve CohenCorey Sipkin

Cohen acknowledged the club had informal discussions with deGrom’s camp in spring training that didn’t advance far.

After this season Marcus Stroman can head to free agency. The right-hander has been an important piece in the team’s rotation, pitching to a 2.33 ERA that ranks ninth in the major leagues.

“I like Marcus, he is a good guy and he is pitching great, too,” Cohen said. “You have got to love it. These are all big decisions. No one has an unlimited amount of money. … You have got to be disciplined. We’ll figure it out when we get there.”

Cohen also gave an endorsement to manager Luis Rojas, a holdover from the previous regime.

“Louie is doing a fine job,” Cohen said. “Given all the injuries, he’s got to make up a lineup every day that is different than the previous day, so we have got to give him credit.”

Cohen was non-committal on when the Mets’ black jerseys (popular among fans) might return, saying it’s something that has to be approved by MLB.

How has Cohen adjusted in his transition from minority owner to head honcho?

“I knew I would care about every game, but I didn’t realize how much I would care,” he said. “I am living and dying with every inning. I think it’s calmed down a little bit over the last month.”

Filed under jacob degrom ,  luis rojas ,  marcus stroman ,  mlb trade deadline ,  new york mets ,  steve cohen ,  6/20/21

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