A huge and potentially important copyright lawsuit was filed this week by basically all of the big music publishers against the immensely popular kids' gaming platform Roblox. Although the publishers trade association, the NMPA, put out a press release claiming the lawsuit, it doesn't appear that NMPA is actually a party. The lawsuit is, in many ways, yet another full frontal assault on the DMCA's safe harbors by the legacy music industry. There's a lot in this lawsuit and no single article is going to cover it all, but we'll hit on a few high points.
First, this may seem like a minor point, but I do wonder if it will become important: buried in the massive filing, the publishers mention that Roblox did not have a registered DMCA agent. That seems absolutely shocking, and potentially an astoundingly stupid oversight by Roblox. And there's at least some evidence that it's true. Looking now, Roblox does have a registration, but it looks like it was made on... June 9, the day the lawsuit was filed.
Wow. Now, that may seem embarrassing, but it might actually be more embarrassing for the Copyright Office and raise a significant and important legal question. Because it appears that Roblox did at one time have a DMCA agent registration but, as you may recall, back in 2016, the Copyright Office unilaterally decided to throw out all of those registrations and force everyone to renew (and then to renew again every three years through a convoluted and broken process).