Roblox fights DMCA request over piracy claims

Roblox Inc., the company behind mega-hit games platform Roblox, objected to a court order that compelled it to provide information on over 400,000 users. The order sprang from a DMCA copyright infringement lawsuit spanning several popular Roblox titles.

Roblox itself isn’t a game, but rather, a distribution and development platform. When you install Roblox, you are in essence installing a storefront that allows you to view games built on the Roblox engine by other users. As with any storefront that isn’t meticulously moderated, when something gets popular, copycat versions start to appear, siphoning views and potential sales from the original.

Such is the case in this legal filing. Christopher Boomer, the developer of popular Roblox titles like Muscle Legends and Weight Lifting Simulator 2, filed a claim that other users on the Roblox platform were copying his games and artwork, gaining millions of views in the process.

In the filing, Boomer’s attorneys requested the personal information of the owners of the copycat games, including real names, phone numbers, and IP addresses. The subpoena also targeted people both directly and indirectly involved with developer groups designed to steal content and repackage it as their own. Altogether, this would have amounted to approximately 460,000 users in total.

The California Courts issued the subpoena on July 11, 2022, and it was served to Roblox on July 12 — giving Roblox only ten days to provide the information. Roblox issued a response on the July 21, labelling the request “especially unreasonable” and “overbroad”, stating that the disclosure of such a massive amount of people is impossible when Boomer’s legal team hadn’t qualified them all as “alleged infringers.”

The response continues, stating that Roblox didn’t have enough time to respond in the first place, and when combined with the broadness of the request, felt that complying would put many users who had nothing to do with the alleged infringement at risk of their data being compromised. There has been no response from Boomer’s legal team or the US Courts as of this writing.

Original reporting by TorrentFreak.

Written by Junior Miyai on behalf of GLHF.

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