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Content Copyright and Intellectual Property

Content Copyright and Intellectual Property

15 min

Disclaimer

The information below is provided for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. If you have any questions about this information or your specific situation or rights, please contact an attorney.


What is Copyright?

A copyright comes into effect when an original work is fixed in a tangible medium such as a book, video game, sound recording, film, or something else that someone can see, hear, or perceive. For example, a storyline that you just thought about isn’t copyrighted; however, once you write it down, you may be eligible for copyright protection.

Ownership

When you create an original work and fix it in tangible form, your work is automatically under copyright protection — but note that if you create something as part of your job, your employer will probably become the owner of that creation. For instance, if you’re hired as a game artist for a studio and you create a character for the studio’s game, the studio (not you) may become the owner of that character.

Infringement

There are a number of ways you can get in trouble with copyright. The main way is copying or using a copyrighted work that does not belong to you. For example, if you use somebody’s song in your game without first obtaining permission to do so, the owner can take legal action against you.

Common Misconceptions

Each of these common practices can potentially lead to copyright infringement:

Simply crediting the copyright owner without gaining legal permission to use their work does not protect you from liability for infringement.

Editing or modifying someone's copyrighted work to make it "yours" may still violate copyright law.

Disclaimers such as "No copyright infringement intended," or "I did not create this" does not mean you have the copyright owner's permission to use it — nor does it mean you're making fair use of the content.

Just because you purchased content doesn't mean that you obtained a license to use that content in a game (see Purchase Licensed Content below).

Declaring your uploaded content as "non-profit" — even if you don't intend to profit from it — does not give you rights to use it.

Just because others violate copyright law (and don't get caught) does not mean you should follow their example. You may still be liable for copyright infringement, even if you believe that "others are doing it too."

Sometimes you're allowed to use a copyrighted work without the owner’s permission, for instance in news reporting, teaching, or parody. This is called fair use but it’s often difficult to determine whether a particular use constitutes fair use. You can still be liable for copyright infringement, even if you believe that your use of the work is "fair."

DMCA Policy and Guidelines

What is the DMCA?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) allows copyright holders or their agents to notify Roblox about material they believe infringes upon their copyrights and ask Roblox to remove it. To comply with the requirements of the DMCA, Roblox must respond expeditiously to these takedown notices. Roblox must also terminate the accounts of users who are determined to be repeat copyright infringers.

How can I submit a DMCA claim?

If you are a copyright owner or an agent of a copyright owner and believe that any content on Roblox infringes upon your copyrights, you may submit a notification pursuant to the DMCA by contacting our Copyright Agent at copyright_agent@roblox.com, at Legal, P.O. Box 1265, San Mateo, CA 94401, or at Roblox.com/support.

  • An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright or other right being infringed.
  • A description of the copyright-protected work or other intellectual property right that you claim has been infringed.
  • A description of the material that you claim is infringing and where it is located.
  • Your address, telephone number, and email address.
  • A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the use of those materials is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  • A statement by you that the above information in your notice is accurate and that, under penalty of perjury, you are the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the copyright or intellectual property owner’s behalf.

If your notice complies with the DMCA, we will act fast to take down the allegedly infringing content.

We will share the name of the corporation or username of the individual who is submitting the claim.

What happens if I receive a DMCA takedown notice against something I've posted on Roblox?

In addition to Roblox removing the content, a valid DMCA takedown will result in a strike on your account in accordance with our repeat-infringer policy.

If you believe that your content on Roblox has been taken down because of mistake or misidentification (for example, you have authorization to use the removed content) you may contest the takedown notice by submitting a DMCA counter-notice.

Roblox will issue a moderation warning on your account to notify you of the DMCA claim. We will also notify you via email (if an email address is associated with your account) and through Roblox's messaging system to provide you with more details.

If you don't have an email linked to your Roblox account, you will only receive a Roblox message. We highly encourage you to link an email to your Roblox account as a security precaution and to receive such important emails from us.

Should a valid claim be made against your game, your game will be taken down and you will receive a strike under our repeat-infringer policy.

You may request that Roblox provide you with the original DMCA notice, so you can better understand what content within your game was allegedly infringing. You can make this request at copyright_agent@roblox.com

As a part of our DMCA takedown process, your game will typically be removed from the platform. If your game was taken down due to a DMCA, we generally are not in a position to reopen the game without the copyright owner's permission. Roblox is not in a position to obtain such permission on your behalf.

If a valid DMCA claim is issued against your asset, that asset will be removed from our site and you will receive a DMCA strike under our repeat-infringer policy.

In the email and Roblox message, we will provide the name of and a link to the removed asset(s) which was the subject of the claim, if available.

Should we receive a valid claim for an alleged trademark infringement, Roblox will delete the name of your group and you may receive a DMCA strike under our repeat-infringer policy.

If you would like to change the name of a group that is potentially infringing, please contact our support team to assist you with the name change.

What is the strike system?

Roblox has a 3-strike system for IP violations that is designed to punish repeat offenders who repeatedly upload infringing content. If we receive a valid DMCA notice about material you posted, you will generally receive a strike. If you accumulate three strikes under our repeat-infringer policy, your account will be terminated.

We will give strikes to people for content uploaded onto our platform that is identified as infringing, usually in DMCA takedown notices from rightsholders. Strikes are assigned after the completion of the DMCA notice-and-takedown process described in our Terms of Use.

Please note that after you receive a strike and while you are actively working with us through our remediation program, any subsequent claims against the content you previously uploaded will be considered as part of that same strike. Note that you may still receive a strike against the newly uploaded content.

In the email and Roblox message providing details on the DMCA, we will notify you if this is your first or second strike.

If you receive a strike, you may be eligible to participate in our remediation program to get a strike removed from your account. More details about the remediation program will be provided to you when we inform you that your content was taken down based on a DMCA notice. In truly egregious circumstances, Roblox reserves the right to terminate an account after fewer than three strikes.

As long as your account remains in good standing, you will remain eligible to submit a request to Developer Exchange to be reviewed per our current process.

You can browse through the Create page to identify content you have uploaded. You can also use the Library tab to search for content you have uploaded by "Creator" name. If you previously uploaded content which you wish to take down, you can use the articles/archiving assets and games|archive feature to remove this content.

Only the uploader of the content can use this email process to have their content removed. So please don't use this process to submit reports about content that you didn't post.

Users terminated from Roblox under the repeat-infringer policy are permanently prohibited from rejoining Roblox.

As a content creator, you are solely responsible for your creations and you must make sure that you have all the rights to use the content on Roblox. Roblox cannot give you legal advice.

How do I file a DMCA counterclaim?

When we notify you about DMCA notices, we also provide instructions about how to submit a counter-notice which may be sent to our DMCA agent: copyright_agent@roblox.com.

If we determine that your counter-notice is valid, we will forward it to the person who submitted the copyright takedown notice. Based on a valid counter-notice, Roblox will generally restore your content within 10–14 business days, unless we are informed that a lawsuit was filed against you.

Be aware that submitting a counter-notice may have serious consequences. If the person who submitted the copyright takedown notice believes that your counter-notice is not accurate, or your content is infringing, they may file a lawsuit against you. Also, submitting a knowingly false counter-notice is illegal and can subject you to liability.

If you submit a valid counter-notice, your strike will be removed when we restore your content under our DMCA policy.

Where can I find more information about the Roblox DMCA process?

Please view our Terms of Use under section 6. “Intellectual Property,” subsection C. “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” for information regarding DMCA.

Obtaining Legal Assets

Create Your Own Content

If you have a specific vision for your game’s content, consider creating original content via image, model, or audio editing applications (ensure that you have appropriate permission or licenses to use any intellectual property contained within those applications such as photographs or other images, including artwork).

Hire a Content Creator

To hire a content creator, you may browse or post a request in the Collaboration category of the developer forums. This is a marketplace for creators to showcase themselves, find work, or post opportunities for development work.

Remember that because you’re ultimately responsible for all content that you upload to Roblox, you’ll need to make sure that the content created by someone you hire is not infringing on anyone’s copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property right.

Purchase Licensed Content

A final option is to license content from rights holders. It is also very important that you comply with the terms of the license you receive in order to use the content. Many licenses only allow content to be used for personal, non-commercial purposes, so you need to make sure you can use it on Roblox.

Tags:
  • copyright
  • intellectual property
  • dmca
  • content
  • legal