Composers need to have a way to verify ownership of their own audio when it gets detected for infringement

This is a post I was honestly hoping I wouldn’t have to make, but here we are.

As a Roblox developer, running a company within the platform, and most importantly, a composer, the current audio copyright infringement detection system is impossible to work with.

As some may know, Roblox uses Audible Magic, a popular audio recognition and protection service, to detect infringing content within the Roblox audio landscape.
This is what prevents people from uploading copyrighted audio and what does routine scans for copyrighted material. (as far as I’m aware, at least)

This, in theory, is good. And in practice, it is too! Well, sort of.
When you decide to protect your audios using Audible Magic, this triggers all hosting websites and stores to detect uploads of that same audio, whether you own it or not.
The key difference here is that in those websites and stores, you can prove ownership of the audio and restore it.
In Roblox, there is zero way to do this.

As such, you may find yourself in a position such as the one I am in right now. Multiple of your own songs blocked, and no feasible way to reupload them.

The “you can contact us” part of the automated message is misleading. Contacting leads to a response to the style of “there is nothing we can do”.

Honestly, I don’t quite understand how something like this could have been overlooked. Roblox has hired composers from the platform for official events in the past. This almost feels like an indirect statement that the platform has no composers, or any worth of having means to combat this at least.
This is a problem that deserves to be much higher priority than what it clearly currently is.
Either way, I’m obviously not part of the Roblox departments behind music, I’m just a composer making his living in the platform. At the end of the day I’d be happy with just having this situation resolved.

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Being that I read in another topic that Robloxs’ “own” music is being blocked by that same system, maybe that will get some execs to finally look at it. The problem with a company this big now is that too much of the “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” is happening a lot more. :melting_face:

The only working solution is to scramble the music and use a client de-scrambler to play it properly, but that is just a band-aid to the problem and very prone to abuse.

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Ooh this might explain why sounds in experience randomly no longer work even tho they’re uploaded by Roblox. Now it says “unable to download sound data” and their sounds are 0 second long lol

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I’m a professional musician with a high level of experience with copyright, now let me explain my thoughts on this matter;

As far as I am aware, for Roblox to be fully compliant with DMCA and Copyright law, they must provide a way to counter claim any claims of infringement made, and be quick at replying to it (72 hours is the maximum I believe) and also must facilitate verification of ownership processes should Audible Magic decide to yeet your audio in order to comply with common sense standards expected in the music industry.

Even YouTube, a company bigger than Roblox does all of the above, so why is Roblox being lazy and not implementing correct DMCA processes?

Implementing takedowns is another thing, but you MUST also implement a counter claims process so that false copyright claims can be instantly nullified by the owner of the copyrighted content.

This is a thing because the last thing we want in the music industry is copyright trolls, which are people who claim they own your stuff and file takedowns but actually don’t own it… so you’re left cleaning up their mess really, unless the platform it happens on supports counter claims.

I want to eventually allow developers to license my songs for free on Roblox, but with the audio privacy update, Roblox is preventing me from distributing MY content on the platform, which I am sure if I took them to court for, they’d lose almost instantly.

As a copyright owner, I have the right to distribute my content wherever I deem fit, for whatever purpose, and to whomever I wish, Roblox should respect that and re-enable public audios.

Another solution is to remove the requirement to have edit permissions in order to approve games, this way, myself and other copyright owners can issue licenses to games without having to ask for edit permissions to do so.

If a Roblox Staff member reads this, please take this onboard, or if you know some Roblox Staff, share it with them.

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I guess I have been lucky since so far, none of my content has been moderated. I’m waiting for them to say that I don’t own the copyright to my own voice.

@teapotsandpie Very interesting. So if someone’s work is getting falsely moderated, and you get that canned response, I wonder what kind of response you would get if you demand that they restore the content and tell them that they are not in compliance with federal law by not doing so. That might get someone’s attention. What will definitely get someone’s attention is giving them an ultimatum: Fix the problem or get sued in federal court for non-compliance with damages and court costs awarded.

No company wants to have the government involved in their operations.

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Apparently there is a warning message you could’ve gotten under the “Understanding Moderation Messages” help article depending on what you said in your voice recording, but it’s not copyright related.

I don’t think this has happened to many people and I’m not sure they even use it anymore but it’s still listed on that help article. This is the only reason I’ve never uploaded audio with my voice in it and used text to speech instead. :rofl:

Well, it’s not my raw voice. It’s been processed in Audacity before I upload it.

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In a bug report thread we finally got a response from Roblox staff regarding this exact issue. According to them it might be several years before they enable the ability to validate licenses for copyrighted audio. :disappointed:

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Felt like adding to this with my own experiences with this whole… inarguably terrible system.

A month or so back i decided to start working on an old abandoned game of mine again, the game only ever had one song playing and that song was knocked with the audio privacy update, the song in question was Lang Lang’s performance of The Entertainer from Gran Turismo 5, which is fair, someone should be allowed to have ownership of their own performances of popular pieces, however, i decided to transcribe the entirety of the song on a midi sequencer to be able to use it in game, i upload it and everything’s fine! everything’s great, until 20 minutes later it’s gotten taken down.

I email roblox support hopefully to get it brought back up, with the single argument to back me up being that The Entertainer as an arrangement is part of the public domain, and they didn’t budge, same automated message as above, i was pretty ticked off because there’s versions of the entertainer on roblox already, and they’re still up, but apparently I can’t because I’m not handpicked by the holy powers of roblox automated moderation.

Is there even a case to be had (with the filter, not roblox) for incorrectly blocking original public domain interpretations from being published? Or at least being published selectively? My hand was essentially forced to grab one of the roblox curated ones and mess with the tempo to make it match what i was looking for, and it doesn’t work at all.

That’s really all, top 5 worst updates in all of the platforms history for developers

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I have an update for this topic since this info might help others. I recently had a music track I created falsely flagged for copyright. Usually when you appeal this, support can literally do nothing because it’s not within their control, so don’t blame them. So I was actually about to get my music removed from the Audible Magic database with a “Licensing Rights Agreement for Commercial Use of Copyrighted Song” form that was created by my copyright holder company and sent to them. It doesn’t restore your music file because support can’t do that, but it does allow you to simply upload your music again and then not worry about the 3rd party system that Roblox uses falsely flagging your music again. Hopefully, this information can be useful for anyone else in the future that runs into this issue. :thinking:

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