Deterring Copyright Infringement: Remove Ability to Download Icons and Thumbnails from Experiences

As a Roblox developer, it is currently too hard to prevent experiences from stealing game assets, icons, and thumbnails, which are now easily downloadable via search results:

This has created multiple fake versions of my experience in the past few months that steal icons and thumbnails:

Although this has been happening in the past on Roblox’s engine, it has become even easier to steal assets with the ability to download images in search results without having to use an inspection tool or a bot. In the past, users were unable to directly download experiences using an internet browser without parsing through the search results’ code.

If Roblox is able to address this issue, there would be less fake copies of experiences in search results throughout Roblox:


Couldn’t people still screenshot them?


Not possible

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I’ve noticed an upsurge after icons were made downloadable (before there was a protection that made it more difficult). I noticed that a high volume of these fake experiences emerged after the protection was removed.

Can you explain what you mean?

If the icon is displaying on someone’s computer. It means they can download it.

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That’s not always the case. Roblox used to program search results so you could never download icons directly. You would have to go through HTML and parse for the icon/use an API. It has become easier to download icons after this feature was removed.


That still would not prevent copyright infringement unfortunately

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This is not possible as to link an image in html you need a source ref, therefore no matter what, even with hundreds of DIVs covering it/changing the position with JS, you can still get the source of the image.

Pretty sure this applies to literally every website on chrome - might be different for other, more unique browsers.

Now that’s not to say there are not ways of making it harder to steal images’ source but still, if somebody REALLY wants to steal it, they will find a way - this is kind of the paradox NFTs were trying to solve (but failed miserably).


@DEVLocalPlayer and @joelOVIP1 - It would be a simple preventative measure against that has already been used in the past by Roblox. After this measure was removed, I’ve seen an increase in copyright infringement for experiences by users who before had no knowledge of getting the source of the image without downloading it directly. Essentially, the activity has become more common as it has upsurged.

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Another thing to consider is linework copies, sometimes an experienced designer can simply change the colours or the entire basic design but mask/draw over the existing linework to create a new piece that is similar but distinctly different; this has happened to me a few times, even with the original SVG file and linework, you can not definitively prove you made it.

Once again, if somebody really wants to copy or steal something without being moderated for doing so, they will find a way.

But I do get your point, if there were extra steps involved, it would statistically make designers less suspectable to thieves or unsupervised use.

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That’s unfortunately another problem, though I’ve seen reverse image search engines that are able to find similar images such as TinEye despite reformatting:

If Roblox could employ Reverse Image Search and more preventative measures, it could be possible to prevent some copyright infringement on Roblox. I’m not sure how effective these engines would be considering their cost and the high volume of people uploading images to Roblox.


Yes, you are suggesting a very advanced perspective on infringement protection (not in general terms but unfortunately by roblox’s standards).

The thing is, Roblox moderation is so terrible as it stands, their priority is not entirely even focused on improving aspects of it; let alone more specific details such as infringement; thus, it is highly unlikely they will consider such a thing.

I mean personally, if I were in roblox’s shoes I would invest more into this aspect of moderation and general content safety but unfortunately the people running roblox do not care about their professional appeal or reputation and instead are nearly entirely focused on monetization.


I’ve seen Roblox employ these services for classic shirts and classic pants uploaded, though I’ve never seen Roblox do this for thumbnails and icons. It would be interesting if they invest in these services in the future to detect duplicate icons, which would remove lots of the current spam seen in search results.

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I am praying for this lmao, who knows maybe they might


This is not as simple as it sounds. How do you prevent this from occuring for meme games using openly available images as thumbnails, or games with solid color thumbnails?

The uptick you’re seeing is merely coincidence. These copycat games will always exist regardless of what limitations exist on the frontend.


That’s a good point. I could see solid color thumbnails easily excluded from this proposed system, though openly available images may make it harder. If Roblox really invested in deterring asset infringement, they’d have to create a database or opt-in service for developers to remove their original icons/thumbnails from other experiences where duplicate or similar assets are seen with similar descriptions. Developers would be able to prove ownership of their assets using the time of upload to the platform. Then again, thumbnails accessible outside of Roblox would also have to be considered, making this whole system costly.

Since it’s unlikely that Roblox will create an entire system to deter duplicate icons and thumbnails, this would serve more as a safeguard that had previously prevented a good portion of this spam. Hence, I earlier mentioned the upsurge that was partially due to less asset protection in search results.

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