Roblox says no to DMCA data request amid piracy scandal

A developer wants to identify users who’ve pirated and copied his games, but Roblox’s legal team considers the demands “especially unreasonable.”

A neon yellow Roblox avatar lifts weights on a black background in a teaster for Muscle Legends.

In response to an ongoing DMCA copyright infringement lawsuit involving several popular Roblox games, Roblox’s legal team objected to a court order that would compel the company to disclose the personal information of up to 420,000 users, TorrentFreak reports.

Christopher Boomer, the developer behind the Roblox games Weight Lifting Simulator 2 and Muscle Legends, claims other platform developers cloned his games and copied his artwork to reap the rewards of tens of millions of views.

In the subpoena, Boomer’s legal team requested information sufficient to identify the owners and operators of infringing URLs, including the creators’ and operators’ real names, phone numbers and IP addresses. The subpoena also sought identifying information for people involved with specific developer groups related to the alleged infringement and about 10 specific Roblox users that Boomer suspects of direct involvement.

Taken together, the number of people potentially impacted by the subpoena would be about 460,000 users, according to TorrentFreak’s data assessment.

California court issued the subpoena on July 11, according to Roblox’s objection, and Boomer’s legal team served it on July 12. That gave Roblox only 10 days to provide the trove of information. Rather than complying, Roblox issued its response on July 21.

An image of a large, muscular figure from Weight Lifting Simulator 2.

Firstly noting that the short return period is “especially unreasonable,” Roblox’s legal team then objected to the broad requests. The company claims some requested information isn’t related to the purported copyright infringement, some of the documentation doesn’t exist in a producible format or isn’t accessible due to undue burden or cost, and the requests go beyond what’s required by the DMCA. It also suggests some information may not be in Roblox’s possession or may be more readily accessible by other means.

The objection then goes on to specifically address each request. Regarding the infringing URLs, Roblox noted that the subpoena didn’t afford time to provide notice to the purported infringers so they could address concerns, citing case law relating to subpoena requests to Reddit and Twitter.

Responding to the subpoena request to provide identifying information for group members, Roblox rejected the request as “overbroad” as it would require disclosure of information of thousands of people whom Boomer’s team has not adequately qualified as alleged infringers. Finally, the company objected to disclosing information about the suspected infringers by claiming there was no documentation to show Boomer’s legal team notified them and granted time to address the concerns. As a result, it says Boomer’s legal team also failed to qualify these users as “the alleged infringers.”

Taken together, it’s clear that Roblox’s primary concern is that the subpoena request is overly broad and would impact numerous people who took no part in the alleged infringement. Large social networking companies face scrutiny when faced with subpoenas to compel disclosure of personal information as they must weigh such requests against user privacy concerns. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Roblox would take the stance that complying with a request that potentially identifies hundreds of thousands of innocent users is far too broad. As the dispute moves forward, there could be major ramifications as the court determines how much disclosure the DMCA will require of Roblox.

Regardless of how it pans out, it’s clear that Roblox seeks to protect users’ privacy. If you’re looking for new Roblox games to try, take a look at our guide to the best Roblox games in 2022, and be sure to use these Roblox promo codes for July to get some fresh new avatar gear.