Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Copyright is a legal protection for original works of authorship. Copyright protects many different types of creative works including music, movies, pictures, books and virtual goods among others.

Typically when you create an original work, the things that are unique about it – your intellectual property – automatically get legal copyright protection as soon as you create it. Only the unique, inventive aspects can be protected by copyright so the more original and creative your design is, the more its design elements are protected by copyright.

Publishing a design on Roblox that you found elsewhere does not necessarily give you IP ownership for that design specifically on Roblox, which means that you may not be able to prevent other Roblox users from also making that design.

For example, users that create virtual baseball caps on Roblox will not be able to request the removal of other completely different baseball caps, as shown below:

Other examples where you may not have IP ownership:

  • If you see an interesting hat in the real world or on another platform and want to create a virtual replica of that hat on Roblox, you may still need the permission of the original creator of the hat.
  • If you give credit to the copyright owner, you don't automatically have the rights to use their copyrighted work.
  • If you want to create a hat on Roblox inspired by a well-known style of hat, such as a top hat, you may not be able to stop other users from uploading similar hats.

Protecting Your Own IP

In order to protect your IP, it's important that your creations are unique. For example, the creation below takes a well-established concept (a Trojan helmet) and adds intricate details that make the design an original expression of the idea, such as the shape and orientation of the gold adornments and the shape of the facial opening.

Trojan helmet with design detail elements that may be copyright-protected due to their unique nature.

When the creator sees others using those specific original design elements in their designs, such as the examples below, they can request the removal of those items.

Potentially infringing Trojan helmets using unique design elements of the original.

But just because the original creator can request the removal of those three Trojan helmets does not mean that they can remove all Trojan helmets from the platform. For example, the helmet below is likely not infringing because it does not include any of the creator's unique elements:

Substantially differentiated Trojan helmet sharing none of the unique design elements of the original, reducing the likelihood that it would be removed for IP infringement.

Another way to strengthen your IP protection is incorporating your own unique trademark into your items. This can be a helpful way to build your own brand natively on Roblox and visually differentiate your creations from others.

To protect the creativity of others, the Roblox Terms of Use states that any content you create must respect the intellectual property rights of others – both on and off our platform.

  • This means you should not upload content you do not own or did not get the owner's permission to use.
  • Infringing on someone's intellectual property is not only a violation of Roblox's Terms of Use, but it's also a violation of the law.

Roblox Protecting Your IP

Roblox complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and has a designated process for receiving and handling copyright takedown reports from the owner of the original work.

  • Roblox must adopt and reasonably implement a policy providing for the termination in appropriate circumstances of users who are repeat copyright infringers.
  • Roblox investigates each report and takes appropriate action, which may include removing or disabling the infringing content, and permanently terminating the accounts of users who have repeatedly infringed on the IP of others.
  • If the filing is compliant with legal requirements and the infringing item is taken down, the infringing creator will lose any per-unit fee(s) from publishing Limiteds, as well as Robux earned from sales of the item.

Only the IP rights holder knows what rights they have and who they have given permission to use their creations. Because of that, we rely on rights holders to let us know what they believe infringes their rights by filing a takedown report.

If you find content on Roblox that you believe infringes your IP rights, please see our DMCA Guidelines for additional information on how to submit an intellectual property takedown notice to us.

  • Submitting an IP takedown notice to us is a legal process.
  • Only the rights holder or their authorized representative can report content that infringes on their intellectual property rights.
  • If Roblox receives a takedown notice about content from someone other than the IP owner or the owner's representative, Roblox cannot legally take action against the infringer unless contacted by the actual owner.

Roblox-created IP

What we shared above equally applies to items that we created as well. We've found that the majority of complaints we see about copies of Roblox-created items do not in fact infringe on our IP. We do enforce our own rights when items infringe on our IP, but IP protections do not necessarily extend to every idea presented in a work, but rather the original and unique elements of a work.

For example, Roblox may publish a virtual item that's a replica of an ordinary, common item in the real world where countless versions (both physical and digital) already exist from many different makers. This might be an unbranded baseball cap or an orange traffic cone. With so few distinguishing elements of the Roblox-created item, even items that appear similar to our creations may not infringe on our IP rights.

Roblox-created traffic cone. Just because other creators make traffic cones, Roblox will not request the removal of other completely different traffic cones made by other creators.