So where to begin... Several years ago, @RobTop created a mobile app called Geometry Dash, where you play as a box that jumps over obstacles to the rhythm of music. He partnered with artists from the NG Audio Portal and the game was well received by fans. My kids and I even play it!
Soon after, GD updated to include a level editor where players could create and share their own levels. As part of this, players could also specify music from the NG Audio Portal to play in their levels.
The big unintended consequence is that Geometry Dash players began uploading music they didn't create, in the hope of using it in their Geometry Dash levels. To drastically reduce their chances of success, we made it so Audio Portal uploads couldn't be downloaded unless your account had been scouted - since the download setting is what enabled / disabled songs to be used in GD.
This helped keep stolen music out of GD but a lot of players would still upload stolen music and attempt to get scouted. As the popularity of Geometry Dash grew, the problem became a massive headache for NG's volunteer audio mods.
As the displeasure with Geometry Dash became more vocal, the complaint also arose that you shouldn't need to disable downloads of your music in order to remove yourself from GD; there should be a specific option to block use in GD.
The whole thing came to a head this week when Geometry Dash was pulled from Steam, as a result of complaints from artists on NG. Geometry Dash is really popular on Steam, so players were notably displeased.
Both NG and RobTop are working to address various issues and concerns.
On our end, we just launched a specific permissions checkbox, allowing you to grant external API use of your music. You'll find it on the Project Details page, under the "Advanced" options.
Your external API permissions have been defaulted to whatever your download permissions were. Please allow up to 24 hours for your changes to take effect, due to GD caching.
We will ultimately introduce a universal rights management form, so that audio artists can manage their Creative Commons licensing, Download and API permissions in one place and deploy the changes across all of their projects with one click.
On @RobTop's end, Geometry Dash is introducing a whitelist of approved artists. This includes all artists currently in use, as well as any new artists added manually by RobTop. This means you can no longer create an NG account, upload a song, get scouted and use your song in Geometry Dash. Instead, popular, verified artists may be granted the opportunity over time. There is no one you can ask on NG who can add you to that list.
The most important step is communicating this to the GD audience, something both sides are working to improve as well. Solving the communication gap should put this problem to rest once and for all.
Summary for Geometry Dash Users Specifically
You can no longer create an NG account, upload a song, get scouted and use your song in Geometry Dash.
Existing artists are still ok to use. Moving forward, only the occasional popular & verified artist will be added to the mix.
Please do not upload music you did not create to Newgrounds. There is no one here who can help you get it into GD.
Audio Portal Artists
Here's a screenshot of that new form field: