Thursday, Jul 15, 2021, 18:46 Others

Spotify Blocking Users Who Capture Music

Anyone who uses a music (or other) streaming service is familiar with one thing – it's not possible to simply download the streamed content directly onto your device without limitations. If it were, this would mean that users could subscribe to the service for one month, download as much content as possible, then cancel their subscription and retain the content that they would normally have to pay for to stream. Although services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Netflix, etc., do allow users to download streamable content onto their device – this isn't without limitations, and an active subscription is required to make use of the downloaded content. Those who record music or content directly from a streaming service are often breaking the terms and conditions of the respective service. Now, Spotify is rigorously attempting to combat such activity.

Users Fear Legal Consequences
Those who'd like to own a permanent copy of content, songs, movies, podcasts, etc., can simply purchase the content digitally (or physically if available as such) just as in the past – or they can make use of special programs that records content played on a streaming service and saves it directly to the computer's hard drive. Now, users of such apps are reporting that they have been blocked from enjoying Spotify's streaming service. More and more users on forums for the software "Audial" are frequently reporting that they now fear legal action.

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Spotify Blocks & Admonishes Users
Users who report having received such emails from Spotify indicate that the emails refer users to the service's terms and conditions which they are bound to. Additionally, the platform informs users in the same email that the block on their account will only be lifted after contacting Spotify support and promising not to break the terms and conditions in such a manner again – that means no more downloading or recording of songs via a third party application. Some users are curious as to how Spotify managed to identify users who were downloading and recording songs. The answer? It's actually the result of a feature present in some applications, such as Audial, used to download streamable content. These applications can play a song 30x faster than normal for quick recording, which Spotify can check.

Users Believe They Have Rights To Downloadable Content
Because of the aforementioned feature of many streaming content downloaders such as Audial, Spotify is likely already aware of which users are violating their service's terms and conditions. It's currently unknown whether or not Spotify will take legal action – however, one thing is for certain: artists suffer when their content is downloaded via a third party and not streamed from the respective streaming service. They earn money per stream, not per third party download. Some users who have been recently met with emails from Spotify are declaring that it is their right to download the content which they are paying to stream, however, in light of the aforementioned impact on artists – streaming simply isn't the same as downloading and owning a digital copy of a song forever. Paying US$.99 per song from an artist is not the same as paying US$9.99 per month to download an artist's entire discography (and to permanently own it digitally). In the previously mentioned case, artists suffer considerably and only earn the income of one stream from users who download their content in such a manner – as opposed to income every time that user listens to their music.

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