SPOTIFY is taking swift action against those who download their songs to keep long after their monthly subscription has expired.
Love Spotify, but wish songs would hang around long after you end your monthly subscription? Longing for the days of a music collection that was truly yours? Or just hate the thought of pouring £9.99 down the drain every month?
Well, you might think a quick and handy solution is to use a recording tool to save your favourite tunes to your computer. The practice, called “stream ripping”, has shot up 1,390% over the past three years, according to the latest stats from the BBC.
But watch out – your account is at risk if you do! A number of Spotify customers have been blocked this month after using a third-party app to pirate songs to keep them saved to their gadgets regardless of whether they have a subscription or not.
Much like taping songs off the radio, usually Spotify has no way of knowing whether you’re recording while music is playing. However, users of an online tool called Audials Music got tripped up when they exploited a little-known feature of the streaming platform.
Unfortunately for its users, Spotify was able to spot this happening. Audials explained: “Spotify generally saves for every user on their servers permanently which pieces of music they have heard and when. So other than recording at normal speed, the use of this ‘high-speed function’ is of course always directly visible to Spotify in this data: if e.g. a user has listened to music in half an hour with a playing time of 10 hours, he has obviously used ‘high speed’.”
For a while Spotify didn’t seem to mind, but has now started laying down the law. Audials users have reported being banned from their Spotify accounts. It is even happening to people who last used the high speed hack months ago.
As well as infringing on Spotify’s terms of service – a contract which stops you “copying, redistributing, reproducing, ‘ripping,’ recording, transferring, performing or displaying to the public” anything on Spotify, it’s also illegal under UK copyright law.
“[To]regain access to your account, please reach out to Customer Service and confirm you will not engage in unauthorized content downloads from our service going forward, and we will grant access back to your account again shortly,” Spotify told affected users.
Audials apologised to users caught out by the trick, saying “it was to help you save some time”.