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Piracy Music Software

Spotify Is Cracking Down On Users Pirating Premium-Like Service (torrentfreak.com) 83

People who access Spotify using hacked apps that remove some of the restrictions placed on free accounts are receiving warning emails from the company. Noting that "abnormal activity" has been observed from the user's software, Spotify warns that future breaches could result in suspension or even termination of a user's account. TorrentFreak reports: "We detected abnormal activity on the app you are using so we have disabled it. Don't worry -- your Spotify account is safe," the email from Spotify reads. "To access your Spotify account, simply uninstall any unauthorized or modified version of Spotify and download and install the Spotify app from the official Google Play Store. If you need more help, please see our support article on Reinstalling Spotify." While the email signs off with a note thanking the recipient for being a Spotify user, there is also a warning. "If we detect repeated use of unauthorized apps in violation of our terms, we reserve all rights, including suspending or terminating your account," Spotify writes.
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Spotify Is Cracking Down On Users Pirating Premium-Like Service

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  • So just put a client cert in the official Spotify app...?

    • Not trusting the client side is old news in web development. Why would a web service binary client be any different? No need for more authentication, just less trust.

  • I think this will just make people more emboldened because it's rather toothless. If you're going to threaten people, you need to show them you really mean business. I suggest 21 straight plays of "What's New Pussycat" [youtube.com] to get the point across.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... to revoke a free account of which there is an infinite supply? Is this like Google closing the GMail account I am using to spam you, and making me open another one?

  • Unless they were to go through the hassle of attempting to litigate all these free users, what exactly are they going to do? Ban them? They'll just create another free account with a junk email.
  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @09:59PM (#56214059) Homepage Journal
    Dear Spotify:

    Read this. [schneier.com] It was written almost 20 years ago. There have been no technological developments since that alter the main thesis of the essay, nor will there be. Further, this has been known to every ethical software engineer for at least as long ("ethical" in this case meaning, "Will not lie to your face about what is technically feasible").

    Anyone on your engineering staff claiming not to be aware of these truths should be dismissed immediately.

    • by waspleg ( 316038 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @10:08PM (#56214101) Journal

      "The problem is that Jane controls her computer."

      Here is where the war is currently. Add in phones and tablets and other walled off closed ecosystems and you can see this is a bad road where freedom doesn't exist.

      • Exactly. The end of the road we are on is only allowing closed "secure" devices to access the Internet. We are almost there. It just takes the major ISPs to get on board. After all, think of the children and terrorists and terrorist children!
      • Since this relies on streaming rather than local content (unless you're paying), it's a lot easier than that. Just don't trust the client. There's no reason to. Let it authenticate and then let the server decide what's allowed, not the client.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Since this relies on streaming rather than local content (unless you're paying), it's a lot easier than that. Just don't trust the client. There's no reason to. Let it authenticate and then let the server decide what's allowed, not the client.

          I think that's what Spotify did. They observed the behavior of free users and saw some strange behavior. They investigated and found the hacked apps would do that behavior, so they simply disabled the apps that showed that odd behavior.

          Spotify made a mistake that allow

      • Here is where the war is currently. Add in phones and tablets and other walled off closed ecosystems and you can see this is a bad road where freedom doesn't exist.

        If data is kept locked on the corporation's cloud, do you even need the phone and tablet ?

        You can just keep the software as web app, and have the users keep paying a recurring fee if they want to have the privilege of keeping to work with the data they left locked. (see Software as a Service, "Microsoft Office Online", etc.)

      • by syn3rg ( 530741 )
        Remember: they need you more than you need them.
    • by jopsen ( 885607 )
      Yet, we must admit that making piracy harder than buying the service have been an immensely successful strategy :)
      They never needed perfect security, you could always just record the music from the speakers anyways.

      We don't live in the world where we have to download mp3s anymore, it's much easier to stream legitimately from spotify than it is to pirate. Now, if only we could get rid of the DRM completely.
      • Except all this DRM bollocks makes piracy a better experience for any mildly competent user.

        • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

          I'm not sure that's true.

          Google play and Spotify offered me a better experience than a personal library and a sub Sonic server.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        We don't live in the world where we have to download mp3s anymore, it's much easier to stream legitimately from spotify than it is to pirate. Now, if only we could get rid of the DRM completely.

        If you are legitimately using Spotify for streaming music, or even offline use, why does it matter if the service has DRM or not? Other than general principles of opposing DRM in the first place. I've used Spotify for years and never been inconvenienced by the DRM.

    • by Darkling-MHCN ( 222524 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @01:34AM (#56214689)

      Hence their right to suspend the accounts.

      You invite someone over for dinner and they steal your cutlery and napkins.... what do you do? Stop having people over for dinner?

      As with any service, there are always going to be people who abuse it. And it's not just Spotify that suffers, its the artists that suffer the consequence of their material being pirated.

      Despite having payouts to artists as low as 0.006c per play Spotify is still running big losses. At the other end of the line artists complain about Spotify's pay out rate. It's strange how many people can be fans of a band, love their music, love the band, and then take actions that scr3w them over.

      Spotify has a vast amount of music to listen to from all sorts of genres from all round the world, and they give people access to this amazing service for free at the cost of listening to an ad or two. But that's not free enough for some people!

      • You invite someone over for dinner and they steal your cutlery and napkins.... what do you do?

        The weird thing with digital media and where this metaphor breaks down, is that even if that someone stole your silver cutlery and silk napkins, next time you open the drawers of your kitchen, they'll be magically full again, and you can still invite someone else on your table with proper silverware.

        The closest thing would be inviting someone for a private view of a master's painting in your living room. But the guy take a polaroid, so he can look at it whenever he wants (shitty quality of the analog compar

        • Well said. It's almost as if people should do work to get paid. When my boss complains about me being on slashdot all day I can just say well your still using the software I wrote. I forget what band it was but they only see their recordings as promotions to concerts where they make money. You want to support a band, go see them live. Otherwise your supporting an arcane industry based on ripping off artist fans.
  • Suspension or even termination of an account to a free service? The horrors!
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @10:17PM (#56214135)
    why would anybody care if you ban it?
    • by waspleg ( 316038 )

      The person who owns and paid for it? What if it wasn't hacked and it's just simple sharing of accounts? Is that threat worthy? Would they rather have no customers than 1 guy paying while several use it?

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        The person who owns and paid for it? What if it wasn't hacked and it's just simple sharing of accounts? Is that threat worthy? Would they rather have no customers than 1 guy paying while several use it?

        If you RTFS, they are specifically talking about free account users. No one is paying for anything here.

      • Is that threat worthy?

        Is this a legitimate question?

        There is no such thing as sharing. There's only paying people and filthy pirates in the eyes of these companies.

  • They even did a front page web design. [shoutcast.com]

    I don't get to pick the exact songs, but I haven't gone looking for a station and not found something to listen to. All the way to standup comedy and talk radio.

    It works on my phone, browser, Foobar2000, Winamp. If I want to time shift it or make a playlist for an old MP3 player there's StationRipper [stationripper.com].

  • I'm guessing they're blocking ads? Sorry if this was mentioned somewhere that I overlooked.
  • by Darkling-MHCN ( 222524 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @10:41PM (#56214219)

    Spotify has managed to make a deal with the music industry, but there are caveats on that deal that restrict how music is downloaded. If the music industry gets wind that Spotify has become a conduit for pirating music, it could see them lose those deals and the rights to stream music and basically kill their business entirely.

    Who knows why but the value of streaming music isn't considered as valuable as a service which allows download and ownership. Spotify allows download of offline copies of music but it is limited to 3,333 songs which is a pretty artificial and completely arbitrary limit.

    Anyhow, I can see the day coming when this notion of streamed vs downloaded music/video is considered quite antiquated. What difference does it make to the listening/viewing experience if content is streamed vs played off local storage?

    If you have a connection to the internet answer is absolutely none!

    Except of course when you're paying internet fees for the data downloaded. The days of that being a concern for most people out there are fast drawing to a close, with the cost of internet access gong down and data limits going way up.

    Personally, I don't actually have any desire to "own" music when it is available to me on demand. I spend 95% of my time listening to new music, off spotify, soundcloud etc.. Music has to be pretty exceptional for me to listen to it multiple times. So I have no interest in Spotify hacks to download and stockpile music that I'll probably never listen to again.

    • What difference does it make to the listening/viewing experience if content is streamed vs played off local storage?

      Well, if you have specific content, you have to worry about when Spotify no longer offers it. See: Netflix and movies/shows.

      I spend 95% of my time listening to new music, off spotify, soundcloud etc.. Music has to be pretty exceptional for me to listen to it multiple times.

      Right, so you don't care. That's fine. Some people like listening to the same music over and over.

    • Who knows why but the value of streaming music isn't considered as valuable as a service which allows download and ownership.

      A dead tree copy of 1984 sits on my bookshelf. If there is a dispute with a publisher, they can kindly request it back if they want, but it is illegal for them to come into my house to repossess it, even if they leave my purchase price in exchange.

      A copy of 1984 was purchased by thousands of people on an Amazon Kindle. There was a dispute with a publisher. Amazon deleted the book from all of those Kindles.

      If I buy a season of a TV show on DVD, I can continue to watch it even if Best Buy stops selling that s

  • Maybe I missed something, but are they going against this kind of blocking (read: blocking intrusive ads with which they effectively decided to hamper their free-service experience)?

    I wonder if they are telling the recipients of that email that they have about as much chance of litigation against individual consumers as newspapers and Google adsense have had...

    And I thought this "you make it public (ads or not), it's free" argument was settled. Spotify is trying to manipulate users to its business model, in

  • I am actually surprised some people still care about Spotify. It's on its last breath anyway. https://droidinformer.org/Stor... [droidinformer.org] To hell with it, I say.

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