A member called to my attention that per their Terms and Conditions, Spotify is only permitted for personal use.

Meaning that you agree not to use it in commercial applications.

"That's not good" I thought and I immediately went to read what he was referring to. Here's the T&C page that includes this from Spotify:

3. Grant of license

You are granted a limited, non-exclusive, revocable license to make personal non-commercial use of the Spotify Software Application (including a right to download said application) and the Spotify Service and to receive by stream (and, where you have purchased the Premium Service or the Mobile Service, by conditional download), and in the case of the purchase of A-La Carte Downloads or Download Bundles, to receive Permanent Downloads of the media content made available through the Spotify Service in your home country. You do not have a right to transfer or sublicense your rights under this Agreement.

Before I got too excited, I decided to check what other Terms and Conditions I have agreed to - who reads those things anyway? It turns out that every music service or music software I use is restricted to Personal Use Only. Let's go down the list:

  • iTunes has a similar restriction - (i) You shall be authorized to use iTunes Products only for personal, noncommercial use.
  • Windows Media Player from Microsoft - Unless otherwise specified, the Services are for your personal and non-commercial use.
  • My copy of MixMeister Express (no link) says: You may only use the MixMeister Software for Your private, non-commercial use.

So am I screwed? Do I need to learn how to perform as a one-man-band?


Are you prevented from using Spotify, iTunes, Windows Media Player or MixMeister to produce and deliver music for your class tomorrow?

I'm not an Attorney, so that's going to be your choice. I certainly don't want to be advocating you do something that's potentially in conflict with something you have agreed not to do... but I personally don't see this as comparable with using music that's been illegally downloaded in some fashion. Actually just the opposite 🙂

You've heard me state on this recent Podcast about music licensing that; as a content creator, I'm very much against the distribution of copyrighted materials without due compensation given to the creators.

My feeling is that as long as the studio is properly licensed for playing music, this won't be seen as much of an issue. Music labels are already dealing with the enormous amount of illegal file sharing that happens every day. iTunes changed how many people acquired music by creating a service that's so convenient (and secure) that millions of people would rather pay a $0.99 than waste their time going elsewhere.
Like iTunes, I believe that Spotify can actually reduce the amount of sharing that ends in no revenue for the record labels by offering a convenient method of finding and accessing music.
That said, I want to offer this disclaimer: Links to Spotify playlists you find here are intended for your personal use only.

What do you think about this?

Originally posted 2011-08-22 05:57:40.


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