Spotify hack paved the way for users to upload bootleg remixes as podcasts

Douglas Mabiria  - Expert Tech Reporter
Last updated: November 19, 2023
Spotify bootleg hack
  • The Sweden-based digital music service has become a victim of bootleg remixes in a recent hack.
  • Spotify is now among the favorite audio streaming networks for bootlegs of popular songs, including SoundCloud and YouTube.
  • Podcasters user agreement of the platform says that it is not intended to be used as a distributional tool.

Spotify, the Swedish audio streaming giant, is under the radar of new music bootleg remixes. The popular music platform is being victimized as a space for bootlegs of popular songs. The increasing trend of copying popular songs and remixing them has spiked music infringement.

In today’s world, such actions have become common. Everyone seems to take shortcuts and wants to make a profit out of it. There is no shortcut to anywhere worth going. As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% effort.” Those who copy songs and make bootlegs are no different.

It may sound cool for an individual, and the track may become a social media sensation, but for a company, it isn’t. For such actions, Spotify directs in its Podcaster user agreement that it is not intended to be a music distribution tool. And, if anyone wants to share their music on Spotify, they must deliver that on its Artists platform.

A recent hack at Spotify poured several users that uploaded bootleg music remixes on the music app as podcasts. The biggest music platform is at the mercy of these people who upload bootleg remixes for fun.

Just like other streaming networks, including SoundCloud and YouTube, Spotify has become a heart for bootlegs of famous songs.

What is a bootleg? And how does the user exploit Spotify?

In general, bootleg means stealing, duplicating, and selling illegally. In the world of music, this means infringing copyright laws, particularly transferring duplicated songs and selling them for profit. Legally this act goes against the law and comes in copyright infringement. It is digital piracy.

In bootlegs, few key phrases reside the remixes such as “slow and reverbed,” “mashup,” “remix,” and such other words. Through these phrases, users can trace bootlegged reworks in Spotify’s search bar. Following that, they can pick any popular song that is available on Spotify’s podcast hub.

For instance, in the case of the late rapper Juice WRLD, there are many unreleased songs in his podcast playlists. What happens is that users can breach into these podcasts and feature that song anywhere they want or even make changes to it. Spotify has strict rules as defined in its podcast user agreement, though the music platform hasn’t taken any conclusive action against it.

Spotify’s response to this action

In a response given to Variety Magazine, Spotify highlighted that they take such acts of property infringement very seriously. The platform affirms it has various detection methods that monitor such illicit actions. They are working on this to refine their monitoring process and improve their detection model.

Indeed, the U.S. copyright law is very much strict about such copyright infringements. These remixes can be challenged in court anytime, and the regulators can take serious action against this.

However, the problem is, these users are smart enough as they come up with fake IDs and pseudonyms to hide their identity.

Rising infringement issues—feat TikTok

Nowadays, these are ordinary actions, and the privacy of content creators is under serious threat. Recently, a London girl, aged 12, took upon popular short-form videos social media app TikTok for allegedly violating the European Union’s data protection rules.

Bloomberg reported that a London judge granted anonymity to that kid to take legal action against the Chinese social media network. The 12-year girl wants court asserting that her privacy rights were breached, and many other users may have fallen victim to this.

Judge Mark Warby stated that giving anonymity to the child would allow her to open up freely, bringing all the claims on record so that they can be scrutinized under data-protection rights.

However, the officials from TikTok responded that the users’ privacy and safety is their top priority. They have strong policies to cope up with such issues. Rest assured, users’ data is in safe hands, claims TikTok.

However, simple statements would make no difference. We have seen internet platforms being vulnerable to users’ privacy and security. Things need to be taken seriously. We at PrivacySavvy are open privacy advocates, and we want everyone to be safe while using these platforms.

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About the Author

Douglas Mabiria

Douglas Mabiria

Expert Tech Reporter

Douglas is a freelance writer with over six years of experience in article and blog writing who has written in almost every industry with cybersecurity being his primary interest. Mabiria is an advocate for internet privacy, sustainable development, and a green environment. He is very social and enjoys trying new sports as well as implementing new ideas.

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