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Is it legal to use Spotify in public?

The relationships of Spotify’s popular streaming music service with the public are governed by the Spotify Terms of Use, which you must agree to when connecting to this service. And there is no difference, we are talking about a free version or a paid premium subscription.

The Terms clearly stipulate the rights of users to the music content of the service. In particular, it is stipulated that the platform is intended for personal, and not for commercial use. This means that Spotify audio content cannot be used for commercial purposes – playing in a public place ­– a bar, restaurant, supermarket or at a music school. This violates copyright and, accordingly, the law provides for their protection and penalties for violators.

Is it legal to use Spotify in public

By agreeing to the Terms, the user obviously does not acquire copies of musical works understood as works recorded on any long-term medium, as in the case of the purchase of traditional CDs. Moreover, as a rule, the user does not purchase an electronic copy of the work, as, for example, in iTunes.

Over the past few years, streaming has revolutionized the world of music. Hundreds of millions of Spotify, Deezer, or Tidal users. However, some musicians demand greater respect for their copyright.

Due to streaming, the service user has unlimited access to a library of files (for example, music albums) offered by a particular service. The most important feature of streaming media is that the subscriber does not download songs that he wants to listen to. We can access streaming content almost anywhere in the world – provided we have access to the Internet and a device. Not surprisingly, streaming became a worldwide hit.

On the other hand, the user receives a limited right to play music using an application, for example Spotify on certain types of online devices, directly from the online library (streaming) or in a version that is paid as Premium. In the latter case, an electronic copy of the work is stored on the device of a particular user, but the user does not have access to it in any other way than through an application provided by the service.

Therefore, the user cannot, in particular, copy or otherwise «copy» the work thus made. They are protected from the possibility of their export and use outside the website, and the contract expressly prohibits the circumvention of the technologies used by the website to protect the content provided, as well as interference with the website, manipulation and violation of any security.

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Most users and industry experts will be sure that streaming is the future of music. Today, people need quick and convenient solutions, and services such as Spotify provide us with instant and legal access to almost any music. However, one should not forget about the rights of artists, without whom streaming would not make sense, and large companies would not earn the astronomical amounts that the world media write about.

In practice, however, the treaty is far from always respected. The fact is that its control by Spotify itself is very problematic from a technical point of view. Although a violation of the Terms of Use may still lead to undesirable legal consequences for the offender.

So, let’s summarize – the use of Spotify music content for any purpose other than personal is not legal.

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