A team funded by the Swedish Research Council are writing a book about Spotify’s history, but ‘Spotify Teardown: Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music’ is already creating controversy in the service’s homeland.

The book is due to come out next year, the tenth anniversary of Spotify’s commercial launch. The controversy is less about the researchers’ claim that Spotify used ‘pirate’ MP3 files as a source in its early days, and more about the team’s attempts to understand Spotify’s recommendations by creating hundreds of fake ‘bot’ users, as well as to experiment with manipulating the system.

Now the researchers are claiming that Spotify has ‘threatened’ the project by writing to the Swedish Research Council about its methods, portraying this as an example of “when big companies go after researchers who they perceive as uncomfortable”.

Spotify has a different view. “Spotify has not urged The Swedish Research Council to withdraw funding. However, Spotify has brought to The Council’s attention the fact that the research project violates our Terms and Conditions of Use,” a spokesperson told Music Ally.

“The research group has admitted in the media to using methods that explicitly violate Spotify’s terms and conditions of use and applied technical methods to conceal these violations.”

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  1. From the beginning Spotify has exhibited a lack of integrity and no evidence that they were a legitimate music company. With the help of Sean Parker they used backroom dealings to obtain licensing from the U.S. labels, who had no interest in dealing until Spotify offered the labels they were negotiating licensing deals with nearly 20% equity in their business.

    They took an industry crippled by the U.S. governments inability to contain piracy and further exacerbated the problem by offering an open ended free service, effectively wiping out many of the few remaining fans who felt a moral obligation to pay for music. For many of them Spotify’s free service made it seem like they could stop paying, because it was “legit”.

    They offer pay for play to those labels who can afford it and have driven music back to the dark ages of singles.

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