piracy flag

Spotify’s expansion into podcasting brought with it one particular headache: the risk that people would upload copyrighted music to its platform as podcasts, as a way around its existing anti-piracy measures. From an 89-episode series of Britney Spears rarities in 2019 to reports in 2020 of a more-widespread trend of ‘bootleg podcasts’ on the platform, and promises by Spotify that it was investing heavily in “improving methods of detection and removal”.

Now in 2022 there’s a new headache brewing, and it’s related to Spotify’s launch of video podcasts. Fast Company reported that in recent weeks, films including ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’, ‘Pinocchio’ and ‘Mean Girls’ have been uploaded to Spotify as video podcasts, which came to light when the links started to go viral on TikTok.

The report noted that the offending episodes had since been removed, with Spotify’s spokesperson promising that “IP infringement is an industry-wide issue that we take very seriously”. It will need to: the film industry’s appetite for cracking down on piracy and any platforms enabling it (however unwittingly) is voracious.

EarPods and phone

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