To kickstart the launch of its new Play Button feature, Spotify yesterday announced a number of partnerships with various online media, which will embed Spotify playlists in their websites.
One such site was The Huffington Post, whose founder Arianna Huffington wrote an impassioned piece about Spotify and music in general. However, across social media networks people mainly concentrated on one paragraph, in which she wrote: “My iPod is my constant travel companion, and last week Kathy and Tom Freston (my go-to world music guru) gifted me with a new iPod pre-loaded with 11,000 songs from Tom’s collection. I put it on shuffle and discovered whole new worlds”.
Did Huffington admit to owning an iPod containing thousands of tracks she copied from someone else? That someone being no less than former MTV CEO Tom Freston? No, I’m sure that she meant that Freston bought the iPod AND 11,000 tracks to go on it. I mean, it must have cost him several thousand dollars and taken a considerable amount of time to buy them all, but I’m sure that’s what she meant.
Under US copyright law, of course, record companies are allowed to seek between $750 and $30,000 for each track found to have been obtained illegally, while juries can raise that to $150,000. That puts Huffington’s bill at somewhere between $8.25 million and $1.65 billion. Luckily for her, the RIAA stopped taking individual file-sharers to court. Oh, and her music was definitely purchased legally. Definitely.
Read the article in question here.