The end of the Findaway Voices saga (hopefully?)

See part 1 and part 2 for context.

Last night Findaway changed their terms of service last night to something mundane, but it doesn’t matter.

I’ve worked with developers for decades. Developers do extra work, but only certain kinds of extra work. They will rearchitect your entire front end in Rust and Pascal for the sheer joy of it. What they won’t do is change the terms of service for the fun of it. That’s boring.

I know several lawyers who have fun drafting proposed contracts. This isn’t that.

Someone came to the Findaway web site developers and said “Add a popup with these new terms of service.”

Were those ToS an error? If they were identical to the Spotify ToS, then I’d accept a copy-and-paste goof. They were not. Someone wrote them.

Additionally, it was pointed out that opting out had a 30 day lag, and the announcement was made 30 days before it would take effect. If you didn’t catch it immediately, Spotify would assimilate your work.

Lawyers are accustomed to negotiating with other lawyers. Everybody starts by asking for everything, they bat it back and forth, either meet in the middle or amicably end negotiations. The initial ask includes things that they know they won’t get, and things that they can discard so they can show they’re being reasonable. It’s a dance.

These online terms of service from tech companies? They start the same way, but they’re negotiating with the public. They wait to see what gets pushback.

They’ve shown us what they want to achieve, and it’s antithetical to our art and our craft.

Spotify has no pointy-clicky way to delete books from their inventory or your account. You can go in and delete the individual MP3s, however. You can change the cover art and description to Removed Because Spotify’s Business Practices are Unacceptable. You can then email and ask them to delete your account.

Hopefully, I am now done blogging about this.

I hear that Author’s Republic, which imperfect, has viable options. I haven’t read their ToS, though. You should read them for yourself, and ask how they’ll be used against you.