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Authors Guild Response To Findaway and Spotify’s Audiobook Terms of Use

Over the ear headphones placed over a stack of hardcover books on a bright yellow background

Last week, several Authors Guild members expressed their concerns about the February 15, 2024, updates to the terms of use for Findaway Voices (acquired by Spotify in 2022). The updated terms, which were slated to go into effect in March 2024, required authors using Findaway’s services to grant Findaway and Spotify rights to “translate, modify, [and] create derivative works” from submitted audiobooks. The terms further stipulated that Spotify could use the audiobooks (termed “user content”) in “training” and “modeling” in connection with Spotify services.

We immediately reached out to our contacts at Spotify to discuss this concerning language, and advised members who contacted us not accept it. Spotify representatives told us that they had already heard from some authors and were making adjustments to the terms in response to authors’ concerns. They explained that the intent behind the language was not to grab rights, or to train AI, but to give Spotify the rights to use the audiobooks to improve discoverability and implement technical protocols against fraud—not to generate new content. They agreed that the language in the new terms was overbroad and agreed to revise it. Spotify released updated terms the same day, on February 16, 2024.

The new terms remove the rights to “translate” and “creative derivative works” from the grant of rights, make the grant of rights revocable by the authors, and further make it explicit that the grant of rights does not authorize Spotify to use user content to create new ebooks, audiobooks, or use it for voice narration AI training. The terms state in paragraph 4(B) that “these Terms do not authorize Spotify to use User Content to create a new book, ebook or audiobook, or to use User Content to create a new, machine-generated voice without your permission.” The terms also limit the use of user content for “training” and “modeling” in connection with “anti-piracy and anti-fraud measures and the discoverability, promotion, marketing, curation, distribution, and sale (or developing the user experience in connection therewith) of the User Content and the Spotify Service.”  

We appreciate Spotify’s responsiveness to our concerns and those of the author community. We will continue to review the terms and any future updates to ensure that they do not encroach on authors’ rights, and look forward to continuing a productive dialogue with Spotify. If you have any questions, please send us an email at