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Oxford bans Spotify

P2P purge snares Swedes

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Heartless BOFHs at Oxford University have banned students from using Spotify, according to the student paper Cherwell.

Although the IT Dept's rules permit streaming media applications, subject to bandwidth, Spotify is classed as a P2P application.

Students will now have to resort to traditional pastimes of smashing restaurant windows and pushing each other in the river while braying loudly.[*]

It's true that Spotify is a P2P app, but it's also a bit harsh - since the P2P-ness of Spotify was devised to help network operators by saving them money. For example, if 2,000 Oxford students are expressing their individuality by all listening to the same Radiohead track, they will be listening to bits pulled off each other's computers. The network doesn't need to pay transit costs for the file 2,000 times - so while Spotify's P2P-ness may (or may not) increase congestion, it ought to save them a bob or two.

At least, that's the basis of Spotify's business proposition to ISPs. And it has been sufficient for Hutchison Whampoa, owner of the 3 mobile networks, to sign up with investment and partnerships. One must assume Hutch boss Ka-Shing has done the maths. Maybe.

Oxford also faces an opportunity cost in banning Spotify - people may turn to unlicensed services instead. Still, there's clearly some explaining to do for Spotify.

The upside for the Swedish music company is that it saves cash too. Last year it put a tourniquet around its costs by putting a block on new signups. The block is still in place.

For recent exclusive numbers on Spotify's operation, click here. ®

*Bootnote

There's probably an app for that.

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