If any publicity is good publicity, then Spotify had a good day on Thursday.
The House of Representatives had banned the use of on-demand subscription service Spotify due to its IT policy that "generally prohibits" the use of peer-to-peer technologies on its secure network, Politico reported. Spotify is not a peer-to-peer application such as a file-sharing program -- it's not Napster -- but it does incorporate peer-to-peer technology to limit server load and improve performance.
"It is a sad day when a few bureaucrats can block our nation's leadership from enjoying free, secure access to over 20 million songs," a Spotify spokesman told Politico. Not everybody in Washington was shut out, however. The article noted that Senate staffers still has access to the service Thursday.
Responding to the report at Politico, RIAA chairman/CEO Cary Sherman sent a letter to chief administrative officer of the U.S. House of Representatives Daniel J. Strodel to assure him that Spotify is "a licensed, secure online music streaming service." Sherman went on to write that Spotify "is one of the dozens of authorized digital services that the music community is partnering with to offer a catalogue of millions of songs to fans, however they want it, whenever they want it" and included the URL of WhyMusicMatters.com whymusicmatters.com, a website launched last month by the RIAA and NARM that has information on legal sources of digital music in the U.S. It is modeled after the one launched in the U.K. in 2010.
The House's concerns over its network security are not new. Members of Congress could not use Skype for official business starting until June of 2011. In 2009 the House passed the Secure Federal File Sharing Act that would have prohibited the use of peer-to-peer by U.S. government employees and contractors. The bill did not pass the Senate.