Last.fm Denies Sharing User Data With RIAA

Online Music Service Last.fm has hit back at online tech news website Techcrunch over an article saying that Last.fm has shared data about users' music usage with the RIAA.

Writing for Techcrunch, Erick Schonfeld, the site's co-editor, reported on a rumour that a disgruntled friend of an anonymous source provided the Recording Industry Artist Association with a log of Last.fm user data.

The purpose of this data hand over was to provide the RIAA with the details of those who scrobbled unreleased tracks like the recently leaked U2 Album and could have potentially listened to illegally downloaded tracks.

The issue though is that everyone involved in that so-called rumour denied vigorously this ever happened; Arstechnica found out that the RIAA never requested user data from Last.fm.

One of Last.fm founders, Richard Jones, went as far as saying that he was rather p155ed off this article was published, "except to say that this is utter nonsense and totally untrue", he added.

Last.fm collects information from its users to provide them with a better listening service, it is a music service that learns what you love and in turn recommends songs, in a way similar to Apple's Genius feature.

It also shares broad statistics with major labels but nothing that would identify their users to any third party which a Last.fm staffer describes as going against anything they stand for.

Milo Yiannopoulos writing on the Telegraph however, points in the direction of the messenger, adding "Should someone start looking into TechCrunch's links to the recording industry?"

Go To Page 2 for our comments and more related links

Our Comments

Most free websites on the internet collect data of their members as there is a financial value attached to it. Otherwise we should all stop using Gmail, Google and 99.9 percent of all services out there. CBS owns Last.fm; it also owns Cnet, which is one of Techcrunch biggest competitor, as well as a slew of other websites.

It also sheds light on the influence on Techcrunch and some have asked whether TC hasn't been misguided. The incident also comes a few days before Michael Arrington is back from his one month leave of absence from Techcrunch.com.

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