Feeds

Last.fm denies data handover to RIAA

'Whole story made up,' claims co-founder

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Last.fm has hit out at an uncorroborated report that alleged the music streaming website passed user data over to the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA).

The CBS-owned outfit responded angrily to a report posted late Friday by TechCrunch that cited an unsourced rumour, which claimed Last.fm handed over a “giant dump of user data to track down people who are scrobbling unreleased tracks" to the RIAA.

The move apparently followed U2's forthcoming album, No Line On The Horizon being leaked onto the interwebs ahead of its 3 March release.

Last.fm co-founder Richard Jones wrote on the website’s blog in the early hours of Saturday morning, in which he denied the unsubstantiated claims.

"I'm rather pissed off this article was published, except to say that this is utter nonsense and totally untrue,” he said. “As far as I can tell, the author of this article got a 'tip' from one person and decided to make a story out of it.”

TechCrunch reported on speculative chatter from an unnamed CBS worker who claimed the Web 2.0 music service had allegedly agreed to cough up Last.fm data about its community’s listening habits to the RIAA.

The org wanted the info to find out which individuals who were signed up to Last.fm had unreleased tracks on their computers, it was claimed.

Last.fm’s systems architect Russ Garrett also grumbled about TechCrunch’s coverage. "I'd like to issue a full and categorical denial of this,” he wrote on the Last.fm forum. "We've never had any request for such data by anyone, and if we did we wouldn't consent to it.

"Of course we work with the major labels and provide them with broad statistics, as we would with any other label, but we'd never personally identify our users to a third party – that goes against everything we stand for. As far as I'm concerned Techcrunch have made this whole story up."

Garrett also reiterated to TechCrunch that it only hands over aggregate data to record labels about their artists, but insisted that no information that links users and plays is ever dished out to third parties.

CBS – which bought Last.fm in 2008 – wasn't immediately available for comment at time of writing. The company issued a terse statement on Friday in which it said: "To our knowledge, no data has been made available to RIAA."

An RIAA spokeswoman dismissed TechCrunch's report. She told El Reg: "Simply put, it's not true."

Meanwhile, Jones has posted a new entry on Last.fm's blog in the past hour in which he has accused TechCruch of being "full of shit". ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.