“I’m not going to write much right now because i’m rather pissed off this article was published, except to say that this is utter nonsense and totally untrue.
“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 is full of shit, film at 11.”
That leaked U2 album is causing all sorts of trouble. The unreleased album, which is due out on March 3, found its way onto BitTorrent and was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. That, apparently, sent music industry lawyers over at the Recording Industry Association of America into a fit. As a result, word is going around that the RIAA asked social music service Last.fm for data about its user`s listening habits to find people with unreleased tracks on their computers. And Last.fm, which is owned by CBS, actually handed the data over to the RIAA. According to a tip we received:
I heard from an irate friend who works at CBS that last.fm recently provided the RIAA with a giant dump of user data to track down people who are scrobbling unreleased tracks. As word spread numerous employees at last.fm were up in arms because the data collected (a) can be used to identify individuals and (b) will likely be shared with 3rd parties that have relationships with the RIAA.
Supposedly, the operations team which handed over the data in the first place weren`t told the true purpose for the transfer or who was getting the data until after the fact, and only when they had to help with some corrupted data. It sounds like it was more of a corporate decision. I`ve contacted both CBS and the RIAA. Most of the Last.fm team is in London, where the weekend has already started. For now Last.fm says: To our knowledge, no data has been made available to RIAA. (The RIAA declined to comment).
“[...] your record collection (including your skipping history) may be viewed by all other users of Last.fm (who may include other organisations or representatives of other organisations who have registered as Last.fm users) and that they may easily associate this information with your Last.fm username.”
But. he adds »»»
“[...] most probably never even considered it a possibility that individually identifiable information about their listening habits (legal, illegal, or otherwise) could be handed over to an organization known for taking consumers to court for file-sharing. What makes this even more egregious is that it appears to be absent any legal precedent (such as a pending lawsuit) for which Last.fm could at least hide behind as an excuse.”
Posts Last.FM developer Russ Garrett
I’d like to issue a full and categorical denial of this. 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.
(NOTE: – When I first posted this, I inadvertently identified RJ (Richard Jones) as Rashmi Ranjan Padhy. I apologise for the error – JN)
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