Is Last.fm supplying confidential user information to the RIAA?
Several months ago, TechCrunch accused CBS-owned Last.fm of doing just that, the beginning of a controversial firestorm. Last.fm executives vehemently denied the accusations, complete with some harsh words for TechCrunch. Other executives also panned the article, and dismissed the piece as unfair and simple yellow journalism.
But this story is not over. In a Friday post titled “Deny This, Last.fm,” TechCrunch pointed to a complicated data sharing arrangement involving CBS, based on new sources. The piece alleges that Last.fm shared the user information internally with its corporate parent, without knowledge of the eventual destination. “CBS requested user data from Last.fm, including user name and IP address,” TechCrunch head Michael Arrington asserted. “CBS wanted the data to comply with am RIAA request but told Last.fm the data was going to be used for ‘internal use only’.”