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Last.fm giving data to the RIAA?

 
    • mattl said...
    • User
    • 20 Feb 2009, 23:16

    Last.fm giving data to the RIAA?

    via http://www.techcrunch.com/

    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 CBS says: “To our knowledge, no data has been made available to RIAA.” (The RIAA declined to comment).


    I think we need a response on this.

  • I came to the forum to see if this specifically has been addressed.

    `(live)jamie+
    • Cennydd said...
    • User
    • 20 Feb 2009, 23:35
    Agreed. A last.fm comment would be appreciated ASAP.

    • akrde said...
    • User
    • 20 Feb 2009, 23:35
    +1

    • jamble said...
    • User
    • 20 Feb 2009, 23:37
    It would be interesting to see if it's true or not but I suspect all that we'll hear is some vague and non-committal statement.

    Still, if you listen to U2, you should be in prison anyway.

    • Russ said...
    • Alumni
    • 20 Feb 2009, 23:48
    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.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 20 Feb 2009, 23:58
    Lol how would they know whether i've been listening to the full track or just a sample, anyway.

    • rupert0 said...
    • User
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:00
    /me puts on thin foil hat......

    Bombtracks....
    • Cennydd said...
    • User
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:00
    Russ, I'm delighted to hear that, and frankly I hoped/believed the error was TC's rather than yours. I do hope you're able to mobilise this denial before mob rule kicks in.

  • Russ said: As far as I'm concerned Techcrunch have made this whole story up.

    To a certain extent would have understood reasons for doing so but nice to see Last.fm taking an unequivocal stance on this rather than issue some kind of vague nothing answer. Bravo!

    Ready to rock if you wanna roll
  • Just out of curiosity, what sort of broad statistics are given to the labels, and how does last.fm keep sensitive user data like IP address from the RIAA given that it's owned by CBS, a RIAA company?

  • Very good to see. Thanks.

    • RJ said...
    • Alumni
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:18

    What russ said.

    I couldn't resist leaving a comment on the techcrunch article.

    Information wants to be beer.
  • Re: What russ said.

    RJ said:
    I couldn't resist leaving a comment on the techcrunch article.
    Dude.
    That was awesome.

    • xParker said...
    • User
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:23
    *deletes all U2 scrobbles*







    .. kidding

    • redwine said...
    • User
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:23

    out

    depending on how this goes down, i may be out. and I've been scrobbling for 5 years.

    "There's this dream, then I'm awake..."

    -Jack.
    • mokele said...
    • Alumni
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:28

    Re: out

    redwine said:
    depending on how this goes down, i may be out. and I've been scrobbling for 5 years.


    Please checkout Russ and RJ's responses. Makes for more informative reading full of the facts.

    Edited by mokele on 21 Feb 2009, 00:48
    • xParker said...
    • User
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:31

    Re: What russ said.

    RJ said:
    I couldn't resist leaving a comment on the techcrunch article.

    lmao!

    • Burkey said...
    • Subscriber
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:31
    How the heck does scrobbling prove anything legally..? I mean, couldn't I tag a random mp3 with U2 - "Some leaked new song" to get it scrobbled? It doesn't mean I actually downloaded the leak.

  • *Changing The Killers ID3-Tags into U2-Tags and hoping for RIAA coming to his house*
    Oh my, guess this will never happen...

  • Re: What russ said.

    RJ said:
    I couldn't resist leaving a comment on the techcrunch article.


    thanks rj and russ - the comments you posted to techcrunch alone are definitely helping me out :)

  • That's what you get for listening to U2.

    • lozzd said...
    • Alumni
    • 21 Feb 2009, 00:43
    Burkey said:
    How the heck does scrobbling prove anything legally..? I mean, couldn't I tag a random mp3 with U2 - "Some leaked new song" to get it scrobbled? It doesn't mean I actually downloaded the leak.

    Correct.


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    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 18 Jan 2011, 15:27
  • I've added my 2p worth to the techcrunch site as well. It's a pretty basic thing to check facts before publishing info from what seems to be a "friend of a friend"!

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