According to a tip received at TechCrunch, Last.fm handed data over to the RIAA about their users. Erick Schonfeld published an article regarding the tip and it was homepaged on Digg. The rumor was Last.fm handed data to the RIAA so they could find out who listened to the leaked U2 album. Many Last.fm executives denied the allegations in the TechCrunch blog post and Ars Technica even wrote an article that the RIAA didn’t know where that rumor came from.
“When you signup to Last.fm and scrobble what you listen to, you are trusting us with your listening data. We take this very seriously. The old-timers on Last.fm who?ve been with us since the early days can attest to this ? we?ve always been very open and transparent about how your data is used. This hasn?t changed,” stated Richard Jones, a founder of Audioscrobbler. Audioscrobbler was merged with Last.fm before it was acquired by CBS Interactive for $280 million. “We never share personally identifiable data such as email and IP addresses. The only type of data we make available to labels and artists, other than what you see on the site, is aggregate data of listeners and number of plays.”
The blog post for Last.fm’s response was ?Techcrunch are full of sh**.? It is good to see how quickly Last.fm responded to rumors like that. TechCrunch is often times seen as a credible source for other news outlets to syndicate. TechCrunch could really taint the images of companies, but this time the tables have turned on them.
To learn more about the PR for CBS Interactive, I recommend following Katie Gunion on Twitter.