The data dump in question was being analyzed to find information about unreleased music tracks that have been played by users of the service.
Techcrunch received lots of fire for the article from Last.fm developers and the Internet community. The Last.fm crew denied that data was handed over to the RIAA and the story cooled down shortly thereafter.
Today, TechCrunch ran the follow up story citing a second source and offering some clarification why the Last.fm staff members denied the leak.
According to the story it was CBS, not Last.fm directly, that leaked the data dump to the RIAA, or as is suggested one of the music labels.
CBS seems to have given in to the demand because of fear that the streaming rates could be negatively impacted if they did not.
We believe CBS lied to us when they denied sending the data to the RIAA, and that they subsequently asked us to attribute the quote to Last.fm to make the statement defensible. Last.fm’s denials were strictly speaking correct, but they ignored the underlying truth of the situation, that their parent company supplied user data to the RIAA, and that the data could possibly be used in civil and criminal actions against those users.We believe that the outrage they aimed at us for reporting the story, which was materially correct, should have been aimed at CBS instead. But Last.fm never spoke publicly of the real facts of the story.
If data has been leaked - and the article speaks of IP addresses and usage data - then this could very well be a privacy disaster for Last.fm and CBS.
It is unclear what the RIAA did or will do with the information if it has received it. Since IP addresses are involved, they could try and get names of users through Internet Service Providers.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.