The Null Device

What if last.fm were evil?

Regarding the last post about last.fm: one of last.fm's staff has posted a rebuttal on their web forums, to wit:
* Nobody at Last.fm had any knowledge of our user data being fed to the RIAA (or any labels directly), before or after the alleged incident, or at any other point in the history of the company.
* Last.fm has never given data linking IP addresses and scrobbles to any third party. * Last.fm has never given data linking IP addresses and scrobbles to CBS (who, by the way, we don't consider a third party, but who do have to uphold our privacy policy).
* We've been in communication with CBS and they deny that they gave any third party any of our user data.
If TechCrunch have any evidence which contradicts any of the statements I've made here, I'd love to see it, but I think someone is taking them for a ride. I'm not sure why, though.
Make of that what you will. Assuming the denials are true, last.fm and/or CBS will have no choice but to sue TechCrunch for libel to protect their reputation; it'll be interesting to see how that unfolds.

Nonetheless, even if this isn't true, the possibilities it raises are thought-provoking:

In short, if you're sending over fingerprints of the music on your hard drive, make sure that there is nothing there you wouldn't want to prove possession of to hostile parties.

There are 1 comments on "What if last.fm were evil?":

Posted by: Peter Hollo http://www.frogworth.com/blog/ Sun May 24 16:53:40 2009

In theory, I like the fingerprinting, because it means last.fm can tell the difference between playing the live version of Swans' "Blind Love" and the version from <i>Children of God</i> (for instance), but then really they should be submitting the album as well as the track title. Of course this does indeed open me up to some kind of admissable evidence - but I guess in my case, as a radio presenter I can plausibly have access to promos. Not perhaps in the case of the U2 leak, but yeah whatevz - I'd say just turn of scobbling if you're listening to something ultra-sensitive. Rule 1 of life: Don't Be Stupid.

PS your "Remember my details" <i>never</i> remembers my details. *pout* (And your captcha doesn't wait very long before deciding I'm no longer matching its text...)

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