Last.fm: The free, democratic music site

Back in March I talked here about Last.fm's decision to start charging users outside the United States, United Kingdom and Germany for the right to stream audio. Initially I was quite angry about it, but eventually realised that they were probably bullied into doing it by old media companies and that all they were guilty of was poor execution.

It seems now though there's further evidence of unscrupulous activity on Last.fm's part, and it has to do with sending listening information to the RIAA in the United States. You can read the whole saga on TechCrunch (Did Last.fm Just Hand Over User Listening Data To the RIAA?), the Last.fm blog (Techcrunch are full of sh*t), and TechCrunch again (Deny This, Last.fm), but if you want the quick lowdown Paul Richard Cook summarised it very well on a posted message on the Last.fm site.

Even if the Last.fm team had no idea this was happening as they claim, and even though I'm outside the de jure jurisdiction of the RIAA both in Australia and Singapore, this still really rubs me the wrong way. It's creepy this kind of behavior is going on, though to be fair we should all have expected this when they were bought out by CBS.

Last.fm and the RIAA

I really enjoyed my time with you Last.fm, but we must part ways now. My lifeboat has left the ship and I'm now rowing over to Libre.fm which will be the topic for another post. Sayonara.