Could Last.fm be used by the music industry lawyers to find, track, and nail music piraters?
Here’s my thinking: a user downloads a pirated copy of a new, unreleased album from Bit Torrent, or any other file sharing site, puts it in their iTunes, and then starts listening. While they are listening, naturally, their Last.fm plugin is reporting back the track/artist/album names to Last.fm, to be posted in real time, time stamped, on their personal profile. If that album is unreleased, then how would the user be listening to it already? They must be stealing music. And those timestamps on each track are good evidence.
What’s the privacy like on Last.fm? Would they ever allow music industry lawyers access to their user/track database? With full access to that information, it seems it would be fairly easy to cross reference track names and listening times, then compare that information to release dates and narrow down a list of, for example, users who listened to tracks from Madonna’s new album before the release date. Then they just need to cross-reference those usernames with their real contact info/email address/other personal profile info, and bam.