Even RIAA says Last.fm never handed over data
It also includes an interesting graph of U2's popularity on Last.fm. After the TechCrunch rumor came out, U2 plays skyrocketed. Either more people realized the new album had leaked, or they faked the metadata in protest, as several commenters at both Last.fm and TechCrunch suggested they would do.
Here's the kicker, courtesy of Ars Technica: even the RIAA says they never asked Last.fm for user info, and Last.fm never gave it to them. If you had any doubt that Last.fm was telling the truth, you don't even have to take their word for it anymore. This supposed data sharing never happened.
Incidentally, Ars also figured out how the new U2 album leaked in the first place: it was briefly available for sale on an Australian music site before they realized the mistake and took it down.
Oops! Too late! High quality, DRM-free U2 files are now all over the Internet.