TechCrunch vs. Last.fm vs. the RIAA, Round 2
Last.fm's parent company, CBS, was the source of the leak to the RIAA. Last.fm didn't know about it at the time, having just turned over the data to CBS, which explains their vehement denials. TechCrunch isn't saying Last.fm lied, but they are saying that CBS duped them during the reporting for their original story, asking TC to attribute a CBS quote to Last.fm.
The reason for the link, according to Techcrunch's source at CBS, is that the requester (it could have been the RIAA, or an individual label) had the ability to hurt CBS/Last.fm on streaming rates. The source also claims that Last.fm premium accounts aren't making any profit, and the leak was made with the intent of protecting Last.fm from increased rates that could put it out of business.
No comment from Last.fm yet, but it's still early (and a three-day weekend) at their headquarters in the UK. We'll know more when they've had a chance to respond.