Music legend Prince, not exactly a stranger to litigation, recently filed a $22 million lawsuit accusing 22 people of copyright infringement. The lawsuit was filed in response to Facebook users who had posed links to bootlegged concert recordings. According to the rock star’s lawyer, Prince decided not to pursue the $1 million-per-person claims after the links were taken down. The lawyer went on to say that Prince and his legal team are always aiming to provide an excellent experience for fans and that the linked material did not represent the standard of quality they aspire to. Therefore, action had to be taken in order to get the material taken down, she said.
Prince had originally tried issuing a cease-and-desist request in order to have the live recordings removed. The request had no effect, however, and he brought the copyright lawsuit to a northern California district court. The suit stated that Facebook and Google allowed the links to be posted on their platforms, but they were not named as defendants in the suit.
While some Prince fans proceeded to express anger on fan forums, it’s not the first time that the rock star has filed a lawsuit related to internet sharing. In 2007, the “Purple Rain” star sued a website known as Pirate Bay. His legal team also pressured a California mother to remove a video on YouTube in which her toddler danced while a Prince song played.
Regardless of the outrage that fans might feel, Prince has every right to take legal action if he feels that his copyrighted material has been infringed upon. One attorney from Minneapolis stated that Prince might be employing a strategy similar to Disney, who is known for raising these types of issues occasionally to send a message. Another band manager commenting on the case stated that Prince created the music and therefore gets to decide how people should experience it.
Source: startribune.com, “Prince stirs another controversy with $22 million lawsuit” Chris RIiemenschneider, Jan. 29, 2014