Prince is back waging war against social media and if the living legend gets his way, eleven folks who had the nerve to share recordings of his live shows on Facebook will be required to cough up $2 million each. Who cares if these guys were innocent fans sharing their musical idol with their friends? The ‘Purple Rain’ star will entertain you when you go for a concert but he won’t entertain you posting his stuff on FB, YouTube or blogs. In the words of the late great Ronny Jordan, ‘No pay, no play’. Gulp. Did I ever at any one point in my life upload an mp3 or vid of ‘When Doves Cry’ anywhere? Think Kimm, coz you sure as hell can’t raise even 100k to save your a** from the wrath of Prince.
Yes, this is what fans of the 55 year-old R&B/funk god have been reduced to. In fact there is a checklist on Prince.org, a forum that brings together fans of all walks, that they recommend you go through before pasting the link to your fav Prince performance. Just to give you an idea: ‘Ask yourself, who posted this in the 1st place’, ‘YouTube links regarding Prince are not allowed’, ‘Do not rip material from legal sources and reproduce it’… At this rate it’s hard to argue with one exasperated Prince follower: “Doing things like this is making him lose more and more fans”. But there are other fans of the eccentric pop star who agree that he should be given his due, and that he has every right to defend his creative material. While I’ve never been for infringing copyrights and stuff, Prince’s move might backfire on him and lock out a generation of new followers who could have discovered him via social media. Think of how many dope acts you’ve discovered by happening on their videos on YouTube. Most recently I discovered the sweet, creepy sounds of Icelandic rockers Sigur Ros on this platform.
This is actually the second round of Prince’s legal bout against what he perceives as wanton bootleggers thieving on his sweat (and hip injuries). The first instalment came in 2007 when he announced he was going after YouTube and eBay for failing to clamp down on the distribution of illegal copies of his work with the same efficiency they filtered porn out of their networks. Prince’s Internet paranoia is well documented but given his solitude in the fight against social media, you can’t help but feel a change of heart is right around the corner. After all, how many times has Prince changed his mind about his name?
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