You’ll think twice before sharing your latest concert experiences on Youtube after you’ve read this, Golden Circle or not… Like many artists, Prince must be fed up of the free and sometimes illegal online distribution of live footage from his concerts – footage that would otherwise have been seen only by (paying) gig-attendees and DVD buyers. Unlike other artists however, Prince has taken matters into his own hands, singling out 22 fans for illegal distribution, to the not so harmonious tune of $22m.
In a dramatic move not uncharacteristic of the Purple Rain singer, Prince has sought legal advice to get to grips with the vast amount of ‘bootleg’ Prince content flooding the internet. Of the 363 separate accounts raised, many noted infringing links to sites where content that should be unavailable was shared freely. While fans, other performers and the law would sympathise with the 55-year old’s desire to have full control of music that in deed belongs to him, loyal fans’ frustration at so much content not being commercially available also strikes a chord with many. Prince fan forum Prince.org was flooded with opinions on the matter, many warning that this kind of rash behaviour would lose fans for the music icon.
This is not the first time that Prince has taken legal steps to curb piracy. In 2007 he opened a similar case against the now widely-blocked Pirate Bay, one of the larger, better known sources of pirated music and film content at the time. It does not seem the artist is particularly concerned with the backlash of this type of action and with fresh tour dates announced this week and a new album PlectrumElectrum on the way, we’re sure he can expect to have to repeat this process in due time.