What does Prince know that we don't know?

by David Spark on November 7, 2007

Prince, the entertainer formerly known as a symbol and now Prince again has launched another precedent-setting move: he’s suing his fans. While the RIAA has established strong public hatred by suing all fans of music for downloading music illegally, Prince’s lawyers are going even further demanding all Prince fansites remove all instances of Prince’s likeness, lyrics, and other elements. What are those other “elements?” Well, the letters go on to demand removal of “fan’s (sic) own photographs of their Prince inspired tattoos and their vehicles displaying Prince inspired license plates,” plus they want “substantive details of the means by which you [the fansites] propose to compensate our clients [Paisley Park Enterprises, NPG Records and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG)] for damages…”

Listen to the Spark Minute. John Scott and David Spark from Green 960 in San Francisco, CA talk about Prince’s new method of connecting with his fans (Run time: 6:28).

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If it were anyone else, we’d all say that these stupid lawyers just don’t get it. But this is Prince, the first major artist who released and sold his music independently online. He got it before a lot of us did. Prince fandom is rabid and he knows his fans will band together to fight any threat to their love of Prince. Well, it appears that’s exactly what’s happening. Prince Fans United, a consortium of Prince fan sites, are fighting these legal threats.

My feeling is Prince and his lawyers know something you and I don’t know. The way I see it, he has created his own threat and his fans are going to band together to save him from himself. What a great publicity stunt! It’s either that or he’s trying to lay a bigger turd than the film “Under the Cherry Moon.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rich November 7, 2007 at 7:57 pm

This could be a publicity stunt, but it doesn’t seem like a very smart one given all the negative viral activity it has provoked.

Why wouldn’t Prince just ask his fan sites to provide a link back to the official site or to his official store? Prince should try to build value with his content no matter where it ends up on the web.

David November 8, 2007 at 10:33 am

Once prince has completely abolished the moniker Prince, and becomes only that symbol-thingy, how will one find him on search engine that accepts ascii characters? Or even utf-8 for that matter. Perhaps we’ll have the ability to search by more than text when that happens.

pjk November 9, 2007 at 2:51 am

Take it from the biggest Prince fan he probably has. He is a brilliant, brilliant artist. He’s a horrible, horrible businessperson. He surrounds himself with the biggest army of dopes that give the worst legal, career and strategic advice.

I think what Prince knows is that this will get some press and draw traffic to 3121.com. Funny (or part of the plan?) that he has chosen to respond to the fansites with one of the funkiest songs he’s had in years. http://www.3121.com/jam/index.html

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