Prince Sues Fans for Linking to Bootleg Copies of His Music

They didn't host them -- just linked to them


There was a time, not even that long ago, when it seemed like Prince might have been the first musician to actually "get" the internet. He had done a few things that seemed really focused on embracing the internet, spreading his music more widely, and making revenue from alternate streams, such as concerts, sponsorships and fan clubs. But… it quickly became apparent that he was going in the other direction, and in an extreme manner—in part, because it seemed like for all of his ideas, he failed at following through on most of them. Then, rather than blaming his own lack of execution, he seemed to lash out at the internet in almost every way possible. He insisted that the internet was over and that he'd never put any of his music online. He even claimed that digital music was bad for your brain.

He's also gone legal a bunch of times, suing a bunch of websites, threatening fan sites for posting photos and album covers on their sites, suing musicians for creating a tribute album for his birthday, issuing DMCA takedowns for videos that have his barely audible music playing in the background and 6-second Vine clips that are clearly fair use.

Given that, many may not be surprised about his his latest lawsuit against 22 fans who posted links to apparent bootleg recordings of Prince concerts, suing each of them for $1 million. However, the lawsuit takes it all up a notch from the insanity of his earlier actions. The lawsuit was first spotted by Antiquiet and got some attention from Spin, though neither seem to understand just how nutty the lawsuit actually is. Spin, incorrectly, claims he's suing "webmasters," but even that's not true. He's suing a bunch of users of Google's blogger platform and Facebook for linking to apparent bootlegs.