×

*Not actually Prince, obviously.

Prince Is Suing Facebook Users And Bloggers For $22 Million For Copyright Infringement

This is what it sounds like when blogs cry.

Prince, the world-famous recording artist and selfie-connoisseur who protects his intellectual property like a mama grizzly circling her cubs, is serving up another batch of pancakes to would-be infringers in the form of a massive lawsuit worth $22 million.

Yes, the purple one is suing 22 internet users a cool million each for allegedly sharing links to bootleg copies of his concerts on assorted web properties, including fan sites hosted on Google's Blogger and various Facebook pages. The document, filed in San Francisco, lists Prince Rogers Nelson as the official plaintiff versus two individuals--Dan Chodera and Karina Jindrova--and 20 other anonymous users behind websites like "The Ultimate Bootleg Experience" and "PSP Music Blog." One blog was said to contain 363 infringing links.

"The Defendants in this case engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince's material," reads the lawsuit. "Prince has suffered and is continuing to suffer damages in an amount according to proof, but no less than $1 million per Defendant."

Like Metallica's war against Napster in the early aughts, Prince is known for aggressively safeguarding his catalog, which is a major reason why it's so difficult to find legitimate live performances of his online.

Furthermore, the artist formerly known as The Artist has demonstrated that no platform is too large or too small to be considered off limits: Last April, Prince's legal team issued DMCA takedown notices to Vine when users recorded six-second videos of the bloused one in concert.

Add New Comment

28 Comments

  • Jim Lively

    Every single person that ever went to a Prince concert that was televised needs to sue. Did he ask EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU if he could use your images in his videos? Did he ask EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU to sign a document stating that your image could be recorded for commercial purposes?

    NO he did not.

    There you go, Now go get your millions people, FORM PRINCE HIMSELF.

    An actor that performs in the public has the same expectations of privacy as a citizen watching the performance. And thats zero, nadda, zilch.

    Enjoy Princes money people.

  • You say "Did he ask EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU if he could use your images in his videos?" He doesn't have to. There are special laws about performances, it's not the same as just being part of a crowd. Check your facts before you pontificate in public.

  • Jim Lively

    It does not matter. He did not. Yet he used the images without permission for profit and gain. The EXACT thing infringement laws were invented to protect.

    Your rights are just as important as his. If you have zero expectations of privacy then so should he. Public Venue = No privacy.

    Your "special" laws only protect the performer. Like most in this business you care not for the individual or the fan, they are a means to exploit and sue. All is fine as long as the album sells. Your kind make me sick.

    Links to copyrighted works such as links to cdrips is a different ballgame. But claiming damage caused by a shoddy video at a concert is just plain desperate. This sounds more and more like Prince desperately needing cash verses any kind of "rights" violation. In a way, I hope he wins. The odds of him selling another ticket to anything now is just about zero. But let me guess, nothing to do with Prince and everything to do with infringement, right?

  • Christian Landry

    If you trespass on my property where i have signs posted NO TRESPASSING, and I shoot you... what part of NO TRESPASSING did you not understand? If you jump my fence where I have signs posted Beware of DOG it will BITE, and it bites you!! What part of that sign did you not understand? If you videotape my concert where I have posted on the ticket NO VIDEO RECORDING, you record my performance and post it on YouTube, then I sue you, what part of NO VIDEO RECORDING did you not understand?

    What happened to respect for others? No matter how much he makes, this is how Prince makes his living and some selfish knuckleheads have no respect for that.

  • Jim Lively

    If you videotape my concert where I have posted on the ticket NO VIDEO RECORDING, you record my performance and post it on YouTube, then I sue you, what part of NO VIDEO RECORDING did you not understand?

    So if there is "NO VIDEO RECORDING", then as soon as the concert hits MTV or is televised by the Media, I am suing you a$$. Your expectations to privacy on a public venue are the same as mine. Zero. You did not get verbal or written consent to use my images in any way shape OR form.

  • Christian Landry is 100% right. The rest of you just want things your way, because you're too mean to pay for stuff. Well get this. It's Prince's prerogative to dictate what happens to his stuff. Nobody else. If you want to enjoy Prince's stuff, you pay for it. If you do anything else, you are breaking the law and deserve punishment. It's not just Prince you're stealing from, it's all the people he employs.

  • Andrew Livingston

    The funny thing is that if you shoot someone that is trespassing today is that you would be sued for shooting that person, it would make national news, and the president would come out stating that we need another law to take away more law abiding gun owners weapons away.

    Having a sign stating your "Dog will Bite" places you under the same issue. It is now the owners fault and not the person invading your personal space.

    For Spazonymous - not all locations have fences to jump. It could be just walking a few extra steps into some woods where that no trespassing sign is located which is not much more difficult than taking the phone of a pocket and pressing record.

    Bottom line: In all cases what is wrong is wrong and right is right throughout all of the examples, but to many people (especially Lawyers and politicians (which of course are mostly lawyers)) make them grey and blur the lines between what is right and wrong.

  • The problem with your analogy is that trespassing and jumping fences requires a LOT more than simply clicking an icon at a concert.

    Remember that people are taking photos anyway - get it? Phone are out, they're switched on, their is excitement in the air. Are you seriously trying to put "jumping a fence into private land" on the same level as "clicking the video icon on the phone in my hand"? If you are, you're not thinking straight.

    And if you think 6 seconds of video is going to hurt his sales, you're deluded. The videos produced at concerts serve the artist as promotion, and increase exposure to his music. His fans are sharing the love, that's all they're doing. Sued for sharing the love (which the fans paid high ticket prices for to participate in the first place).

    I say COUNTER-SUE

  • Erma Gherd

    "Prince has suffered and is continuing to suffer damages in an amount according to proof, but no less than $1 million per Defendant."

    You don't know the definition of "suffer" your highness.

  • Don Newman

    Would love to see this go to trial. Prince takes the stand. The Defense attorney says, " Sir for the record will you please state your whole name". Uh... Uh... Uh can I draw it?

  • Paul Griggs

    I heard that Audrey Hepburn once saw him in a restaurant, heard that he was Prince, and then asked, "Oh, what's he prince of?"

  • If it's posted not to bring recording devices to the concert and someone does and records it, then there's harm. Interestingly, there's a similar lawsuits moving toward the supreme court about a woman who was filmed as a child by a family member who was sexually abusing her. The video got out and has been shared numerous times around the net. She has also been suing each user for $1 million each. But recently there's been a ruling that cites she can sue (she's suing for $34 million) the two wealthiest guys in the bunch for the entire amount. Then they have to sue everyone else to recover what they paid over the $1 million judgement that they're each supposed to pay. This takes the onus off the victim and puts it on the alleged wrongdoers to recover all the money, which can be very expensive.

  • Mark Lassman

    Yes, the legal term for that is “Contribution”, where a Plaintiff can collect the entire amount of the damages award from a single defendant, who must then sue the OTHER defendants to recover the additional amount over and above his original portion.