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Prince goes after Facebook users for historical 'piracy'

Litigate like it's 1999
Tue Jan 28 2014, 14:23

POP MUSIC ARTIST Prince is chasing $22m in 'piracy' damages from Facebook users.

According to Torrentfreak Prince filed a lawsuit in US District Court in the Northern District of California that goes after users who posted links to recordings of Prince performing live.

Two individuals have been identified that run a website, 20 more are not fully named and are listed as a range of Does. Prince wants $22m for his troubles and woes.

The complaint reads, "The Defendants in this case engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince's material," according to the Torrentfreak report.

"For example, in just one of the many takedown notices sent to Google with respect to Doe 2 (aka DaBang319), Prince identified 363 separate infringing links to file sharing services, with each link often containing copies of bootlegged performances of multiple separate musical compositions."

Prince apparently has lost money because a video of a concert he performed in 1983 was leaked online. Other more recent videos showed him performing live in the 1990s. According to the lawsuit each of the users have taken $1m from him.

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

In 2007 Prince sued The Pirate Bay, but that case soon fizzled out.

Of course, not all musicians sit on their nests like fat chickens waiting for cash eggs to hatch, and many have released content on a pay as you please basis. Most recently Kim Dotcom did this, but others including Radiohead led the way.

Last year Moby released a bundle of his music to Bittorrent websites. According to a report at the Verge, the bundle has been downloaded 8.9 million times. People who download it must provide an email address, and are emailed links to iTunes, where if they want they can buy the rest of his content.

This week the musician released a single to music website This is offered in both the usual consumer and music production track formats, and the nature of means that the track becomes a community work in progress.

"As for the music, I think of it like a hive mind," he told the Verge. "We're moving to an age that is less proprietary, more collective and communal. I like some of the ideas I come up, but my feeling is the next track or next album will always be better with more people and more ideas in the mix. If someone took my files and made a version of the song that was more popular than mine, that would be awesome." µ


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