Not only is he one of the greatest musical talents of our time, but he’s also a businessman serious about protecting his craft. Prince (real name Prince Roger Nelson) has filed a copyright lawsuit against 22 different users of Facebook and Google’s Blogger platform, demanding his defendants pay $1 million in damages. Spin reports:
According to the 21-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco (via Antiquiet), the defendants “engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince’s material.” The lawsuit targets Dan Chodera, Karina Jindrova, and 20 anonymous defendants. Chodera and Jindrova allegedly operated a no-longer-online Facebook account that posted a bunch of bootleg Prince videos. The other defendants — “Does” 1 through 20 — are accused of similar infractions, such as pointing to a 1983 Chicago setfrom WorldofBootleg.blogspot.com. Hey, we’d like to hear that one.
Prince asks for a jury trial, which, though highly unlikely, would have to make for some fascinating courtroom drama. In addition to the $22 million total in damages, Prince wants the defendants permanently blocked from infringing on his copyrights. He also wants them to forfeit any money they may have made from his music — with interest — and to return any “unlawful materials” to their rightful Purple custody. Oh, and they’d better cover his lawyers’ fees, too.
This isn’t the 55-year-old’s first time using the court system to his music. In 2007, he announced that he was suing YouTube and eBay because they
are clearly able [to] filter porn and pedophile material but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success.
In 2008, he performed at the Coachella Music Festival. After performing a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”, he forced YouTube and other sites to remove footage that fans had taken of the performance, despite Radiohead’s demand for it to remain on the website. Days later, YouTube reinstated the videos. The defendants of his most recent lawsuit have yet to comment publicly.
[Hip Hop Wired, Spin, Billboard]