Walk with me, if you will, as I retrace some of the steps of Prince’s moronic war on fair use, the internet, and technology at large…
- Prince attempts to sue YouTube, eBay, and The Pirate Bay for allegedly encouraging copyright violations. (September 2007)
- Prince forced the removal of a YouTube video of a baby dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy.” The baby’s parents sue him and his label and win. (October 2007)
- Prince forces his own fansites to cease and desist use of his music and/or anything related to his likeness. His fansites ban together against him. (November 2007)
- Prince covers Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella, then forces YouTube to remove fan footage of the performance. Radiohead and YouTube reinstate the video shortly thereafter. (2008)
- Prince refuses to allow access to his new album through legitimate digital download services, shuts down his website, and declares that “the internet’s completely over,” and “Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.” (May 2010)
Let’s throw one more bullet point on there from just this week…
- Prince tells George Lopez on Lopez Tonight that he’d like to a see a law enacted that will ban the ability of artists to cover and/or sample another artist’s piece of music, saying, “My problem is when the industry covers the music. There’s this thing called compulsory licensing law that allows artists through the record companies to take your music at will without your permission. And that doesn’t exist in any other art form, be it books, movies – There’s only one version of ‘Law & Order.’ There’s several versions of ‘Kiss’ and ‘Purple Rain.” [via Ultimate-Guitar.com]
Well, Prince is right about one thing…there is a compulsory licensing law in effect in the US. One that protects the owners of copyrighted material by requiring those earning money off an existing piece of music to pay royalties to the owners of the material in question, while at same time protecting the freedom of speech of the new artists to sample or cover that original work as they please. This is nothing new and should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Does this guy hate royalty checks?
When Prince went through his retarded “symbol-as-a-name” phase in 1993, it’s safe to say we all thought it was retarded in the “I can’t believe this egomaniac is actually doing this” sort of way, not in the literal sense of the word. Now, looking back at his public statements and battles since 2007, it’s obvious to me that the guy has a mental deficiency that’s slowly been publicly unmasked in recent years. I can’t even think of him as just a talented, arrogant pr*ck anymore. I feel bad for him in much the same way you’d feel bad for the dumb neighborhood dog that just can’t be taught to stop digging holes or sh*tting in yards.