Prince And Radiohead Fight Over YouTube Song

from the this-is-what-it's-come-to? dept

For years, Prince was the poster child for “getting” the internet and new media distribution opportunities. He experimented with a variety of different creative business models that suggested he got how the economics of music worked these days. It was working too — with his efforts to give away his music helping him sell out concert after concert around the world. But then something changed, and Prince went ballistic, suing YouTube, The Pirate Bay and eBay and even threatening fan sites while demanding that even videos with tiny snippets of Prince music in the background get taken offline. The whole thing is quite surprising, and if he keeps this up, he’s risking taking all that goodwill he built up for years, and turning himself into another Metallica. Becoming anti-fan is never a good idea.

The latest story, though, has a twist. Prince apparently did a cover of a Radiohead song at a recent concert. Someone filmed it and put the video on YouTube. Given his newfound hatred for YouTube, Prince demanded that the song be taken down. And here’s where it gets interesting: Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is demanding that it be put back online, noting that he owns the copyright on the song: “Really? He’s blocked it?… Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our … song.” Of course, as that LA Times report notes, in true Streisand Effect fashion, the effort to take down the song has only driven much more interest in people trying to find the song. If Prince weren’t suing so many people, you might even think he was canny enough to have done this on purpose as a marketing campaign.

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Comments on “Prince And Radiohead Fight Over YouTube Song”

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Chris says:

True, Prince "got" the internet -- to make money

But other than his promotion with the newspaper in London, I don’t believe anything was actually free, or “freemium” even. He used the internet (and before that a 1-800 #, with occasional in-store partnerships) as a distribution channel to sell his albums as well as a way to get bonus material to the members of his devoted fan club (who spent lots of money on it all). So the idea of him continuing his fight to completely block anything on the internet he can’t control commerce around is not surprising.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: True, Prince "got" the internet -- to make money

“I don’t believe anything was actually free, or “freemium” even.”

That’s not the only way to sell stuff online though. When people say he “got” the internet, it’s because he was putting his music online (I believe some of it DRM-free), giving discounts to fan club members and other incentives several years ago. That was at a time when most of the industry was happy to not offer any downloads at all and sue people who tried to do so.

Chris says:

Re: Re: True, Prince "got" the internet -- to make money

you basically re-wrote what I wrote — I was just saying that its not surprising that he would try to take down fansites, take down youtube videos of his performance, etc (things that fans could access without paying him anything) because it’s consistent with his entire online policy since he started

Anonymous Coward says:

Can I put in my bullet Andy ?

It’s like Prince went on vacation and left an MBA in charge.

I am reminded of the episode where Andy returns from Mt. Pilot and Barney has the entire town locked up in jail.
“I got them dead to rights Andy” Barney proclaims
And Andy proceeds to hear all the cases which end up being dismissed.

Whitey French (profile) says:

Is Purple In Rainbows?

As previously stated – Radiohead IS the BEST, the proof just keeps piling up, how can anyone deny this now?

Prince may be a great guitarist, but other than that he’s just a little purple fairy with penis envy with a FLAIR for hooks. That he was the half-time entertainment for the Superbowl has forever tarnished the macho image of football (even worse than having Timberlake there!). He recorded a couple of good tunes back in the Eighties, but so did the Go-Gos.

Just one cautionary note to Radiohead: Anyone seen the Dave Chappelle bit – Charlie Murphys’ Real Hollywood Stories – where the Chappelle crew meets up with Prince’s crew at a club, and gets challenged to a pick up game of b-ball to settle a dispute, finally getting smeared by the Purple One’s underlings basketball accumen. (Then gets served Cherry Blintzes or something whipped up by Prince for breakfast) Thom – one bit of advice – leave this one in the law courts, not on the hardwood courts.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

at the risk of having missed dozens memos or so.

Yup. You missed a few memos. 🙂

Prince is back to being called Prince? isn’t he supposed to be “the artist formerly know as Prince”?

Yes, it happened a few years ago. The whole reason he changed his name was to get out from under the specifics of a bad record deal. Once that was over, he went back to being Prince.

Anonymous Coward says:

Again, Metallica first went after Napster when live bootlegs were found to be distributed there. Typical for people of their mentality they exaggerated their arguments to ‘make the point’ and win their fight.

And as befitting ones of their mentality, they didn’t forsee the backlash that would occur from attacking Napster for ALL music rather than just the bootlegs.

But all well. Anyone who says they play bad music either A) doesn’t like metal or B) desperately needed a ’cause’ and jumped on the bandwagon.

Interesting how they haven’t done anything like that since the whole fiasco. If they were the money-grubbing pricks they’re made out to be you’d think they would be more vocal considering their mentality.

techie says:


It’s almost shocking to read the ignorance in some of these posts.
First, Prince is one of the true original legends of rock music. Early in his career he pushed the envelope and cast a shadow over everything from industrial and techno (many of the concepts on the 1999 album) to pop to R&B. Of course he was one of the pioneers of crossing white rock, pop and R&B. His talent can be absolutly dazzling- not only is he a great guitarist- he’s a first rate drummer and keyboardist. Even in the age of sequencers he’s one of the few people to have written, produced, arranged and played every note on his early albums.
To appreciate Prince you need to be familiar with his entire body of work- from his albums to songs written for others to the live performances to the outtakes- and that is a daunting task.
With regard to online Prince has always fought for artists rights. Whether you agree with him or not an artist has the right to protect their content. Even here where it’s not his song he has a legal right to how his performances are distributed. I don’t always agree but I don’t understand getting mad if he chooses to remove content. I guess I believe when we download content we are lucky but if the owner takes it away- oh well. Move on. As long as fans aint getting sued for dl stuff like this.
As far as the name calling- funny nobody rips bowie or jagger for being the same thing…I guess because they perform white rock…but I’ll just quote Bono here. “People talk about Prince all the time like he’s a f’in christmas tree. But he’s got more talent in his little finger than all of them.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ignorant

Nobody rips on Bowie, because you can’t. Bowie almost made it a side career at one point to play into everything everyone said about him. Its pretty hard to make fun of someone who’s going to take your joke, and then run with it. Not to mention he pretty much invented not one, but two genres of music 10-20 years before anyone else had even heard of them.

Nobody rips on Jagger because he’s overshadowed by the stupid things Keith says and does.

Brother Head (user link) says:

RE: Prince sucks.

prince sucks by Bart Smith on Jun 1st, 2008 @ 7:14am

prince sucks just like obama, they should be butt buddies, when are people going to figure out that a nigger is a nigger. I need to get a life instead of posting to ignorance like this!

Or you just need to take your life… Aren’t you late for a clan rally?

Not that I’m a big fan of Prince’s but anyone that posts ignorant trash like this is a waste of air.

Micha says:

Prince and fans

I’ve been a Prince fan for a very long time… it was not the music but the implications he disliked. Put your music where you wish and that’s what he wishes to do and not have things placed to someones elses taste. As a fan Prince has never failed me and it’s time I tell others to get the facts and this all goes away… be fair enough to understand his artistic values and his desire to maintain them.

johnny says:

this is "disney paranoia" or what I used to call it....

when I worked on a pre-internet “search engine” interfaced to a database of newspaper and magazine articles and radio and television transcriptions.
The biggest user was the Walt Disney Company who wanted to review anything that had a reference to the Walt Disney Company or any of its properties.
I can just imagine all of the “cease and desist” letters that went out from their legal department.

Just figure that anything that you do will wind up on the internet with or without your permission.

maik says:


Until now, when sailed over the Internet, we were forced to watch a bunch of ads on most Web pages, but no one for it.

Today is taking a new revolution within the network companies are starting to pay money for advertisements that make us see while browsing. So over the past few months have been paid by companies that you see your ads while you’re browsing, or to receive or send e-mail.

Moreover these companies are interested in having the maximum number of Internet users viewing their ads, and therefore encourage you to make more people know the existence of this activity. In reward for this collection of sailors we offer more money for the hours of browsing customers received. See, if you decide to join the program to offer any of the companies using associate telling you that my recommendation, you will pay for the hours navigated X dollars, and I am paid (not as much as you do) for the hours you sailed. If you do not register as my referral andalusia join you only pay you X dollars for the same time you’ve sailed, but the money they had charged me for your hours do not receive your navigation, it keeps the company. Therefore, you do not lose anything indicating that you are referring to my partner and I if I can win.

The page that I’m making money is

The first step to opening an account is absolutely free and safe in alertpay because through this account you will pay them.
Once your account alertpay
enter here
( and if you register that you register as referred to me not lose anything, but I helped raise something else, like what will happen when others are referring to yours, for it must make ferreyro076 in the box that says referral once registered revenue by your username and password and you are going to begin to SURF ADS.
The process seems simple, simply click on a link is a website for 30 seconds and you’re making money.
Pay $ o.o1 you see for each site and $ 0.01 for every site you see people you mean.
The minimum pay is $ 10 via paypal and you can charge every day.

This is the example they give you

You make 10 clicks per day = $ 0.10
You refer 20 people who make 10 clicks per day = $ 2.00
Your daily earnings = $ 2.10
Your weekly earnings = $ 14.70
Your monthly earnings = $ 63.00.

Not bad for starting and using about 5 minutes per day of your time.
Besides the example is to refer 20 people, imagine what happens if people mean more than that.
Today I could do 8 clicks and they will clarify that some days have more and other days will have less but what is really important here it seems the number of people can relate.

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