The Littlest Thug: Prince Sends Cease And Desist To Fan Who Created 'Le Petit Prince' Miniature Doll
from the dawwwww...-he's-so-CUTE-when-he's-angry! dept
For an artist who has worked tirelessly to maintain his artistic integrity (even going so far as to change his name/wear a mask), Prince has done more than most to ensure that his vision remains intact all the way up to the fans’ ears. Unfortunately, he seems to view this “connection” with his fans as one-way.
Between starting one of the first CwF websites and swiftly abandoning it after collecting $79/head, suing YouTube, eBay and the Pirate Bay for “making his work available,” declaring the internet to be “over” (and thus, unworthy of hosting his music) and claiming that cover versions physically destroy the original tunes (???), Prince has done everything he can to prevent fans from connecting with him.
To that end, Prince has yet again flexed his tiny, presumably purple, muscles to order a fan to cease and desist doing fan-type stuff. Troy Gua, a “serious Prince obsessive” and conceptual artist, just received a cease and desist letter from “Prince’s people”, ordering him to knock off his puppet-based adoration of the Artist.
Somewhere deep down, we’re sure Troy Gua expected he’d someday have to face saying goodbye to the much-lauded miniature doll that was at the center of his art series, Le Petit Prince. This was no small project — Gua literally recreated many famous Prince moments with the little guy and even included detailed props like the Purple Rain motorcycle. Ironically, we were recently emailing with Gua to do a piece about the new calendar he was putting out featuring some of these photographs, but this week Gua sadly informed us the dream is over. He received a cease and desist letter from the real Prince’s people on Monday.
Not only did Troy Gua receive an angry email, but also a very official hard copy via FedEx. The order states that Gua is not allowed to “exhibit the photo work or the sculptural doll,” which covers pretty much the entire Le Petite Prince project. Gua has decided not to fight back and has left instructions on his website asking fans to only leave positive comments.
Gua’s taking the high road, but Prince seems unwilling to allow any sort of expression based on him or his works to see the light of day anywhere. CityPages points out that another artist was hit with a C&D for posting Prince remixes for streaming only at her SoundCloud page. Presumably, the upcoming calendar would be considered commercial use of Prince’s image (I suppose) and that may have urged on the Purple Hammer, but DJ Lenka Paris’ mixes weren’t being sold or made available for download, so it’s not entirely a crackdown on commercial use.
It may be that Prince wants all things “Prince” to originate from Prince only. If so, Prince should learn to let go. No one has that much control and attempting to maintain “artistic integrity” by stomping out anything not officially blessed by the man himself is an awful way to treat fans. Here’s exactly how to do CwF WRONG:
If it wasn’t clear before, his Purpleness has some very stringent ideas around what his fans can and cannot do in their appreciation of him. In a nutshell: Yes, please do pay $250 for that concert ticket, but ‘Hova help you if you seek to publicly admire him through music or art.
Prince has a large fan base and it appears that his fans won’t fight a legal battle with a.) someone with much more money or b.) someone they respect greatly, even if that respect is completely one way. One of those is logical and the other is understandable, but either way, it’s tough for non-Prince-acolytes to respect an artist whose response to fan efforts that stray into “his” territory is unvarying legal thuggery.