Prince Sends A Takedown Over Six Second Vine Clips

from the fair-use? dept

Ah, Prince. The purple-loving musician has built up an irrational hatred for all things internet over the years, mostly focused on his belief that he should have 100% control over everything he has ever done. He’s gone after companies and fans for posting pretty much anything. His music is also at the heart of the (still ongoing) Stephanie Lenz case, in which Universal Music Group issued a copyright takedown on a 29-second video with some Prince music in the background. In that case, the court said that UMG needed to take fair use into account before sending the takedown.

Given that, it seems rather surprising to find out that Prince is targeting even shorter clips — including six second clips on Vine, the Twitter offshoot/acquisition, that allows people to post short video clips no longer than 6 seconds. Vine has built up a decent following pretty quickly, and it’s difficult to see how anyone could argue that music appearing in such a Vine video wouldn’t be either fair use or de minimis use (or both). But don’t tell Prince that.

The DMCA takedown comes from NPG Records, which is Prince’s personal record label, and names eight Vine clips, which apparently have all been removed. The notice was just sent on March 26, meaning we’re still within the time frame in which someone could have filed a counternotice. One hopes that counternotices are being filed, and (perhaps) that someone is willing to challenge Prince on claiming that such videos are not fair use. Would he honestly claim that such a video harms the market for his music?

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Companies: npg records, twitter

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Comments on “Prince Sends A Takedown Over Six Second Vine Clips”

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anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

When you look at how irrelevant Prince has become in the music scene it is strange that he would be so controlling over music people don’t actually want to normally listen to, in all the games and clashes he has had with his fans i am surprised that anyone would even want to post his music.

I had enough a long time ago and vowed never to listen to his music creations ever again and i suspect with all the negative publicity he has gained over the years he would be encouraging people to post clips of his music, even if it is just to make him a little bit relevant in the internet age.

out_of_the_blue says:

Well, once an organization is large enough...

then it can expend resources without regard to sanity, and yet prosper. SO, as a matter of FACT — which you fanboys always object to my even stating — the artist who became “Prince” can pretty much control ALL of his work, yes.

That, however, is an argument for limiting how much people get from making entertainments, so that they can’t just do ALL that they please. Again, the solution you want — not that Mike ever offers a solution — is to go Populist.

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up same place!
Where Mike daily proves the value of an economics degree.
04:01:31[f- 2-4]

Digitari says:

Re: Well, once an organization is large enough...

well the only way Prince or YOU can control what you make is to NOT release it, or monetize it in anyway. if you sell it in ANYWAY, you loose control. that is just a fact of life.

I can poop on princes album covers all day long, not a whole lot he can do about it, and not only that I can then take pics of it and call it “art” and claim full copyright

Bt Garner (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well, once an organization is large enough...

Generally, we’d say yes, that your derivative work is “new” and can claim full copyright protection. However, if you are defecating on Prince’s most recent albums, the answer would be no, as no one (not even an idiot in a hurry) would not be able to tell the difference between the derived shitty record, and the original shitty record.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Well, once an organization is large enough...

SO, as a matter of FACT — which you fanboys always object to my even stating — the artist who became “Prince” can pretty much control ALL of his work, yes.

That’s not a fact.

If that was a fact, we wouldn’t be discussing infringement, derivative works or fair use, because they wouldn’t exist.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

When was the last time this fossil had a hit record? The ignorance of some artists! Their fans post things that amount to free promotion and they freak out and get it taken down. Gee, I was going to buy that Prince CD but now that I have a couple 6 second clips I don’t need it.

P.S. Is he still the “Artist formally known as Prince” that changed his name to that weird symbol? What a nut case!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He changed it back to Prince. The change to a symbol was the result of a dispute with his label. He wanted to release more music than his label did, but his contract prevented him from doing so. He could, however, release music under a different name. Thus, he changed his name to the symbol until the contract expired.

Crazy, perhaps, but no more crazy than many other legal shenanigans.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That particular symbol is one that he’d been using for a long time before he made it his “name,” and it has particular personal meaning for him (he calls it “the love symbol”. I also suspect that it was a bit of a “fuck you” to the music industry in general. He’d commented at least once that he enjoyed the fact that industry reporters had problems knowing what to do with it.

Wow, I know way, way too much about Prince!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Also, about the symbol — because he’d already been using it in relation to his music for quite a while, including on album covers, making it his new name actually makes good marketing sense — his existing fanbase would already associate the symbol with him, minimizing confusion.

Using a different name that’s unfamiliar to everybody would have been a larger risk.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘it’s difficult to see how anyone could argue that music appearing in such a Vine video wouldn’t be either fair use or de minimis use (or both). But don’t tell Prince that’

just tell him what he really is, that he’s a prick who needs to remember how he got where he is and, like the entertainment industries, how fans are relied on for EVERYTHING and how they can make or break everything as well!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I just want to point out that Prince is a super old guy who can’t walk without a cane. He’s a geezer who doesn’t understand the Internet, fine – but let’s not pile endless hatred on him just for being out of touch. At least he’s not trying to legislate the Internet, right?

anonymouse says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually i am downloading all his music right now just so i can share it with others, even if i don’t want to listen to it myself, there are some older folk that listen to it in memory of the days he was not completely obsesses with himself, it is a shame how wealth and notoriety can change a person so much that they become something to be disliked.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“At least he’s not trying to legislate the Internet, right?”

He’s attacking Vine with a (hopefully incorrect) reading of the current legislation, while UMG is on his behalf attacking YouTube. Both attacks depend on ignoring the fair use rights of the public and safe harbour provisions for service providers, and would be unlikely to be noticed, let alone fought against, if they were offline.

He might not be trying to pass new laws, but he’s definitely trying to use legal methods to shut down perfectly legitimate services – because they happen to be on the internet. If not him personally, he’s definitely hiring those who are.

Anonymous Coward says:

I would be pretty happy if he goes to court with this one:

Either the court sides with him and de minimus is officially non-existent on the internet which would showcase the insanities inherent to the system.

Alternatively he will lose and the court will have taken a stance on where de minimus should be for music in videos.

Both would hurt the mans reputation, but at least he has made a judge set standards for some of the fair use and de minimus claims future sites can relate to.

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

So long, it's been good to know you!

I was once a fan of Prince. I thought he did a lot of cutting-edge and really creative stuff. However, this sort of sh!t is just not acceptable. Sorry “Artist Formerly Known As Prince”, but you won’t be getting any of my hard earned lucre any longer! At least until you wake up and smell the (internet) coffee!

And FWIW, I purchase over $1000 USD in CD’s and other music each year, as does my wife, and that doesn’t count our frequent concert attendance.

Rocketism says:

When I see stories like this it makes me want to blanket the net in these videos, and to get others to do it too. So that it is more trouble than its worth to fight all of them. It would have to cost something to have them removed, and at some level of volume that cost (in time, money or sanity) will be just too high. Lets call that the breaking point, where the cost benefit no longer works in your favor and you give up. Or maybe they don’t give up, they instead sue me over the proliferation of videos.

How do you think that would shake out?

velox (profile) says:

How it really works...

I seriously doubt Prince himself is trolling around the internet looking for supposed infringement. Almost certainly he signed a contract with a company that has promised to look out for his copyright interests so he doesn’t have to personally worry with the details. The IP enforcement firm has incentive to find every miniscule scrap of music that can be attributed to their client. They must continue to keep proving their value in order to perpetuate their future paychecks.

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