by Mike Masnick
Wed, Nov 7th 2007 11:54am
Over the last few years, there had been all sorts of indications that pop star Prince had actually figured out the economics that drive music. He'd run many different experiments on new business models, many of which involved embracing the basic economics we've discussed around here. He focused on performances and came up with ways to fund his creativity through new means. He recognized that his older catalog was promotional for all sorts of other things, and focused on constantly creating new music. Even the NY Times this summer had a detailed explanation for how Prince was embracing the economics of music to go beyond what others were doing. And then it all came crashing down. Prince sued sites like YouTube, eBay and the Pirate Bay for copyright infringement, focusing on the service provider rather than those who were actually infringing on the copyrights. While we hoped it was just a simple misunderstanding, it appears not. Prince has taken this campaign well beyond that, and is now threatening a bunch of fan sites for copyright infringement because they have photos of him and his album covers on their site. This is the type of thing we had thought went out of style in the late 90s when bands realized that fan sites are clearly only about helping you get more fans. It's quite disappointing that someone who seemed so close to figuring it all out has gone 180 degrees and passed the mantle of understanding music economics on to folks like Trent Reznor and Radiohead.
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