EFF Gives Prince A 'Lifetime Aggrievement Award' For DMCA Takedown Abuse

from the raspberry-beret-awards dept

The EFF has inducted singer Prince into its "Takedown Hall of Shame" by giving the purple one the "Raspberry Beret Lifetime Aggrievement Award" for his consistent and neverending abuse of the DMCA process to take down content he has no right to takedown. In giving him the award, they list out three examples we've spoken about before:
  1. Prince's recent DMCA takedown on six second clips on Vine of a Prince concert at SXSW. These clips were clearly fair use -- showing tiny snippets where the music isn't even recognizable.
  2. Prince's DMCA takedowns sent over fan-recorded concert videos of his performance of Radiohead's song "Creep." As EFF points out, Prince has no real copyright claim here. The copyright of the song is Radiohead's -- and Radiohead demanded that the videos be put back online -- and the copyright on the video is whoever took the videos. But that didn't stop Prince.
  3. Of course, no surprise here, Prince's connection to the infamous YouTube takedown of Stephanie Lenz's 29-second video of her toddler dancing to a Prince song in her kitchen. The lawsuit over that one is still going on. That one might actually be more about Universal Music than Prince, but given his other takedown actions, it would be surprising if he didn't support Universal on that one (even if he's had other disagreements with the label).
Of course, if the EFF wanted, it could make the list even longer. Prince sent a cease & desist to an artist who put together a puppet-based tribute to the artist. He similarly threatened a bunch of fan websites, claiming that any photos of him or his album covers was infringement. Oh, and then there was the time he sued 50 musicians for having the temerity to record a tribute album to Prince for his birthday. Such a nice guy.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Kevin H (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    The only thing that Prince changes is his name. He could care less what people label him as. The punishment for these types of acts though should be more than allowing them to say "woops" and move on.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Oh, and then there was the time he sued 50 musicians for having the temerity to record a tribute album to Prince for his birthday.

    Christ, what an asshole!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    And yet, the guy still has fans.

    I...don't actually know what to think of that. Are people stupid? Or maybe they just don't care?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/billion-dollar-bet-on-rate-cut-pays-off-20130507-2j5j5.html

    "It may go down as one of the great currency bets in Australian dollar history a $US1 billion gamble on a Reserve Bank rate cut that has delivered a $US19 million ($18.65m) profit in 36 hours.
    The beneficiary, if you believe the rumour mill, is investment legend George Soros.
    Best of all, it appears the 82-year-old American pulled off the deal three times, all with different foreign exchange brokers in Asia, for a tidy profit of almost $US60 million."


    What does it mean for society when a billionaire is able to skim $60 MILLION real dollars from sheer currency speculation? That's roughly SIXTY times what MOST workers will EARN in a LIFETIME. Societies with such enormous -- and UNEARNED -- disparities can't be stable.

    Alongside almost anything in the real world, your mania for destroying copyright, which no matter how you want to deny it, makes honest income streams for creators, is just childish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    Well, the devil also has fans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Kevin H (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    Look at Chris Brown. He litterally beat the shit out of another pop star and six months later he is celebrating the gold status of his new record release.

    People have short memories and often times excuse the behavior from the favorite stars because of whatever perceived good their works may produce.

     

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  7.  
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    Nigel (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Heh, that is a lot of asshole packed into a 5'2' frame.

    Nigel

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    How about you stay on topic or create your own blog.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymouse, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    So wait... you're argument for Mike stopping discussions on how broken Copyright is at the moment, is that some billionaire is playing the system to make millions in currency speculation?! I'm sorry... I don't see the linkage.

     

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  10.  
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    gorehound (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    Another dumb MAFIAA Dinosaur Artist ! And yes, Prince really is one obnoxious disgusting Artist who has no understanding of the Internet and probably does not have the Niceness you need to be a good person at heart.

    Yes, Why does anyone buy his crud or even want to Support him and the answer is the Sheep and the Mass Blithering Consumers.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    RD, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:23am

    Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    "Alongside almost anything in the real world, your mania for destroying copyright, which no matter how you want to deny it, makes honest income streams for creators, is just childish."

    Thats great. And a good point. So go and make YOUR OWN FUCKING SITE about the subject if you feel so strongly about it. Go and make your "real world more important than imaginary rights" site, because that is your interest and passion.

    Mike feel strongly about copyright and privacy issues, and that is why this site exists. To come here and try to take him to task for following *his* passion/crusade/interests is a waste of everyone's time, and makes you look like some kind of raving, stalking lunatic.

    Do you go to a Martha Stewart-interest site and bitch to them about how they should be focusing on "more important" issues? No? Then why are you doing that only here?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Prince is basically A "Purple Pain".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Arthur Treacher, May 8th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    Wow, OOTB2, the "Sweat and agony of creation give me ownership" guy is back!

    I suggest using different handles, OOTB1, and OOTB2. That way, people can respond in context, instead of just ignoring you because of the confusion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    Heavy financial penalties not unlike the massive penalties people have received for copyright infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Prince has done nothing of note since Purple Rain and even then I prefer a cover of that song by an artist called Aynsley Lister. Check it out, it's fantastic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    Stay on topic? Noooooooo, he could never do that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    Reputations are forged in the crucible of collective society. You don't own them. Reputations can own you, however, if you define yourself only through past achievements and spend your days zealously guarding what once was, at the cost of what is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    Prince isn't even good enough to be called a c**t! let's face it, that's useful which is more than can be said of him!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Who's going to spend millions in lobbying dollars for laws like that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    out_of_the_blue, May 8th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    I think South Park needs to redo their biggest douche in the universe episode. Prince is clearly the bigger douche.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And that is the problem with how laws are made. They are made according to the need of whoever has the most money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    jameshogg (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    Maybe if I just SHOUT my words LIKE this, that WILL give THEM MORE rationality and JUSTIFICATION. CAN I be TAKEN MORE seriously NOW that I am screaming SOME OF my SELECTED words at YOU?!

    See, look what you've done. My throat now hurts. I was having fun.

    Every notice how religious loonies do the same thing on the internet? If they just capitalise "GOD" enough times that will somehow make it true?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    ken (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Has Been

    The artist formerly known as having a music career.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, May 8th, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    Well, at least we know he's good for SOMETHING.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    horse with no name, May 8th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

    Incorrect

    EFF points out, Prince has no real copyright claim here. The copyright of the song is Radiohead's

    Radiohead holds the copyright on the song. Prince however holds the copyright on the performance, and has every right to ask that the performance itself be removed. Prince cannot remove Radiohead songs, but he has full rights to remove his performance of them. Remember, Prince appears only in "no cameras, no recording" situations, so any video taken in those circumstances would be part of the concert promotion.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Incorrect

    No, I think Prince just doesn't want to be heard as a Creep.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 7:22pm

    Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Incorrect

    I'm not sure I agree. If someone in the audience records it, that person is the "author" of that recording and the copyright in the video would be theirs. That there were contractual restrictions in the venue prohibiting taping by audience members would give rise to a breach of contract or misappropriation claim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    horse with no name, May 8th, 2013 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Incorrect

    You have all sorts of things in play here. Contractually, the tickets and restrictions make any video shot in the venue copyright and owned not by the creator but by the artist.

    The performance, like it or not, is copyright to the artist. Filmed without permission in a private venue (not on the street public performance) can't change that.

    Moreover, the video couldn't be released at best without artist releases / model releases / venue releases and such. Each and every one of them would have a valid claim for use of their likeness, vanue, location without permission.

    The artist formerly known as likable is in charge here, and right. DMCA is the expedient way to take it down, and at the same time, it also saves the poster from a huge lawsuit that they would easily lose on all of those points.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Incorrect

    You have all sorts of things in play here. Contractually, the tickets and restrictions make any video shot in the venue copyright and owned not by the creator but by the artist.

    That's simply not true. There are rules regarding the assignment of copyright, and ticket restrictions are not enough to assign the copyright to the artist.

    The performance, like it or not, is copyright to the artist. Filmed without permission in a private venue (not on the street public performance) can't change that.

    That's simply not true. That's not how copyright law works.

    Moreover, the video couldn't be released at best without artist releases / model releases / venue releases and such. Each and every one of them would have a valid claim for use of their likeness, vanue, location without permission.

    Also not true in most circumstances. There are all sorts of reasons why you absolutely can show that kind of video without those releases.

    The artist formerly known as likable is in charge here, and right. DMCA is the expedient way to take it down, and at the same time, it also saves the poster from a huge lawsuit that they would easily lose on all of those points.

    Nearly everything you say here is wrong under the law. It's not a copyright claim, so using the DMCA is an abuse of copyright law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, May 9th, 2013 @ 3:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Incorrect

    I hear a lot of "you are wrong" but nothing to cite why you think you are right.

    A private venue performance has plenty of restrictions on it. Are you not aware of them?

    The protection of performers is perhaps the strongest and most unified of the related rights. A performer (musician, actor, etc.) has an intellectual input in their performance over and above that of the author of the work. As such, many countries grant moral rights to performers as well as the economic rights covered by the Rome Convention (Arts. 79), and the rights of paternity and integrity are required by the WPPT (Art. 5).
    Performers' rights should not be confused with performing rights, which are the royalties due to the composer for a piece of music under copyright in return for the licence (permission) to perform the piece in public. In other words, performers must pay performing rights to composers. Under the Rome Convention (Art. 7), performers have the right to prevent:
    the broadcast or communication to the public of their performance, unless this is made from a legally published recording of the performance;
    the fixation (recording) of their performance;
    the reproduction of a recording of their performance.
    The WPPT extends these rights to include the right to licence:
    the distribution of recordings of their performance, for sale or other transfer of ownership (Art. 8);
    the rental of recordings of their performances, unless there is a compulsory licence scheme in operation (Art. 9);
    the "making available to the public" of their performances (Art. 10), in effect their publication on the internet.
    Article 14 of the Rome Convention set a minimum term for the protection of performers' rights of twenty years from the end of the year in which the performance was made: the TRIPS Agreement (Art. 14.5) has extended this to fifty years. In the European Union, performers' rights last for fifty years from the end of the year of the performance, unless a recording of the performance was published in which case they last for fifty years from the end of the year of publication (Art. 3(1), Directive 93/98/EEC).[10]


    From Wikipedia

    Well?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Dave, May 9th, 2013 @ 4:25am

    Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    Connection to the original item?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Pragmatic, May 9th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Re: Worry about something in your supposed economics, Mike:

    Blue, you pitiful attention whore, we've been over this a million times; copyright does not automatically provide

    honest income streams for creators

    because, as we have pointed out any number of times, the creators themselves don't always hold the actual copyright. I never did get the lowdown on your mania for Mike-bashing. Are you a failed "creator" who wants to blame "teh piratez" for your lack of success or is it something else?

    I'll tell you this; as a genuine creator you would understand where copyright comes in as a revenue stream. At that point you'd realise it pays bugger all unless you're with a big publisher/distributor and they get the copyright revenues first, and give what's left after they've taken their cut.

    But since you're not an actual creator you haven't discovered this and that's why you keep hollering at us. You seem to think it's our fault you never get anywhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2013 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Incorrect

    I don't really know about the regulation of such rights in the US, but in many countries there is a performance right that is regarded as a copyright over the performance for various purposes, even though it is not strictly a copyright. It's something called a "droit voisin du droit d'auteur" in French (copyright's neighbour?).

    Anyway, in such countries Prince would be allowed make such claims, provided there is also some kind of DCMA-like takedown provision.

    Is this the case with the US? How is the Rome Convention applied in this country?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, May 9th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    Just another has-been dinosaur from yesteryear, living off the legacy of decades-old work. Irrelevant. It's obvious that he despises being a part of culture, so let's grant his wish. Don't give him any attention nor financial support. Stop writing articles about him. Let him wallow away in obscurity. THAT'S the answer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), May 9th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So who's going to spend millions in lobbying dollars to fix the problem?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Incorrect

    You have all sorts of things in play here. Contractually, the tickets and restrictions make any video shot in the venue copyright and owned not by the creator but by the artist.

    The performance, like it or not, is copyright to the artist. Filmed without permission in a private venue (not on the street public performance) can't change that.


    I get that the performance is copyrighted, but I don't see how the audience member who tapes the performance wouldn't have a copyright in the tape since they are the author of it. Do you have any cases in mind? I'd really like to understand this point. I was at a play recently and the ticket said something like "no taping allowed as per copyright law." I can't for the life of me figure out what part of copyright law they were referring to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, May 9th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Incorrect

    Specifically, the right to film was not granted with the ticket, and was specifically banned. Any filming done at the event would be in violation of that. Now, that would be contract law, but by direct extension, if the person recording did so illegally and without permission, they likely do not have ownership for purposes of copyright. If Prince pressed the case, ownership (and copyright, natch) would be his.

    Further, the show itself is a performance, and as such, that performance itself is copyright. The guy with the video would have to go a long way to show that he had permission to film and distribute the copyright performance. So while he may (for the moment) have copyright of the video itself, the content is copyright.

    Think of it like this: camming a movie at a movie theater doesn't instantly grant you copyright on the movie or the right to distribute it, even if you filmed it yourself. You at very best can claim copyright on your filming, but since the content is copyright to someone else, you can't get far. Live performances make it even more complicated, because not only is the song copyright in this case to Radiohead, but the performance of that song is copyright to Prince, and the show as a whole is as well, no different from a theatrical play.

    Copyright isn't a single, one way street. There are different players with different rights, and sometimes one trumps the other. Prince cannot claim copyright on the song Creep, but he can claim copyright on his performance of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2013 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Incorrect

    Thanks. It certainly is complicated. If you're at a Prince show and he's singing a cover song, you've got: (1) someone else's copyright in the musical composition, (2) someone else's copyright in the lyrics, (3) Prince's copyright in the performance, (4) Prince's right of publicity, (5) Prince's trademarks, and (6) contract issues with the venue.

    I think it's the fact that it's a live public performance that's throwing me off. But thinking of it as videotaping the screen in a movie theater actually makes it easier to think about. It's not that the person doing so has a copyright in the videotape since they are the author. It's that they are making an illegal copy of the performance which is plain infringement.

    But I think there's two situations that need to be distinguished: (1) videotaping a performance that is copyrighted, like a play or a poetry reading, and (2) videotaping a performance that is not copyrighted, like a NASCAR race or baseball game. In the first scenario, the performance is copyrighted and the videotaping is just regular infringement (absent some defense, like fair use). In the second scenario, the performance is not copyrighted so the videotaping is not infringement. A telecast of a NASCAR race or baseball game is copyrighted, so videotaping that is infringement (absent some defense, like fair use). But the underlying game or race is not copyrighted, so a person at the race or game who videotapes it is not infringing.

    For the distinction between the underlying game not being copyrighted and the telecast of the game being copyrighted, see the Baltimore Orioles case: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=baltimore+orioles+v.+major+league+baseball&hl=en&as _sdt=2,19&case=16938919655990834541&scilh=0

    Great stuff! Thanks for the reply.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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