After Suing Fans Sharing Bootlegs, Prince Says No One Sues Fans, Bootlegs Are Great & People Should Share Music

from the say-what-now? dept

You may recall that just a couple weeks ago Prince sued 22 fans for using Facebook to link to bootleg live recordings of Prince shows. This was not the first time that Prince has sued or threatened his fans over things. There were all sorts of problems with the lawsuit, many of which we detailed, but apparently none of it mattered, because a couple days later, he dropped the lawsuit.

The BBC has a wide-ranging interview with Prince in which he talks about a bunch of things. The responses are all paraphrased because apparently Prince refuses to be recorded during interviews, but when asked about the lawsuit, this is his almost nonsensical response:
There was a story last week saying he was taking a $22m ... legal action against 22 internet users who allegedly posted copies of his live performances online. In response to that he simply said "Nobody sues their fans", before adding: "I have some bootlegs of Lianne [La Havas] but I wouldn't sell them. But fans sharing music with each other, that's cool."
Except, of course, he did sue his fans, and they weren't selling his music, but sharing it with each other. So, either his lawyers are just running off and doing their own thing or Prince has no idea what the lawsuit was about. Or both. Either way, the lawsuit was based on his copyrights, and he should take responsibility for it. If it was filed mistakenly, he should own up to it.

Separately, one cool thing that Prince is apparently trying to do is shows with very cheap tickets: around $10 each. We'll see if that actually happens, but it does remind me of when Louis CK worked to make his live shows more fan friendly, so it should be interesting to watch.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 5:37am

    Psychiatric issue...

    This is called Bipolar Disorder. Next time he has a mental stroke he'll be advocating death penalty for bootlegs and file sharers ;)

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 6:39am

      Re: Psychiatric issue...

      That was my first thought too, he seems to have a love/hate relationship with his fans, where he'll go on and on about how awesome they are, how much they love his music, and then turn around and attack them for being interested in, and wanting to be a part of, his music.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:56am

      Re: Psychiatric issue...

      You beat me to it.

      So I'll say this instead.
      Separately, one cool thing that Prince is apparently trying to do is shows with very cheap tickets: around $10 each.
      Whether $10 tickets are cheap depends on what you are buying tickets for.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: Psychiatric issue...

        LOL! Yes. In my point of view those tickets are $15 too expensive. Maybe if he gave me 5 dollars I might consider giving the ticket to somebody.

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

    • icon
      Nicolas (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:07am

      Re: Psychiatric issue...

      No, what you are doing is called “the medicalization of everyday life."

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 5:36pm

      Re: Psychiatric issue...

      I guess you could say he's...delirious.

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

  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 6:29am

    Now that he's seen the light, maybe we could let him save face and pretend it never happened, so he doesn't have any regrets about backing down. Hmm, yes? That might help others come around too.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:03am

      Re:

      If it had been the first time he'd randomly lashed out at his fans, maybe, but considering he seems to do so on a fairly regular basis? Not hardly, the only way he'll learn is if he actually has to suffer a backlash over his actions and can't just pretend it never happened.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    My god why do you geeks hate musicians so much?

    1) You tell us give you our music for free and make up for it at live shows

    2) You tell us we should charge a little as possible at live shows to be and be'fan friendly.'

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:49am

      Re:

      My god why do you geeks hate musicians so much?

      1) You tell us give you our music for free and make up for it at live shows

      2) You tell us we should charge a little as possible at live shows to be and be'fan friendly.'


      Mr. Prince? Is that you???

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

      • icon
        ken (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        Maybe because the RIAA and MPAA is constantly at war with tech and wants to control it.

        Both the recording and movie industries combined amount to no more than 100 billion dollars while the tech industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry.

        The relatively small recording and movie industry wants control and veto power over the tech industry.

        That is why there is animosity.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      You're a tard who has no idea what he's talking about.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      > My god why do you geeks hate musicians so much?

      We don't hate all musicians. Just the crazy ones. And 'hate' might be the wrong word. Pity? Laugh at? Facepalm?

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

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      As a musician, you sound full of *#%$.

      If peeps are sharing your music, you should feel good about that. Serious. If they are sharing you, they like you. Rejoice. The money will follow.

      Hell did you know the peeps that do the Halftime Show at th Superbowl play for FREE?!

      Think about this won't you? Thank you.

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

    • icon
      Karl (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 11:27am

      Re:

      My god why do you geeks hate musicians so much?

      Much as you love to spread this lie, nobody here hates musicians. Many of us here are musicians. Techdirt wants them to actually be successful - and fighting against your fans won't make you successful.

      1) You tell us give you our music for free and make up for it at live shows

      Giving people our music for free, and making up for it at live shows, is how performing musicians have always made money. Musicians don't, and have never, made anything more than a sliver of their income from royalties. Nine out of ten musicians on a major label never make a single dime from artists royalties; they sign to a label because it provides promotion, which leads to things like endorsements, selling merch, or live performance revenues - and those are the ways musicians make money.

      The difference is that now we can give away our music to fans for free, rather than give away our music to labels for free. And those fans will end up paying us more than a label ever would.

      Plus, Techdirt has never said it is a requirement that you give away music for free. They have always advocated for crowdfunding models like Kickstarter or Sellaband, and have advocated for subscription models like Pandora or Spotify. It is not necessary that musicians give away their music; what's necessary is that fans (potential and actual) are able to experience it in the way that they want. They are, after all, your customers.

      2) You tell us we should charge a little as possible at live shows to be and be'fan friendly.'

      First of all, that will net good will with the fans, which can be leveraged in other ways.

      Second of all, cheaper tickets do not translate to less money. It translates to many, many more people who can afford to see your live shows. If the balance is right, the increase in concert goers will more than make up for the difference in price. And if those concert goers could afford to pay more for a ticket, then they have more money to spend on your merchandise - and artists usually get a greater cut of the merch than they do of the ticket money.

      Lowering prices will often result in greater overall profits. That's basic economics.

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

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re:

        Lowering prices will often result in greater overall profits. That's basic economics.


        It sometimes bugs me how little people understand a basic concept like price elasticity...

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

        • icon
          Atkray (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 10:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It sometimes bugs me how little people understand a basic concept like price elasticity..."

          To understand this concept requires some flexibility in your thinking.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      Sometimes i wonder if they don't know how much legal action of any sort turns off people. Least for me, used to like metallica, went to a couple shows ages ago, now i cant stand to listen to any song of theirs for 15seconds. My own private little boycott.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:45am

    his head is so far up his own arse, he doesn't know whether the sun is even shining! what a prick he is!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:05am

    Prince has been a nut-case his entire life.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:08am

    I'm sure a talented genius like Prince gives a flying fuck what lout-ish Google shill Mike Masnick thinks.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:22am

    Logic

    "Nobody sues their fans."
    He sued 22 people.
    He is somebody.

    Applying simple logic to these statements, the obvious conclusion is:

    These 22 people are not his fans.

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

  • icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:34am

    was it here ? ? ?

    ...that i saw a link to a talk by kevin smith wherein he discussed his very bizarre interactions with ...
    watched it, and smith pretty much calls out prince as being a world class whack job from heel to head...
    gee, who would have guessed that...

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

  • icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 8:48am

    Everytime I hear this "artist's" name...

    The word Smeghead always comes to mind.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 9:03am

    Obama school of lies?

    Prince must have graduated from the Obama School of Lies.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 10:36am

    The Effect Formely Known as Prince

    Similar to the Streisand Effect, the Prince Effect is using lawsuits to purposely bring attention to yourself.

    I had totally forgotten about Prince until he sued 22 fans and suddenly there are all these stories about him.....

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 12:14pm

    It seems very unlikely that the attorneys would file a lawsuit without his knowledge. Whether or not to bring an action is a client decision. An attorney who files a suit on behalf of a client who doesn't know about it risks serious disciplinary action.

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

  • icon
    Wally (profile), Feb 7th, 2014 @ 1:43pm

    Microsoft and Garry Larson...great examples

    I recall Microsoft hiring a Fench company to crawl the web for infringing links only to discover that not only was their own legitimate website cited by the automated process...but was also a major PR disaster only outdone by Windows 8.

    Then there is Garry Larson's "The Far Side" cartoon that has a female chimp grooming her mate finding a blonde hair with the caption "So, you've been hanging around that Jane Goodall tramp again haven't you?"...She subsequently fired her PR officer for suing Garry Larson...

    So I'm inclined to believe the his lawyers were acting autonomously. Prince has always been quite anti-RIAA which is why he has a big reputation for protecting his works.

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

  • icon
    The Amazing Sammy (profile), Feb 10th, 2014 @ 7:08am

    Isn't this coming from the same man that said "the internet is over?" I don't think anything he says at this point can be taken seriously.

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


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