Prince has filed million-dollar lawsuits against 22 fans who posted self-made concert videos to their Facebook pages or personal blogs. According to the suits, these fans provided links to download their clips.
The “Purple Rain” singer filed a copyright lawsuit on 16 January in the Northern District of California, targeting 22 individuals he believes have committed “massive infringement and bootlegging” of his copyright. Prince, real name Prince Rogers Nelson, has named just two of the defendants by their real names – Dan Chodera and Karina Jindrova. The remaining 20 are referenced only as ‘Doe’, bar eight who are indicated by their website titles. Monikers such as PurpleKissTwo and FunkyExperienceFour suggest the content, some of which dates back to 1983, is aimed at Prince’s most dedicated fans. “Defendants rely on either Google’s Blogger platform or Facebook, or both, to accomplish their unlawful activity,” court papers read. “Rather than publishing lawful content to their blogs, they typically publish posts that list all the songs performed at a certain Prince live show and then provide a link to a file sharing service where unauthorized copies of the performance can be downloaded.”
Prince is well-known for employing a team that scours YouTube to file take-down notices against any user that posts self-made clips from his tours. The Electronic Freedom Foundation, which advocates for the open use of the internet, recently named Prince to their “Hall Of Shame” for filing take-down notices against six-second clips on Vine.