My name is Prince and I am Suing You

Perhaps he’s miffed about turning 50 years old. Instead of figuring out how to leverage the fact that a group of Norwegian fans developed a compilation of covers honoring his birthday, Prince is suing.

(Any of you Minnesotans know where Paul Westerberg stands on digital rights and whatnot? I can’t hardly wait to hear…)

Anyway, this is the same man/enigma/symbol who the NYT recently gushed “has remade himself as a 21st Century rock star” , using a plethora of marketing and distribution strategies and tactics to get his CD into fans’ hands for free via a London newspaper or as a bonus for purchasing concert tickets to remain relevant to a new breed of music fans. It seemed he had realized that the ownership of the brand of “Prince” was in the hands of his fans and they could push it further for him than he could do so himself.

A few Norwegians pay homage and he takes legal action? Since when is it OK to sue people who like you enough to literally sing your praises? Will he make more money by stopping greater distribution of his music even if every international copyright law isn’t followed (no, I’m not advocating for unlawful distribution, just some common sense)? Or could you leverage the somewhat randomness of this to your greater, longer term good and continue to make yourself even more relevant?

In better Prince news, EW did see fit to crown Purple Rain as the best album of the past 25 years. Though I did hear that for the current cover of Rolling Stone’s Guitar Heroes issue, he was supposed to be there but didn’t want to be on the same cover as John Mayer. I think he’s jealous of Jennifer Anniston’s hair.

BTW, I’ve got many issues w/ these EW lists as I came of age the past 25 years, but the main one I’ll point out is no REM albums until #32 and when there is one it’s Life’s Rich Pageant? “Fall on Me” takes precedence over “Losing My Religion” and Out of Time? Come on…

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Filed under digital distribution, monetizing media, pop culture

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