back to article Prince's anti-YouTube crusade halted by American mommy

A Pennsylvania mother of two of has stood-up to the internet-battling escapades of the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. This summer, "mother, wife, writer, and editor" Stephanie Lenz filed a federal lawsuit against the artist's former record label, Universal Music Group, for ordering the removal of …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward

    Prince should just drop

    this I understand not wanting people to use your work for whatever without permission, but pick your battles, even if you win you lose.

  2. yeah, right.

    Needs a good flogging.

    Prince and his ilk need a good flogging. CopyRIGHT law exists mainly to enforce fair use. Or rather, it used to, before the RIAA and other vultures got their teeth into it. Prior to the Statute of Anne of 1710, there was no fair use. There was no public domain. There was only the London Company of Stationers and their monopoly on ownership of works.

    Now Prince, thanks to that 1710 law, can actually own the copyright to his own works. But along with that ownership comes the responsibility to allow others to use that work under the "fair use" doctrine. A doctrine enshrined in case law since the 1740s, and only recently decimated by wanna-be inheritors of the London Company of Stationers.

    Does Prince really want to go back to the days when he couldn't legally own his own works, but instead had to take a fixed, one time payment from the monopoly owner of all published works? Because that's what it was prior to 1710, and that's what we're ever so slowly heading towards again.

  3. Andrew Heenan

    Time For An Apology

    Sad, isn't it?

    The "Let's Attack YouTube Brigade" need to grow up.

    And The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As whatever needs to publicly apologise for being a silly little boy.

    Will he?

    I hope so - because if he doesn't, this sad event will haunt him.

    This is A Fact, Hereafter Referred To as a Fact, Hereafter Referred To as a Fact, Hereafter Referred To as a Fact.

    Trust me.

    You Heard It Here First.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My guess is Holden's a lot taller (without the high heels) and with an intellect above sea level too.

    The little shrimp is just jealous.

  5. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Blame the Deputation.

    Certainly Prince shot the Web Sheriff as the episode suggests that they are an easy mark prostituting themselves for clients with more money than common sense. Such a situation can all too often lead to Delusions of Grandeur way above the Earthly Station.

    However, rather than reaping adulation and wonder in what they sow, they end up perceived of as being Mean-Spirited and Petty...... and boy is that a tough one to shake off.

    It is a sweet honey-trap which ordinary mortals are easily tempted with and can fall into .....Prey 22. A Hellerish Catch 22 Prey to, too.

    He can always blame his manager, though .... in that age ole game of Pass the Buck/Parcel aka Brain Drain.

  6. Mectron

    Prince is a puppet

    In the end of the most dangerous criminal cartel in the world: The RIAA/MPAA. if anyone as common sense, his sale should drop to 0 instantly.

    There is only one way to end (c) problems, SHUT DOWN the RIAA/MPAA

  7. Andy Worth

    Pop Star?

    Sorry, I wasn't aware that he was even still releasing music. Ahh well, perhaps he's planning another "Greatest Hits" album, which isn't just a way to screw some more money out of the same tired songs at all, is it?

    If you really want to help the music industry (the REAL music industry) buy the music of some good indie bands, or ones supported by small labels. That's the only way to make it fair, as it takes the money away from the big corporations and hands it to the little guy.

  8. Tom

    Die Quietly

    It seems the RIAA and MPAA have actually worked out they are merely parasites in the entertainment industry and are struggling to find a way to be useful. Hence the litigation 'on behalf of the creative artists'.

    All sing in a squeeky voice:

    'Your history, no good to me!'

    But only so as no-one else can here as this would be transmission and you could be sued by some industry parasite!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    The artist STILL known as a pretentious little tosser!

    And his music is crap as well.....

  10. JimC

    There is another way to solve (c) problems

    People could respect the rights of the folk who do the work...

  11. joe

    are you insane?

    > In the end of the most dangerous criminal cartel in the world: The RIAA/MPAA.

    Perhaps you've never encountered a real criminal cartel? You know, the ones that kidnap, assassinate policemen, blow up airplanes, or kill 100,000 Iraqis (but I digress).

    Get some perspective. From a global perspective, the RIAA/MPAA are only relevant to the wealthy few who have a profitable amount of money to blow on content.

  12. Eddie Edwards
    Dead Vulture

    Universal has *allowed* the video back online?

    I don't think Universal had a change of heart. AIUI the lady filed a DMCA counter-claim with YouTube. Universal don't have to *allow* stuff like this online - that's the whole blinkin' point!

  13. Nigel


    Exactly what damages has the woman suffered here in her counter-filing?

    Whilst Prince has definately gone OTT with regards to the takedown notice, the counter-filing is good old American greed :(

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What a loser.

  15. Mike Smith

    A word of advice...

    ... to anyone thinking of jumping on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.

    Wherever you decide to base your operations, make sure it's outside the grasp of the of America, and ideally outside the reach of the BPI too.

    After all, this interweb hypeway thingummy covers the globe. Why base yourself in Festung Amerika when that country only contains 7% of the world's population?

  16. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


    You're slipping. I understood that one (or an I becoming a Martian - could it be contageous?)

  17. Anonymous Coward

    7% of the world's population...

    ... and 4% of its intelligence.

  18. Edward Grace

    I'm confused

    Isn't this the same guy that recently had to give away his latest album for free on the cover of the Mail On Sunday (I mean for goodness sake).

    If he wanted to give it away maybe he should have just uploaded it all with a video onto YouTube and spent the rest of eternity suing himself in an ultimately destructive logic loop...

  19. Andy


    Her view count will have suffered irreparable damage due to being unavailable for so long. I suspect this publicity will more than make up for it but that's not the point. And we all know that in this popularity contest we call Web 2.0 it's all about the views.

    Or perhaps great aunt Maude died before she could see her little great nephew playing because of the takedown thus depriving her of a few moments of happiness in her twilight? Maybe the stress of finding something missing, akin to getting back to your car only to find it not there, was so great that her life has effectively been ruined? Maybe, even, her trust in the internet has been broken so greatly that she will never again be able to bring herself to use it thus effectively rendering herself a second class citizen in the net-dominated future?

    I reckon damages of about $47 billion should cover it...

  20. Paul Charters

    It's publicity...

    The brain cell formerly known as symbol is just looking for attention. Any exposure is good exposure as far as he's concerned.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why Universal?

    2 things:

    1 - Why Universal involved? Warner Bros owns the rights to Lets Go Crazy not Universal

    2 - That little carpet rat isnt fit to dance to Prince (read the reviews from his shows in London this year) so why do i want to see that sort of dribble on Youtube

    Can I sue her for making me think I was going to watch Prince dancing to Lets Go Crazy?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Corporations Too

    The artist known as P* isn't the only one. A rather large American automobile corporation has recently gone after CafePress users with photos of its Swedish Vehicles Of a roLling nature. Volumes of the Offenses seem to be a problem.

    (* I don't want to use his name for fear of having to take this post down.)

  23. Anonymous Coward


    The artist formally known as an anal wankstain is helping us.

    By ridding the world of all possible examples of his music, we are helped in that we no longer have to listen to him.

  24. Will Leamon

    Minor legal bit...

    I don't want to go into a legal brief here but at least in the States you have to defend copyright or you can lose it. In a nutshell if Prince let's this slide then anyone can use a quick 30 second clip of Let's Go Crazy without incurring any trouble.

    Yeah it's fine for a toddler (no it's not actually... I can't stand that crap on YouTube) but I wouldn't want to hear my music playing behind a Nazi Hate Video and not be able to do something about it.

    P.S. I think Uni owns Warner Bros now...

  25. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    The pathetic efforts of this has-been to be noticed are really disgusting. I never found any interest in the guy and now he is nothing, so he really could just disappear like he's supposed to.

  26. Shell

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Universal and Warner work a lot together. Artist signed to UMG (or one of their sub-labels, like Geffen) are often distributed by WM in Europe, for example. Tours are often handled by Warner. Music companies are complicated :(

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Common sense - distinctly lacking

    Laws are tempered with a common sense clause in the UK (often unwritten). If it can be shown that a reasonable person would regard this as theft in some form or other then the case stands. Unfortunatly we are fast adopting practices from over the pond which blow common sense out of the water, lets hop that we never lower ourselves to the state where we would consider a totally hamless action like this as theft.

    Yes I agree, if a neo nazi party had his record in the background then fine - a reasonable person could see that as endorsement so sue away, but are we saying here the crown midget of pop has a resonable claim to not allow a toddler to dance to his music in a publicly shown video - or are we just seeing the fact that there are some real muppets out there, and a lot of leaches only too happy to help out with unreasonable law claims ?

  28. Anonymous Coward


    you have to defend copyright - surely the fact that you create something and it can be proven is enough that the copyright exists.

    Granted the US has only just started to acknowledge that copyrights other than their own exist in the big wide world, is that to say that nothing is safe in the US unless you take someone to court over it ???

    Surely not !!!

  29. Andrew Heenan

    you have to defend copyright

    "surely the fact that you create something and it can be proven is enough that the copyright exists."

    Not that simple. If you fail to act on copyright theft, you provide a precedent: "He allowed her to copy his song so he can't stop me", which is why Elvis, Karen and Frank reach out from beyond the grave to stop minor infringements.

    It's all a matter of where the line is drawn, and how sober the judge happens to be. Every time you play "My Sweet Lord" in public, the royalties you pay end up at "He's So Fine", in a memorable case from last century.

    In this case, however, I'd argue that "No Reasonable Person" would see it as copyright theft; so the question, now is:

    "Is The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Whatever, a reasonable person?"

  30. J

    How ridiculous...

    Prince? Is he going the way of the Michael Jackson? I mean, hasn't done anything really useful since the 80's as far as I can tell... Now desperately after attention no matter what. Please, just retire (not effectively like now, but for real) and make the world a better place...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright vs. Trade marks

    'I don't want to go into a legal brief here but at least in the States you have to defend copyright or you can lose it. '

    I'm pretty sure you're thinking of trade marks. In the US and UK (at least), copyright can only be lost by actually giving it away.

    Trade marks must be actively defended otherwise they undergo (here comes today's fabulous word) genericide.

  32. Michael Sheils

    RE: are you insane?

    "> In the end of the most dangerous criminal cartel in the world: The RIAA/MPAA.

    Perhaps you've never encountered a real criminal cartel? You know, the ones that kidnap, assassinate policemen, blow up airplanes, or kill 100,000 Iraqis (but I digress)."

    You mean the US Army?

    Yes they are a scary bunch.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    @yeah, right.


  34. Erick Wagoner

    Perhaps the Artist ...

    formally known as the .. whatever.

    Perhaps he has been looking at his Purple Rain too long?

    Probably, I mean he did change his name to some symbol that has no meaning (except to him, perhaps he had an epiphany while mixing his purple paint in an enclosed room?)

    Whatever the case, he wasn't that good of an artist when he released his first album, about the only thing he had going for him was the hot backup singers that went on to perform on their own. If he is looking for publicity, perhaps he should run for public office on the "I am a whiny bastard" platform.

    eh ... what do I know? I'll get my coat and go now....

  35. BitTwister

    Free CD?

    > "This guy scours the Internet," the source said. "He's really intense about this stuff."

    The source obviously forgot to add that Prince is evidently something of an intense tosser, too.

  36. Nìall Tracey

    "It's for family and friends"

    The "it's for my friends" line is stupid. If I want my family and friends to see my videos, I'll burn them to CDs and give them a copy. Or email them a copy. Or put it in a private online album. What I wouldn't do is upload them to a global, fully-indexed public site. That action is wrong-headed and while not worth a law-suit is definitely worth a take-down notice.

    The problem is that while it's fairly hard to imagine that this video was intended for anyone other than personal friends, there are many cases (eg "fanvids") where it's very easy to claim that it's for your friends, but in reality you're just trying to get your 10 minutes of fame. (Sorry Warhol, YouTube's restrictions mean we've had to revise your estimate.) It is impossible to police by intention, so in the end policing must be done by action.

    The woman should admit her mistake and keep private videos private.

  37. andy


    Prince, you should go pick on someone your own damn size.... did...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the Kylie angle?

    Kylie launches her exciting new "social networking" site and you're wasting precious space on an old has-been like Prince? Where's the "where's the Kylie angle" icon when you need one?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    ....."Keep videos private"

    The following is all IMHO ............

    "The woman should admit her mistake and keep private videos private."

    Kinda strange how 99% of the comments on here agree (as I do) that Prince appears to be a prize tw*t on this issue, with just one person joining the ranks of the Recording Industry Ass. supporters. Granted if people are flogging/sharing wholesale copies of his music or his OWN videos online, yep fine issue a takedown. But fanvids and short clips of kids dancing to one of his tracks aint gonna cause a great deal of financial loss to the (IMHO) pint sized p*ll*ck.

    I remember a situation several years ago where his lawyers allegedly tried to sue several major TV shows for using the title "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" or "Symbol" when showing his videos or playing his music. That one failed at the first as well.

    He's obviously got far too much time on his hands nowadays. I would say he needs to grow up but at his height its probably impossible.

    Just three words ... "Small Man Syndrome" - and I'm sure that doesnt just refer to his height..........

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like