back to article B3ta served DMCA notice for Photoshop Prince challenge

Lawyers acting on behalf of Prince have sent out a flurry of US copyright infringement notifications to individual members of a popular UK website which encourages its community to create satirical images of well-known stars. A number of users of have been slapped with DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) …


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  1. Dabooka


    What a tosser; this is going to be a running joke now on B3TA rather than waiting an extra day for the comp to finish and it will have been forgotten about.

    Seems he believes all that bullshit, and do the muppets at "Websheriff" do; check out their site! It beggers belief how far up their own arse they are!

  2. Matt Kemp

    New image challenge

    Photoshop Websherriff so far up an 'unidentifiable' arse as possible.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good grief

    So US lawyers are threatening British citizens with a law that doesn't apply to them?

    All this proves is that as well as making crap music (I think opinions are still legal?), Prince has no sense of humour either.

  4. Alan Foster


    Please don't give oxygen to the obviously (rightly) media starved!

  5. Haku

    Taking the piss

    If one short-arsed, ego-bruised American can weild the power to stop people taking the piss out him IN OTHER COUNTRIES, where will this madness stop?

    Radio & tv shows have been taking the piss out of politicians, pop-stars, celebrities and the general public for decades, so why can't we?

    I haven't received any takedown notices yet, so...

  6. Jach

    Have I learned wrong?

    I thought you couldn't be sued for copyright infringement if it's satire. Hence MadTV/Saturday Night Live getting away with all sorts of stuff.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    dmca not in uk

    If a UK citizen is sued in a US can't they just ignore it after all they are just a rebel. colony . So GWB when he visits next should be tried as a traitor for witch the death penalty was never revoked .some in US may like that.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's not prince....

    I am not afraid of Prince's lawers (much) so I will host a picture of

  9. system


    Although U.K courts may not make allowance for parody, U.S courts do.

    They allow for parody as fair use, but not satire. Considering the talk is of potential prosecution in the U.S, U.S law would apply.

    For case history, you can probably use

    If the work is a parody, transformative and none commercial, chances are it'll be found to be fair use.

  10. lglethal Silver badge

    And Freedom of Expression takes another hit...

    Deplorable situation. The Right to Freedom of Expression gets flushed down the crapper once again... Just a few more examples of it being trampled over

    1 - those stupid bloody muslim cartoons

    2 - the pope's reciting of a 14th century king saying islam is evil.

    3 - the Romanian parliament passing a law making it illegal for journalists to release video of Romanian politicians taking bribes

    4 - Murder of russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya

    5 - The 2 cartoonists fined for parading the crown prince of spain this week

    6 - Numerous murders, imprisonment and torture of journalists and bloggers worldwide

    When will someone in power finally stand up for this right, which took so long for us to obtain in the first place! :(

  11. dave


    Spitting Image, all the political cartoons (which enjoy a long and colourful history), sundry impressionists - are they all to fall by the wayside, trampled beneath the hooves of litigation and celebrity?

    Where next for humour?

    "q: What did a human say to another human?

    a: <answer removed for legal reasons>"

  12. yeah, right.


    If it's a valid parody, then the DMCA has clauses that allow a counter-suit for filing a false take-down request. Personally, hope this tosser gets burned really badly on this particular campaign of his. Maybe give others pause? HAH! Yeah, right.

  13. Daniel B.

    The solution is easy...

    Set up a server in Antigua. Then host there your photoshopped Prince contest ... and when the DMCA sends its take-down notice ... give 'em the finger. Added bonus: make it impossible to get user's information, so even individual users can't get sued. ;)

  14. Someone

    A good roasting

    Someone gave me their free Prince CD from the Mail on Sunday. Mistakenly, they thought I was hip and groovy, and would appreciate such a thing. I finally know what to do with it. I can ceremonially burn it.

    Why Web Sheriff? I heard on the news that, after Norway, the UK’s officially the most expensive place to get anything done. Trawling the Internet for infringing content and firing off all those aggressive letters and emails must take a lot of time. The Internet is, after all, a fairly big place. Not only is Prince ensuring he gets no future income, he’s going to be bankrupted by Web Sheriff invoices. Wouldn’t it have been more sensible to look for an outfit in Mumbai?

  15. Simon Harvey

    Satire/Parody - something that the Yanks (and Websheriff) don't understand?

    am not a lawyer so don't trust me - yadayadayada

    Did a quick google and found this question on MeFI - If you can argue that b3ta is a work of parody then you're protected from these fsckwits under US law:

    To be considered parody, the work must "reasonably be perceived as commenting on the original or criticizing it, to some degree" (U.S. Supreme Court, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music -

    Criticising Prince, of course, should be enshrined in law as a human right anyway.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    The artist currently known as P****

    I was a teenager in the 80s and we really liked Prince. His work was new; It was fresh and it pushed boundaries. I positively acknowledged his recent CD give-away.

    Now he's started bullying people by filing PR/CK and T055er forms outside of any country where they're legal all my respect for him has gone. I wouldn't even take his CD if you gave it to me now.

    Sad... very sad... Pass me my coat please.

  17. Jón Frímann Jónsson

    Someone sue Price

    I recommend that someone, EFF or someone with enough power of for just being fed up with Price so him for abusing the DMCA law and other copyright law. In in the case he gets sued, I hope he gets 100.000 years worth of jail time. He should give him a plenty of time to think about his own stupidity.

  18. ryan

    To sum up...

    Did I follow this right?

    Laywers are using a US law to attack a UK website for doing something that might be illegle in the UK but is likely legal in the US?

    It makes ones head spin.

  19. system

    RE: counter-suit

    "If it's a valid parody, then the DMCA has clauses that allow a counter-suit for filing a false take-down request."

    The problem is that it has to be done knowingly. I doubt Web Sheriff knows the first thing about copyright law, or fair use exemptions in particular, so you may have problems proving knowledge that the claim was false :-P

  20. Nordrick Framelhammer
    Paris Hilton


    This latest outburst is proof that ego is inversely proportional to height raised to the power of talent.

  21. Adrian Esdaile

    Artist formely called Pr1ck

    Sorry, I really meant 'prince', ny middle finger must have slipped.

  22. tony trolle

    the arse(st) known formally know as Prince

    remember that little swirly art that he wanted to be known by, a W____r (someone who plays with their willy) on a tree branch

  23. JMcL


    Hmmm.... name rings a bell. Is he the weird little guy that used to go out with Sheena Easton years ago?

  24. Alan Donaly

    We need a really nasty one,

    to put on all the sites we control, a little SEO magic some mutual linking, and next thing you know every Google result for "Prince" is a picture of him he doesn't like. It has to be a good one though Perhaps a picture of him taking a lick off that cup, or the goatse guy.

  25. Ben Gibson
    Thumb Up

    I think Prince is right

    Lets stop parodying, talking about him, listening to and posting anything with his music in it. Fading out of the public mind is probably the best thing here so he can be forgotten.

  26. kevin elliott

    Even Easier

    There's a great way forward & b3ta should consider replacing the competition - but as follows:

    Get someone/people to draw a few reasonable likenesses of whatever he's called now. Images could be hand drawn, painted, or created using a drawing package. Further they could ask people to donate images to the competition on which they hold the copyright

    Offer these as source images on b3ta for parody/satirical purposes

    Relaunch the competition, with the restriction that only the papproved source images may be used.

  27. Chris Matchett

    US vs UK law

    The UK may not have specific exclusions for parody but the US does. And the UK does not have the DMCA but the US does.

    So why would B3ta be worried about defending themselves in a UK court of law when they would be heard in a US court and can use US based arguements?

  28. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    But why ?

    Why are we still talking about this nutcase ? He's a moron and attacks his fans, got it. Can we sweep him under a rug now ? Maybe lock him in an attic where he belongs ?

  29. Chris Morrison


    THE DMCA is the worst piece of legislation in the world. It has totally failed to work as planned and now just gives the big (for big read rich) guys all the power over what anyone does.

    Fair play to the guys at b3ta agreeing to cease and desist, considering any money they have for lawyers is probably a 100th of what prince would spend if it went to court. But people need to stand up to these guys, what we need is a good lawyer to get bitten by them and to drag them over the coals. A few defeats and hopefully they'll get the message.

    From a legal stand point what happens if you are sued in the USA and you go on holiday over there or something?


  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Celebrity is a popularity contest.

    Prince is building his own punishment; the death of his floundering career.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I might be wrong....

    The reason they arent allowed to photoshop the images of Prince is because the images are copyrighted.

    Imagin your a photographer and a newspaper reprints your images with a slight change to them, you'd be pissed.

    Using freedom of speech as a defence against copyrighting has failed before in America, I dont see how this is any different.

    However, I doubt Prince owns the copyright to all the images taken down. That might be against the use of the DMCA in some way?

  32. Charles Spalton
    Black Helicopters

    Re: DCMA not in uk @ Anonymous Coward

    Sorry - our Glorious Leaders abolished the death penalty for treason back in 1998. Something about protecting their own backs after their time in office was over or something like that...

  33. Steven Foster

    @yeah, right.

    Hope someone does. I just ignored Prince before all this, now I think he's a complete tosser. I'd be surprised if he has any fans left.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The really sad thing ...

    ... Is that b3ta capitulated and took it down.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Get more coverage!

    Acts like this show people up for the humourless twats they really are. It's one bloody week and then it's all forgotten. At least he's guaranteed himself months of piss taking now.

    I don't think there is really anything Prince could do about it since it would be tried in the US and parody is fair use there. However, setting aside the legality of the DMCA request since it would be very expensive and time consuming to defend, I can't see how a positive spin can be put on stifling free speech like this.

    This sort of thing should be reported by more media (no offense intended reg, but your readership is likely to know about this or at least know about the DMCA and B3ta anyway) so that the whole country gets to see what kind of an fsck'er Prince is.

    We *NEED* proper free speech laws in the UK, what's next - no private eye, HIGNFY, etc. etc.?

    Oh, BTW, there seems to be some speculation regarding if WebSheriff are even legally entitled to send DMCA notices. I haven't got time to dig but some enterprising reporter may wish to look into it...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I'm a Prince fan but he's really become an insufferable cock over the last few years, and his current fetish for lawsuits is the icing on the cake. His fan sites such as and are now turning against him because he's served writs against them because forum visitors sometimes posted pictures they had taken at concerts, and in response to them joining together forming a group called "Prince Fans United" he released a song called "PFUnk" which was basically an attack against his fans.

    I saw him three times at the O2 earlier this year and had a fantastic time, but after all this would I go again? Maybe he'd sue me for clapping, or not averting my eyes from the stage. Would it be safe?

  37. Anonymous Coward


    So they're using an American law, under which it may well be legal anyway, to threaten users in the UK (i.e. not in their jurisdiction), in order to try to force a website (which doesn't belong to those users) hosted on a US server to comply with British law?

    I'm confused.

  38. Ian McNee

    Time for El Reg Standard Measures Dept. to step in

    Clearly Vulture Central is lacking a critical unit of measurement, exposed by this take-down of the much loved and highly esteemed B3ta site. We need an accurate description of the size of an ego.

    My opening suggestions are the Prince (Pr) as the standard unit of ego and the pompous (or petulant) Prince (pPr) to signify the more highly-developed and esoteric celebrity-related property: the super-ego.

  39. Smallbrainfield

    Well I'm sickened by this turn of events.

    It took me most of the week to think of something vaguely humourous about the humourless bastard.

    Todays board should make interesting viewing. I imagine Rob will be watching through his fingers.

  40. Mary

    As a long-standing member of the b3ta community...

    I've been photoshopped (not always in a complimentary way) on b3ta, and found it to be on the whole entertaining.

    It's a fairly regular event for b3ta members to be 'done' in this way.

    So much for WebSherriff's claim that we wouldn't like it if it was being done to us.

  41. Anonymous Coward


    tosser. he loves hyping up how bad everybody's behaviour is to serve his own ends:

    "There's poking fun and there's poking fun and people are clearly taking it too far and crossing over the boundaries of what is acceptable."


    "if i didn't talk like this, no-one would take what i do seriously enough to employ me to issue petty threats."

    as for:

    "I don't think the people who posted them would like to be on receiving end of that kind of treatment."

    ...errr. it's called a sense of humour, mate. i'm sure you don't understand. or, you do but if you admitted you did, you would get less work. utter copper nanotube.

  42. DrXym

    Where is their backbone?

    B3TA should have stood up to the jerk. The DCMA has no standing in the UK. Let them sue. Let them look like asses as lawyers try to explain why a chihuahua artistically shitting out the prince symbol is not obvious satire.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    welcome to web2.0

    B3ta currently has well over 100,000 members world wide. I'd like to see the bill for litigation against all of them. Incidentally a certain "Websheriff "is listed one of its newest members. Not very subtle.

    Same thing happened a while back when an attempted viral campaign by a certain beared smiley rich guy backfired in a spectaular way. Fortunately that time the individual concerned knew how to use a calculator and realised it would take the assets of a small tropical island to do anything about it.

    Perhaps some one would like to explain Web2.0 to Messers Nelson and "Sheriff"

    there's a nice little video on Youtube which would help - especially the last 20 seconds (and the soundtrack is better than anything the purple one has ever come up with)

  44. Dunstan Vavasour
    Thumb Up

    Good for b3ta

    They did exactly the right thing. Pulling the competition a day before it closes with a straight faced take down is far more abusive to Prince than any other course of action would be.

    And the delicious irony is that he and his lawyers don't realise this.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legal tosspots

    The last lot of people I'd want to piss off are the B3tards, I fully understand why they've complied with this nutty request, but it is a shame. It should be pointed out that they have also been of the receiving end of people taking their images and sticking them in magazines and newspapers - did they sue? No and credit to them. They did however have an image competition of the owner of the newspaper in question...

    Also, the reason they have to back down under threat of US law is that if the court case is successful the creators of the infringing images would never be able to go to the US again, without paying fines/doing time. (Maybe not going to the US is a small price to pay?) I am not sure if this is extraditable though, I can't imagine it is.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Jolyon Ralph

    Cost of infringement

    Not that I really care one way or another about the self-overhyped dwarf, but surely it costs close to bugger all for people to put up a photo of His Shortness somewhere on the web, and it will cost him presumably a certain amount per legal letter for them to get removed.

    Continue this game until he runs out of cash. Sorted.

  48. Stew Wilson

    Cry Havoc!

    And let slip the magenta knobs of war!

  49. Keif Gwinn
    Thumb Down

    The artist formly known as "I've got too many hits" prince

    I did actually go see a show during his recent stint at the o2, why not I thought, someone had gotten the tickets and he supposedly does a good show. I've never really followed his music and was surprised by how many I recognised.

    But half way through the show when he spent 20 minutes playing about 30 second intros to his songs whilst constantly harping on about 'having too many hits' I realised he's just a tosser.

    He also 'gave away' his most recent album because it made him more money that way then the direct sales of his previous album. He got something like half a mill from the papers he sold it to in each country, when his last album only had 50,000 sales in total.

  50. Dave


    Had the person referred to as the son of a king, let it lie, it would be old news now, then forgotten.

    Now its going to run for years and years and years.

    As for Memes he's just made himself one. Also I don't recall the members of status Quo objecting to their likenesses being used this way. I suspect they think that if they take it in good humour, the result is good publicity. They are right

  51. Anonymous Coward

    How long before...

    ... Prince Charles gets a Cease & Desist notice from Squiggles' lawyers?

  52. Mark

    You might be wrong

    Copyright is NOT A RIGHT TO SOLE PROFIT.

    All the arsehole accountants are telling people with "copyright" that they cannot let someone else make money off "their" work. Whether they will make money off that work is irrelevant. Accountants and the rich are piss-scared of someone else making money. That money rightly belongs to THEM! Peons are just the handy carrier for a short while before they hoover your pockets.

    OK, Ponce, I'll ask the same question I asked of Cliff Richard (and got no response):

    Did you learn how to mix a track? Did you learn how to play Guitar, did you make it yourself. Did you do all this without someone else using THEIR "IP" to teach you?

    So why the fuck should YOU make money off THEIR work in teaching you or making your music sound good? Why ONLY YOU?

    When you flush your lavvie, do you pay your plumber for the benefit you have recieved in not having a shit-filled toilet? If not, then either stop asking us to pay again and again for work you did decades ago or start paying for all the uses you make of other people's work.

  53. egg


    Proper use of the Photoshop trademark

    Trademarks help protect corporate and product identity, and Photoshop is one of Adobe's most valuable trademarks. By following the below guidelines, you can help Adobe protect the Photoshop brand name.

    The Photoshop trademark must never be used as a common verb or as a noun. The Photoshop trademark should always be capitalized and should never be used in possessive form, or as a slang term. It should be used as an adjective to describe the product, and should never be used in abbreviated form. The following examples illustrate these rules:

    Trademarks are not verbs.

    CORRECT: The image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software.

    INCORRECT: The image was photoshopped.

  54. Jason Irwin


    Get a grip.

    Hoover? Sellotape? Names pass into the common vernacular and no effort by idiotic lawyers will stop it. It's a great advert for their product any way.

    Customer: I need to photoshop some images, what should I buy?

    PC Store Clerk: Durr....what's a computer?

    Customer: Oh, look, that box says "Photoshop", I guess I can use that to photoshop.

    PC Store Clerk: that a pullover?

    Customer: I will definitely purchase this "Photoshop" product so I can learn to photoshop and wow my friends with my now photoshopping skills!

    PC Store Clerk: What is a "friend"?

  55. Smallbrainfield
    Paris Hilton

    Apparently the B3ta and B3tards servers are

    in the US, and as such are liable to takedown under US law.

    It's certainly not worth the hassle and we can all go back to not remembering who Prince is (was).

  56. James Sandham
    Thumb Down

    BOO b3ta - chickens..

    They had a real chance to stand up for something then!..

    UK copyright does maka allowances for iimage use in "News Worthiness".. theyd have been able to claim that surely?

    In connection to the Prince suing his own fans Anyone heard about the Chairman of SWFC suing the clubs fans for criticising him.?

  57. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    I don't get it

    Surely whoever took those photos that were shopped own the copyright??

    So Prince can claim now against every newspaper/mag/website thats ever shown a pic, he owns his sole image and you need permission to even look at him?

    I'm really disappointed in B3ta too for capitulating to the little prick without argument.

  58. muzchap


    Can't B3ta users file a CLASS ACTION lawsuit against Websheriff for denying them their basic right to view parody material that has been illegally withdrawn?

    As everybody has pointed out, it's only UK law that doesn't accept parody, the US does (for obvious reasons) - so I'm quite happy to 'host' those B3ta pages - and bring it on Prince (or whatver your name is) - My name is "The website host formely known as..."

    Please please please somebody stand up to Websherrif (reminds me of the rusty sherif badge joke!)

  59. Nano nano

    Any relation to ...

    C3po ?

  60. Anonymous Coward

    To all those calling b3ta chickens

    Perhaps you'd care to underwrite the cost of their legal team (and the opposition's, should they lose)?

    Thought not.

  61. conan

    I would

    "I don't think the people who posted them would like to be on receiving end of that kind of treatment."

    Gimme his level of earnings so far and you can photoshop me all day long...

  62. Sad Git

    Am I missing something here?

    <soap box>

    I thought only the copyright owner could ask for a DMCA notice.

    Shirley The Purple Turd does not own the copyright on ALL the photos taken of him!

    It's the photographers who own the copyright.

    I suggest if you have ever taken a photo of The Purple Turd, you put that on B3ta, and sign it as your copyright material. If B3ta take it down threaten them with legal action for removing your material!

    Alternativlely, as others have suggested, everbody removes every trace of his Shortness from the web.

    </soap box>

    That feals better!

  63. Pum>/dev/null

    Well Prince has been added to my list of people that I'll never buy from ever again, and will advise anyone who will listen likewise.

    What an idiot! Is he trying to deliberately destroy his career? I mean, pissing off the very people from whom he derives his very comfortable livelihood - good grief! Word of this would spread disastrously for him if only we lived in a world where information technology was cheap and pervasive ;) Oops, too late! :)

  64. Luther Blissett

    Prince icon for El Reg - request for submissions

    I propose a purple slimetrail with a $ glyph bleeding thru

  65. JamesH

    Copyright of your own piccies

    Quick question...

    In UK, you own the copyright of any pictures you have taken. However, what if you took them at a concert where photography was prohibited? Usually the tickets say that you cannot take piccies.

    If you do them take piccies, have you lost the copyright? I don't think so, but in that case what have you actually done that could be sanctioned?

  66. Steve Carter

    It's laser-sighted: when you see the dot on your metatarsal, squeeze the trigger.

    Going after casual, grass-roots, incidental infringers of copyright is idiotic in the extreme. Sony and the RIAA amd the DMCA are essentially saying "the music is not yours, you may only enjoy it as you suck it direct from our teat!"

    Similarly, if I buy a DvD I have to sit through a tedious sermon about DvD Piracy every time I watch it, even by myself in my own home, even if I tape the DvD player's drawer shut so that there's no chance of anyone else accidentally getting it. My student buddies didn't have this problem with their downloaded, pirate movies.

    If the regular punters are alienated, they'll just stop being interested in "corporate" pop music. It's not like there aren't any distractions out there.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Open Letter to Prince

    Dear Mr Rogers-Nelson,

    Please note what happened to Metallica after they did what they did with relation to MP3's.

    Also, who was it who went around with 'Slave' on their cheek after a particularly bad contract with a giant of a record company, even though they made you a director of the record company.

    RIP to the remnants of your career. You haven't made a decent album for years anyway.


    An Ex Fan.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why don't some artistic types draw their own images of Prince, and then licence them so that the public can abuse the images to their heart's content?

    They could then also argue that it's not actually Prince, it just a character that happens to "looks" like Prince that is doing unspeakable things with a ......

  69. Anonymous Coward

    it's a while since I've been an active b3tard/b3tan

    but I have a feeling the sites servers are hosted in the US, which is probably why the ginger fuhrer backed down so readily,

    Whilst there's not much the midget alsatian faced dog boy's lawyers could easily do the people posting stuff if they're outside the US, they can probably get the whole site taken down, by giving the hosting company the fear.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...Copyright is NOT A RIGHT TO SOLE PROFIT..."

    Not exactly, it is the right to make copies, you can give them away if you want, but you have the right to sell them. You can also exercise the right to not act like a dick when people use images of you.

    "...All the arsehole accountants are telling people with "copyright" that they cannot let someone else make money off "their" work..."

    Regardless of what accountants say, people have the right to not have others profit from their work if they don't want them to, although there should be wider scope for legally protected fair use and people like Prince should know when to just shut up.

    "...Accountants and the rich are piss-scared of someone else making money. That money rightly belongs to THEM!..."

    Actually accountants love it when people make money, because people with money need accountants to tell them what to do with the money.

    "...Did you learn how to mix a track? Did you learn how to play Guitar, did you make it yourself. Did you do all this without someone else using THEIR "IP" to teach you?..."

    In the case of Prince, (AFAIK) yes, yes, yes and yes, for at least one of his albums. Even if he did get someone to mix or play on the record for him, that is a service he paid for, offen performers opt to take a fixed payment rather than a performers royalty.

    "...So why the fuck should YOU make money off THEIR work in teaching you or making your music sound good? Why ONLY YOU?..."

    Do you pay your teachers for their IP? No, thought not. Why should you make money from the education they gave you?

    "...When you flush your lavvie, do you pay your plumber for the benefit you have recieved in not having a shit-filled toilet? ..."

    No, but when you buy the toilet, as with most inventions that are patented, for the duration of the patent, you do pay the inventor of the flush mechanism and the designer of the toilet (or the company for who they worked.) a fee for their design IP.

    It's all about being reasonable, Prince does have some right to protect his image, he has recently been going far to far. You seem to be the opposite extreme in that you seem to be opposed to anyone making any money from their skills or creativity and unless you live in a Marxist state that isn't going to work.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    Pop music is inherently unoriginal and that's OK

    Prince's considerable chops are built on the shoulders of the R&B pioneers that came before him, and they were aping licks from the Jazz and Blues artists that came before them.

    Having worked his way into popular culture he now wants to control it. That never works. His shtick, precisely because it's so plugged into the culture he came out of, is now a recognizable cultural reference that has inspired more than one generation of artists and fans. You can't legislate that out of existence, and why would an artist want to?

    I know several insanely devoted Prince fans. They don't listen to the released albums at all. Instead, they have hard drive after hard drive full of live recordings and bootlegs. These fans have done more to promote Prince than his record company, and they're the ones who are going to keep coming back for more. I don't see how Prince can wage his copyright jihad against the dancing baby video posters without also trampling on his most loyal fans, which is commercial suicide.

    And as I typed this, Prince came up on shuffle play. Sign of the times ...

  72. Paul

    On the upside...

    ...if the pointless waste of oxygen formerly known as incomprehensible squiggle wants to spend all his time trying to pick off every single unauthorized picture of him on the big bad internets, it *does* mean he's not able to spend that time torturing us with his "music". It's like playing whack-a-mole with infinite moles!

    Though by the time he's done treating his fans like dirt (you know, the people who made the little shit famous in the first place, without whom he'd be just another failed artist playing to passers-by on a street corner somewhere, or working a dead-end job), his musical "talent" will hopefully be irrelevant, no bugger will want anything to do with him or his music.

  73. Anonymous Coward


    TWATHAT more like...

  74. A J Stiles

    Fair Dealing

    What constitutes "fair dealing" is up to the courts to decide. i.e. You go to court on a charge of criminal copyright infringement, and your defence is that you were engaged in Fair Dealing. It's then up to the jury to decide: if they believe that your use was indeed fair dealing, then they must acquit you. Whichever way the decision goes, records will be kept for future reference.

    Although it's difficult to see whose copyright was being breached? The copyright in the photograph belongs to the photographer, not the subject.

    (We need an "I Am No Lawyer" icon.)

  75. BitTwister


    What a stupid, tiny-minded little tosser. William Hogarth must be spinning in his grave at the rapid capitulation to the threat of a stupid law which has no meaning in the UK anyway.

  76. Morely Dotes

    Since when does US law apply to the UK? is located in Bedford, GB. I would imagine most of the users are in the UK as well.

    The DMCA is US law, and without a court order from a court with lawful authority, has no standing in the UK.

    If I were the operator of, I would post the DMCA takedown notices on the site with a single response; a photo of two fingers uplifted.

    It's bad enough that the RIAA has bought the whores we call "congressmen" and "senators;" they sure as Hell would like to think they own Parliament, too, but so far as I know, their bribes have not yet been large enough.

  77. Nick

    At the next InfoSec...

    ... I might go take a dump on the Websheriff stand.

    Although I might not be able to goto America as Prince might sue my ass for doing an impersonation of his music/himself.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Purple Prat

    Why does "The Artist Normally Known as Pratt" think the B3ta competition was about him?

    I supect Charles Windsor has prior claim to "Prince"

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This muppett is a UK operation, with such plush looking offices... Probably a disused barn with a "Get orf moyy laand" sign and a Gents in Fulham.

    What made me really laugh out loud was the fact that his privace statement is currently "Being Updated"

    Oh no....I've probably broken teh Interweb law by posting his intellectual property....Mummy....please help - the big Web Sheriff is coming....

    What a tosser.

  80. Sceptical Bastard

    Notice to Prince

    Prick (the artist formerly known as Prince), you are a contemptible hubristic has-been with a tiny cock, no talent and a face like a dog taking a shit.

    Now sue me, you short-arse freak.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Prince is a prick and always has been

  82. Steve Anderson

    Am I allowed

    to refer to Prince as a 'cunt', or is this frowned on?

    I've harboured this thought for years, but only recently have found the courage to refer to him as such. However, I don't know if El Reg will allow me to say "I think Prince is a cunt". I do hope they do, though. Because he is. A cunt, that is.

  83. Anonymous Coward

    having worked on one of his tours

    #1 don't look at him in the eye

  84. Solomon Grundy

    All my image are belong to us.

    What a dick.

    As a protest I am going to throw away all my prince albums.

  85. Kurt Faasse

    the worms crawl in the worms crawl out

    <quote>Imagin your a photographer and a newspaper reprints your images with a slight change to them, you'd be pissed.</quote>

    No, I wouldn't. I'd laugh, because life is short and no matter how piss-elegant we individual humans think we are, we are all going to die and rot and be eaten by worms. None of this really fecking matters in the cosmic stretch of time and space. I laugh because someday Prince will be worm food, just like Mozart. Only people are still playing Mozart and still will be playing Mozart 5000 years from now, but Prince will be forgotten forever within the next few decades. That, for what it's worth, is justice.

    [PS - get a dictionary and a book on grammar]

  86. Dan P


    So let me see... he has an amazing career spanning decades, millions of dollars in the bank, and without the public he would've had none of this, and yet he feels that he's above the satire that all public figures are afforded. If you're going to live your life in the public eye, you're going to be satirised, end of story. If Prince doesn't like it he should stop making records, give up his millions and go and work in a burger bar somewhere.

    What a complete and utter cry baby!

  87. Big_Boomer
    Jobs Horns


    My advice to b3ta would be to now host a "no-holds-barred" Ponce cartoon competition. Tell people to get as creative as they like but that they must not use any copyright material. Not a damned thing they can do about original cartoons, regardless of how defamatory they are, so long as they don't "name " the person in question.

    That would be a real big one in the eye for The Twat Formerly Known As Ponce. I have no artistic skill what so ever but I have a LOT of suggestions should anyone wish to take the weewee out of the trumped up little squirt.

  88. Anonymous Coward


    The really sad thing is the number of people here who admit to having liked p(r)once's stuff in the past and even having been to his concerts. You should all be very ashamed.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    somebody should launch a DoS on his site and Websheriff (incidentally who appointed them sheriff).

  90. g e

    A tribute

    I'm sure we all agree strongly with the curtailing of the B3ta postings that have obviously caused such deep and heartfelt distress to the sensitive artist concerned and we applaud B3ta's extremely responsible subsequent removal of the highly offensive content.

    Presumably, though everyone can still tear the shit of of music-y stuff with a purple-theme colour scheme as long as they don't use the exact same pantone or rgb value...

    An homage or tribute perhaps? What comes to mind first when you think 'purple' ? This could run for years.... ;o)

  91. Svein Skogen

    Poetic justice

    We all know that the most effective marketing engine for music, is actually the warez-networks.

    Wouldn't it be poetic justice if we simply granted him his wishes, and boycotted transmitting his ... (ahem) music ... through our networks?

    Notice: I did not say anything about purchasing the worthless drivel.


  92. Anonymous Coward

    Big Train

    Well, at least the following still exists:

  93. Gilgamesh


    Did this really come as a surprise to anyone? In choosing such a litigious target, wasn't The Ginger Fuhrer really just stirring up a nest of hornets again?

    There is no such thing as bad publicity. Unless you're name happens to be (or used to be) Prince.

  94. Christopher E. Stith

    Don't be fools

    All you throwing out your old Prince stuff -- don't. He's got your money, and throwing that stuff out won't hurt him. It's a feel-good symbol, sure. But hit him where he feels it. Sell all of your old Prince stuff, from vinyl to CDs to posters, as used. That way, when people who actually want to listen to the braying ass spend money, he doesn't get it.

  95. david mccormick

    Why do you have to photoshop?

    He's a weird looking little thing anyway. Surely an unedited picture is much funnier.


    those sound like the clerks in my local PCWorld :)

  96. paulc

    Streisand Effect... needs to be renamed...

    to the Effect Formerly Known as the Streisand Effect...

    ps. you need a new Icon showing that pathetic "squiggle"

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Websherrif are the real wankers here

    Check out their website - and see how they want to control what is, or isn't acceptable.

    Mary Whitehouse for the C21

    Again, wankers (is that fair comment )

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HA HA

    I only just realised you were talking about the guy who supposedly had a rib removed so he could suck his own penis and not the Royal Family type Prince haha that's pretty funny.

    This has been up for days lol.

  99. T J

    Pyrric Victory

    Ok, the little runt is going to seriously regret this.

  100. Anonymous Coward

    Copyright on photos

    If you take an unauthorised photo at a concert (ie: If you're a fan on a regular ticket) then chances are you'd be in breach of the terms and conditions.

    You would fall foul of copyright law by recording an image of a performance to which the artist and/or promoter owns the copyright.

    If however, you have a photo pass and are granted permission to take photos, you would NORMALLY own the copyright to those photos.

    ...BUT... an artist like Prince would probably require photographers to sign a release form before handing over their photo pass. I imagine the release form would make ludicrous (and sadly increasingly common) condition that all rights (copyright and moral) are assigned to the artist 'universally and in perpetuity'. I would personally never sign such a release form, but there will always be photographers who would gladly sign anything just to add a 'big name' to their portfolio.

    If Prince has had one of these release forms in place for a while now, he or his management probably assume that they therefore own the copyright to all photos - whether official or not.

  101. Anonymous Coward

    That little scumbag

    His career is over. Good riddance.

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