Monday, November 19, 2007

Purple reign

So. About Prince.

Those familiar with His Purpleness are probably aware of his checkered legal past -- his lawsuit against his former label, his performing in public with the word “SLAVE” written on his face, and his name-change to an unpronounceable symbol in an effort to make some sort of obscure point about his label owning the rights to market his public image. Yeah, um, whatever.

Be that as it may, and creators’ rights advocate though I am, you don’t win any points in my book by being a control freak, and you don’t win points in just about anybody’s book by suing your own fans. Let me say that again: suing your own fans. This is the second time Prince has sent his legal minions after his own biggest fans -- the ones who have spent their own time and money setting up Web sites designed to promote his career. Their alleged offense? In their efforts to promote the man and his music at no cost to him, they have supposedly displayed images of Prince and Prince-related items on which he holds the copyright.

The fans running these sites understandably aren't very happy about this, and in response have formed the ingeniously-named organization Prince Fans United. Yes, that's Prince F.U. for short.

The legal foundation for Prince’s actions is tenuous at best -- he’s a public figure and there is such a thing as fair use. The moral foundation is non-existent. The people he is suing are helping him, not harming him. What can you say about such behavior but: whatta maroon.

No comments: