Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) had filed and then dropped a $22 million lawsuit accusing his fans of pirating his music. Twenty-two separate people were named in the copyright infringement claim. The lawsuit was filed on January 16,2014, in northern California and states that each defendant has violated copyright laws. The same lawsuit has been revealed as being dropped on January 29, 2014.
According to Prince and the lawsuit, bootleg copies of his performances were hosted on either Facebook or a Blogger site. Links to download copies of the videos were provided to people who visited the sites. The lawsuit states that Prince has suffered damages from this unauthorized use of his many performances. Each instance of the unauthorized use of his property has cost him at least $1 million per person.
Some of the performances are dated from as far back as 1983. One person was accused of having 363 links to services that shared bootlegs of Prince’s work. A large share of the links could be found on Facebook. Fan pages were mostly to blame. A blogger site also saw its share of pirating.
Two people who had their actual names revealed as part of the lawsuit are Dan Chodera and Karina Jindrova. The other 20 defendants were being referred to as Doe. There was a whole list consisting of Doe 2, Doe 3, Doe 4, Doe 5, etc. Their also-known-as names appear next to the Doe listings. There is an aka “DaBang319” for example. “NPR Universe,” “Purple Kiss Two,” and “World of Bootleg,” are a few other aka’s that had been cited.
The $22 million lawsuit brought against the fans being accused of pirating his music was filed and then dropped. The filing did create an impact on fans and brought attention to the seriousness of bootlegging. The unlawful sharing of music files brought back visions of Napster on a much larger scale. Anyone who has ever been an artist and has had their work stolen, can understand the feeling of being violated. They would also be able to understand why this lawsuit would come about. Hopes of stopping future attacks of unauthorized music copying and illegal file sharing in this day and age could prove futile.
Fans were on social media sites and sharing music and videos. The thought of hurting the artist or the idea that they are stealing something from the artist just never occurs to some. Other fans know better and blindly dive in and retrieve anything available to them via the internet. They assume that it is all public property.
With the lawsuit pending, and now being dropped, the spotlight is once again on Prince and on copyright infringement. His live shows are intense and a much sought after commodity. However, watching the shows by illegally downloading any performance without proper authorization is a cause for concern to Prince and many other artists. The lawsuit was dropped because the accused fans have now taken down the websites.
Prince’s fans had divided into two groups. One side was all for the lawsuit and they understood completely where Prince was coming from and why. The other group of fans were not happy with it and did not understand what the problem was and why Prince was in such an uproar. They had resorted to name calling and degrading the performer. These same people used to be fans of Prince. The latest development is creating even more of a stir. Will the fans that were upset change their point of view now?
No matter what the outcome would be, Prince’s $22 million lawsuit had been filed and he was accusing his fans of pirating video performances. He has always been extremely concerned with the bootlegging and the copyright infringement regarding his material. In this day and age of numerous fan sites, Facebook and blog sites, it is difficult to keep up with all of the instances that may be occurring on the Internet. There are terms and conditions on almost every site that cover the rules about these infringements, but they are difficult to enforce.
Now that Prince has announced that he has dropped his lawsuit of $22 million, the fans accused of pirating can breathe for a bit. However, there is a catch. Even though the suit is being dropped, Prince still has the option of refiling it again in the future.
by Saki Kahala