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back to article Artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince attacks internet

In yet another battle for control of his name, image, and funkadelic music catalog, the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince has launched an attack on the internet. Teaming up with Web Sheriff, the firm currently known as "Europe's leading internet policing specialist," the Minnesota-born pop star has …

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Aritst?

whats one of those when its at home?

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Waaaah!

Summary: Prince demands that other people do the hard work necessary to ensure that his copyrights are enforced, without paying them for it.

I believe that, in the US at least, it has been illegal to force other people to work for your enrichment without paying them since 1861.

It's ironic that it's a Black man trying to bring back slavery.

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Prince is a tosser

I'm allowed that much obscenity on here I hope?

Seriously though, I can't understand why anyone feels his tunes at all, they are hiiiiiighly over-rated.

I wouldn't go to the effort of downloading them and I certainly wouldn't pay for them.

Pax

straightoutleodis.blogspot.com

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Anonymous Coward

too long

I propose two short forms for appellations related to Mr Nelson:

'TAFKAP' : The Artist Formerly Known As Prince

and for general usage:

'tafka' : the artist formerly known as...

So the title for the Reg post could be:

"TafkaTAFKAP attacks internet"

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Does this mean...

...That there will be more ammusing legal letters to read on the pirate bay?

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I propose a copyright infringement rule

I want to propose a rule for copyright infringement proceedings. That rule is: you don't get to sue or send takedown notices for copyright infringement unless you offer the authentic item. For example, the RIAA should not be allowed to sue people for sharing music when that music is out-of-print and cannot legally be purchased. In this case, someone making a clock with Prince's picture on it shouldn't be sued unless Prince (himself or an authorized company) sells clocks with his picture on it. These infringers are simply filling a demand. If the rights-holder is not willing to fill this demand, then someone else should legally be allowed to.

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More tat from artists

Chris wrote "....In this case, someone making a clock with Prince's picture on it shouldn't be sued unless Prince (himself or an authorized company) sells clocks with his picture on it. These infringers are simply filling a demand. If the rights-holder is not willing to fill this demand, then someone else should legally be allowed to."

That would just mean more tat on the shelves for the overhyped pop generation. It's bad enough seeing all the HP merchandise available, and lets face it - the collectibles are just expensive forms of dust collectors.

It's a good idea though, and I know what you're saying, but any unlicensed likeness should be a copyright infringement because it means an author/singer-band whoever that doesn't want to fill shelves with tat will have to - to protect their own image, should things with their name on start rolling out of sweat shops.

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Anonymous Coward

FFS

One minute he's giving away his album in the Daily Mail, next he's whining that people are illegally copying stuff of his.

I wish he'd make his mind up.

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re: Chris

The "out of print" argument doesn't work, Chris, for two reasons:

1) The copyright holders have the right to put it back into print at any time, usually by means of a boxed set or an album reissue. By freely sharing their product, you steal its value.

2) That something isn't made anymore doesn't mean it isn't sold anymore.

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Re: Prince is a tosser

"I'm allowed that much obscenity on here I hope?"

No. Get out.

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http://thepiratebay.org/legal

For those of you who haven't discovered this yet, may I recommend a visit to http://thepiratebay.org/legal

This amusing collection will give you a good idea of what response The Pirate Bay will dish out.

Interestingly, you will notice that Web Sheriff have already had a go at The Pirate Bay - back in 2005 on behalf of White Stripes (whoever he, she or they may be). Web Sheriff's argument then seemed to be that although TPB's activities were legal in Sweden, their website could be accessed in the UK and US where those same activities were illegal so TPB should cease immediately.

On the same basis, I'm sure many of the comments made on El Reg are illegal in China, North Korea and Arkansas but people in those places can still view the website (well maybe not in China and North Korea) so I demand that El Reg close down immediately.

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Why TPB?

As i read through this story, it became painfully obvious to me that this planned legal assault on TPB by the "retardist" formerly known as prince is nothing more than publicity stunt! Prince must be a tad short on funds, hoping to drum up some sales revenue from the free publicity before he once again gets relabeled, this time to, peasant...

The only reason hes going after TPB is because he doesnt have the first clue about... well, anything, for that matter. So hes going after the only torrent site hes ever heard of, the most famous and notorious of them all, so yeah lets start a legal fight we cant win against a website who gained its notoriety for being defiant in the face of, and, untouchable by, the US and other governments law enforcement...

clearly a well thought out plan... i'll have to remember to get the name of his strategist, so i dont ever make the mistake of calling him when i need advice...

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Apologies,

Speaking as a Minnesotan, I apologies to everyone in the world for his short runty purplneses latest tantrum

Ever since he became a Jehovah's witness he's been even more of an ass than he used to be.

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Another has been...

... and washed up "artist" trying to make a come back.

/yawns

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Anonymous Coward

Meaningless Tat

He doesn't need to populate shelves with meaningless tat, his albums take up enough space already.

There's already been countless attempts to attack PirateBay, they don't care and there's no jurisdiction for getting rid of them. Maybe they should just do what TorrentSpy did and block IPs from the US and put an embargo notice on the front page, that way the artists wouldn't be able to view the content to find out what they've missed without infringing on something or other.

The thing that really annoys me is him mandating to YouTube and eBay what software to use. If he wants them to use software to find stuff that's copyright infringement let him write it. What a joke. For non-coders, put it this way, how do you get the computer to pick up on copyright infringement? Do you block all sellers from China? There are no obvious traits that can be picked up on, if you just build a list of stuff that IS legit, how many artists do you do it for, who decides what artists to do it for? If you miss out an artist can they sue for the same reasons as Prince is now? Etc.

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Generic Title

All power to The Mental Pop Dwaf - seriously - I don't have any time for the RIAA et al's method of sueing the little guy, but there is absolutely no excuse for companies such as ebay and you tube to be supplying copyright materials or forged memorabillia. It is the choice of the owner of the images/media weather or not they allow it to be generally and freely used not you can't just take other people's images/music without permission.

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Software.

Id love to know what this magic software people keep going on about is that can automatically tell between a legal EBay item and an illegal one, and also the difference between music used on You tube as part of a legal posting (Under fair use) and an illegal one. Im sure Google and EBay would to.

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Anonymous Coward

Duh

That reminds me, I only got part-way through downloading that torrent of Prince's back catalogue...

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Oh come on Daniel...

Assuming the impossible (that your suggestion made it into law). If prince sold a purple clock could someone make a unauthorised green one? how about maroon, how about an ever so slightly darker purple one? How about if he doesn't have a second hand on the official one.

... I admit theirs plenty of bad ideas about, but your's isn't too far down in the rankings for Worst. Ever.

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Anonymous Coward

Aristocracy..

Tschk those royals, 'bout time they were all beheaded.

>can't understand why anyone feels his tunes at all

"Feels his tunes" What on earth does that mean?

God I must be getting old... :(

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Anonymous Coward

How would it know?

"both YouTube and eBay should have technologies in place that automatically filter copyright-infringing material"

I can see how that would work on YouTube. If Prince declares it will never put any Prince material there, then any Prince material which appears there is obviously fake.

But on ebay ... ??? Prince is NOT the only person entitled to sell Prince material on ebay. Anybody who owns a Prince item is fully entitled to resell it, provided that it *is* the genuine article not a copy. And there is no way that software (or anybody else for that matter) is going to be able to tell whether the item is genuine Prince or a fake. Only the BUYER will ever be in a position to do that.

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"Dingbat - the artist formerly known as Prince"

...was my first impression after he changed his name.

Cadbury.

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Prince Sucks

I downloaded his new album, listened to it once, then deleted it.

Overrated, self-indulgent rubbish.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Aristocracy..

Come on JonB, it's not that much of stretch is it?

In the words of the Beastie Boys;

"Ooh my my, I'm really not feelin' it"

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Further opportunities

I think he should branch out into patents, as well. Surely the process of "masturbating with a magazine" is a novel method? That's all I remember of Prince songs. I think it's Purple Rain it's on. The other thing I remember from the movie is that bird (Magenta?) getting her norks out. As a youth I was most impressed. Memories...

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Anonymous Coward

Doesn't Prince have rights?

Let's face it: everyone attacking Prince here does so because they're defending their position - they like downloading music for free. But here's the rub: Prince writes, produces and performs his own material so he has a huge interest in not being ripped off by illegal downloads. It's his music in every possible way so he has every right not to be cheated. And saying his album was given away by the Daily Mail won't wash either: Prince was paid to do this. It is shameful that so many of you think you have a right to steal the work of musicians.

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Makes me sick

Their earning is quite obviously already disproportionate to their skills and effort, yet they want MORE. Greed.

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An Anagram of The Artist Formerly Known As Prince:

Is Foreskin Chewer Rants Importantly. That is all.

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Doesn't <Dingbat> have rights?

Someone wrote:

> Let's face it: everyone attacking <Dingbat> here does so because they're

> defending their position - they like downloading music for free

No, <Dingbat> is a pretentious, talentless little tosspot.

*That* is where most of the attacks are coming from.

3:O)>

Cadbury.

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Anonymous Coward

You people...

... need to get off your high-horses and stop using this comments page as a cheap excuse for bashing one of the greatest musicians and performers the last 30 years has produced.

If someone starting slapping my face on plastic bags and clocks and flogging them on the internet for a fiver, I'd hunt them down and I'd kill them. Similarly, I wouldn't be impressed if I saw three decades of my life's work slapped all over the internet without my permission.

If I release my stuff for free, that's my decision and not somebody else's. The bottom line is that YouTube, eBay and various other sites have to take responsibility for the potential crimes they're allowing other people to commit. They make money from the advertising or the commission on the sale, so they too are profiting illegally.

Sheesh... what I've just written is nothing that hasn't been articulated before by the more intelligent readers of this website, but now it's about Prince defending his rights apparently all that logic goes out of the window. Well done to you all.

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Silver badge

There's only one Prince...so...

you'd be justified in calling him THE SOLE ARTIST FORMERLY blah blah

You could probably even shorten/combine it to THE ARSOLETIST etc etc...

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Anonymous Coward

My full support

I for one support the high heeled, pint sized, no name in his efforts to return to obscurity. Hopefully once he has removed his traces from the net, we can all forget about him, as no one will be allow to sample his talents *cough*.

I am also going further in my actions. In order to grant his wishes, I am blocking any official web site or net resource with his likeness, or so forth, just to make sure I can not trip over his shortness at any time, while on the net.

An anagram for "Purple Rain" is "Prep Urinal", which pretty much says it all. I consider it as a licence to take the piss.

See you down the pub.

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Who is Prince?

Maybe if he would spend more time on his music and less on tantrums and lawsuits he'd be relevant today.

"one of the greatest musicians and performers the last 30 years has produced"???

Don't get out much, do you? Even TPOH does a better job of When Doves Cry.

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Missing the point

Interesting how much outrage there is in this comments column (and entirely in character for El Reg responders) over the opinion that TAFKAP is a person of limited ability and questionable character.

Rather misses the point though, doesn't it? Anyone who creates anything original is entitled to have their creation protected from being copied and sold. However, nowadays we've taken that concept to lengths any normal person (me) would find ridiculous and we pay the price by enriching lawyers and keeping the scandal sheets fed.

It's not about TAFKAP, folks. It's about our laws being unfit for use.

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Anonymous Coward

@You People

"The bottom line is that YouTube, eBay and various other sites have to take responsibility for the potential crimes they're allowing other people to commit."

Does a cutlery shop have to take responsibility for the fact that someone might use a knife to hurt someone?

They better start running background checks just to be sure...

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Anonymous Coward

TAFKAP

Thats what we all call <dingbat> too...

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As mad as a sackful of badgers

The best description about just how barking Prince is on 'An Evening with Kevin Smith' - I highly recommend watchin it. To summarise - Prince has produced a number of songs and videos and they've just never been released (possibly because they're rubbish). He's got about as much connection with reality as Michael Jackson.

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Purple Rain?

Purple Rain hand bags are not what Prince should be worrying about... Its the Chocolate Rain merchandise that he should be getting pissed about :x

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Damn

Just as I was going to auction my Prince dart board. Used, of course.

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generic title

I agree that it would be nigh on impossible for Ebay to remove items automatically, but they should remove items when they are told that they are fakes. I am a long standing fan of the band Pop Will Eat Itself, the band that sold more T shirts than CDs, there is forever unofficial merchandise, copies of the recent live gigs etc. coming up on Ebay and constantly people on the band's forum asking weather or not it is real, then bitching that Ebay are not removing things when they are informed that they are knock offs. Ebay need to sort this out.

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The TAFKAP code.

There was a competition in the "Independent", shortly after he stopped being Prince, to work out what his new "symbol" was supposed to mean. The best answer IMHO (it was declared first runner-up) was that it was a combination of the old (al)chemical symbols for iron and copper, the letters of which can be rearranged to spell "poor Prince".

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You people don't get it...

...heck, seems like Web Sheriff doesn't get it -- or at least they won't admit it. I know Prince -- it's not a matter of income or power. He's really not gonna complain about me sharing a decent rip of his music. The point is that he is a very spiritual person and the symbolism of having his himself used in this manner is something he can't live with. I would certainly hate my face being on countless cheap fan products and having my work exposed in very low quality for a bunch of morons to drool over. Wouldn't you?

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Anonymous Coward

Insane

He has in the past admitted to owning bootlegs himself.

On a more worrying note, he has dated girls as young as 15. One of them became his wife... If I were the feds I'd be checking his computers.

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Title

I think YouTube is worse than Pirate Bay. YouTube has a copy of the music video and distributes it for free. On YouTube music search engines like www.tubejuke.com you can get a feel for the massive amount of music videos that is on there...

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Anonymous Coward

Would be more believable if his own website didnt have links to Youtube

http://www.3121.com/blog/?s=finesse

What an idiot.

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RE: Would be more believable if his own website didnt have links to Youtube

Too late.

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Web Sheriff sucks

http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/07/04/web-sherrif-dmcas-scouta-over-youtube-content-uploaded-by-warner-music/

They [Web Sheriff] sent a DCMA that was not legal to a blogger who had a link to a white stripes video. The only problem was the fact that Warner had legitimately uploaded the video to Youtube. The blog only linked to the Youtube video.

Have a read of it. Especially the response from Web Sheriff. Hilarious.

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Anonymous Coward

You must be joking

Quote "need to get off your high-horses and stop using this comments page as a cheap excuse for bashing one of the greatest musicians and performers the last 30 years has produced."

Greatest Musician ?? On which Planet ?? Certainly not Planet Earth...........

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed, with a very SEVERE reservation ...

"but they should remove items when they are told that they are fakes"

Yes, and they're probably effectively obliged to by law ... but ...

There is also far too much "accidental" removal of items that are only "alleged" to be fakes, with no proof offered or required. And ebay's removal is pretty much automatic, if somebody sends a statement claiming to be a trademark owner and that person claims, rightly or wrongly, that the item is fake -- something which they cannot even TRY to do with 100% certainty unless they've actually bought and examined the item.

Ebay has little choice but remove such items, even without proof, because not to do so would cost them globally far more in legal bills than they're likely to earn from the profits on such listings. However, that is in turn routinely allowing deliberate abuse of the facility -- both by competitors giving false credentials and having other people's listings taken down to leave a clearer path for their own sales, and by legitimate trademark owners who take it on themselves to discourage resale of even genuine second hand items -- a right that the simply do NOT have in any sensible country.

What ebay could, and should, do is to insist that it will take down such items only if the trademark owner signs a guarantee that, if it ever asks for a genuine item to be removed, it must provide compensation to the wronged seller in the form of 10 new items similar to the item wrongly removed and provide ebay with a written declaration that the seller has the unfettered right to resell those items on ebay.

Apart from providing essential compensation to sellers inconvenienced by the trademark owner's wrongful removal of the item, that would also ensure that the trademark owner takes efforts to ensure that it has reasonable evidence that a seller's product is not authentic before it requests a takedown.

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PS

You may, like me, not like the music that Prince puts out under his own name, but to deny that he is one of the greatest artists since the advent of music recordings is to out yourself as know-nothing moron. This man is responsable for a very great deal of the pop music you and I have enjoyed for the past 20-30 years. Madonna, Kenny Rogers, Sinéad O'Connor, Sheena Easton, among others, owe at least some of their success to Prince.

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