Reuters is reporting that the musical artist, Prince, is taking legal action against his fan websites. You can read the story here. According to the article,
Fan sites dedicated to Prince say they have been served legal notice to remove all images of the singer, his lyrics and “anything linked to Prince’s likeness,” and have vowed to fight what they said was censorship.
Apparently, the three web sites, www.housequake.com, www.princefams.com and www.prince.org, have united against Prince in an effort to challenge him in court if necessary. The united group has established its own website www.princefansunited.com. According to Reuters, the web sites believe “that such actions are in violation of … freedom of speech and should not be allowed…” However, Prince and his people believe that “The current issue is one between Prince’s record label and three unofficial Web sites and relates to the use of Prince trademarks and photographs, many of which are Prince’s copyright…”
I think in this instance, I have to agree with Prince. These fan sites apparently are not sanctioned by Prince and their usage of his image, trademarks and the like clearly violate Prince’s privacy and copyrights. While The law clearly provides for displaying of images of a celebrity’s likeness for newsworthy events or matters which are considered to be public interest, I’m not sure the information contained on those web pages falls into one of the protected categories.
But I do have to agree with much commentary that Prince’s plan could seriously backfire, especially if the reports are accurate that these three fan sights constitute the largest of Prince’s fan base. I can appreciate the legality of Prince’s position, but I have serious reservations about the practicality of it. Who is an entertainer without his fan base?