Monday, January 27, 2014

Prince Sues Bootleggers for $22 Million

Prince has filed a $22 million lawsuit against 22 social media users for copyright infringement and bootlegging.  According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Defendants reproduced and distributed copies of the “Breakfast Can Wait” singer’s works to the public without his authority.
The filing alleges Defendants used Google’s Blogger platform or Facebook to publish posts listing all the songs Prince performed at certain live shows and provided links to file sharing services where readers could download unauthorized footage of his concerts.  The bootlegged performances range from Prince's December 2013 Mohegan Sun Arena performance, to rare footage of Prince's April 10, 1983, Chicago performance where he sang such classics as “Do Me, Baby” and “Controversy.”  Only two of the defendants, Dan Chodera, and Karina Jindrov are known. The remaining 20 defendants are listed as “Doe” because they can only be identified by their profile names. Prince seeks to recover at least $1 million in actual or statutory damages from each defendant as well as attorney’s fees and any profits earned by the alleged bootlegging.  Whether Prince will succeed in recovering monetary damages from any of the defendants is unclear. It is unlikely that his lawsuit will open a floodgate of lawsuits where artists sue fans. However, the lawsuit is a sobering reminder that sharing video footage of your favorite artist’s concert can result in you being the subject of a lawsuit.

Sidebar: Prince does not play about his art or his coins.  But er uh, you are going to have to sue every week when it comes to the internet.

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