American musician Prince has sued 22 of his fans for USD1 million each over allegedly bootlegging his music. The 55-year-old “Purple Rain” hitmaker filed a lawsuit in California, U.S. on January 16 against his fans who found links to his live concerts and posted them on social media sites, but has now dropped the lawsuits without prejudice.
As first reported by TorrentFreak, the international superstar – real name Prince Rogers Nelson – was going after the 22 individuals. Only two of them have already been identified by their real name, eight were referenced by their online names, and the rest were only known as “Doe.”
It’s not specifically stated, though one can assume that some of the bootleggers were fans of the singer. The online names of the defendants include references to Prince’s work, such as “PurpleHouse2,” “PurpleKissTwo,” and "FunkyExperienceFour."
“The Defendants in this case engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince’s material,” the suit reads.
“For example, in just one of the many takedown notices sent to Google with respect to Dow 2 (aka DaBang319), Prince identified 363 separate infringing links to file sharing services, with each link often containing copies of bootlegged performances of multiple separate musical compositions.”
The materials that were allegedly bootlegged by the defendants include Prince’s performances from 2011 in North Carolina, 2002 in Oakland, and 1983 in Chicago.
Prince claimed in his suit that the defendants used Facebook and Google’s Blogger “to accomplish theri unlawful activity” through fanpages or blogs that have links to live concert recordings without permission.
The free sharing of his performances has apparently damaged the artist’s earning capability.
“Prince has suffered and is continuing to suffer damages in an amount according to proof, but no less than $1 million per Defendant,” continued the lawsuit.
“Rather than publishing lawful content to their blogs, they typically publish posts that list all the songs performed at a certain Prince live show and then provide a link to a file sharing service where unauthorised copies of the performance can be downloaded.”
On January 28, TorrentFreak updated the report to include that Prince has dropped the lawsuit without prejudice, which means he can still raise the issue in a legal forum in the future.