Feeds

Artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince attacks internet

Prince joins The Police to fight mouse pads

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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 already ordered YouTube and eBay to remove hundreds of supposedly Prince-infringing web items, and he's intent on filing suit against the two web behemoths - not to mention Swedish BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay.

Web Sheriff chieftain John Giacobbi says the artist's latest crusade is a natural extension of his famous scuffle with mega-record label Warner Brothers over the rights to his name. "The Warner Brothers battle left its scars, but it also made him a lot more savvy in terms of protecting his rights," Giacobbi told The Reg. "That dispute was about records and CDs, and now that we're into the digital age, he's fighting for his online rights."

Acting on Prince's behalf, Web Sheriff has used the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act to remove close to 2,000 YouTube videos that purportedly infringe on the pop star's copyrights. The trouble, Giacobbi says, is that new infringers keep popping up. "You can get things down to zero," he explained. "But then the next day, there's another 100, 200, 500. So Prince is left to police YouTube ad infinitum."

In similar fashion, the firm has called on eBay to shut down countless Prince-related auctions. "If a fan wants to sell his 25-year-old copy of 'Purple Rain,' that's fine," Giacobbi explained. "But then you have Chinese sweatshops selling 'Purple Rain' carrier bags. We've had to get rid of Prince clocks, Prince socks, mouse mats, and mugs."

The head Web Sheriff is adamant that both YouTube and eBay should have technologies in place that automatically filter copyright-infringing material, and Prince is willing to sue to get such tools in place. "There will be separate suits against both YouTube and eBay," Giacobbi insisted. "Unless they want to smell the coffee first and start protecting his rights."

Of course, the Google-owned YouTube is already facing a three-pronged suit in New York, and it's apparently hard at work on a brand new video-fingerprinting tool designed to block copyrighted content.

And for eBay? Building a tool that tracks copyright infringing auctions is a bit more difficult.

The Pirate Bay is also a separate issue. Unlike YouTube and eBay, the file-sharing service isn't the sort of operation that responds to take-down notices. "If you'll excuse my language," Giacobbi told us, "they basically tell everyone to fuck off."

So Web Sheriff and Prince have enlisted a Swedish law firm to tackle the site in Swedish court, and they may sue in the U.S. as well. "Somebody had to take a stand," Giacobbi said. "And Prince is doing it."

Of course, he's not exactly the only one. The irony here is that Prince has now sided with the big record labels. They've been to known to sue music-sharing sites too. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.