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Prince sues 22 music file-sharers for ONE MEEELLION dollars each

Bootleg concert recordings in dispute

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Prince Rogers Nelson – the artist currently known as Prince – has filed lawsuits against 22 people for $1m in damages apiece, alleging that each posted links to bootleg recordings of his concerts on file-sharing networks.

According to court documents [PDF] obtained by The Register, the Purple One has named Dan Chodera, Karina Jindrova, and 20 other pseudonymous defendants whom he claims are each responsible for "up to thousands of separate acts of infringement and bootlegging."

"The Defendants rely on either Google's Blogger platform or Facebook, or both, to accomplish their unlawful activity," the suit alleges. "Defendants, rather than publishing lawful content to their blogs, 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 unauthorized copies of the performance can be downloaded."

According to Prince's attorneys, such behavior constitutes copyright infringement, "unauthorized fixation" – a legal term that means someone is offering a recording of a performance that was made without permission – and "contributory copyright infringement and bootlegging."

This is hardly the first time the pint-sized Purple Rain star has lobbed sue balls at alleged enthusiastic internet freetards. The artist formerly known as a weird symbol has been filing similar lawsuits as far back as 2007, and he's also known for aggressively policing YouTube for videos that include his songs.

In 2010, Prince – who once exhorted 1980s club-goers to "party like it's 1999" – declared the internet "completely over," saying: "I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They wont pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it."

In this case, however, it seems it's Prince himself who is a bit steamed, as his suit alleges that the defendants caused him "substantial, immediate and irreparable injury ... for which there is no adequate remedy at law."

The accused parties – both named and unnamed – "constitute an interconnected network of bootleg distribution," the court filing claims, further asserting that each defendant "was the agent, servant, employee, joint venturer and/or co-conspirator" of the others.

The suit seeks as much in damages as can be proven, which it claims should be "no less than $1 million" from each defendant. In addition, Prince has asked for further statutory damages to punish the defendants, and he would like to have his legal costs paid. ®

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