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Music Legend Prince Dead, Leaves Behind Legal Legacy
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Summary: After a bout with the flu, singer-songwriter Prince was confirmed dead by his publicist, leaving behind a legacy of legal woes.

Fans are flocking to stores to buy music legend Prince’s albums after the announcement of his death. Formally known as Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician has fought for independence and individuality from the mainstream music world since his beginning. His music cannot be found on popular streaming sites such as Rhapsody and Spotify but can found on a few select other sites.


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During the 1990’s, Prince was in the midst of a battle with Warner Bros over his contract. Prince wanted to put out more music that he owned. Warner was not willing to let him so he appeared in public with “slave” written across his face. He had just changed his name to a symbol referred to as the “love symbol.” Warner was creating the font for his symbol name so that it could be used in media but many found it easier to just say “the artist formerly known as Prince.”

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He eventually fulfilled his contract with Warner and was free to bounce around from one record label to another and one lawyer after another. In 2014 he struck a deal with Warners, regaining control over his previous work. Part of the deal hinged on a part of copyright law that gives authors the ability to regain rights to their work after 35 years.

Read Grooveshark’s Actions Infringe on Copyrights, Judge Rules.

Prince had successfully made it through the record industry but times were changing in a way he didn’t appreciate. Digital technology was not something he enjoyed. When Napster came out, Prince roared back unlike any other musician. Prince wanted to prevent any video with his music in it from being uploaded to sites like YouTube. One YouTuber with a video of her toddler dancing to his song entered into a lawsuit with Prince that started in 2007. The suit was still being debated with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently stating that copyright holders must allow fair use before requesting takedowns.

Prince also planned to sue 22 fans for using Facebook to provide links to bootlegs of his recordings. He dropped the suit a few days later after a large public backlash. Now that Prince can no longer decide when to sue people for using his songs, the public will have to wait and see what the executors of his estate will do.

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7341570/prince-death-legal-legacy-contract-fights-copyright-battles

Photo: slate.com


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