Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Paging Prince: Bitch, please.

My name is Prince, and this is my bitchface

It's not easy being a Prince fan. The man who made some of the greatest music I ever heard also has a history of treating collaborators, associates, girlfriends and wives pretty despicably. (Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince was a real eye-opener.) His pseudomystical pronouncements, name changes, spiritual flip-flops and other Princely behavior that seemed oh so enigmatic and cool and rebellious when I was 18 look like tired shtick today. His tenuous grasp of the social and political issues he brings into his music makes me embarrassed for him. Some say his work is teeming with misogyny. I won't defend or convict him on that count, but read the lyrics from The Rainbow Children and decide for yourself. The whole religion thing... so upsetting I can't even go there. It's a case of love the art, feel strongly ambivalent about the artist.

He's really mean to his fans too. All my friends have heard the story of the humiliating sermon I watched him give one girl at a fanclub meet-and-greet. And incredibly, Prince is one of those rare artists who actually sues his fans. He attacked zines and websites run by fans solely to spread the love of his music and sued them out of existence. Why? Prince has a storied, contentious relationship with the media. He has addressed his critics directly in songs. Of course an utter narcissist wants zines and websites devoted to himself. Prince just wants them to be full of uninterrupted praise and worship. Anyone who was remotely critical got banned from Prince's official site. And copyright nonsense aside, the fans all know he went after the Uptown fanzine because they dared to criticize him. There are plenty of fawning, purple Kool-Aid-drinking "fams" (Prince's preferred term since "fan is short for fanatic") on the unofficial fansites but just as many fans who live to skewer his egregiously bad efforts and generally take the piss out of him. Clearly his fragile widdle ego can't handle it. The lawsuits are another way for Prince to silence his detractors and continue living in his hermetically sealed bubble full of sycophants, completely divorced from reality. And he's at it again now with the cease-and-desists.

But this time, I am ecstatically happy to report that the fans are fighting back! From

In an extraordinary, but not unfamiliar move, the rock legend Prince is using an army of lawyers to launch attacks on his own fans. Several of the largest web communities dedicated to the artist have received notices to cease and desist all use of photographs, images, lyrics, album covers and anything linked to Prince's likeness. It is our belief that these threats are not made in an attempt to enforce valid copyright as Prince alleges in his threats, rather we believe they are attempts to stifle all critical commentary about Prince. We strongly believe that such actions are in violation of the freedom of speech and should not be allowed. Prince claims that fansites are not allowed to present any artwork with Prince's likeness, to the extreme that he has demanded removal of fan's own photographs of their Prince inspired tattoos and their vehicles displaying Prince inspired license plates. Prince's representatives have requested that the fansites provide them with "substantive details of the means by which you [the fansites] propose to compensate our clients [Paisley Park Enterprises, NPG Records and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG)] for damages..."
The owners of the three largest fansites supporting Prince:, and have come together to fight back to what amounts to an injustice to the fansites and the very fans who have supported Prince's career, many since the very beginning nearly thirty years ago.
It is their hope that Prince will reconsider his position and allow these fansites to continue their existence without constant threats from Prince and his attorneys. Should this not be possible, the fansites are fully prepared to defend their position in the proper court of law, as well as fully prosecute any claims to which they are justly entitled.
The owners of, and acknowledge that, while Prince is entitled to control of his copyrights, it should be within the law. The law clearly provides for displaying of images of a celebrity's likeness for newsworthy events or matters which are considered to be public interest. All three websites feel that the photographs and/or likeness displayed on their websites clearly fall within the public interest category. Additionally, the use of photographs is legal based on the fair use doctrine, i.e. the displaying of album cover art, or the collage headers created by website members using a variety of different photographs.

I am so thrilled they are not buckling this time! I hope they post a tip jar so supporters can contribute to their legal fund.

Yo, Prince? Can we have a moment? Seriously man, fucking chill. Think about whether you can really afford to be this aggressively evil to your fan base so soon after the 70% Filler-tastic Planet Earth. You can only coast on twenty-eight-year-old goodwill for so long. You have to grow up and accept that you can't control what people say about you. You are biting the hand that feeds in the ugliest possible way, and like the majority of your fans I find your behavior disgusting and intolerable. I pledge never to spend another cent on a Prince CD, DVD, concert ticket or anything else that generates revenue in your general direction until your legal attacks on your fans cease and desist.

My name is Prince, and I use M.A.C. MoistureBlend NC20.

Listening to: Prince - The Question Of U

via FoxyTunes