‘Prince sues own fans’ is the common line in reports of the 22 lawsuits filed by Prince against Facebook users and blog owners yesterday, with each facing a damages claim of $1m for sharing links to his live performances online. “The Defendants in this case engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince’s material,” explains the lawsuit. “For example, in just one of the many takedown notices sent to Google with respect to Doe 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.” Silly Prince, suing fans never ends well, when will he learn to embrace the social, sharing economy etc etc. A counter view, though, is that the lawsuits are less frivolous than, say, going on the warpath over short Vine videos shot at concerts. The usernames of the bloggers – WorldOfBootleg, TheUltimateBootlegExperience, NPRUniverse etc – hints at more organised link-sharing sites. In other words, Prince isn’t suing fans for sharing a single link to a live video, as some stories might have you believe: he’s going after sites and Facebook Pages sharing hundreds. We’re still not sure it ends well though: proving that the star’s income has been damaged may be tough, although we suspect he’s not concerned at all about negative publicity.

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