In September, musician Prince filed lawsuits against Youtube, eBay, and Pirate Bay for encouraging copyright infringements on his work. Earlier this month, the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince sent legal notices to fansites, demanding the removal of images, lyrics, and anything connected to his likeness. This afternoon in a US federal court, Prince filed a lawsuit against the entire world.
Speaking from the courthouse steps in Duluth, Prince’s attorney Robert Holdsclaw stated, “My client is tired of not being given his due. He has given the world such timeless classics as ‘Cream’ and ‘Gett Off,’ and all he’s looking for is dignity, respect, and fifty kajillion dollars. Is that so much to ask?”
Indeed, Prince has been a philanthropist in the musical world; he was the first major label artist to distribute an album exclusively online, denying thousands of people without high-speed internet access the option to buy his music. Later, he switched gears and decided to improve his credibility by giving his CD away for free with copies of a British tabloid. Unfortunately, England’s tabloid-reading population proved to be too sophisticated for Prince’s music, and the gimmick was dubbed a bloody failure. (Further commentary described Prince as a “tosspot” and “wanker.”)
In this latest move, Prince is seeking to reclaim the ownership rights to his intellectual property. His lawyers stated that, while they are having success against file-sharing and video-hosting websites, the true perpetrators are the people of planet Earth. Holdsclaw asked, “How many people have looked at his picture without permission? How many members of royalty have used his name without license? Who hasn’t been walking down the street and heard Prince’s music coming from a radio that they didn’t own or have permission to listen to?”
Unfortunately, the lawsuit will be somewhat hampered by the process of finding certain individuals specifically named in the lawsuit, namely: Satan, Prince of Darkness; Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves; and Prince Albert in a Can. Holdsclaw stated, “Sure, they’re fictional characters, but why should that be an excuse? As soon as we can drag them into a courtroom, we’ll hold them accountable for their actions.”
In the meantime, subpoenas are being sent to every man, woman, and child on the planet. It is expected that individuals will be called alphabetically to testify about how they may have stolen Prince’s intellectual properties. Because of the time-consuming process, subpoenas are being prepared for posthumous testimony among the people in the latter half of the alphabet in case they do not survive long enough. Also, subpoenas will be prepared for children in utero, as by the time their turn will have arrived, it is assumed that they will have somehow used Prince’s work without permission.
The remaining hurdle for Prince’s legal team is finding a judge to hear the case; every judge so far has been ruled out as a conflict of interest due to being a member of the human race.