Prince Sues Web Site Over Bootlegs
Prince's production company is suing the operator of an Internet site that allegedly offered pirated recordings of the rock star's live performances from his "Xenophobia" concert series.Prince's production company is suing the operator of an Internet site that allegedly offered pirated recordings of the rock star's live performances from his "Xenophobia" concert series in June. Paisley Park Enterprises, based in Chanhassen, Minn., filed the copyright-infringement lawsuit in federal court last Wednesday.
Prince names Matthew Lankford of Seattle, operator of FreeMyHeart.com -- a Web site devoted to another artist, Me'Shell Ndegeocello. The lawsuit alleges that Lankford broke federal copyright laws by allowing Web users to download Prince songs that included "specific information describing which day the unauthorized recording of the 'Xenophobia' concert took place."
Lankford denied violating the copyrights and said he doesn't think he's done anything illegal. "What he's claiming is that I put up files on my Web site. What happened is I put up links to other Web sites that had files on them," he said Friday.
Lankford said there's no mention of Prince on the Web site now and there won't be any in the future. "One of my favorite artists is coming after me for promoting him on my Web site," Lankford said. "For him to seek $150,000 per song to try to ruin me for doing nothing more than promoting him is ... overdoing it."
Prince, a longtime artists' rights advocate, filed at least nine lawsuits against Web sites in 1999, accusing them of selling bootlegged recordings and offering access to downloads of his songs.
As previously reported, Prince plans to release a three-CD box set from his recent U.S. tour. He hasn't released anything from the "Xenophobia" sessions.
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