Countless years of shady dealings on the part of the music industry have desensitized fans to the point where, when I heard that certain Prince fansites had been sent cease-and-desist letters for hosting Prince images, album covers, lyrics, and "anything linked to Prince's likeness," it almost didn’t even register as one of those “what the fuck” moments. Indeed, the true nature of the fucking became apparent only when I learned that it was Prince himself who initiated the lawsuits.
Though Prince has not yet commented on his decision, pretty much all of his fans have. Prince Fans United, a confederation of fansites under scrutiny, has emerged with a statement strongly opposing Prince’s admittedly excessive demands. I have chosen the most interesting, if not relevant quote from the statement on the site’s front page:
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.
Giving up “Kiss” wouldn’t be easy for anyone, but if you’re like me and can’t in good conscience support an artist who doesn’t support personalized license plates in their honor, you might consider a visit to Prince Fans United, where you can offer support and gather tools to help spread the word about their cause.
For purely educational reasons and as a critique on the ridiculousness of the cease-and-desist letters, here are examples of what Prince is talking about:
Example of Prince photograph:
Example of Prince album cover:
Example of Prince lyrics to "Free":
Example of Prince "likeness":