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This Makes Great Business Sense to Us: Prince Threatens to Sue his Fans

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File this under: Biting the hand that feeds you.

His royal purpleness, Prince and his record label, have made the rather genius move of threatening to sue his own fans for the use of pictures of Prince, his lyrics and "anything linked to Prince's likeness." (That included fans' photographs of Prince-inspired tattoos and license plates.) Now we can understand if an artist is a bit miffed at sites for pirating and stealing music for profit, but these are fan sites.

Note to Prince, just in case you are reading this, here's a little primer: Fan sites are visited by people who like your music, will buy both your good music and your crap and will pay for the good seats at your concerts, which we know ain't cheap. These are the people who fatten your wallet and decorate your purple palace in Minneapolis.

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From the Reuters story:

But by targeting fan sites directly, Prince risks a backlash, and the sites have vowed to unite under the banner "Prince Fans United" and take the matter to court if necessary. "We strongly believe that such actions are in violation of ... freedom of speech and should not be allowed," said a statement from the three sites --, www.princefams.comand

A company helping Prince control his image and music on the Internet said the fan sites had spun the story so that it was "incorrect and misleading."

"At no time is Prince suing his fans and this is not about freedom of speech," said John Giacobbi, managing director of Internet policing specialist Web Sheriff.

"The current issue is one between Prince's record label and three unofficial Web sites and relates to the use of Prince trademarks and photographs, many of which are Prince's copyright," he told Reuters.

Now in the meantime, if you go to those sites, the homepage is now an image of a hand print with "pfu." (Above). We used that image for this post, because we were afraid that Prince would sue us if we showed his image...