Sadly, Prince passed away today at the age of 57. While we are all listening to our favorite Prince songs and sharing our favorite memories of his music, it’s also important to remember that he wasn’t just a genius when it came to writing and performing music. Prince was also an extremely savvy businessman and was extremely protective (some would argue a bit too overprotective) of his intellectual property.
The folks over at the Hollywood Reporter have written an excellent article detailing some of the more famous (and infamous) business decisions made by the Purple One, from his legendary decision to change his name to the “Love Symbol” to litigation involving use of his music online. It’s an excellent article I would recommend reading as we take the day to remember his life, his music, and his legacy.
If you are interested in further reading, the case referenced in the article is Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.,2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5026, in which the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C.S. § 512(c)(3)(A)(v)) requires copyright holders to consider whether potentially infringing material is a fair use of a copyright under 17 USC § 107 before issuing a takedown notification to a service provider (in this case YouTube). So there you go-Prince’s legacy has extended to the law books as well, ensuring that future generations of law students will continue listening to his music as they familiarize themselves with the facts of this particular case.
“How can you just leave me standing? Alone in a world that’s so cold?” RIP Prince (1958-2016)