Copyright Law

Prince drops $22M copyright infringement suit

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Tonight, 22 alleged bootleggers are going to party like it’s 1999.

That’s because Prince has dropped his $22 million lawsuit accusing them of illegally recording his concerts and then posting them online. According to TMZ, Prince decided to end the litigation a mere two weeks after filing his complaint in San Francisco federal district court. Prince had complained about his concert footage showing up on social media sites such as Facebook. TMZ reports that Prince has the option of refiling the complaint, but it is unknown whether he plans on doing so.


Prince performing at Super Bowl XLI. Anthony Correia /

“Because of the recent pressure, the bootleggers have now taken down the illegal downloads and are no longer engaging in piracy,” Prince’s attorney said to TMZ. “We recognize the fans craving for as much material as possible, but we’d prefer they get it from us directly than from third parties who are scalpers rather than real fans of our work.” According to Minneapolis Star Tribune, Prince’s lead attorney on this matter was Rhonda Trotter, a partner at Kaye Scholer.

Prince has been vigilant in enforcing his copyrights against pirates who illegally distribute his music. The Star Tribune reports that, in 2007, he was one of the biggest names to take on free download site The Pirate Bay, which was subsequently banned by Internet providers worldwide. That year he also made a YouTube user take down a video of a baby dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy.” In the latest case, he had accused the defendants of unlawfully posting videos of concerts dating all the way back to 1983.

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