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Prince drops $22 million lawsuit against ‘bootlegging’ fans

It’s official. The artist still known as Prince is now also the artist who formerly had a lawsuit out against his own fans.

Having apparently realized that taking legal action against your own admirers isn’t the wisest course of action for any entertainer, the American recording artist took the decision to drop the lawsuit on Wednesday.

It was on Monday when it emerged that Prince, also known as a squiggly symbol, had decided to sue 22 individuals – some of whom were apparently fans – for a million bucks each for allegedly sharing links on Facebook and blogs that took users to copied videos of his live performances.

According to entertainment site TMZ, the 55-year-old musician has since dropped the lawsuit.

In a statement to the site, the Purple One’s lawyer said that “because of the recent pressure, the bootleggers have now taken down the illegal downloads and are no longer engaging in piracy.”

The lawyer added, “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.”

News of Prince’s intention to sue surprised many, not least those named in the lawsuit.

The court papers accused the defendants in the case of engaging in “massive infringement bootlegging of Prince’s material.”

It went on: “Defendants constitute an interconnected network of bootleg distribution, which is able to broadly disseminate unauthorized copies of Prince’s musical compositions and live performances.”

The artist is well known for keeping tabs on his online presence, having launched legal action against file-sharing site Pirate Bay back in 2007. At around the same time, lawyers at his record label made a woman in California remove a YouTube video of her 18-month-old son dancing to the Prince hit ‘Let’s Go Crazy’. It was reported at the time that Prince had been “directly involved” in issuing the take-down notice.

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