Is Prince a Creep on YouTube?


Prince is once again battling the YouTube masses over videos from a recent performance being posted online — only this time the copyright question is a little more complex. During the recent Coachella music festival, the Purple One covered Radiohead’s Creep (ed. note: awesome). Stoked fans shot footage and posted it. Now, according to The Huffington Post, Prince is aggressively sending out takedown notices — even though he doesn’t own the rights to the song.

Though both acts are pioneers in music distribution, when it comes to online video, so far they’ve taken markedly different approaches. Prince set his sites on YouTube back in September when he announced plans to sue the video-sharing site for not filtering out unauthorized content. Radiohead, on the other hand, has their own channel on YouTube, did a special performance for, and even worked UGC animation site AniBoom to create a video.

During a recent interview, when Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke learned of Prince’s takedowns, he was quoted as saying, “Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our…song.”

Psst, don’t tell Prince, but you can still find copies of the performance on YouTube.



Prince himself should have some right, though i dont understand why he would want it removed, great sure the fans would appriciateit but seems now the video is not available anymore.

Les Cowbell


1) Please publish your home address so I can come steal your car. When I gift it to a homeless person to live in, I will claim that because I garnered no commercial gain from the transaction, I shouldn’t be prosecuted.

2) YouTube isn’t interested in commercial gain?



“commercial” use is not a determining factor re: whether or not someone may copy, transfer, or otherwise appropriate and distribute content without permissions, clearances and the sound synchronization license suggested above. commercialization would bring in the lawyers much faster as damages are easier to assess, but it is not the legal trigger point.


@ zell:

you would have a point if the clips and recordings in question were used commercially… but. they. weren’t.


It would help if NewTeeVee included a Primer or context beyond “oh everything should be online and no one get paid…or, you’re a bad person…”

  • First, there are sound synchronization Rights issues and Releases and Permissions that PRINCE would have a legal obligation to obtain. He’s acting responsibly, like it or not.

  • Second, there are the actual Performance/Publicity/Image Rights related to PRINCE himself and that’s his choice what he does with his own image, right?

The easy way out is to not pay the lawyers to get all of the paperwork in place and demand take-down of clips. That’s what most do.

The more complex solution would be to concoct of quasi-Creative Commons music/sound sync/performance agreement that was boilerplate and everyone could initial before every tour (including Publishing Rights participants)? Some would agree, some would balk, but, everyone would know IN ADVANCE where everyone stands.

Just because someone grabs image and sound on video tape (or hard drive) does not mean there are no obligations.

Come on, just because you’re hungry, doesn’t mean that you walk into a restaurant kitchen and start making your own dinner then walk out without paying?

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