Prince takes legal action against fansites
Lawyers for Prince have issued cease-and-desist letters to a host of fan websites devoted tohim and called for the removal of a host of material ranging from song lyrics to artwork inspired by the pop music icon.
"Several of the largest web communities dedicated to the artist have received notices to cease and desist all use of photographs, images, lyrics, album covers and anything linked to Prince's likeness," according to a statement from Prince Fans United, a group led by the owners of the web's largest Prince fansites.
According to the group, these letters have gone so far as to demand the removal of fans' "own photographs of their Prince-inspired tattoos and their vehicles displaying Prince-inspired licence plates."
Prince Fans United has vowed to fight what they are calling censorship by their beloved artist.
The move follows the pop star's decision in September to take legal action against websites that posted audio and video clips from his concert performances.
Prince has hired U.K. firm Web Sheriff to enforce the actions, which managing director John Giacobbi said was "not an attack on fans."
"The dispute, in so far as there is one, is related to the use of photographs and images of Prince, many of which are Prince's copyright," Giacobbi said, according to the BBC.
"At the end of the day it's the artist's decision as to what they're happy to let people have."
Artistic rights have always been a sticking point with the 49-year-old musician, whose hit singles include Let's Go Crazy, 1999, Kiss and Purple Rain.He was famously embroiled in a battle with record label Warner Brothers in the 1990s over ownership of his master tapes.
As part of his protest, he changed his name to a symbol and wrote the word "slave" on his cheek during a public performance.