Singer hits back at fansite claims

Prince has released a statement refuting claims that he is suing a number of fansites.

It was reported that lawyers for the singer had ordered several fansites to remove any image that bears his likeness, prompting fans to form a group to fight the demands.

However, a statement released by the singer’s promoter AEG said: “Prince is not suing his fans, is not looking to penalise fans and nor is he looking to or inhibiting freedom of speech in any way. In fact, he is simply looking to provide Prince fans with exclusive music and images entirely free of charge, and bypassing unofficial and unauthorised phoney fan sites that exploit both consumers and artists.

“The action taken earlier this week was not to shut down fansites, or control comment in any way. The issue was simply to do with in regards to copyright and trademark of images and only images, and no lawsuits have been filed.

“The three sites in question have falsely positioned themselves as representatives of millions of Prince fans. In fact, many have come out in support of Prince at his official site and even on the message boards of the unofficial sites in question.

“Mediation between the parties is currently resolving the matter.”

The “offending items” were said to be live shots from Prince’s 21 nights in London at the O2 Arena earlier this year.

The statement also spoke out against fansite piracy.

It explained: “Prince is breaking new ground as the first artist to take on the world’s largest internet pirates bootleggers, including the notorious The Pirate Bay who have been misrepresenting themselves as a site for ‘the fans’.

“They are in fact exploiting copyrighted material for their commercial gain. The site has flouted constant legal notices from artists and corporations throughout the world while cashing in on advertising monies. All the time, they keep up the pretence of being an anarchist, ‘free music’ fansite when it is really a massive money-making venture.”