Newspaper threatens legal action over Prince chart ban

The Mail On Sunday want its giveaway to be chart eligible

The Mail on Sunday has threatened legal action to get Prince‘s new album ‘Planet Earth’ into the official music charts despite it being given away with this Sunday’s (July 16) paper.

The paper will distribute 2.9m copies with the CD included for free, after paying about £250,000 to Prince for the licence. An extra 200,000 copies of the paper will be printed without the CD for foreign and bulk sales.

According to MediaGuardian, the Mail On Sunday managing director, Stephen Miron, sent a letter to the Official UK Charts Company, demanding it include ‘Planet Earth’ in its albums chart.

It said: “Given our belief that this album should still be included on the official UK album charts and having responded to your issues, I would urge you to reconsider your previous position as a matter of urgency, before we engage our lawyers for legal advice to force a challenge to this restraint on our trade.”

The Official UK Charts Company has refused to enter the album ‘Planet Earth’ on its chart, saying it could not prove that newspaper sales were “genuine consumer purchases” and that it could not audit sales accurately.

Miron responded by saying: “It’s denying Prince his rights. It will be Number One in the UK chart and we think that’s something that he should be able to do.

“The fact that they are referring back to rules put in place ages ago doesn’t seem to fit with the way the music industry is now. I think they are mad.”

Miron said the paper was “considering its position” with regards to potential legal action.

Music chain HMV will sell the newspaper after initially complaining about the promotion.