Prince album floods the internet

'Planet Earth' available to download

Copies of Prince’s album ‘Planet Earth’ have flooded the internet after it came free with a paper on Sunday (July 15).

The album is easily accessible to fans around the world, despite plans for a full commercial release in countries including the US. However, it is not being sold in record shops in the UK after a deal with distributors Sony BMG fell through after the decision to covermount the album.

’Planet Earth’ was freely available to download after an estimated three million copies of the CD were distributed with the Mail On Sunday.

Hundreds of the CDs have also been put up for sale on auction site eBay.

The album is still due to be released on July 24 in the US and Canada.

A blogger who posted the full album on the web wrote: “Seeing as it was free anyway…we decided to stick it up here for anyone who didn’t get it.

“This seems to be the way forward. With music being free, the artists make their money from mechandising and touring, and the digital revolution may yet be the downfall of major labels. No harm in our book!”

The move to give the CD away has angered members of the music industry.

A spokesperson for Sony BMG said: “The perception of intellectual property being ‘free’ is a problem we share with other business including TV, radio, film, magazine, newspapers and gaming companies among others. At present no action is being taken to remove files that I know of.”

Prince is also set to give the album away to fans attending one of his 21 concerts at London’s O2 Arena next month.

Prince said: “It’s direct marketing and I don’t have to be in the speculation business of the record industry, which is going through a lot of tumultuous times right now.”

Mail On Sunday’s editor Peter Wright said: “Prince has done this because he makes most of his money these days as a performing artist.”

Wright confirmed that the newspaper had paid to press and distribute the album, but hoped to make money by selling extra copies of the paper and extra advertising, reports BBC News.