Prince reached a point in his career in which he felt that Warner Brothers was not allowing him creative freedom. Warner didn’t want Prince to produce an album every year as he wanted and had been doing. They feared that producing too much material would not help everything sell well. With every new album or single Prince released they were proven right as sales lowered and tracks didn’t make it to the charts.
As an artist Prince didn’t let this stop him and so he changed his name from Prince to “love symbol #2″ for the remainder of his contract with Warner. Warner Stated that they allowed him to release items with other distributors under “Love symbol #2” while they released items in their vault under Prince. Still they felt as if he wasn’t giving them any new music; something he would do for special albums. While Prince felt he was being wronged since he learned he didn’t have ownership of his music.
In 2007, other legal battles ensued with the topic of copyright infringement. Prince announced in September of that year that he would be suing Ebay and YouTube since they did, “not filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success.” In October Stephanie Lenz Sued Universal Music Publishing Group for having her movie pulled from YouTube because Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” played in the background. She stated that this was an exaggerated misuse of the copyright law.
In November Prince fans also retaliated with the grounds of using copyright law to “stifle all critical commentary about Prince.” Prince’s Lawyers stated later that same week, “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, no lawsuits have been filed.” The fans movement later resulted in a song titled “F.U.N.K” originally titled “PFUNK” which was sold on ITunes.
Later that November website B3ta.com released a statement after pulling their “Prince Photo Challenge from their website. “Under threat of legal action from Prince’s legal team of ‘potential closure of your website’ – We have removed the Prince image challenge and B3ta apologizes unreservedly to AED/NPG and Prince for any offence caused. We also ask our members to avoid photoshopping Prince and posting them on our boards.” Prince also had his Coachella performance of Radiohead’s “Creep” originally removed from Youtube. Radiohead disagreed with him and asked for them to be reposted because it was their song not his.
January 2014 Prince filed a suit against 22 online users for direct copyright infringement which was titled Prince v. Chodera. They were being accused of bootlegging on social media sites like Facebook. They allegedly posted links to songs of his on these websites.
With all of the disagreements with labels and fans, Prince’s career has been one for the books. All the songs he has written, produced, and performed have shown the range of talent he has. He continues to tour with his band, 3RDEYEGIRL and creates masterpieces for the crowds enjoyment. Even through all of his legal battles he has remained true to his artistic form for his love of music.