Disappearing Prince? Domain names and bad faith

Thanks to his friend Simon Haslam the IPKat has discovered more mischief from the artist sometimes known as Prince, who has (according to the BBC) apparently threatened to take legal action against fan-run websites unless they remove photographs of him. A fan group, Prince Fans United, claims the star is trying to "stifle all critical commentary" and he is in "violation of the freedom of speech".

Right: you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the Prince ...

Web Sheriff, the UK firm His Highness has hired to enforce the ban, said it was "not an attack on fans". Two months ago he purged YouTube of clips of his London concerts. He is now hoping to do much the same with album covers, images of him in concert and lyrics. Acording to John Giacobbi (Web Sheriff's MD):

"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. At the end of the day it's the artist's decision as to what they're happy to let people have".

The IPKat wonders how many of the photos in question have been taken by fans and presumably are protected by copyright that is owned by their authors.

Another of the IPKat's friends, Michalis Kosmopoulos, has asked if any reader of this weblog can recommend any good reading material for practitioners on bad faith in domain name disputes. Recommendations in terms of cases to read and articles/books are welcomed. Email your recommendations here and the Kat will assemble a useful bibliography which he will publish next week.

Adam Faith here
Bad faith and Jean-Paul Sartre here
Disappearing Prince? Domain names and bad faith Disappearing Prince? Domain names and bad faith Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, November 09, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. I would be interested to learn how WebSheriff operares... as I understand the position he is not a lawyer, but does send out letters before action...

    If I was his client I certainly wouldn't feel 'privileged'

  2. I recommend checking out An Evening with Kevin Smith. Prince already scoured the internets and got all videos of Kevin talking about Prince removed - but you can rent the DVD (the whole thing is pretty funny).

    In there Kevin talks about his experiences with Prince...

    You can read the transcript here:
    but it doesn't have the same humor without Kevin delivering it. (search for the words: "filming a documentary for Prince" - that is where his Prince story begins.


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