Following Prince‘s death in April 2016, thousands of fans took to downtown Minneapolis to mourn and celebrate the iconic artist’s life, culminating in a singalong to one of his biggest hits — “Purple Rain.”
Well, a viral video that captured the momentous occasion has been taken down by Prince’s label, Universal Music. According to Universal via City Pages, the footage violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), which “bars the unlawful reproduction, distribution or performance of copyrighted works.”
This is very disturbing: Universal Music filed a DCMA takedown on a video I shot of thousands of Prince fans singing Purple Rain the night of his death. This was clearly fair use and UMPG and Twitter are in the wrong. https://t.co/FOSlPdCqV7
— Aaron Lavinsky (@ADLavinsky) July 25, 2018
“This is very disturbing: Universal Music filed a DMCA takedown on a video I shot of thousands of Prince fans singing ‘Purple Rain’ the night of his death,” Aaron Lavinsky, the man who shot the video and a staff photographer for the Star Tribune, wrote on Twitter. “This was clearly fair use and UMPG and Twitter are in the wrong.”
It’s unknown if the Star Tribune will challenge the DMCA takedown.
In related news, Prince’s estate is trying to gain control of the website domain Prince.com. In a report from The Blast, a company called Domain Capital contacted the estate in May saying they owned “the domain name www.prince.com pursuant to a lease-back financing agreement with an undisclosed third party.”
However, the estate says that the website has a blank page and “is thus not being used for a bona fide commercial use,” while adding that the company “has never used the domain name www.prince.com in connection with a bona fide offering or any goods or services.”
Prince’s estate is asking for a court order to transfer Prince.com over to them.