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Prince's Message to Everyone: Stop Bootlegging My Stuff

September 14, 2007 12:22 PM ET

Prince has a message 4 U: Stop UR illegal downloading! To prove he means business, the Purple One is prepping lawsuits against major file-trading sites like YouTube, eBay and Pirate Bay to reclaim control over bootlegged tunes, videos and merchandise. No legal docs have been filed, but the singer recently hired London-based company Web Sheriff, which has been trolling the Net for sites selling unlicensed goods (everything from Prince-adorned socks to key rings) to provide evidence should the star decide to take the battle to court. "This isn't necessarily about money," says Web Sheriffâ's president John Giacobbi, who has wiped off 2,000 illegally uploaded videos from YouTube and shut down about 300 eBay auctions, as well as multiple multiple overseas sites selling unauthorized merchandise. "Prince feels very strongly about his artistry -- he wants it to be reflected the way he wants. There's no problem with some guy selling his twenty-five-year-old copy of Purple Rain, but we object to a Chinese sweatshop turning out Purple Rain shopping bags and selling them by the thousands."

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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