Prince, sans the Revolution


Techcrunch follows up on Prince’s rather eccentric recent moves to defend intellectual property that may or may not be his. [Yes, I know how surprising it is to see the words “Prince” and “eccentric” in the same sentence, just remember that you heard it here first.]

Here’s the thing: it seems wildly inaccurate to hold Price up as a (lapsed) poster child for the revolution that’s taking shape in the business of making a living from popular music. Yes, there was the CD with a newspaper thing and the direct sales through the NPG music club thing, but I believe that those are much more closely related to the only appearing in public with “slave” written on his cheek thing than to a progressive view of the music industry.

Given a choice between giving some Big Content label executive control over his music and keeping that control entirely in his own hands, he chooses the latter every time. Is that because he’s a music industry visionary? No, it’s because he’s a control freak. And while Prince is certainly most unhappy about what Warner Brothers does with his creations, that doesn’t mean that Prince is excited about Joe Fanboy having his way with Prince’s works, either.

When Jonathan Coulton starts filing suit against his fans for posting video from his performances, ukulele covers of his songs, or video evidence of unlicensed use of his music in Guitar Hero online, then we’ve got something weird going on, but Prince just seems like a nonstarter here.

Oh, crap. Now I’ve got Code Monkey stuck in my head. Again.