Prince’s estate suing over YouTube videos recorded at Mohegan Sun
Prince brought the funk to Mohegan Sun Arena when he performed there on three consecutive nights in December 2013.
Four years later, his estate has brought a copyright-infringement lawsuit over YouTube videos reportedly taken during the late Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s Mohegan engagement.
YouTube has removed a half-dozen videos cited in the suit.
In the suit, lawyers for the estate’s probate court-appointed representative, Comerica Bank & Trust N.A. of Ann Arbor, Mich., claim Kian Andrew Habib of Norfolk, Mass., violated copyright laws by posting the Prince videos “for commercial purposes” without the estate’s permission.
″... Habib received or attempted to receive advertising revenue associated with views of the Infringing Videos by others,” alleges the suit, which was filed Dec. 7 in U.S. District Court in Boston.
Habib has not responded to the suit. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
While the suit does not identify the venue where the videos were recorded, online reports indicate it was Mohegan Sun Arena, where Prince performed Dec. 27-29, 2013. Mohegan Sun officials received no notice of the suit and were unaware of it, a casino spokesman said.
The videos in question include Prince performing songs to which he wrote the music and lyrics, including “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Take Me With U,” “Glam Slam,” “Sign o’ the Times,” “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and “Hot Thing.”
All of the songs performed in the videos are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and are owned by Prince’s estate.
“Each of the Infringing Videos negatively impacts the market for authorized uses of the Prince Works, for example, by directing YouTube viewers and associated advertising revenue away from authorized videos of the Prince Works and towards the Infringing Videos,” the suit says.
Prince’s estate demanded YouTube remove the videos, prompting Habib to file a “counter-notification” contesting their removal. That prompted the estate’s lawsuit, which seeks a permanent injunction against “further infringement.”
Lawyers for Comerica Bank & Trust did not respond to requests for comment.
Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died April 21, 2016.