The Idiot Prince

I'm loath to call people names so let me apologize for calling one of the music industry's true icons an idiot.

But when you threaten to sue thousands of fans over trivia such as using pictures of their Prince tattoos, what else could you call him?

The RIAA must be salivating.

Suing fans -- cool.

Prince's lawyers have the nerve to demand removal of all pictures, images, lyrics, album covers and anything linked to Prince's likeness. These flunk outs from Dale Carnegie's human relations course are also demanding details on how these criminals are going to compensate his royal arrogance.

The unpronounceable love symbol has committed an unthinkable act against the consumers who buy his products, attend his concerts and make him rich.

So you think we don't have problems in the music business?

And you think record labels have a monopoly on stupidity?

Think again.

This is a talented artist who recently sold out 21 venues in the U.K. and who gave away his latest CD to concertgoers and to readers of the London tabloid The Daily Mail.

It's uglier yet.

His fans -- the ones he's threatening to sue -- are threatening to fight back.

A coalition was formed called Prince Fans United (I'm not making this up) representing three of his biggest Internet fan sites. They vow to contest the Prince legal action on the basis that it is an attempt to "stifle all critical commentary about Prince".

Now it's going to end up as a smackdown.

I can't blame the major labels directly for Prince's ridiculous behavior, but it sure looks like the little guy who fought the majors so publicly has become the majors he fought so publicly.

So, let me negotiate a settlement right here in Inside Music Media:

1. Prince -- you need a time out. Go to the corner and start counting your money. (You can give some of it away to help prevent the genocide in Darfur or back global warming initiatives -- research shows the record buying public likes artists that have causes -- other than themselves).

2. To Prince's lawyers -- go work for the RIAA. They are the main suer-in-chief for consumers. Don't waste your time with a lightweight legal wannabe like Prince. Step up to the big time.

3. Prince -- check in to Promises out here in Malibu. Nice place. They help cure addictions so maybe you can take a 12-step program to cure your addiction to ingratitude.

4., and -- I'm printing your names here -- you go fans! Fight the ingrate in court if necessary. Teach the master of symbols what a "$" really is and how he got his -- and hold him up to public ridicule deservedly for his selfish, needless acts. Then, merge with Britney Spears' fan club and fix his ass. Even with all the stuff surrounding Britney, to her credit, she never spits in her fans faces.

And remember this.

It's 2007 not 1999.

Music has been devalued to 99 cents a song -- at best -- when it is not worth zero through piracy.

The music loving public doesn't have to pay for your music and doesn't have to attend your concerts.

Be careful or else the next generation will turn you into an Alexander Haig avatar and spank you until you realize that they are in control now -- not you. (You remember Haig -- the ex-general/Secretary State who said he was in charge after President Reagan was shot -- without consulting the constitution).

The torch has been passed.

Prince -- we love your music -- but we don't need to buy your music.

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