American Pop Star Prince Dragging YouTube To Court

THE American pop star Prince plans to sue YouTube and other websites for unauthorised use of his music.

Trying to "reclaim his art on the internet", the man behind such hits as Purple Rain, 1999 and When Doves Cry said on Thursday that YouTube could not argue that it had no control over the videos that users posted on its site.

YouTube was clearly able to filter porn and pedophile material but appeared to choose not to filter out the unauthorised music and film content that is core to its business success, a statement on his behalf said.

YouTube responded by saying it was working with artists to help them manage their music on the site.

"Most content owners understand that we respect copyrights," said YouTube's chief counsel, Zahavah Levine.

"We work every day to help them manage their content, and we are developing state-of-the-art tools to let them do that even better."

Prince also plans legal action against eBay and Pirate Bay, a site accused by Hollywood and the music industry as being a big source of music and film piracy.

The legal action is the latest attempt by the music industry to wrest back control over content in an age where file sharing, mobile phones and video sites make enforcing copyright increasingly difficult.

But it is believed to be rare for an individual artist of Prince's stature to take on popular websites, while some up-and-coming performers actually encourage online file-sharing to create a fan base and buzz around a record.

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