Prince’s Estate Sues Over YouTube Videos

BOSTON (CN) – Prince’s estate is suing a Massachusetts man, claiming he illegally uploaded the late rock icon’s music to YouTube.

The estate is accusing Kian Andrew Habib, a man from the town of Norfolk, Massachusetts, of uploading six different videos of Prince performing live in concert. The videos, which have since been removed from YouTube, showed performances of  “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Take Me With U,” “Glam Slam,” “Sign o’ the Times,” “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and  “Hot Thing.”

Habib appears to have dedicated his YouTube channel to concert videos from a variety of musicians, many of which are still up.

According to the Dec. 7 lawsuit, Habib’s videos of Prince included advertisements, which allegedly allowed him to generate revenue from Prince’s work.

Comerica Bank & Trust, which currently controls Prince’s estate, filed a complaint with YouTube about the infringing videos, which were then temporarily removed. Habib appealed the removal, spurring Comerica’s lawsuit.

“Habib has refused to remove the Infringing Videos and will continue to infringe the Prince Works unless enjoined by this Court,” the 6-page complaint states.

The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, says Habib’s post lured YouTube viewers away from legitimate videos.

Prince released his first album in 1978. One year later, his self-titled follow-up was released and would eventually go Platinum. From then on, Prince steadily released award-winning and best-selling music spanning the genres of rock, funk, new wave and pop.

Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Prince died April 21, 2016 from a reportedly accidental overdose of fentanyl at his recording studio. Since then, a probate court in Minnesota ruled that his sister and five half-siblings are his heirs, though the rights to the estate are still owned by Comerica Bank & Trust.

Craig Smith and Eric Carnevale of Lando & Anastasi represent Comerica Bank & Trust in the suit.

Habib could not be reached for comment.

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