If you needed further confirmation that Prince is no longer with us, here you go. His videos are popping up on the internet.
Before his passing, Prince became notorious for scrubbing the internet, especially YouTube of any of his music videos, performances and even tributes recorded by fans. In the days since his passing, some Prince material began popping up on various music platforms, but then they disappeared. However, it looks like YouTube has created a VEVO page containing many of Prince’s classic music videos and recordings.
In 2007 Prince threatened to sue YouTube for hosting his copyrighted recordings without his approval. In a statement, he claimed that YouTube was “clearly able (to) filter porn and pedophile material but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success.”
Believing that artists should “reclaim their art” from the internet, he went on to hire internet policing company Web Sheriff to remove thousands of his videos and other videos with his music and likeness. Some felt that he went too far and accused him of suing fans for recording tributes, or even happening to have his music playing in the background of their home videos. However, Prince insisted that this was not the case and that he instead wanted to give fans access to exclusive content through his platforms instead of third-party websites.
Prince literally fought to the death to make sure that his creative properties were under his control. Up until this week it was virtually impossible to find any of Prince’s videos online. He made headlines in 2015 when he removed all of his catalog from Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and other popular streaming services to give exclusive rights to Jay Z’s TIDAL.
The oldest video on the channel is six days old, meaning that the channel was started before Prince’s body even had an autopsy. Many of the videos have already raked up thousands of views. However, according to fans in the comments sections, the videos are of low quality and pixelated, unlike the videos that were played on television over the past week.
Screenshot: NPG Records