Why you can't Vine a Prince concert

Not even 6-second clips are immune to NPG Records' copyright policing

Prince performs at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007.
(Image credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Prince, one of the more enigmatic and compelling artists of the last three decades, is surprisingly absent from YouTube. A quick search reveals a dearth of clips starring the Artist Formerly Known as an Unpronounceable Symbol from the world's leading depository for music videos.

Try it out: Sometimes, you'll come across a captivating performance, like the scene-stealing guitar solo during the 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that overshadowed guitar legends like Tom Petty and Steve Winwood. But if you're searching for one of his hits — something like "Little Red Corvette" — you'll encounter strange, soundless videos a lot like this. That's because Prince's 20-year-old record label, NPG Music, is notorious for handing out DMCA copyright complaints and takedown notices to infringers... including but not limited to YouTube.

Take Vine, for instance, Twitter's new 6-second video service, and the most interesting thing going on in social media right now. The Next Web reports that Twitter openly shares the DMCA takedown notices it receives from copyright holders on a website called Chilling Effects. According to the service, "a representative of NPG Records wrote to Twitter to say eight video clips hosted on Vine contained 'unauthorized recordings' and 'unauthorized synchronizations' and asked the company to remove them immediately." The notices were last dated March 22, 2013, and the clips have since been removed.

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Prince closed this year's SXSW two weeks ago in Austin, and has been touring nationwide for the better part of 2013. So yes, it would appear that NPG Music is now policing users who post 6-second Vine snippets recorded at the purple one's concerts — shows they ostensibly pay to attend. Game: Blouses.

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