The Internet has suffered a premature death--or at least that's what aging rocker Prince believes has happened.
"The Internet [is] completely over," Prince told U.K. publication The Mirror, which published an interview with the music icon on Monday, the eve of the debut in that country of his latest CD, 20TEN. Perhaps not coincidentally The Mirror plans to soon give away copies of the disc with every purchase of the paper.
"The Internet [is] like MTV," Prince said later in the Interview. "At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated."
It's easy to see what's happening here: first Prince is making provocative comments in a publication that will tuck a copy of his latest work in its pages. Can't hurt sales by stirring a little controversy, can it? Still, one might think Prince would know that he risked becoming a punch line ("The only thing unhip and outdated is...")
Certainly one of the greatest music artists during the course of the past three decades knows that CD sales plummet as digital sales climb. He must know that the Internet is the most revolutionary communication tool since the telephone and is making information more accessible to the masses. The Web has radically transformed entertainment, media, education, banking, politics, travel, retail...forget all that.
Prince says the Web is washed up.
The performer, known for such classic 1980's songs as "Purple Rain" and "Little Red Corvette," has said little about the Internet the past two years since going on a copyright crusade in late 2007. That's when the Minneapolis native lashed out at his own fan sites and demanded they remove all "photographs, images, lyrics, album covers, and anything linked to Prince's likeness." He also tried to prevent a Pennsylvania woman from posting a clip to YouTube of her baby dancing to a snippet of his song "Let's Go Crazy." He lost that round.
In what he called an attempt to "reclaim the Internet," Prince threatened to sue YouTube, eBay, and The Pirate Bay over copyright issues. Nothing came of it. Now, the only weapon Prince appears to have at his disposal is unfounded rumor, yet he continues to tilt at his Web mills.
"Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good," he told The Mirror. "They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."