prince inspires a new bill to protect artists from exploitation

This might actually be the most fitting Prince tribute yet.

by Hannah Ongley
10 May 2016, 9:07pm

Of everything and everyone that the legendary Purple One inspired before his untimely death last month, a piece of legislature doesn't sound the most interesting. But given Prince's passionate commitment to retaining control over his contracts and copyrights — a battle that has again become very manifest as fans comb through the internet looking for his seminal songs — the Minnesota State Legislature's newest piece of law may be Prince's most pertinent legacy. 

If signed in, the Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act (aka the PRINCE Act) would prevent an artist's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness from being exploited, according to the bill's official text. Publicity control would instead be granted to the artist's estate. The PRINCE Act was introduced in Minnesota's Senate and House of Representatives yesterday, and will see its first hearing tomorrow afternoon. The Minnesota State Legislature has only two weeks left in its current setting, so the bill will need special clearance to be passed. If it is approved, the bill would give people — it's not just aimed at celebrities — a minimum 50-year period of protection after death. 

Minnesota isn't the first state to push such measures, and isn't even the first to do so in the wake of a music legend's death. A similar law in Washington was enacted after the passing of Seattle-born guitarist Jimi Hendrix.


Text Hannah Ongley
Dirty Mind album cover via YouTube