Prince + Radiohead dispute over YouTube clip showing Prince perform Radiohead’s Creep

May 31, 2008

News: One of my students brought this controversy to my attention. It’s delicious. Prince performed Radiohead’s Creep at a concert at Coachella. Some audience member taped it and posted a clip on YouTube apparently. Prince’s people then filed a DMCA notice demanding the removal of the clip. But Radiohead’s Thom Yorke wants the clip back up because Radiohead owns the copyright to the song. (More)

So now it’s back up on YouTube:

Analysis: Radiohead’s right that it owns the rights to the song. Prince is just performing Radiohead’s song, so he has no copyright to it. He might have an anti-bootlegging claim as a performer, but that falls outside the purview of the DMCA notice-and-take down procedure. So it’s not clear to me what YouTube should do when Radiohead wants it up.