Prince 'Excited' by Napster

ByABC News
August 11, 2000, 12:38 PM

N E W   Y O R K, Aug. 12 -- Prince is back, free, and using the Internet to weigh in on Napster, technology, music and the record industry.

In a manifesto, of sorts, posted on his Web site, titled 4 The Love of Music, Prince calls online services like Napster exciting, and once again shows his general distaste for the record industry.

In 1996, Prince had broken free of his contractual relationship with Time Warner Records, literally painting himself a slave by often appearing in public with the word on his face. He swapped the moniker Prince for an unpronounceable symbol, so his record company could not profit from anything with his name on it, and became known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

Consumers vs. Lovers

And now hes back as Prince, reigning over his own niche in cyberspace,, and embracing the new systems and new devices that allow music lovers to pursue the artistic objects of their affection.

Drawing an immediate distinction between music consumers who eat everything the record labels put on their plate and lovers, who go beyond whats on the radio and try to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the art, Prince goes on to write that although the future is unknown, The Evolution Will B Digitized. With the rapid changes afoot in technology, writes Prince, There does not seem 2 b anything the old record companies can do about preventing this evolution from happening.

Prince cites Napster as an illustration of the growingfrustration over how much the record companies control what musicpeople get to hear. Napster is a controversial, free, song-swapping service that allows Internet users to download digital music files from other peoples computers.

From the point of view of the music lover, whats going oncan only be viewed as an exciting new development in the historyof music, said Prince, whose hits include 1999, When DovesCry, and Cream.