PRINCE AND HIS LAWYERS have unleashed a "Purple Rain" of terror on fans he believes to be bootleggers.
The Artist presently known as Plaintiff has filed a $22 million lawsuit against 22 people, accused of illegally posting concert footage on Facebook, blogs and other online spots.
The move has split Prince's kingdom, but the suit says, "The defendants in this case engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince's material.
"For example, in just one of the many takedown notices sent to Google with respect to Doe 2 (a/k/a DaBang319), Prince identified 363 separate infringing links to file-sharing services, with each link often containing copies of bootlegged performances of multiple separate musical compositions."
According to ABC News, the paisley suit names two individual defendants: Dan Chodera and Karina Jindrova, who posted numerous Prince performances to their "kristynafanpage" on Facebook.
Facebook complied with Prince's "takedown" notices, but Chodera and Jindrova objected to having the material removed, thus forcing Prince's hand in the court action. Efforts to serve Chodera, in France, and Jindrova, in the Czech Republic, however, have so far been unsuccessful, the suit says.
The other 20 defendants are listed by their online user names, including "TheUltimateBootlegExperience."
Flavor Flav pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges stemming from a traffic stop earlier this month as he raced to his mother's funeral in Long Island.
State police said that the rapper and reality-TV star (a/k/a William Drayton), was speeding and driving without a license, a felony, on Jan. 9 as he drove on the Meadowbrook Parkway, not far from where he grew up.
Flav's attorney, Indji Bessim, told Nassau County District Court Judge Norman St. George that over the past several days she and her client have worked to clear up the 16 outstanding traffic matters that sparked the unlicensed-driving charge.
The judge scheduled a return court date for Flav for Friday, as is routine following an arraignment. He is out on his own recognizance.
Wearing his trademark clock around his neck - removing it to pass through courthouse metal detectors - Flav smiled and hugged relatives and fans, stopping once or twice to sign an autograph or have a photo taken with a fan.
As he left the courtroom following the brief proceeding, Flav told reporters: "God is good. G-I-G.
"I'm hoping they would have a heart and dismiss it all because of the circumstances," he said. "Because if it wasn't for me driving to my mother's funeral and being late getting to my mother's funeral, I wouldn't have been behind the wheel in the first place to get the charge."
He criticized the unidentified state trooper who made the arrest for being unconcerned about his plight, but then praised other troopers, whom he said helped him eventually get to his mother's funeral. Anna Drayton died Dec. 31.
Flav's New York case is being watched closely in Las Vegas, where the rapper now lives and the clock on his chest is set three hours earlier. Flav has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond pending trial April 28 there on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment with a weapon. Those charges could get him up to 12 years in prison.
* In a move sure to get the conservative base as riled up as a gay wedding at the Grammys, Jimmy Carter's next book will be a defense of women's rights and an attack against those who use religion to deny equality.
Simon & Schuster announced yesterday that the former president's A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power will be published March 25. The publisher says that Carter, 89, will draw upon personal observations from his worldwide travels as he condemns abuses of women and girls and the alleged distortions of religious texts cited as justification.
* In an oddly related story, Miley Cyrus will reportedly have a special guest on her episode of MTV's "Unplugged."
You know what would be crazy outrageous? If they both were fully dressed, didn't tongue kiss, didn't twerk and sang a hymn.
* The pooches in Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl" have been coached by two of the most famous dogs in America: White House pets Bo and Sunny.
Michelle Obama and her furry companions recently helped more than a dozen pups from animal shelters around the country get ready for the canine competition during drills on the South Lawn of the White House.
The "Puppy Bowl" is like a football game, but the players are pooches in need of loving homes.
Awwwww . . .
The program airs Sunday, the same day as the Super Bowl.
* Justin Bieber has a Valentine's Day date with a South Florida judge on charges of DUI, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.
A Miami-Dade County judge yesterday set a Feb. 14 arraignment date for the 19-year-old imploding star. Bieber might not be required to attend.
Bieber and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested last week in Miami Beach during what police described as an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing.
And neither has been charged with racing while in drag.
Police say that Bieber admitted to smoking marijuana, drinking and taking a prescription medication - just the cocktail to get you revved up for some time behind the wheel of a sports car.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.
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