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Prince drops multi-million dollar lawsuit against fans

Musician Prince has abandoned a $22 million (£13.3 million) piracy action against 22 people for illegally posting videos of his gigs online.

The controversial decision to sue each video uploader $1 million (£606,000) for posting the content on the Internet had been met with anger and shock from fans.

Those responsible for posting the content were most likely fans of the artist and it is unlikely that they sought to profit financially from the piracy infringement.

"Because of the recent pressure, the bootleggers have now taken down the illegal downloads and are no longer engaging in piracy," Prince's lawyer said in a statement to entertainment news site TMZ.

"We recognize the fans craving for as much material as possible, but we'd prefer they get it from us directly than from third parties who are scalpers rather than real fans of our work."

The latest legal threats will come as no surprise to followers of Prince, who famously announced in 2010: "The Internet's completely over."

"All these computers and digital gadgets are no good," he told the Daily Mirror. "They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."

It is also not the first time Prince has taken action against his fans for breaching copyright laws.

Videos of the singer performing at the SXSW music festival in Austin last year were taken offline, reportedly by Prince's own publishing company, Controversy Music.

In 2007, thousands of fans were threatened with legal action for breach of copyright and his three biggest internet fansites were forced to remove all images and lyrics from their pages.