Prince Shuts Down Website

Pop star PRINCE abruptly shut down his official website last week (ends 09JUL06) without giving fans any advance notice. An email was sent to website subscribers after NPGMusicClub.com had shut down, stating it was decided to "put the club on hiatus until further notice". The announcement went on to say, "In its current (form) there is a feeling that NPGMC has gone as far as it can go." The email ended with, "The future holds nothing but endless opportunity and we plan on seizing it wholeheartedly. Don't u want to come?" According to website TMZ.com, the site's closure could be related to a copyright dispute. Prince filed for a trademark on the name NPG Music Club last year (05). An opposition was filed against the claim by HM Publishers Holding Limited, which owns the Nature Publishing Group, also known as NPG. The opposition was filed the same day the PURPLE RAIN singer's website was shut down. An attorney for Prince's company, Paisley Park Enterprises, insists that the two incidents are not related, and that the "opposition will be resolved shortly". The pop star was the first major artist to release an entire album - 1997's CRYSTAL BALL - exclusively on the web. He was honoured last month (JUN06) with a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award for his innovative use of the internet.


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