Prince's Death Inspires New Proposed Law in Minnesota

Prince's Death Inspires New Proposed Law in Minnesota
Courtesy of NPG Records
After Prince's tragic death last month, there was little doubt that his artistic legacy would be influencing musicians well into the future. Now, though, it seems that his influence has extended beyond music and into the world of politics.

Minnesota has tabled new legislation dubbed the Personal Rights in Names Can Endure law — or, you know, the PRINCE Act — that aims to offer protection of the name and likeness of deceased people in commercial ventures.

The law will provide administrators of a late party's estate authority over the deceased's name and likeness (including their voice), allowing them to control its commercial use for a minimum of 50 years.

The PRINCE Act was introduced to the Minnesota House of Representatives by Joe Hoppe, who admits the idea was brought on by Prince's death. "I've had people say, 'Is it just prompted by the death of Prince?'" he told MPR. "Yeah, essentially it is. Really, what it's doing is it's attempting to recognize the right of publicity post-mortem."

Panic briefly ensued when Prince's sister revealed that the singer had left no known will, though the singer's estate is currently being overseen by Bremer Trust. Joel Leviton, a lawyer representing Bremer Trust, offered his support for the bill, telling MPR: "We're talking about your name, we're talking about your image, we're talking about a photograph of you. We're talking about, anything that identifies you."

The suggested law applies to all citizens, not just celebrities, and if passed, will take effect in August but apply retroactively to individuals that died before then. The bill will be given its first hearing tomorrow (May 11); supporters are hoping to get special clearance for the bill to pass before the current session ends in two weeks.

While the investigation surrounding Prince's death continues, artist tributes continue to pour in for the late rock'n'roll icon. Beyoncé paid homage to Prince at her show in Dallas last night (May 9) by breaking out a cover of "The Beautiful Ones." She previously covered the Prince classic during her 2011 headlining set at Glastonbury, but you can see her most recent rendition in the player below.