WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Do we need a law to protect Prince?

    I am totally mystified why the legislature is even considering a bill giving special protection  for Prince’s image, and other proprietary things of the late rock star Prince. I realize Prince was a very popular musician and has brought much to the music scene and in particular Minnesota.

    I have never been a fan of Prince, although I respect his talent and contributions to the music industry.

    I would think that all or most of Prince’s music and images would already be protected by U.S. Copyright and Trade Mark laws.

    I know that in photography the person taking an image is automatically covered by copyright protection. Of course protecting  that right is much more complicated. In our newspaper we publish a copyright notice within the pages of the paper.

    I think a bigger issue for Prince is that he apparently did not have a will. That is hard to believe when you consider, at the very least, his estate is estimated to be in excess of 300 million. My guess it is likely much more than that.

    Most people with large estates already have or have access to top notch estate  planning that would make life much easier for the heirs. So the fact that Prince apparently did not plan on protecting his estate is not my problem, nor should it be a problem for the state. The laws are already in place in the country.

    Having said that let us get on with the critical business of running the state — the legislature has far more important things to do. Transportation, education and a bonding bill should be top priorities for the legislature. All of these things deserve tourniquets, not band aids. One side of the legislature is looking at how cheap we can get by with. To me that is very short sighted — have they ever heard you get what you pay for? Do they expect things to get cheaper down the road, especially when you consider, if you have pot holes and leaky roofs, the problem only gets worse as time goes by.

    It seems prudent to me to fix things sooner rather than later. Any health care professional will tell you preventive medicine is far cheaper than  waiting until you need the emergency room. On the other  hand neither side should get their way completely. But I think there should be plenty of room for thoughtful compromise.

Have a great week and do good!