In an almost certainly fruitless bid to "reclaim his art on the internet", US pop star and professional oddball Prince plans to sue YouTube for unauthorised use of his music .

Pint-sized purple funkster Prince said last week that if YouTube could filter out pornographic material, it had sufficient control over which videos users posted on its site to protect his musical masterpieces (and, presumably, all the pap he's released in the past 15 years or so).

"YouTube... are [sic] clearly able to filter porn and paedophile material but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorised music and film content which is core to their [sic] business success," read a statement released last Thursday on Prince's behalf.

In addition to YouTube, Prince also plans legal action against eBay and Pirate Bay.

"Prince strongly believes artists as the creators and owners of their music need to reclaim their art," his statement added. "These actions mark a historic moment for music artists in terms of the battle to regain control of their rights on the internet."

Well, perhaps. But it does seem a terrible shame that Prince - once known for razor-sharp innovation - has now settled on the Bill Grundy role, railing against change he seems not to understand. No-one wants to see the Horny Little Pony's copyright infringed, but how else does he expect to reach a younger audience than through YouTube et al? Certainly not through eye-wateringly expensive London gigs, I hope.

And it's not going to work anyway. British company Web Sheriff has been hired to help Prince rid the web of his material.

"In the last couple of weeks we have directly removed approximately 2,000 Prince videos from YouTube," said Web Sheriff managing director John Giacobbi.

"The problem is that one can reduce it to zero and then the next day there will be 100 or 500 or whatever. This carries on ad nauseam at Prince's expense," he told Reuters.

Well, er, quite. That's gonna happen. So why bother? I'm pretty sure the internet is not going anywhere. So, Prince, instead, whack up your next release only as a YouTube video, and sit back as the ringtone download frenzy begins.