There's a famous story that Prince got into an argument with Radiohead over a cover of their song, 'Creep'.
The story goes that Prince, after performing the song at the 2008 Coachella Festival, immediately began to force YouTube et al to remove footage of the performance. Radiohead objected, saying that it was their song and that it should be widely available. YouTube reinstated the videos afterwards, and in 2009, Prince added footage of the performance to his own website.
The whole incident provides a microcosm of Prince's attitude to the internet during his life - one minute combative, the next involved - but always, always on his own terms. There's no denying that he had a capricious attitude to the internet in his life, and his death has meant that he now no longer has control over the dissemination of his own work.
Since his death in 2016, a significant portion of Prince's discography has been added to Spotify, YouTube and Apple iTunes. You can now even hear such deep-cut classics like 'The Scandalous Sex Suite' in its full 29-minute glory, complete with Kim Basinger's voiceover throughout. Previously, complex licensing issues with the song meant it was removed any compilations he himself released.
The irony is that Prince was one of the first adopters of the internet for musicians. As early as 1997, Prince sold a three-CD set - The Crystal Ball - over the internet, selling it directly to fans. In 2006, Prince won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Webbys. In 2013, just seven years later, he won the 'Raspberry Beret' Lifetime Aggrievement Award from the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.
There's no denying that if Prince were alive today, there's no way whatsoever that any of his music would be available as freely as it is now. It most certainly wouldn't make its way onto YouTube in the manner in which it did following his death.
Just one day after his death, a scene from 'Purple Rain' was uploaded to YouTube by TheCodfather. The Kid, played by Prince, arrives at the club and timidly announces that he'll play "a song the girls in the band wrote" and dedicates it to his father. The song is, of course, 'Purple Rain'.
The description underneath the video describes how TheCodfather "couldn't find the official video anywhere so here it is! Been listening to this song over the past couple of days and the day I wanted to see him live... He died..." The video has 121 million views, more than any other video in Prince's official YouTube channel.
The irony in all of this is that Prince's memory is kept alive by his music, which is now more readily available than ever before - and only because he's dead. It's easy to think that the executors of his estate are going against his express wishes by making it available. There's also the question of fan entitlement - and that those demands for ease of access can and should be met.
Yet, the fact is that he himself had such a complex relationship with the internet, and one that was not fully resolved in his passing. Whatever the case may be, his music - precious as though it was to him - is now free to anyone with an internet connection.
In that, his memory and his work can live beyond him - whether he likes it or not.