This weekend, [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] kicks off the American leg of her I Am ... Sasha Fierce tour with two big shows at New York's Madison Square Garden, but her work has already begun. According to TMZ, B filed a pre-emptive lawsuit on Wednesday against unnamed people who sell bootleg merchandise in the vicinity of her shows. She hopes to crack down on the people hawking unauthorized CDs, T-shirts and other goods to fans entering and exiting the venue. Unable to target individual people, the suit simply warns would-be vendors against merchandise piracy.
Beyoncé wouldn't be the first artist to go after bootleggers in this way. Last year, [artist id="854"]Mary J. Blige[/artist] filed a similar pre-emptive suit before a stop in New York on her Heart of the City tour with Jay-Z, and Phish did the same before they launched their reunion tour this year. The artists have found these types of suits necessary because they give them and their representatives the authority to seize merchandise that has been declared illegal.
In the Phish case, a federal judge denied the band's request. In their suit, they alleged that bootleg merchandise has cost them millions of dollars a year.
This isn't Beyoncé's first run-in with fake goods this year: She had a minor flap with Howard Stern over a doctored recording of her supposedly singing on the "Today" show.
Beyoncé's management had not responded to requests for comment at press time.