Imagine, if you will, an hour-long drinking game, fueled by 60 shots of beer and 60 different one-minute songs all performed live. Can't quite picture it? You have a terrible imagination; here's a video to help you out:
That looks like fun, right? Who doesn't like fun? Jerks on the Internet, apparently.
Musician Ali Spagnola has spent the better part of three years -- not to mention some $30,000 -- embroiled in a legal battle over the rights to her creation, seen above. More specifically, the name of her drinking game and subsequent musical album: "Power Hour."
In 2009, Spagnola garned national attention for "Power Hour," but she also attracted the attention of Steve Roose, another entrepreneur peddling a similarly themed drinking game DVD also titled -- you guessed it -- "Power Hour," the name of which Roose subsequently trademarked. Roose issued a cease-and-desist order to Spagnola, essentially attempting to force the Pittsburgh native to stop selling any Power Hour-related albums and media as well as performing her Power Hour songs live.
Fortunately for fans of Truth, Justice and The American Way -- which, in this case, involves drinking 60 shots of beer in an hour -- Spagnola decided to fight Roose's trademark claim. (We should note here that the idea and concept of "Power Hour" has been around since approximately five minutes after frat boys first discovered beer in 1634. The idea of someone trademarking it is fairly absurd.)
Despite warnings from her lawyer that the legal costs could approach $15,000, Spagnola proceeded, raising funds through the help of a crowd-funding campaign. Meanwhile, her plight garnered the attention of blogs, news outlets and the almighty first page of the internet, Reddit.
Fast-forward to today, where Ali has announced via YouTube that Roose's trademark has been invalidated and the dozens of commercial versions of Power Hour -- hers included -- may now continue unhindered.
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Additionally, Spagnola used the video to announce that she will be taking her Power Hour concert on the road to 20 cities to celebrate her recent victory. Once again using the power of crowd-funding, her tour is letting fans vote on where she travels via donation at idiegogo.com. A $1 donation earns you a vote and a download of her Power Hour album so you can play this ridiculously amusing (and inebriating) game with friends at home.
If you're interested in seeing the lovely Ms. Spagnola live in Houston or want to hear her seriously funny album for yourself -- think Andrew WK meets Jill Sobule -- head over to her site and vote. Conversely, if you hate having fun and hate attractive women singing hilarious songs about drinking, you could always vote to send her to Billings, Montana. That's the beauty of democracy.