A guy named Steve Roose trademarked the term "Power Hour" and started bullying people to stop playing the drinking game. He got power hour websites, software, YouTube videos and my music taken down. I've been fighting him in court for 3 years and it's cost me over $30,000! Now, finally the court has given a ruling on the case... I WON! (Thanks for being so supportive on r/JusticePorn the other day!)

TL;DR: Quick video explaining what happened.

What I'm doing now that Power Hour is free: Freedom Victory Tour!

Proof I'm me: Ka-kow!

Edit: Here's the whole insane story about the legal battle. A link to the court decision document is toward the end. Warning: long

Comments: 1222 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

CosmicPancakes289 karma

Fuck yeah on winning! Fuck that Steve guy! He probably is a puss and probably passed out on song 2.

As for my question, where did you originally come up with the Power Hour song idea?

AliSpags272 karma

I was playing shows as an average guitar strumming white girl and no one cared. I don't blame them. Who wants to hear unfamiliar music from a girl you don't know? I wanted to make my shows more like parties. Power Hour was the solution.

And it worked. As soon as I could say "Come to my party! Come play my drinking game!", word of mouth took off like crazy

SnakeyesX276 karma

It's too early for an AMA. It's like, 7 AM or something.

AliSpags298 karma

I actually just had an interview with morning radio here in Pittsburgh which required me to get up. I sounded like a frog.

listrophy219 karma

Here. Have $100. You know, for freedom.

AliSpags116 karma


cplater122 karma

Are you concerned that Mr. Roose will go after you for slander?

AliSpags343 karma

Slightly. I haven't once encouraged anyone to attack him. I don't condone vigilante justice!!! Mostly I'm telling the facts about the case. And I do believe it's my right as freedom of speech to say he's a "dumbhead crapface".

FootofGod45 karma

If it comforts you, he totally can't win that case in a million years and you could countersue for court and lawyer costs easily...I kinda hope he does!

AliSpags59 karma

This is very much a comfort to me. I hope you're right.

applevsandroid102 karma

What was the most difficult aspect of the case from a legal stand point? What was the tipping point that made you decide that this is a cause that you were willing to be everything on?

AliSpags152 karma

The difficult part was showing that his trademark was "generic". Because I failed. Haha... My lawyer and I convinced the court it's "descriptive" but not "generic". Luckily we only needed one. But don't ask me the difference.

The tipping point for deciding to go for it was when this story blew up on reddit the first time!! You guys were so awesomely supportive that I knew I couldn't sit back and let Steve push people around anymore

MarvinsSkeleton88 karma

Are you wearing pants?

AliSpags151 karma


Candlejac8845 karma

Proof? I think we need proof on this one...

AliSpags101 karma

Come to my live stream No Pants Power Hours! We all wear no pants together

squizziphish79 karma

What was your "safe career" that you left in order to do this full time?

AliSpags122 karma

I was a lead artist at a video game company. My design work is here.

Bethyi64 karma

"Documents! Documents stating how right I am!" Best part of the video.

AliSpags43 karma

My mom thinks so, too :)

Iyagovos57 karma

Just popping in to show support for one of my favourite people/artists. One question, which you should have expected is, when am I going to get a power hour in Bristol? Also, have you ever considered doing a concert using the videogame Symphony? Actually...I'll email you with that idea...something interesting just popped into my head

Edit: I thought of an actual question; what happened to the $30,000? Is that lost? Also, where did the inspiration for the power album come from?

AliSpags58 karma

Haha I'm open to any an all sober or drunken brainstorms.

Also, I'd loooove to play outside the US. I'm hoping my campaign takes off because that will make it possible. I wonder if non-Americans like drinking.

MayorScotch17 karma

Yeah answer the money question please! Did the one guy have to pay you back?

AliSpags61 karma

The money is gone to my lawyer. I can't get it back because I was the aggressor in the suit. I worked to get his trademark removed so I can't sue for damages. Lames.

TVsEgon42 karma

Ali, love your music after finding it through NSFW, really like your art after finding it through your Twitter, but is your going full-time music goddess going to affect the painting-a-day thing?

I was thinking of dropping some money to jump up in line, but wasn't sure about how long the wait would be with all the crazyiness. Thanks for rocking!

AliSpags34 karma

I'm taking about a week break because of this Freedom Victory Tour campaign. But I don't plan on stopping the Free Paintings!

FatMexKid38 karma

Why don't you and Andrew WK team up and create one big massive party?

AliSpags85 karma

Because Andrew WK has yet to call me. Or give me his phone number. Or open his curtains.

ArcticSpaceman31 karma

Everyone, bumrush Andrew WK's Twitter with the indie gogo page. :P

AliSpags19 karma

I fully support this idea

of_terrys_crew37 karma

1) Would you like to have a pants off dance off?

AliSpags43 karma

Yes, please.

of_terrys_crew19 karma

Awesome! i just have to ask my fiancee for permission first.

AliSpags32 karma

Bring him/her, too.

tehbored19 karma

FYI, fiancee = female, fiance = male.

AliSpags27 karma


cplater35 karma

Does "winning" mean that Steve Roose has to reimburse you for legal costs?

AliSpags59 karma

No. Ugh. He was issued the trademark so I had to get it taken away. I was the aggressor bringing the suit so that means I can't sue for damages.

underraker9911 karma

If that's true how are you planning on getting back some of the money lost (not sure if overly lost do to the fact you chose to go through with it on you own accord and by doing so proving the merit of your perspective)

AliSpags38 karma

Hoping to go on tour with the help of my Indiegogo campaign. I want to build a following and then release new music! Looking to the future seems to be the only reasonable way to go about it.

bmill132 karma

First off, congratulations on your big W!!!! And for my questions:

  • What's your favorite song off the power hour album?

  • Where's your favorite place to do live power hours?

p.s. You better not be wearing pants while you do this!

AliSpags55 karma

My favorite song is actually 60.5, the bonus track. It's only 30 seconds. Also it's a sweet jam.

My favorite place is Peter's Pub in Pittsburgh. It's the dive-iest of dives and people get OUT OF CONTROL

Eff pants.

wanderingtroglodyte13 karma

Please rank in order: Peter's Pub, Hem's, Gene's place, Jekyll & Hyde, Bar 11,

AliSpags17 karma

Peters, Hemmingway's, Bar 11, Jeckyll & Hyde

Um... I don't know Gene's. I've live in Pittsburgh all my life. Should I be embarrassed?

peteyrave26 karma

First off, congrats again, dude, I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns and fighting for what you believe in.


  1. What is the weirdest crowd interaction you have ever experienced?

  2. Who influences you the most musically?

  3. Are you worried that Outlet might go solo?

Much Love, <>

AliSpags32 karma

  1. One time I was performing at a private house party in Tahoe and a guy did a backflip off of the back porch railing into the snow. Not badass enough? He had a beer in his mouth while he did it.
  2. I'm a huge pop fan. So if I can oooonly pick one: Madonna
  3. Shhh... he's reading this!

DoctorPotatoe22 karma

Could you explain what Power Hour is for us non-US people? I tried wikipedia and seem to get the basics of it. But what's up with the music? Is it music for the game? Wouldn't any music work?

How can you even try to trademark a drinking game?

AliSpags49 karma

The game has one rule: Take a shot of beer every minute for an hour. My album/concert has 60 one-minute songs to help mark every minute. It's pretty simple yet pretty sweeeeeet.

You can't trademark a game! It would be like Steve trademarked "poker" and tried to get everyone to stop playing. But that's what he did! That's why I had to stop him.

Palpz8 karma

Ahhhh so like a wussy's version of the centurion. Cool.

AliSpags46 karma

I like when people have this take on it because it makes what I do seem responsible.

JohnnyZontal20 karma

Doesn't it have to be false for it to be slander? Pretty sure Ali has all the proof she needs to prove the dude is an ass hat.

Question: when is the next no pants power hour stream?

AliSpags19 karma

Hah! I would love to see the case where I have to present evidence that Steve is an ass with a hat on it.

Next live stream No Pants Power Hour is this Saturday!! Oh man I'm so psyched to celebrate this victory with you guys

mynameisalso20 karma

Ok I hate to be a cynic, but how is what appears to be a kind of TM dispute fighting for my rights? Also your lawyer must have been a big fan of yours. $30k over 3 years is like almost nothing. (not to make little of your money being spent, just in terms of lawyers its not much)

AliSpags23 karma

Yeah, I'm freaking lucky it was so inexpensive if we're talking in terms of how long it took.

thrasumachos1 karma

Agreed. The issue seems to be that OP released an album titled Power Hour, while he was marketing a DVD game of it. It's not as if he was trying to shut down bars that do power hours or anyone who creates a power hour mix.

AliSpags8 karma

Yes he was. He got mix websites taken down and mixes taken off of YouTube.

phoenixrisingv18 karma

You're beautiful. That's all.

AliSpags30 karma

So are you

Glitter_shits15 karma


AliSpags57 karma

Both at the same time. Bring it, bitches.

kylawls13 karma

It cost you over $30k, is that just gone then?

AliSpags26 karma

:( Yerp.

canada43214 karma

So what exactly comes from it for him? Does he just lose the trademark and that's the end of it? Can people who were forced to cease activities sue him for damages? Or does he just pretty much get off scot-free?

AliSpags34 karma

He gets off scott free because he was actually issued the trademark in the first place. He never should have gotten it. The Trademark Trial and Appeal board clearly didn't even do a Google search before giving it to him.

[deleted]5 karma


AliSpags16 karma

He paid ZERO legal fees.

boedo12 karma

Would it not have been easier to come up with a different name?

AliSpags50 karma

Well it would mean my SEO would suck and it would be hard to get people to find/understand what I do. But that wasn't the big issue. Changing the name would mean I would have laid down and let Steve step all over me. It's not right that he should be able to push people around.

Doxin12 karma

the name isn't important. it's the idea of it getting stolen.

canada43227 karma

The name is actually pretty important here. Power Hour is a well known thing. The name has meaning. Changing the name to something else would lose the meaning, and make whatever she was doing sound like it was generic junk. People hear Power Hour and know exactly what it is. It has a feeling and an attitude that is associated with the word that some other term wouldn't have.

Also I'm all for sticking it to jackasses, so go Ali!

AliSpags14 karma

Yes, well said! Thanks :)

JohnnyZontal12 karma

Not a question, but I just want to say that it's super cool that you take the time to interact with your twitter followers. All 40k of them. I know it's probably time consuming, but it's always appreciated to know that you see the stuff people write.

In the same vein, you being a female, and this being the internet, do you have any funny creeper stories?

AliSpags16 karma

Of course I see everyone's tweets! I'm always impressed by how funny my followers are

I have a decent chunk creeper stories. I shant retell any of them for fear said creepers would know I'm talking about them.

TheRealFJ8 karma

Go Tartans!!!

AliSpags11 karma

Plaid Power!

_MUY7 karma


AliSpags15 karma

Up for debate.

MayorScotch7 karma

Ok this is an AMA sooo...what are the dimensions and what type of paper are your posters that come in the $30 package? Yes I am serious. I've been printing some for friends on 8 point card stock but it's too thick, I might switch printer formats. Also, you should get some coasters made. 48 point cardstock does the trick and you can get probably a thousand made for one or two hundred bucks. If you come through Denver I'd love to help get you a venue and do some promotions. Sorry I can't donate, all of my money is tied up in my own shenanigans.

AliSpags10 karma

My posters are 18x12. They're not on a thick stock or anything.

Message me with your email and we can talk about making you a "referee" for my show if I come to Denver! Referees help me build buzz and find a venue. In return they get a sweet ref shirt and backstage access.

Laurelais_Hygiene6 karma

Tell us your most embarassing getting drunk story and doing something awfully regrettable like getting a tattoo of a moose as a tramp stamp.

AliSpags14 karma

Ok well now that you've planted that in my brain, my subconscious is going to come out next time I'm drunk and I'll go immediately to the tattoo parlor. Get ready for a post about my new moose in r/pics

NotGuile6 karma

Are you going to be at Dragon*Con again this year?

AliSpags5 karma

I hope so! I submitted my request to be a musical act. We shall see :)

Adamsan419786 karma

How do you calculate your stock? And how did you go about shopping it to come up with a supplier?

AliSpags25 karma

I use a Google doc to keep track when I sell something. Very high tech.

To find a manufacturer, I looked for places that specialized in USBs. The hard part was finding a place that could do a food safe USB because that's... absurd.

hauntedlunch6 karma

Can you give a top 5 of cities that you either love to or would love to do the "Power Hour" in?

I voted for New Orleans :D

AliSpags3 karma

YAY! Thanks for contributing :) I just played at House of Blues in Nola. I would love to go back!

There's a graph on my Indiegogo campaign and a more extensive list here. I update them at least once a day.

deepturtle5 karma

It cost you $30,000 because one lazy government worker rubber stamped that trademark without bothering to spend 5 minutes googling for prior use. That is what you should be angry about.

AliSpags3 karma

Trust me, I am.

Adamsan419784 karma

Do you have any non 60 second songs or any plans to release a full album? Don't get me wrong, if you can get the job done in 60 seconds I won't complain... But I was wondering if this was a possible stepping stone to something else as well. Oh geez, now she's going to think I don't like her power hour. /removes foot from mouth and cowardly walks away.

AliSpags14 karma

I have 3 other albums!

And I plan to write even more normal-length songs very soon :)

Iglum4 karma

Why are u so cool?

AliSpags8 karma

Why are you?

Cozmo234 karma

Did you ever meet Roose in person or have direct contact with him over phone/chat? Is he as big an asshole as he seems?

AliSpags21 karma

Never met him in person or even a phone call. Only emails. I assume he is insufferable in person. This is only an assumption.

cplpike4 karma

What did the $30,000 all go on? And would you consider doing a UK tour?

AliSpags17 karma

It all went to my lawyer. And I'd LOVE to hit the UK if my campaign brings in enough!

Doctor_Yi3 karma

You have to take a shot for each question you answer.

AliSpags10 karma

I;'ll tehll YOU when i"v had enoughh.

DerpMatt3 karma

Power Hour is very dangerous. You should not be encouraging it.

AliSpags4 karma

I don't encourage people to finish or anything. I have a song called Everybody Wins. My shows aren't about drinking as much as you can. It's about making an interactive party where everyone's playing together and having fun.

Kulabob3 karma

Are you going to do anymore photo-shoots soon? Like the one with the guitar?

AliSpags13 karma

I should. I've been using my last photo shoot for too long. But it's such a hassle! I have to put pants on.

montani3 karma

In your opinion, where can you get the best burger in Pittsburgh? I feel like the shipwreck burger at winghart's is the best but OTB is also pretty tasty and much cheaper.

AliSpags9 karma

Tessaro's is a Pittsburgh staple!

Ilerea_Kleinokitz3 karma

One shot of beer each minute for an hour:

2cl * 60 = 120cl = 1,2 l

What is this, how are supposed to get drunk by that?

AliSpags5 karma

Math is hard.

billyrueben3 karma

What kind of recording setup do you have? What kind of software do you use?

AliSpags6 karma

I use a Mac laptop and Logic 8. My recording "studio" is a spare bedroom in my apartment.

el_gupto3 karma

What is your favorite Radiohead album?

AliSpags13 karma

I'm not a big fan. Don't hate me reddit!

toe_riffic3 karma

Thank you so much for saving my favorite drinking game! You should come to Chicago, your shows seem sick.

Since this is an AMA, I guess I'm obligated to actually ask a question... What is your favorite power hour? (e.g 90's, 80's, rock, hip hop, etc.)

AliSpags5 karma

My favorite is my "Dramatic Pause Power Hour". I made one that consisted of only songs that had parts where the music completely cut out and then came back in again. It was Celine Dion back to back with Dr. Dre and Britney Spears and country, etc.

tyhad12 karma

How often do you play your own game?

AliSpags2 karma

I never play when I'm performing live shows! I'm too busy making the party for everyone else. My talent level exponentially decreases as I get drunker.

serophis2 karma

I read your story a few days back; CONGRATULATIONS on winning your fight against this troll.

AliSpags2 karma


trippstorm2 karma

With all of this new publicity and support... can we expect any live online shows soon?

Also, when will you have your tour plans finalized?

AliSpags6 karma

Yes! I'll be performing the next live stream No Pants Power Hour this Saturday!

Tour plans will be finalized a couple of months after my campaign ends in the beginning of March

yn3russ2 karma

Was it my imagination, or did I see you playing a totally sweet Keytar in the video?

AliSpags2 karma

You did, in fact, see a totally sweet keytar in the video.

Next step is to get it waterproofed so it still works when I'm playing it in hot tubs.

adamrulz1242 karma

You are amazing. Haven't drank in about 6 months, but when I did power hour is the way you gotta go with your friends! It was always irritating you could never find many decent ones online. I never understood why people weren't making them so we usually had to design our own. You rock!

AliSpags5 karma

Good for you for sticking with it for 6 months!!

Professional-Genius2 karma

That sounds like an incredible waste of money and years.

AliSpags1 karma


desidiosuss2 karma

From what I've seen, you're a Pittsburgh sports fan. Which is your favorite?

Yes, there is a right and wrong answer here.

AliSpags21 karma

PENGUINS! For sure. I was a competitive figure skater when I was younger and I'm a huge hockey fan. After that it's the Steelers because I just like it that the whole city gets nuts when they're having a good season. Then Pirates because all you can eat seats.

nakajogeek2 karma

What's your fee for a gig? My family owns a bar in a small town in MD, we might be able to have you!

AliSpags2 karma

Cool! Right now I'm campaigning for a tour so hopefully I can come there!

jkerman2 karma

For a legal nerd, do you have some heavy details about the court case? got a link to the decision?

AliSpags2 karma

"How I stuck it to the man while simultaneously chugging a beer"

The link to the decision document is near the bottom

the_peppers1 karma

Congratulations and well done for being awesome and persevering.

When did this guy claim he invented it? I remember playing a variation on this 9-10 years ago called Centurion (100 minutes).

AliSpags4 karma

Thanks! :D

He released his DVD in 2000 so that's when he claims to have come up with it

slynnc1 karma

Why did he pay no lawyer fees but you had to pay $30K? Even though you were the agressor, did he not need a lawyer? The people that wrongfully gave him the trademark get any repercussions?

Side note - Whoever is downvoting some of OP's responses... Please quit. It is his AMA, you don't have to like his replies but you don't need to downvote. Just move along.

AliSpags1 karma

My opponent presented a terrible argument and lost his case. It doesn't cost anything to lose.

The people that wrongfully gave him the trademark are the Trademark Board. Sadly, I can't sue the government.

JohnnyZontal1 karma

Tyler Kennedy or Pascal Dupuis?

AliSpags4 karma

Three way! Duh.

Pyehouse1 karma

I know nothing about the law but now that "power hour" is free doesn't that mean a big corporate ass hat could come along and do what you do bigger and possibly better ? Don't get me wrong, I like that you took an idea, raised it to a new level and then kicked the nuts of the guy who tried to stop you, and I like that "power hour" could become a thing, I'm even thinking it might be a good idea for our little arts collective, but what are your feelings on the idea taking off and someone like Smirnoff doing a massive global campaign and reaping the benefits you spent $30,000 on ?

AliSpags5 karma

Yeah it's totally possible. But I didn't free the term just so I could take it myself. I'm not an asshat. So I guess I'll just have to run the risk of someone else doing it, too. My goal is to be the massive global hit first, though :)

moun67761 karma

Have you ever considered going on Shark Tank? I have always thought this could be huge. Love your work.

AliSpags3 karma

I got to the last round of auditions and they cut me because ABC is a family channel.

Such a bummer.

PixelRecall1 karma

Oh my god thank you for fighting an internet asshat!

AliSpags1 karma

Thank you for being as excited about it as me!

Kulabob1 karma

Since Justyn Simons has your first autographed poster...is it worth anything?

AliSpags1 karma

I hope!

ColoredPencil1 karma

Do you have any advice for people who may have to go through court in the future?

AliSpags3 karma

It's going to cost way more than you think!!!!

jeremiahwarren0 karma

I don't really have any questions, just wanted to say that you've followed/unfollowed me twice on Twitter. :P

AliSpags2 karma

Really? That's obnoxious. Sorry :\

Eddie_P-1 karma

So would you rather fight 1 horse sized Steve Roose, or 100 duck sized Steve Roose's.... <>

AliSpags25 karma

Both at the same time. Bring it, bitches.

HeyOP5 karma

I read that, thanks to your explanation video, in your voice. Now, so are hundreds of other Redditors.

The internet is kind of creepy.

AliSpags13 karma

Good news, everyone! I've just put the professor's voice in your brain instead!