THREE YEARS AGO, I woke up to an email from a guy named Steve Roose, telling me to shut down this very website, Power Hour HQ, because I was infringing on his trademark for the term “Power Hour.”
I soon found out that Steve Roose was bullying other people too — anyone that had a website about our favorite drinking game, including a certain musician named Ali Spagnola.
Ali calls herself “A drinking composer with a music problem” — she had written an original power hour album, and did live power hour concerts. Steve was telling Ali to give up all of her hard work, because he suddenly owned the widespread, commonly-used name for a drinking game…so that he could kill all of the competition and sell a crappy Power Point presentations that burp. (Here’s my original article about the whole thing, “Save The Power Hour!” if you want to get up to speed.)
Unfortunately, for Steve, he messed with the wrong people. Ali took Steve to court, and challenged his trademark. I helped Ali out by helping drum up support and donations for her legal fees… and in the process, unleashed the Internet hate machine against Steve. Ali got a ton of press and a lot of support. But that didn’t change the fact that Ali still had a court case to win. She hired a lawyer, and poured TONS of money and time into fighting Steve Roose’s claim to the trademark for “power hour”.
Three years and $30,000 in legal fees later, Ali finally got the judge’s answer…
WE WON!!! POWER HOUR IS FREE!!!
Ali fought a long and expensive battle to save our favorite drinking game for everybody.
Now, in celebration of the victory, Ali is going on a Power Hour Freedom Victory Tour, doing nationwide power hour concerts! She just quit her job and is going to pursue her music full time…but in order to make this happen, she needs your help. I’ll let Ali speak for herself:
I urge you, if you have ever done a power hour, love drinking, or love JUSTICE to support Ali’s power hour tour and budding music career. You can donate to her IndieGoGo Campaign, where she is trying to raise $40,000 so that she can pay off her legal fees, and, you know, eat while she goes on her nationwide tour.
On the IndieGoGo page, you can vote for her to come play a live concert in YOUR CITY! I can’t think of a better cause to get behind…so do it!
The Douchiness of Steve Roose
While we’re at it, here’s a quick recap of just some of the shit Steve Roose has pulled here on Power Hour HQ.
As you know, Power Hour HQ shares video power hours, submitted by the users. Nobody makes any money from this and there are no ads on the site. Most of the videos are made by myself or my friends.
After Steve sent the cease and desist order in 2010 (which I ignored), he tried to take down my website another way. He systematically sent DMCA take down requests to all the video hosts we were using to share the videos at the time — Vimeo, Viddler, Blip.tv — and got all of my site’s power hours taken down.
But before he did that, he SAVED A COPY of each and every video, and then uploaded them to his own website, right here: http://www.powerhourgame.com/category/videos/
I mean, seriously?
He literally went through my website, STOLE all of the content made by myself and my friends, and then used legal threats via his bogus trademark to get all of the content removed. Oh, and that’s not all. When he first put the videos on his own website, he tried to CHARGE PEOPLE A MONTHLY FEE TO SEE THESE VIDEOS…which used to be available for free.
What an epic, epic scumbag.
Obviously, he didn’t make very much money from these videos because people are smarter than that. After a few months, he took down the paywall.
Meanwhile, over here at Power Hour HQ, I picked up the pieces. Luckily, I had made backups. I also saved copies of all the power hours on this website, and am now hosting them myself. While a few are still down, the vast majority are back up for your drinking pleasure… FOR FREE, as they should be! (And I’ve still got many more to add.)
Now that Steve’s lost, and his power hour products clearly aren’t selling, he’s trying to distance himself from this whole mess. Unfortunately for him, his name is forever soiled on the Internet from his past douchey deeds. So what doe he do? He tries to pretend that he’s just the victim of an unfortunate name coincidence.
Steve emailed Ali Spagnola and tried to convince her that “Steve Roose the realtor” is not “Steve Roose the power hour tycoon” (see the end of Ali’s write-up on the legal case). But if you do 2 minutes of Google research, you’ll see that Steve Roose the realtor from Costa Mesa, CA is the same Steve Roose who owns Power Hour, LLC (registered in Costa Mesa, CA). Despite Steve deleting all the photos and videos of himself promoting power hours from years past (at least the ones showing his face), he can’t take remove his name from the public record.
Steve has also claimed that his long, rambling, ungramattical comments that he posted on the Save The Power Hour post were written by an Internet imposter, not him! Yet, this commenter lists off a bunch of trivia about his company that only he would know, and honestly — who in the world would go to those lengths to DEFEND this troll?
Long story short, Steve Roose is one seriously greedy, self-centered, deranged individual.
Power Hour is free for everyone again, and I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than by doing a power hour!