Last week Taylor Swift went about trademarking the use of the phrase “this sick beat,” from her “Shake It Off” hit, as well as a number of other lyrics from her album 1989. In an age where you can claim ownership over the use of words, reality is bound to get mighty slippery – and the public is prone to calling bullshit.
That’s just what musician/activist Ben Norton did this week, publishing a metal song in protest of Swift’s “this sick beat” trademark. Uploaded onto YouTube under the moniker Peculate, the two-minute song, entitled “This Sick Beat,” contains just those three words screamed repeatedly. And it’s awesome. Retarded? Absolutely. But awesome.
Our favorite part? The finger snaps at 0:21.
“Trademarks are a direct attack on one of the most fundamental and inalienable rights of all: our freedom of speech,” Norton wrote about the song. “If you give the bourgeoisie an inch, they will take a mile… and everything else you have in the process. They have already privatised land, water, and words. After language, they will next try to privatise air. But, although the rich can try, they will never truly own the words we use and the language we speak.”
Norton is a self-described “committed activist” who hopes to “challenge, and help to eventually resolve, these gross obstacles to human progress – progress for everyone, not just the few.”
Progress would also mean songs to fly in the face of Swift’s other trademarks, including “Party Like It’s 1989,” “Cause We Never Go Out Of Style,” “Could Show You Incredible Things” and “Nice To Meet You, Where You Been?” – all of which are registered with the US government.
Seriously, someone Kickstarter this shit. Let’s do it.