Warning: Video contains profanity toward the end.
It's not clear what Taylor Swift was thinking when she and her team decided to apply for trademarks of the words "this sick beat," a phrase she says once in her song "Shake it Off." According to indie music and news media source Death and Taxes Magazine, "Most believe that Swift's filing was to block its usage on things like toys, shirts and other accessories," rather than its spoken and musical use.
Ben Norton, a writer, journalist and musician in metal band Peculate, has other thoughts about Swift and her team's decision to try to trademark the phrase. That's why Norton strategically created a song using only the words "this sick beat" with an added expletive in the last two lines. The song is a short, dissonant, free-form screamo track.
"Trademarks are a direct attack on one of the most fundamental and inalienable rights of all: our freedom of speech," Norton wrote on his band's Facebook page. On Peculate's "This Sick Beat" YouTube page, Norton goes further in depth about his ironic critique of Swift's trademark attempt. Citing various legal codes, Norton seeks to explain why even if Swift wins the rights to the phrase "this sick beat," Peculate's song of the same name does not violate fair use. The song cannot be used for profit and was created for the purpose of criticism, which limits the exclusive fair-use rights Swift would have if her trademark were approved according to Title 17, Chapter 1 Section 107 of the U.S. Code.
At the most, Peculate's seething commentary on Swift's trademark attempts will serve as a petty annoyance to the superstar and her PR and legal team. However, Norton's objective is clear: "although the rich can try," he writes on YouTube, "they will never truly own the words we use and the language we speak."
Swift has also applied to trademark the phrases "Nice to meet you. Where you been?" a phrase from her song "Blank Space" and "Party like it's 1989."