New York Pirate Party choir to protest ASCAP in song
Some pirates attack with cannons, some with swords. On Saturday, The New York Pirate Party will attack its opponents with song.
Like all good pirates, they flaunt authority. Armed with indignation that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has a reputation for zealously prosecuting people who perform their songs, the NYPP plans to stand outside ASCAP headquarters and sing their favorite copyrighted hits, including the Clash’s “I Fought the Law” and Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
In full “Pirate Choir” costume, of course.
“In true pirate fashion, we're going to go there and make it up as we go along,” Zacqary Adam Green, the NYPP member who’s organizing the event, told the Daily Dot.
“No vocal tuners, no instrumentation, just handing everyone lyric sheets and hoping for the best,” he said. “It'll be wonderfully ridiculous, I'm sure.”
The NYPP isn’t nearly as established as its model, the Pirate Parties International, which has a number of seats in German state parliaments and helped prevent the European Union from signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). They do, however, espouse Pirate ideals like Internet freedom and copyright reform.
Green said at least ten people will show up, though since it’s an open invitation, their ranks might swell.
He noted that ASCAP has been severe to amateur musicians who cover copyrighted songs. In recent years the group has charged a club owner $40,000 because a band there played a set covering ASCAP-owned songs, and has threatened lawsuits to bars that hold open mics.
“We believe it should be okay for everyday people to share and participate in art and culture,” Green wrote in his invitation.
“Because of this, the entertainment industry derides us as ‘pirates.’ So we're taking that name back, because pirates are cool and Johnny Depp played one,” he said.
Photo by OakleyOriginals