A riveting story of obsession, music, crime, and money, featuring visionaries and criminals, moguls and tech-savvy teenagers. It’s about the greatest pirate in history, the most powerful executive in the music business, a revolutionary invention and an illegal website four times the size of the iTunes Music Store. Journalist Stephen Witt traces the secret history of digital music piracy, from the German audio engineers who invented the mp3, to a North Carolina compact-disc manufacturing plant where factory worker Dell Glover leaked nearly two thousand albums over the course of a decade, to the high-rises of midtown Manhattan where music executive Doug Morris cornered the global market on rap, and, finally, into the darkest recesses of the Internet. Through these interwoven narratives, Witt has written a thrilling book that depicts the moment in history when ordinary life became forever entwined with the world online—when, suddenly, all the music ever recorded was available for free. An irresistible never-before-told story of greed, cunning, genius, and deceit, this isn’t just a story of the music industry—it’s a must-read history of the Internet itself.
What Lionel Barber says
Stephen Witt tells of how technology in the form of the MP3 digital format brought the music industry to its knees. His book is a tour de force, delving into the criminal underworld of hackers and pilferers as well the complacent corporate boardroom.