“What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?”
How Music Got Free is 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 2,000 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 audiobook 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. In the pause-resisting tradition of writers like Michael Lewis and Lawrence Wright, Witt’s deeply reported first book introduces the unforgettable characters – inventors, executives, factory workers, and smugglers – who revolutionized an entire art form and reveals for the first time the secret underworld of media pirates that transformed our digital lives.
An irresistible, never-before-told story of greed, cunning, genius, and deceit, How Music Got Free isn’t just a story of the music industry – it’s a must-listen history of the Internet itself.