** How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt


How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy walks us through the invention of the MP3 format and how it killed CDs and moved the distribution of music to electronic channels, often pirated ones. The author follows the inventors of the format, German scientists, various industry actors including peer-to-peer file-sharing services, and an employee of a CD-manufacturing plant who perfected the art of stealing pre-release CDs and selling bootlegs copies. I found the systematically breathless intertwining of the stories annoying, but the overall tale is fascinating, especially for those old enough to remember CDs!

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