How Music Got Free: The End Of An Industry, The Turn Of The Century, And The Patient Zero Of Piracy

What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?


by Stephen Richard Witt

304 pages

Published June 18 2015 by Bodley Head

My rating is 4 stars.

I basically inhaled this book. For me, it was a fast read. I happen to be very interested in the topic of this book and was recommended it by other enthusiasts as well. I liked how the story of the beginnings of the MP3 was told alongside the story of the pivotal moment (and participants) that changed not only the music industry, but the internet, forever. I really enjoyed how the author went as far in depth as he could in regards to the history of the Scene and the depictions of the main scene group discussed in the book.

A special highlight for me was when he discussed a few private trackers. Not to mention the steps and attempts taken by federal law enforcement in their efforts against piracy on the whole.

As someone who grew up amongst the generation talked about in the book, I felt lots of familiar moments and a pleasant sense of nostalgia. Some of the recent topics also provided me with some enjoyment since I know quite a bit about it.

I found the writing style to be very easy to digest. It's been a while since I've read a non-fiction book of this type and I was glad I did. I would recommend it to anyone who has at least a basic interest in the subject. You will learn something new about the history of internet piracy and the MP3 format (and their own respective battles).