• audiobook

From the Publisher

"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 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. In the page-turning 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 artform, 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-read history of the Internet itself.
Published: Penguin Audiobooks on
ISBN: 0143109340
Listen on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt
With a 30 day free trial you can listen to one free audiobook per month

    Related Articles

    The Atlantic
    2 min read

    How Platforms Are Poisoning Conversations

    When people think of technology, they often have two simultaneous but conflicting thoughts: it helps and it hurts. Pew Research Center has studied Americans’ technology habits for two decades, and throughout that time, the public has identified clear benefits and drawbacks. While people value technology’s openness and connectivity, they are weary of its distractions and capacity to mislead. These concerns are particularly salient when it comes to politics. The rise of digital technology has coincided with unprecedented political polarization in this country. From think pieces to casual convers
    3 min read

    What You Wanted to Know About Marketing but Forgot to Ask

    Have you ever noticed that the best part of lectures, panel discussions or public interviews comes at the end, when audience members interact with the speakers and ask questions? After almost two years of penning this column, I've realized that the same is true here. My favorite ideas have come from those of you who have read my words and been prompted to raise your hands with a question, so to speak. As someone who speaks and writes about marketing, I've gotten pretty good at tuning my ear to what my colleague John Jantsch calls "Frequently Unasked Questions," or FUQs. (Do not pronounce phone
    2 min read

    40 Years After 'Star Wars' Error, Newspaper Apologizes To Wookiee Community

    Four decades ago Friday, The Dallas Morning News committed an error so grave, so egregious, that it long remained shrouded in silence — out of a deep sense of shame and self-recrimination, one can only imagine. The paper called Chewbacca a "Wookie." On Thursday, the 40th anniversary of the original film's release, editors nobly faced down the dark truth of their institution's past, publishing a correction: "Our review of the original Star Wars, which appeared in The Dallas Morning News on May 26, 1977, incorrectly referred to Chewbacca as a 'Wookie.' The correct spelling, of course, is 'Wookie