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How Music Got Free
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One accidental mastermind, one king-pin, two geniuses, and what happens when an entire generation commits the same crime.

About the Author

A member of what he calls the 'pirate generation', Stephen Witt has been bootlegging music since the mid-1990s. While amassing an archive of hundreds of thousands of pirated mp3s, he became obsessed with the subject of digital piracy, and eventually changed careers to write this thrilling investigative history. He was born in New Hampshire in 1979, raised in the Midwest and graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in mathematics. He spent the next six years working for hedge funds in Chicago and New York. Following a spell in East Africa working in economic development, he graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2011. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. How Music Got Free is his first book.

Reviews

"Enthralling... A terrific, timely, informative book... Witt is an authoritative, enthusiastic, sure-footed guide, and his research and his storytelling are exemplary... How Music Got Free stands comparison to The Social Network" -- Nick Hornby * Sunday Times * "Incredible, possibly canonical. . . . A story that's too bizarre to make up, but needed to be told. . . . Even if you're not a music geek, How Music Got Free is one of the most gripping investigative books of the year." * Vice * "Like Bond meets 28 Days Later... Witt tells a thrilling tale, with a cast of music biz bigwigs, painstaking German boffins, and pirates and petty thieves. Witt's writing reminded me of all my favourite modern essayists: Remnick, Franzen and John Jeremiah Sullivan. I loved it" -- Colin Greenwood, Radiohead "Brilliant... Like many great works of investigative journalism it makes it clear that this is one of those stories you think you know until you realise you don't" -- John Niven * The Spectator * "A fantastic book and a scintillating achievement" -- Felix Martin, author of Money: the unauthorised biography

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