It’s that time of year again when you might want to kick back with a good book. Let me recommend How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt. It’s the story of how we went from buying music on pieces of plastic to the almost 100% digital and virtual situation we have today where music costs a fraction of what it used to—if it costs anything at all.
Witt tells of the creation of the MP3, stories of how insiders at CD pressing plants leaked music to the Internet and how the music industry tried to fight back. There’s also the great story of Oink, a members-only file-sharing community—an illegal one, at that—which became the source of so much of the music that was traded online. How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt is available now.