Stealing Music Was the Late '90s Version of Drug Experimentation in the '60s

How Music Got Free author Stephen Witt on the creation of the MP3 and the death of the music industry


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"Widespread copyright infringement is like a generational shift and ignorance of existing law, similar to massive experimentation with illegal drugs in the 1960s," says Stephen Witt, author of How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, The Turn of the Century and the Patient Zero of Piracy. The book was named on the "Best of the Year" lists of The Washington Post, ForbesSlate, The Atlantic, Financial Times and others. 

In an interview with Reason TV, Witt discussed talked about the quirky German engineers who invented the MP3, and why he thinks they're hypocrites for claiming to be against piracy when they owe their own personal fortunes to it.

Also discussed were the lawsuit which led to the legalization of the MP3 player and the subsequent devastation to the industry's bottom line, as well as the North Carolina factory worker who personally leaked thousands of the biggest albums of the 2000s. 

Runtime about ten and a half minutes.

Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Camera by Jim Epstein with help from Dan Rogenstein.

Music: "HEY DOOBIE" by Jared C. Balogh (http://www.alteredstateofmine.net)

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