How Music Got Free

How Music Got Free

What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?


Meet Dell Glover – the accidental pirate
Meet ‘Kali’ – the mastermind
And meet Karlheinz – the man who made it all possible

How Music Got Free is a blistering story of obsession, music and obscene money. A story of visionaries, criminals and tycoons. It’s about the greatest pirate in history, the most powerful exec in the music business, and an illegal website six times the size of iTunes.

It begins with a small-time thief at a CD-pressing plant, and a groundbreaking invention on the other side of the globe. Then pans from the multi-million-dollar deals of the music industry to the darkest corners of the web; from German audio laboratories to a tiny Polynesian radio station.

This is also the story of the music industry – the rise of rap, the death of the album, and how much can rest on the flip of a coin. How the fate of artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z and 50 Cent were being controlled by a guy no one had ever heard of. How suddenly all the tracks ever recorded could be accessed by anyone, for free. And the industry imploded.


  • 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

About the author

Stephen Richard Witt

Stephen Witt is the author of How Music Got Free, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Financial Times, New York magazine, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and GQ. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
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