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Rob Reid recommends

Must-reads on how the music industry has done harm to itself through strict copyright laws.

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    The Future of Ideas

    Lawrence Lessig
    Vintage, 2002

    Over the past fifteen years, a movement has emerged to preserve what’s become known as the 'Creative Commons' – that realm of imagery, music, writing and more that exists in the public domain for all of society to freely extend, sample from, and build upon. TEDster Lessig is the intellectual father and the prime mover of this movement. He has written a number of books about the Creative Commons and the dangers posed by overreaching copyright laws. The Future of Ideas is a particularly complete and focused expression of this.

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    Appetite for Self-Destruction

    Steve Knopper
    Soft Skull Press, 2009

    This is a smart, lively and detailed account of the countless self-destructive missteps made by music industry honchos after their customers developed a ravenous appetite for digitally distributed music. Rather than embrace a vast new market and resell their product in yet another format as they had successfully done multiple times in the past, they embargoed their catalogs from the new medium and sued everything that moved. The industry is still recovering from its self-inflicted wounds. This book is a worthy chronicle of the whole gory process.

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    What to Do when Attacked by Pirates

    Rob Reid
    The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2012

    The publishing industry’s response to its market’s digitization contrasts to the music industry’s blunders in a profound and healthy way. This is great news for people like me who seek to make a living writing books! I compared the responses of the two industries in this detailed piece in The Wall Street Journal. By embracing rather than loathing, rejecting, and fighting digital distribution, the publishing industry combatted piracy far more effectively than the music industry did back in the Napster era.