News & Reviews

A Different Kind of Pirates

Posted: Apr 26, 2010

“It is the beginning of a new century, and the music industry is facing a crisis. New technology, new media, and innovative business practices are challenging the copyright principles that have underpinned the industry for as long as anyone can remember. Taking advantage of a revolutionary process that allows for exact copying, ‘pirates’ are replicating songs at a tremendous rate.”

So begins chapter 12 of Adrian Johns’ Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates. This is an excellent summation of our modern age, but in chapter 12—barely halfway through the book—Bill Gates has not yet been born and we have only just reached the 1900s. Up until this time, the unit of piratical replication was not an mp3 but a sheet of music, and the revolutionary technology was photolithography.

From Sarah Zhang’s review of Piracy in Wunderkammer Magazine.

Read the review