September 1, 2009

Ripped: How The Wired Generation Revolutionized Music (2009)

I've read quite a few books and even more articles on and around the topic of creativity, copyright, filesharing, and the state of the music industry, but Ripped is by far the most accessible and enjoyable read. While it certainly rehashes popular topics and perspectives found more in-depth elsewhere, the presentation and tone is pitch perfect. Besides being a clear and concise writer, Greg Kot incorporates chapters on milestone events and anecdotes from everyone from academics like Lawrence Lessig to sonic innovators like DJ Shadow. As a result, marketing history and theories come alive in the actual experiences of Death Cab for Cutie and Prince. What could be dry becomes vibrant. By synthesizing discussions on promotion and innovation with sampling and sharing, Kot presents issues as an interconnected whole. Separating the arguments now seems miopic. Highly recommended.