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Como a Música Ficou Grátis: O Fim de Uma Indústria, a Virada do Século e o Paciente Zero da Pirataria

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  4,820 ratings  ·  569 reviews
O que acontece quando uma geração inteira comete o mesmo crime?

Uma trama impressionante envolvendo música, crime, dinheiro e obsessão, cujos protagonistas são magnatas, pesquisadores respeitados, criminosos e adolescentes nerds fissurados em tecnologia.

Em Como a música ficou grátis , o jornalista Stephen Witt investiga a fundo a história secreta da pirataria de músicas na
Paperback, , 272 pages
Published July 13th 2015 by Intrínseca (first published June 4th 2015)
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Stephen Witt Eleanor Roosevelt is not mentioned in this book. Nevertheless, her ghost haunts the white space in certain pages.
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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Start your review of Como a Música Ficou Grátis: O Fim de Uma Indústria, a Virada do Século e o Paciente Zero da Pirataria
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Remember the bad old days of buying CDs? When an album cost a fortune and buying one was a big deal? How Music got free will take you back to that era, explain why it ended, and make you glad that it's gone. This is an informative, fascinating window into the dark arts of the recording industry and the collapse in record company sales that online piracy precipitated. I raced through it, eating up Witt's story of research, money, theft and technological disruption.

How Music got free centers on th
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled, “What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?” this is an examination of how digital music piracy became widespread from the mid-1990’s. The author looks at three different viewpoints in depth: firstly, there is Karlheinz Brandenburg and his team, who were the driving force behind the technology of the mp3, secondly, there is Doug Morris, who, at the time when this book is set, was a middle aged businessman, head of first Warner Music Group and then MCA Music Enterta ...more
I first learned about this book from an article I read back in April, titled The Man Who Broke the Music Business. The article is a selection of material which would eventually appear in the published book, and gives a good image of its style and content - if you read and enjoyed it, there is a good chance that you'll enjoy the full book as well.

Basically, How Music Got Free takes a complex and fascinating subject - the development of digital audio compression, and its subsequent impact on music
Hank Stuever
This is another of those reviews that I would give 2.5 stars if possible, but instead of rounding up to three, I'm lowering it to two.

The story here is indeed captivating -- and tragic, although it's not presented as a tragedy. I think it's smart to come at the erosion of the record industry's business model in the Internet age from three directions (the people who invented mp3 technology; the people who helped themselves to file-sharing without a nanosecond's thought about the fact that they we
Maciej Nowicki
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
Lately, I've been having the novel experience of reading about history I remember. I remember the events of this book -- I remember my own perspective, as a very minor I-hate-the-music-industry downloader, of basically everything that happens in this book after the invention of the mp3. This is a fascinating parallax view of history, and I absolutely recommend this for anyone who remembers the heyday of music piracy.

I recommend it for people who don't remember that, too, if they're interested i
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a middle school teacher I often find myself obsessing about the era when I was a middle schooler. To live this horror and nostalgia over and over again, I often seek out nonfiction that covers the years 1999-2002/3 ish. I demolished this book in two days, and I would have finished it sooner had I not stopped to coo at my new nephew for a few hours.

The digital music revolution is the story of my middle school years ... my friends and I quickly went from mix tapes to Napster, we were pretty sur
Kara Babcock
How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy was published in 2015, and I was a little worried that being three years old would already render it obsolete. Fortunately, I was wrong. Stephen Witt’s explanation of the rise of mp3 and the transition from CDs to digital stores to streaming, along with the corresponding piracy, is clear and detailed and incredibly fascinating. This is the type of non-fiction I like: full of facts and figures, but ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read for anyone who’s been a music enthusiast for any time at all, or spent more than a few bucks at Tower or Virgin over the years. Stephen Witt’s book attempts to mesh the inside-the-biz story with the developments afforded by an evolving technological curve-- and how the human factor contributes or throws it all off.
First up is how music got ABBREVIATED.

Researchers around the world, emboldened with the understanding that now that a full, luxurious musical waveform could be quanti
Karl Geiger
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Do you realize what you’ve done? You’ve killed the music industry.”

Witt's investigative journalism reports how technology and society shifted beneath the music industry's feet, a trend continuing today as Big Music's hunt for revenue moves to streaming and live performances.

The 30-year tale interleaves music moguls and companies (Doug Morris, Jimmy Iovine, Universal, others), the most popular and profitable acts of the last 20 years (Dr. Dre, Ice Tea, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and many, many othe
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A fascinating exploration into how the way we consume music was revolutionised by the age of the internet. While skillfully avoiding patronising his readers, Witt guides us through the origins of the mp3, the early internet piracy warez scene, the introduction of peer-to-peer technology, and the ups and downs of both the Record Industry and the lives of those responsible for stealing, ripping, uploading, and sharing its products for free. As a member of "Generation Pirate", it was almost like an ...more
Joe M
A fascinating story and highly recommended for anyone who loves music, technology, or has loaded their iPod up with their favorite songs and albums through iTunes, Napster, or other, more questionable sources the last 15 years. For a first-time author, Stephen Witt is an exceptional storyteller and he thrillingly alternates between multiple narratives, moving chronologically from the early MPEG format wars, the emergence of underground Scene Topsites, to the widespread use of BitTorrent as a mea ...more
Unless the book demands a lot of concentration, I prefer reading a book while listening to music. That has always been the scenario because when I was a kid, grandmother kept the radio on, all day along, sometimes even at night(she still does that, thanks to the earplugs). I got used to being attentive to the radio so much I would not study unless the radio crackled in the background. Since this book deals with music, I read it while listening to music.

Make no mistake: Don't judge the book beca
Paras Kapadia
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I grew up, I was a part of this. I remember the 1st time I installed Winamp and played a .mp3 song on my computer. When Limewire and Kazaa were all we spoke about and then we started seeing bootlegged CDs and DVDs peddled on the streets of CST. The way we consumed music changed throughout our childhood.

To learn about the people who brought about this revolution of sorts was absolutely fascinating. My favorite is how .mp3 went mainstream. In fact, I'm surprised these stories haven't received
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now this is how you write a damn book!! Within the first three chapters, I have thrilled in the unexpected drama of a team of unfunny German engineers writing an algorithm, started to put puzzle pieces together about how piracy began, and been convinced to care about the feelings of a wealthy record company executive who signed Snoop Dogg. I am in awe of the author's writing abilities.
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very entertaining history of the digital revolution and the birth of internet piracy. I lived through all of this and am still waiting for the end of the story. While I wait I have a few questions for everyone.

I think that the first bit of music I paid for was an 8 track cassette (the preferred format among white trash). Then I stepped backward into vinyl for a few years with the occasional cassette tape. Then came Compact Discs, a format that I always thought was stupid even though I
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a good book for anyone who went through the evolution of music on LP, cassette and CD to the mp3 format, and through the evolution of the Internet. There is no way I could have predicted for myself that at some point I would never be buying music on a CD again and that I would get all my music from the Internet with a music service.

This was a fascinating book all the way through. For those of us who didn’t know the details of how the mp3 format and many others came about, it was great. The
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A better book than John Seabrook's the Song Machine, or whatever it's called, which i also recently read, this tells the story of how Internets piracy fucked the music industry in much greater detail than anything else I've ever read. It starts with the invention of the mp3, beginning way back in the mid '80s (surprisingly, they already had the idea for Spotify back then), and continues up through the explosion of piracy on college campuses in the late '90s (as KRS-One would say, I was there), a ...more
Lee G
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really blew my mind. The fact that regular people with dedication and passion (the technology innovators and online pirate community) totally changed the world and crippled an entire industry. It also raised really interesting questions about the future of intellectual property and copyright law in the wake of an entire generation that decided those laws were not worth keeping when it came to downloading music illegally. This is about a seismic shift in our society and it reads like a ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book about the history of the MP3 – I was enthralled by this story and enjoyed it very much, a lot of things I had no idea about, particularly the amount of engineering that goes into an audio storage format. Amazing.
Kara Miller
Apr 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you like music you’d probably like it. If you’re required to read it for a class you hate; you’ll hate it.
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt chronicles the fall of the traditional model of the music industry in the digital age. The book's title is deliberately ambiguous as it suggests that music lost its value over the last few decades, but also broke free of the shackles of the record companies as music fans could now access any music they wanted at the touch of a button & for no monetary outlay. The book's subtitle ("What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?") is also ambiguou ...more
Anshul Soni
I am going to keep the review quite simple without much spoilers for the reader but would still talk about the general outline.
I did like the book very much and it was on a subject which has impacted everyone in a big way.
There are parallel stories involving the struggles of inventor of MP3 format, the music industry executive who has a good business acumen but seems overpaid and a common man leaking music out of a compact disc plant. Now I agree that these three factors play their roles in sep
Yaseen Jabbar
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part historical novel, part epic, and part textbook, How Music Got Free is a look back at how the very concept of bootleg mp3s came about. In my teen years, I must have torrented over 200 gigs of music, all the way up until a few years ago when I switched to Spotify Premium. The book is a fascinating read, dispelling the premise that illegal mp3s are the work of many players: in fact, if it wasn't for the work of one man, almost all of modern music wouldn't be 'free'. The book starts in the 1980 ...more
Rahul Jain
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could, in a sense, boil it down to a scientist's (as well as the artist's) inability to understand the businessmen (the music industry) and vice-versa, leading to upheaval of the entire music industry, and pretty much how we currently interact with the internet.

Maybe it all was inevitable, and maybe Brandenberg and Morris are just mediums to materialise the progress of the universe - if not them, but somebody else; but the story works as a fable - a clash of egos (even if rightly placed) and a
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a pretty amazing conceit: if you bought or stole music (i.e., stole mp3s) anywhere between 1996 and 2005-- which I definitely did both-- some if not all of that music passed under the eyes of a rural North Carolina factory worker named Dell Glover. And it's a testament to Witt's storytelling ability to weave Glover's tale within the seismic changes of the digital economy, technological limits and ultimate demise of the record industry. So while I was way into this, having had a seat in this ...more
Eldon Farrell
This was a really outstanding read. Like the best of non-fiction, Stephen Witt parsed out the facts by relating it to the individuals who lived through it. An eye-opening account of a revolutionary time in the music business and technology.

As we continue to move away from hard-based mediums toward the intangibility of digital, this book serves as a reminder of the dangers involved and sets itself up as must reading.

5 stars.
Adam C Lewis
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book on the evolution of music tech shouldn’t be this fun. I blitzed through it and loved it.
Ouida Foster
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This satisfied my geek questions about how it all happened. I sped-read this by skimming at times, but the author also did share the personalities where there were some surprising leaks.
Jim McCoy
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very well written, could not put this book down!
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