Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century Hardcover – April 5, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"This book is for music lovers and those of a certain age who remember artists from the Jazz and Rock days of the 1960s when tape recorders and vinyl were in place and bootlegged recordings of Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin were the in-thing to have. You can see how [Cummings] has enjoyed researching the detailed background of music piracy which makes this book a jolly good read providing the history of music piracy from the late 19th century onwards." --Entertainment Law Review
"Offers a detailed narrative account of how [copyright] issues became so complicated - and how, in the face of corporate pressure, they're becoming brutally simpleEL Cummings has provided a usable, musical past." --Jim Cullen, History News Network
"Valuable... Cummings' book makes clear that piracy will continue, and that that is far from being a bad thing." --Reason
"From Supreme Court battles over player piano rolls to the music industry's $75 trillion lawsuit against Limewire, Democracy of Sound shows how we arrived at today's debates about music ownership and piracy. Cummings is not only a skilled historian, but also a lively story-teller who can explain complex copyright issues with admirable clarity. For anyone with an opinion about the politics, economics, and ethics of music copying, this book offers essential perspective." --David Suisman, author of Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music
"Piracy may be the dominant issue troubling musicians and the culture industries today, but as Alex Cummings shows, struggles over appropriation, sharing, and theft have long shaped the entire history of recorded sound and the music business. Combining legal, cultural, and business history, Democracy of Sound elegantly and impartially illuminates how Americans made music into a thing, while fighting bitterly over who would gain access to that music. Anyone with any interest in the future of copyright or in our cultural past should read this important book." --Charles F. McGovern, author of Sold American: Consumption and Citizenship, 1890-1945
"Beautifully crafted, intelligently researched, and cogently argued, Democracy of Sound offers readers a compelling analysis of the changing legal status of recorded music in the United States from the 1870s to the present. Many books have been written about intellectual property; few have done more to make its significance accessible to the general reader. It will appeal not only to specialists in American studies, music, and law, but also to anyone who cares about American popular culture, past and present." --Richard John, author of Network Nation
About the Author
Alex Sayf Cummings is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia State University.
Top Customer Reviews
Then, the pendulum swung from that extreme to the other, as the USA became the most lawbound, locked up copyright haven in the world. This is now the land where Brownies get busted for singing Happy Birthday at a beach bonfire in California. And where the record companies got together to sue limewire.com for $75 Trillion, supposedly representing the losses they somehow suffered over Limewire's brief time online, although it would appear to be more money than there has ever been in the whole world in all of history. But US copyright law is now on the publishers' side.
When electronics permitted the democratization of music, the ownership of it suddenly became an issue. Even when the laws changed to finally permit such ownership rights, the police had to be taught and convinced it was even worth pursuing, because until 1971, it was normal. Major record companies accelerated the push, pleading horrific hardship at the hands of bootleggers who were able to sell a few hundred copies.Read more ›