Digital Music Wars: Ownership and Control of the Celestial Jukebox (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)

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9780742536685: Digital Music Wars: Ownership and Control of the Celestial Jukebox (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture)
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With the rising popularity of online music, the nature of the music industry and the role of the Internet are rapidly changing. Rather than buying records, tapes, or CDs_in other words, full-length collections of music_music shoppers can, as they have in earlier decades, purchase just one song at a time. It's akin to putting a coin into a diner jukebox_except the jukebox is in the sky, or, more accurately, out in cyberspace. But has increasing copyright protection gone too far in keeping the music from the masses? Digital Music Wars explores these transformations and the far-reaching implications of downloading music in an in-depth and insightful way. Focusing on recent legal, corporate, and technological developments, the authors show how the online music industry will establish the model for digital distribution, cultural access, and consumer privacy. Music lovers and savvy online shoppers will want to read this book, as will students and researchers interested in new media and the future of online culture.

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About the Author:

Patrick Burkart is assistant professor of communication at Texas A&M University. Tom McCourt is assistant professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University and the author of Conflicting Communication Interests in America: The Case of National Public Radio.

Review:

Burkart and McCourt weave together materials from disparate sources to provide a comprehensive and clarifying account of the technological, business, and legal developments in a complex and confusing industry. They also alert us to the historical context within which the current drama is playing out. The end result is a book that is both cutting edge and historically grounded―a rare and welcome feat. (Harmeet Sawhney, Indiana University; editor, The Information Society)

This concise, precise little book is a spirited polemic against digital capitalism and a mine of information about changes in the music business. Everyone interested in the contemporary cultural industries should read it. (David Hesmondhalgh, The Open University, the United Kingdom)

Burkart and McCourt provide the first clear and comprehensive account of the Internet's impact on the music industry. From law to mp3s, peer-to-peer networks to DRM, their telling of the modern music industry's storied struggle with technology is always engaging, illuminating, and insightful. For students and scholars alike this book will prove invaluable to an understanding of the complicated legal, technological, commercial, and social issues surrounding today's digital music mayhem. (Steve Jones, University of Illinois, Chicago; author, Virtual Culture, Rock Formation: Technology, Music, and Mass Communication)

This is a fascinating and important study for those concerned about trends in the media industries. The book is theoretically solid and provides excellent detail to the concerns of copyright and technological development that will shape the music industry for decades to come. (Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Colorado)

Digital Music Wars should be required reading for anyone interested in the rapidly changing legal and technological landscape that was carved out after World War MP3. Although it deftly explains these shifts to both novices and experts, the book's real strength is in illuminating what is at stake in these battles: the public interest. (Kembrew McLeod, author, Freedom of Expression and Owning Culture)

Digital Music Wars provides an essential roadmap to the massive upheaval in the global music business. With a critical eye and the clearest prose, it examines the changing technologies, corporate struggles, government responses, and citizen challenges that are creating the emerging 'celestial jukebox.' Skillfully combining political, economic, and cultural approaches, the authors have written a book that is both comprehensive and a joy to read. (Vincent Mosco, Canada Research Chair in Communication and Society, Queen's University)

. . . provides a good survey of the global music business and the technology-driven upheavals that have so changed it in recent years. (Communication Booknotes Quarterly)

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