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Book author talk: How the Music Industry's War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties – Tues July 29

June 19, 2014
Book Cover :The Piracy Crusade

Book Cover :The Piracy Crusade

Aram Sinnreich, Author of "The Piracy Crusade"

Aram Sinnreich, Author of "The Piracy Crusade"

If the use of Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and other music sharing sites are any indication, there are growing numbers of people who celebrate the Internet’s role is making it easier to hear new music and share it with friends and disdain efforts by the music industry to impede, intimidate, or litigate against this trend. A Rutgers media studies professor, in a new book, argues that the music industry’s efforts are not only antithetical to democratic rights but are also inflict great harm to the many independent businesses that support the development of new artists and forms of expression.

The Rutgers University Libraries and the Rutgers-New Brunswick Summer Session office invite you to meet Rutgers Professor Aram Sinnreich, who will talk about his new book The Piracy Crusade: How the Music Industry's War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties and read selections from it on Tuesday July 29. The event will be held from 12:00 – 1:30 pm in the Pane Room, on the first floor of Alexander Library and a light reception will follow the talk.

In The Piracy Crusade, Aram Sinnreich critiques the notion of “piracy” as a myth perpetuated by today’s cultural cartels—the handful of companies that dominate the film, software, and especially music industries. As digital networks have permeated our social environment, they have offered vast numbers of people the opportunity to experiment with innovative cultural and entrepreneurial ideas predicated on the belief that information should be shared widely. This has left the media cartels, whose power has historically resided in their ability to restrict the flow of cultural information, with difficult choices: adapt to this new environment, fight the changes tooth and nail, or accept obsolescence. Their decision to fight has resulted in ever stronger copyright laws and the aggressive pursuit of accused infringers.

Yet the most dangerous legacy of this “piracy crusade” is not the damage inflicted on promising start-ups or on well-intentioned civilians caught in the crosshairs of file-sharing litigation. Far more troubling, Sinnreich argues, are the broader implications of copyright laws and global treaties that sacrifice free speech and privacy in the name of combating the phantom of piracy—policies that threaten to undermine the foundations of democratic society.
Aram Sinnreich is assistant professor of journalism and media studies, in Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information, and author of Mashed Up: Music, Technology, and the Rise of Configurable Culture (University of Massachusetts Press, 2010).

For more information on this event, please contact the Libraries Administration office at 848-932-7505. To make a reservation to attend, please send an email to

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