(July 24): Stephen Witt recalls downloading thousands of bootlegged songs onto his MP3 music player in his Chicago college dorm room 20 years ago. By the time he was working in a New York hedge fund, he had hoarded more than 150,000 songs — everything from pop group ABBA to rock band ZZ Top.
“It wasn’t a desire to steal or an act of rebellion,” Witt, author of How Music Got Free, a history of digital music, tells The Edge Singapore in a recent phone interview. “I was hoarding music to impress my nerdy friends.” It wasn’t just a way to get music conveniently, he notes. “It was its own subculture.”
Two decades after peer-to-peer file sharing service Napster made... (Click here to read the full story.)