The History of Music Piracy: Interview with Alex Sayf Cummings


The Democracy of Sound by Alex Sayf Cummings

When most of us think about music piracy we focus on Napster and Bit Torrent, but music piracy is nothing new. Alex Sayf Cummings explores the history of music piracy during the 20th Century in his book Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century(Oxford, 2013). Alex Sayf Cummings is an assistant professor of History at Georgia State University. His work has appeared in the Journal of American History, Southern Cultures, and Salon, among other publications, and he is the co-editor of the blog Tropics of Meta. He is also the author of Top Ten Media History Booklist.

In our interview we discuss not only his research on music piracy, but his views on whether traditional books face the same fate as vinyl and CDs.

Read the interview at


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