Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Year Zero, by Rob Reid (fiction) - music downloads, alien invasion, legal loopholes?

book cover of Year Zero by Rob Reid published by Del Rey Books
Sharing music is an age-old tradition.
Downloading music is more recent.
But global annihilation to avoid copyright fees?

That's what Earth faces when the rest of the universe realizes that their music downloads since the 1970s have run up a copyright bill bigger than...than...than the universe.

Author Rob Reid knows quite a lot about music licensing and copyright, since he founded the Rhapsody music service before he wrote this first novel. About those lawsuit-happy aliens... he's not telling us his sources.

Grab this funny-alien-legal-music-thriller in hardcover, eBook, or audiobook now at your local library or independent bookstore; available in paperback April 30, 2013.

Wonder if aliens really prefer disco to 80s hair metal?

Book info: Year Zero / Rob Reid. Del Rey Books, 2012.  [author's website] [author's Facebook page] [publisher site] [book trailer]

My Recommendation: Radio waves going from station to listener bounce out into space, too, and the aliens agree that Earth’s music is better than any other in the universe. 

But once they realize how much money the entire Refined League owes in royalty and copyright fees to human musicians, some alien bad guys decide that wiping out Earth to erase the debt is the only way to go!

However, most aliens would rather find a more-peaceful solution, so a few drop in on New York attorney Nick Carter to have him fix it all. Alas, Nick is not the Backstreet Boys singer Nick (as the aliens had hoped) nor is he the world’s best music copyrights attorney who could possibly find a way to reverse-license a few decades of slightly-to-completely illegal music downloads many light years from Earth.

But he’s going to have to try, since the bad-aliens will blow up Earth in a few days’ time if he can’t find a way around or through this problem. Of course, his law firm will decide this week on whether he’ll finally be named a junior partner or get axed, his cute neighbor also acquires a stray pet who’s an alien spy, and the wrinkles of universe-travels get a little sweaty.

Did the aliens of the Refined League honestly decide that Earth’s musical domination of the universe ended with rap?
Are there truly jokes coded into human (or Perfuffinite) DNA, since our bodies only use 2% of the genome?
Is there really a loophole in US music copyright law that Nick can find in time?

This debut novel by the founder of Rhapsody online music service brings music-crazed aliens to Earth, whisks earnest-but-only-human humans into outer space battles, and sharply skewers the most restrictive music copyright system in the universe between all the laughs.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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