Theft: A History of Music by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins. This comic book is a fascinating and fun exploration of how music has evolved over 2000 years, from ancient Greece to modern rap, and how it has been influenced by borrowing, copying and remixing. The comic book also shows how music has been regulated and controlled by different forces, such as philosophy, religion, politics, race and law, and how these conflicts have shaped musical culture and innovation.
The comic book is based on extensive research and covers a lot of ground, but it is also very accessible and entertaining. The authors are both professors of law at Duke University and experts on intellectual property and the public domain. They use humor, storytelling and illustrations to make complex legal and historical concepts easy to understand and relate to. They also draw parallels between different musical genres and eras, showing how music is always building on itself and borrowing from others.
I highly recommend you check out this comic book. You can buy it as a paperback or download it for free under a Creative Commons license from the authors’ website. You can also watch some videos of the authors talking about their work. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Theft: A History of Music [print edition]
Theft: A History of Music [free Creative Commons download]