by Robert Reid
Whoever wrote the copy inside the cover flap did a huge disservice to this book by comparing it to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is humorous and I did chuckle a few times, but it cannot compare to Douglas Adams' masterpiece of the absurd. Rob Reid, founder of the company that created rhapsody.com, has produced a book that uses an intergalactic thought puzzle to illustrate the ridiculous nature of copyright law and the politics surrounding the music industry. What if the rest of the universe discovered and loved humanity's music and made tons of copies before they realized that music piracy can result in a maximum fine of $150,000 per track? What if their honor code dictated that they must play by our rules? And to what apocalyptic lengths might some desperate parties go in order to erase their debt? Copyright attorney Nick Carter finds himself navigating a very silly universe full of silly aliens, trying to find a way to save the earth. The book is a fun, fast read and I liked many of the characters. I like that the aliens have all taken human names like Carly and Frampton and Sonny and Ozzy. And like I said, it did have some laugh-out-loud funny scenes. Judged on its own, there is much to admire in this book. Just don't go in expecting another Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.