Take a touch of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , add to it a smidgeon of John Grisham, a dislike for the music industry, (not music, just the industry behind it), stir well and you have Rob Reid's book Year Zero . It's about a universe of beings that have discovered that humans have the best music of any race in the entire universe, only they can't contact us because we aren't part of the "Refined League." In a moment of universal insanity, their solution is to pirate every song ever made, and distribute these to every being in the universe. Suddenly, after coming out of their music- induced rapture, they realize that under earth law the universe owes the people of earth a very large amount of money.
They seek help from lawyer Nick Carter who is a member of one of the best legal firms in the business. It specializes in music. Carter's charge: to establish a legal way for the aliens to own their music or face the likelihood that earth will be destroyed rather than allowing its predatory copyright laws to bankrupt the universe.
Year Zero is Rob Reid's first book and it is obvious he doesn't have a fondness for the music industry even though he seems to have an inside track to its ins and outs. Reid is the founder of one of the original dot coms Listen.com out of which developed the Rhapsody Music Service which was the largest and most successful on-line music service until iTunes came along.
- Year zero : a novel