Popular Music and Copyright Law in the Age of the Songwriter

  • “The changes in copyright law and the music business in the early twentieth century . . . were epochal and they invite comparisons with the radical shifts we’re living through today.”
    —The Nation
  • “Superbly researched and written . . . Rosen deftly plots the rise of the music industry in America.”
    —Forbes
  • “Rosen's cast of characters, which sprawls from the bench to business to the boards, contains some real corkers. . . . There's fun to be found in ‘Unfair to Genius’ as it leavens legal history with showbiz anecdote, and insight with amusement.”
    —The Wall Street Journal
  • “Unpacks the bizarre life of a New Yorker who spent more time suing than composing . . . But Mr. Arnstein, in his own bizarre way, also helped shape American copyright law. ”
    —The New York Times
  • “Rosen paints a fascinating portrait of one of history’s most fertile creative eras—the rise of Tin Pan Alley, or the ‘Age of the Songwriter,’ as Rosen calls it—and the book brims with history relevant to today’s disruptive technology climate.”
    —Publishers Weekly
  • “Exhaustively researched, this multi-layered tale of the economic, cultural and legal forces that forever changed the institutions of American popular music is both immensely readable and thoroughly engaging. It is a gem of a book.”
    —Paul Goldstein, Lillick Professor of Law, Stanford University
  • “Unfair to Genius is a lively, learned, and illuminating look at American popular music, from the Tin Pan Alley era to the advent of rock 'n' roll, through the lens of one of its quirkiest denizens.”
    —Philip Furia, author of The Poets of Tin Pan Alley and Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist
  • “Everyone interested in how the law and entertainment intersect should read this story of the original copyright troll.”
    —Adrian Johns, author of Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates
  • “This is an amazing intertwined tale of Tin Pan Alley, a series of courtroom showdowns, and the changing nature of commercial creativity through the 20th century. Rosen has done us all a great favor by unearthing the story and writing about it so well.”
    —Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of The Googlization of Everything