Allen Lane

The Pirate's Dilemma

How Youth Culture Reinvented Capitalism

Matt Mason

Connecting the dots between our future and youth culture's chequered past

What's the connection between the nun who invented disco, and the effect of file sharing? How does hip-hop manage to be an underground movement and a multi-billion dollar business - at the same time? And how are pirates, of the kind who started commercial radio in the twentieth century, changing society in the 21st?

The Pirate's Dilemma tells the stories of youth culture uncovering, for the first time, what it is that transforms underground scenes into global industries. Matt Mason, successful entrepreneur, argues that that from youth `culture, out on the edges of the mainstream, come the ideas that ultimately change the mainstream itself - whether it's graffiti, piracy, hacking, open source culture or remixing. In the course of doing so he unravels some of our most basic assumptions about business and society and pinpoints trends to look out for in our future.

Because right now, everyone, from the ceo of a mainstream company to a teenager wanting to start the next youth culture revolution, is struggling with a new dilemma: that we can all - companies and individuals alike - be pirates now. And as piracy increasingly changes the way we find, use and sell information, how should we respond? Do we fight pirates, or do we learn from them? Should piracy be treated as a problem, or a whole new solution?

"Pirates bring choice and cause change. In this stunning book, Matt Mason forgets the parrots and the eye patches, but manages to teach all of us a great deal. I learned a lot." Seth Godin

Matt Mason began his career as a pirate radio and club DJ in London, going on to become founding Editor-in-Chief of the seminal magazine RWD. In 2004, he was selected as one of the faces of Gordon Brown's Start Talking Ideas campaign, and was presented the Prince's Trust London Business of the Year Award by HRH Prince Charles. He has written and produced TV series, comic strips, and records, and his journalism has appeared in VICE, Complex and other publications in more than 12 countries around the world. He recently founded the non-profit media company Wedia with his wife Emily. He lives in New York City.


Pub Date: May, 2008
ISBN: 9781846141201
Price: £14.99
Format: 234 x 153mm pb
Extent: 256pp
Illustrations: Integrated illustrations
US rights: Simon and Schuster
Translation Rights: Writers' House
Film Rights: Writers' House
Serial Rights: Penguin UK

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