Disdaining the wasteful, elitist space where bands hankered after record-company expense accounts that would pay for hookers and villas in the South of France, Silicon Valley presented itself as the tribune of average-Joe air guitarists who never got their shot at the American Dream. It was easy to stoke resentment against the perks enjoyed by the pros while spreading the easy gospel of democratic cultural production. Every boy and girl could be Virginia Woolf and Keith Richards and David Foster Wallace depending on what day of the week it was, thanks to fun new digital software that ushered in a freshly branded universe of frictionless self-gratification in which all movies and books and music would be free, because they should be free, because they were made to be free, because paying for stuff is an unconscionable rip-off in a world where stuff was meant to be free, and who else does art belong to if not to the people, right? And so, the tech moguls could pose as liberators and revolutionaries who would cut out the middlemen while sucking up the market cap of the music business, the newspaper business, and other sadly benighted industries. The paradoxical result of these acts of creative destruction has been the elevation of a handful of recording artists like Beyoncé, Kanye West, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber to previously unseen levels of wealth and fame, in the same moment that the product on which their fame is, or was, based—namely, music—has been rendered worthless.