Internet-music guy and first-time novelist Rob Reid has a beef against Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Reid's new book is a science-fiction comic novel, Year Zero, about an intergalactic threat to the Earth – prompted because the rest of the universe has fallen in love with Earth's popular music.
In the book, two aliens visit a lowly copyright lawyer named Nick Carter (whom the aliens mistake for the Backstreet Boy of the same name) to seek licenses to the music the universe has downloaded, to avoid a calamity. The aliens explain that other aliens are planning to destroy the Earth to avoid paying the universe-bankrupting fines for violating U.S. copyright laws – which Reid calls "the most onerous copyright laws ever created by any society anywhere in the universe since the Big Bang."
Among those on Earth standing in the way is a lawyer and record-industry lobbyist named Judy Sherman. At one point in the book, someone mentions Sen. Hatch (helpfully identified in the footnote as "R-Utah"), and Sherman responds, "Senator Fido?"
In an interview with NPR's "On the Media" that aired this weekend, Reid – who founded the online music site Listen.com (which later morphed into the music-sharing service Rhapsody) – explained the Fido reference:
"This character fancies himself to be a songwriter. And so, music-industry lobbyists like Judy are able to manipulate him through this little fantasy of his. And, from my own interactions with him over the years, I accrued quite a collection of Orrin Hatch CDs, actually. And it is firmly believed in certain circles that the music-industry lobbyists have played to Mr. Hatch's songwriting pretentions to great effect."
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