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Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on American pop songs ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), resulting in the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang and bankrupting the whole universe. Nick has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly. Thankfully, this unlikely galaxy-hopping hero does know a thing or two about copyright law. Now, with Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick has forty-eight hours to save humanity—while hoping to wow the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.
Internet innovator Reid (Listen.com) makes his sci-fi debut in a shaky but funny sendup of the music industry and the lawyers who feed off it. Aliens love music, but are dreadfully untalented. When they discover human music, they re ecstatic, until they realize they re on the hook for millions in licensing fees. Their natural plan is to destroy the Earth, but some aliens decide to recruit music lawyer Nick Carter (not the Backstreet Boy) to arrange licenses and avoid disaster. His sexy folk singer/paralegal neighbor, Manda, and his boss, Judy, also get pulled into their misadventures, which are filled with footnotes and musical references galore. Much of the satire is sharp, although how much longevity it has is debatable (sequences making fun of Microsoft Office, AT&T s lack of coverage, and Foursquare already feel obsolete). Still, anyone frustrated by the labyrinthine and often Machiavellian machinations of the RIAA and similar groups will get plenty of laughs, and the comedy more than covers for the relatively thin characters.