I finished Year Zero last night and I thought I'd mention it here because I found the premise to be pretty amusing
In short, humans are really really good at music. For some reason our position in our galaxy makes us really good at recognizing what makes great music. Mind you, these aliens are supposedly "refined", and they're good at everything else. They just suck at music.
Anyway, at some point in the 70's they discovered Earth music and, well, they became obsessed. Quickly every alien in the universe had the entire Earth's library on their little-green-guy version of their iPods.
However, in their delirious excitement, they didn't pay for it. And, as refined species, they are honor bound to obey the native planet's laws. Unfortunately for them Earth's recording industry somehow thinks pirating a song justifies a $150K penalty. Multiply this by all the aliens in the universe and you get a pretty big number. Then, multiply that number by all the songs produced by all the countries on Earth (except in North Korea) and you get an inconceivable number.
As a result, the aliens are indebted to the Earth for more money than exists in the universe. So, a rogue alien labor union decides to surreptitiously help Earthlings find a way to destroy themselves.
Enter an mid-level music industry attorney and his love interest and, well, hijinks ensue.
Oh, a bit of a spoiler, but it turns out a retired CEO of a huge company that makes operating systems for the majority of the computers in the world is an alien. And he's single handedly responsible for creating a drastic slowdown in the technological advancement of humankind. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't suspected that . . .