CHOKEPOINT CAPITALISM: how to beat Big Tech and Big Content to get artists paid
Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow on how Big Tech and Big Content captured creative labor markets, and how we'll win them back
Corporate concentration (and profits) have breached the stratosphere. An ever-expanding constellation of industries are now monopolies (where sellers have excessive power over buyers), monopsonies (where buyers hold the whip hand over sellers)—or both. In their new book, Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow argue that the result is ‘chokepoint capitalism’: rigged markets where powerful corporations have managed to position themselves between workers and customers in ways that allow them to extract far more than their fair share of value.
Nowhere are chokepoints more endemic than creative labor markets. In this conversation with Rebecca Tushnet, Giblin and Doctorow discuss breathtaking abuses being carried out almost every place creativity meets money: book publishing; Hollywood screenwriting; game development; news; music streaming, publishing, and ticketing, and more. Deconstructing the playbook used by Big Tech and Big Content to create their chokepoints, Giblin and Doctorow show the problem to be fundamentally one of power imbalance. But they'll also discuss their detailed, rousing, unabashedly hopeful proposals for change, showing how creators and audiences can work together to widen chokepoints out—and get artists paid.
About the authors
Rebecca Giblin is a Professor at Melbourne Law School where she works at the intersection of law and culture, leading interdisciplinary teams researching issues around creators’ rights, access to knowledge, and technology regulation. She is Director of the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA) and heads up the Author’s Interest and eLending projects, as well as Untapped: the Australian Literary Heritage Project.
Cory Doctorow is a bestselling science fiction writer and activist. He is a special advisor to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, with whom he has worked for 20 years. He is also a visiting professor of computer science at the Open University (UK) and of library science at the University of North Carolina. He is also a MIT Media Lab research affiliate. He co-founded the UK Open Rights Group and co-owns the website Boing Boing.
What is Chokepoint Capitalism?
Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We’ll Win Them Back