In their new book, scholar Rebecca Giblin and writer and activist Cory Doctorow argue we’re in a new era of ‘chokepoint capitalism’, with exploitative businesses creating insurmountable barriers to competition that enable them to capture value that should rightfully go to others. All workers are weakened by this, but the problem is especially well illustrated by the plight of creative workers.
By analysing book publishing and news, live music and music streaming, screenwriting, radio, and more, Giblin and Doctorow deftly show how powerful corporations construct ‘anti-competitive flywheels’ designed to lock in users and suppliers, make their markets hostile to new entrants, and then force workers and suppliers to accept unfairly low prices. Giblin and Doctorow go on to explain how to batter through those chokepoints, with tools ranging from transparency rights to collective action and ownership, radical interoperability, contract terminations, job guarantees, and minimum wages for creative work.
Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow speak with journalist Maddison Connaughton about Chokepoint Capitalism — their call to workers of all sectors to unite to help smash these chokepoints and take back the power and profit that’s being heisted away, before it’s too late.
Rebecca Giblin is an ARC Future Fellow and professor at Melbourne Law School, where she leads interdisciplinary teams researching issues around creators’ rights, access to knowledge, and the regulation of technology and culture. She is director of the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA), and heads up the Author’s Interest and eLending projects (authorsinterest.org; elendingproject.org), as well as Untapped: the Australian Literary Heritage Project (untapped.org.au). Rebecca is the author of Code Wars and she co-edited What if We Could Reimagine Copyright?
Cory Doctorow is a bestselling science fiction writer and activist. He is a special adviser 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. He is the author of more than 20 books, including novels for adults and young adults, graphic novels for middle-grade readers, picture books, nonfiction books on technology and politics, and collections of essays.
Maddison Connaughton is a journalist whose reporting focuses on how global issues affect people on a human scale. Her work has featured in The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Vox, Good Weekend, the Japan Times, France24 and more. She was previously the editor of The Saturday Paper, where was also a member of The Monthly’s editorial board and an inaugural Walkley Our Watch Fellow. Maddison started her career at Vice where she was features editor and was twice a finalist for the Walkley Award for Young Australian Journalist of the Year for her reporting on teenage refugees of the Syrian War, millennial foreign fighters and criminal justice reform.