Cory Doctorow & Rebecca Giblin, chaired by Jess Brough
A call to action for the creative class and labour movement to rally against the power of Big Tech and Big Media.
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.
From Amazon's use of digital rights management and bundling to radically change the economics of book publishing, to Google and Facebook's siphoning away of ad revenues from news media, and the Big Three record labels' use of inordinately long contracts to up their own margins at the cost of artists, chokepoints are everywhere.
Doctorow & Giblin make the case that workers across sectors must unite to help smash these chokepoints and take back the power and profit that's being heisted away - before it's too late.
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. Follow him on Twitter (@doctorow)
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). Chokepoint Capitalism is her latest book. She also wrote Code Wars and co-edited What if we could reimagine copyright?. Follow her on Twitter (@rgibli)
Jess Brough is the Founder and Director of Fringe of Colour – an Edinburgh-based multi-award-winning arts initiative for Black people and People of Colour at arts festivals in Scotland and beyond. In 2020 and 2021, the project transformed into an online arts festival, Fringe of Colour Films, to assist artists and creators through the performance crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about Fringe of Colour here: fringeofcolour.co.uk.
Jess Brough is a writer and active member of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network. Their fiction can be found in Extra Teeth, The Best of British Fantasy 2019 anthology and seed head, an anthology of new writing from The Future is Back series led by Olumide Popoola. Their poetry and non-fiction can be found in The Colour of Madness (Updated Edition), The Bi-Bible: New Testimonials and at gal-dem, The Skinny, Fringe of Colour and The Glasgow Film Festival.
Jess has just finished their PhD in Psychology, with a thesis on social biases of language production and comprehension.
Twitter: @Jessica_Brough | @FringeofColour
Instagram: @jessbrough | @fringeofcolour