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San Francisco Public Library (Fair Use)
LITERATURE: Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We’ll Win Them Back.

Author: Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow moderated by Joseph Menn

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 09/25/2022
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Location
San Francisco Public Library - Main Branch

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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. Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow argue in their new book 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. Chokepoint Capitalism details breathtaking abuses being carried out in 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 don’t stop there. They have a whole bunch of detailed, rousing, unabashedly hopeful proposals for change, showing how creators and audiences can work together to widen these chokepoints out-and get artists paid.


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IMAGE courtesy of San Francisco Public Library (Fair Use)

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