#rp23 keynote speakers Cory Doctorow & Rebecca Giblin: Creative labour markets and monopoly.

18.04.2023 - Big Tech and Big Content captured the creative labour markets. How can we end the internet’s enshittification and get artists paid?
Cory und Rebecca
Photo Credit
Cory – Julia Galdo & Cody Cloud (JUCO), Rebecca – Ivanna Oksenyuk

How did it come about that the internet collapsed into five giant websites filled with text of the other four?

In their joint book Chokepoint Capitalism, published in 2022, Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow write that this hasn’t been an accident – it was the plan, and it's working. Rebecca and Cory believe: To get artists paid fairly, we need to "disenshittify" the internet and creative labour markets. But how can we reduce the power of Big Tech and Big Content, increase the power of creative workers, and eliminate the chokepoints that let monopolists suck all the value out of creators' relationships with their audiences? Spoiler alert: it doesn't involve being a more conscientious consumer. Rather, Rebecca and Cory think that we can solve it by smashing the power of the giant corporations that have captured all kinds of workers – not just creators. 

Rebecca Giblin is an ARC Future Fellow at Melbourne Law School, where she works at the intersection of law and culture, leading interdisciplinary teams to build evidence about how intellectual property arrangements and other regulations actually work in practice. Her main research areas are copyright, creators’ rights, access to knowledge and the regulation of culture (particularly how the law impacts the creation and dissemination of creative works). She is Director of the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA) and leads the ARC-funded Author’s Interest and eLending projects, as well as Untapped: the Australian Literary Heritage Project. 

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist and journalist. He is the author of many books, most recently “Red Team Blues“, a science fiction crime thriller; “Chokepoint Capitalism“, nonfiction about monopoly and creative labour markets; the “Little Brother” series for young adults; “In Real Life”, a graphic novel; and the picture book “Poesy The Monster Slayer”. In 2020, he was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. He maintains a daily blog at Pluralistic.net and works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University, a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of North Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group.

Throughout the years, Cory Doctorow has supported and spoken at re:publica on a regular basis. In 2009, he gave his first talk at the event. At re:publica in 2015, Cory spoke about the NSA's mass surveillance, in 2019 about monopolies and surveillance capitalism. During re:publica’s lockdown version in 2020, he gave an inspiring session on Big Tech and the epidemic of distrust in institutions. This year we are very excited about his comeback in real life together with Rebecca! In their keynote, they will be exploring how we can recapture creative labour markets from Big Tech and Big Content. Both will present some thoughts on how to end the internet’s enshittification and get artists paid, including shovel-ready proposals for technical interventions.

Before the event, Cory gave us his reading and podcast recommendations for the #rp23 theme. On the subject of CASH, he recommends David Graeber's classic "Debt: The First 5000 Years" as a reading. The MMT Podcast offers economic analysis on current issues from a Modern Monetary Theory perspective. Stephanie Kelton’s "The Deficit Myth" explores this theory in addition to the birth of the People's Economy.