Those online elephants who have grown enormous on copyright are the technology giants familiar to everyone
Can you name a business built on copyright? Most of us would probably answer from a list of so-called creative industries, including book publishers, movie studios, and record companies. But that overlooks several elephants standing in the same room.
Those elephants who have grown enormous on copyright are the technology giants familiar to everyone as GAFA – Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. At least, that’s the contention of Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast and Break Things: How Google, Facebook, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.
As Taplin sees it, such companies built their businesses to scale by tolerating digital piracy of books, music, and films. Taplin delivers the keynote address for Copyright and Technology, New York City 2018, a one-day conference that examines the influence technology has on copyright today.
“What those big online businesses found is that they can get a lot of stuff for free if they get it directly from end users who are willing to contribute it without compensation,” notes Bill Rosenblatt, a digital technology and copyright authority who organizes the conference, which is now in its ninth year.
“The argument is, ‘we provide a platform.’ The phrase that Pandora likes to use, for example, is, ‘we enable musicians to find their audiences.'”