Chokepoint Capitalism review – art for sale

Kitty Drake in The Guardian:

In this provocative book, Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow argue that, today, every working artist is a bond servant. Culture is the bait adverts are sold around, but artists see almost nothing of the billions Google, Facebook and Apple and make off their backs. We have entered a new era of “chokepoint capitalism”, in which businesses snake their way between audiences and creatives to harvest money that should rightfully belong to the artist.

An early chapter sketches the growth of Amazon, a relatively straightforward example of the phenomenon. First the company got publishers hooked on its site by offering them great rates. Once it became apparent they couldn’t survive without it, Amazon reduced their cut of the cover price. The image of the chokepoint that recurs throughout this book is an evocatively gruesome one. There is just one pipeline through which authors can access their readers, and Amazon is squeezing it, dictating exactly which books make it to the other side, and at what price.

More here.