Giving creators more copyright powers to combat exploitation by monopolistic corporations is like giving your kid more cash to compensate for having his lunch money stolen by schoolyard bullies. They'll take that too.

Give creators 100 years of copyright, and corporations will require that it be assigned to them for the full duration as a condition of publication.

Give them the right to license - and thus, prohibit - excerpting, and corporations will take that right as a condition of access to the market.

Give them the power to decide which works can appear on the internet, and corporations will take that power, non-negotiably.

What will corporations do with that power? They'll use it against indies and anyone else who steps out of the monopolised ecosystem. They'll make it so that new works can't be published because they'll refuse to license excerpts (samples, quotes, etc) to them unless they sign

They'll claim the background images (stock art in ads, building facades, etc) in news-photogs' street-scenes and use filters to block indies' work, forcing them to go to work for a big agency.

They'll use this power to crush small labels, and they will "combat fraud" by making the takedown and put-back systems so baroque that you'll need esoteric, specialist knowledge (which they alone possess) to use them.


As the martial arts proverb goes: "Any weapon you don't know how to use belongs to your enemy." In the class war between creators and corporations, the esoteric weapons of copyright will be wielded against us.

, which raises the cost of operating a platform by hundreds of millions in order to operate copyright filters, is a gift to monopolists. People cheer because they see arrogant US tech firms being made to spend that money.

But they ignore the potential unseating rivals who can't possibly afford this, who will vanish as a consequence. The big companies don't even have to buy them out to get rid of them anymore, just wait for the compliance costs to kill them.

Big Tech hasn't been neutralised by the , they've been sold a Perpetual Internet Domination license. If you think they're bad in 2018, give it a competition-free decade. You're really not going to like Big Tech 2028.

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