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In January 2012, millions participated in the now-infamous “Internet blackout” against the Stop Online Piracy Act, protesting the power it would have given intellectual property holders over the Internet. However, while SOPA’s withdrawal was heralded as a victory for an open Internet, a small group of corporations, tacitly backed by the US and other governments, have implemented much of SOPA via a series of secret, handshake agreements. Drawing on extensive interviews, Natasha Tusikov details the emergence of a global regime in which large Internet firms act as regulators for powerful intellectual property owners, challenging fundamental notions of democratic accountability.
List of Tables
1. Secret Handshake Deals
2. Internet Firms Become Global Regulators
3. Revenue Chokepoints
4. Access Chokepoints
5. Marketplace Chokepoints
6. Changing the Enforcement Paradigm
7. A Future for Digital Rights
Natasha Tusikov is a visiting fellow with the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University, and a former strategic criminal intelligence analyst with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ottawa, Canada. She holds a PhD in sociology from the Australian National University.
"By putting the spotlight on the concerted and undisclosed actions of intermediaries in disabling those websites that illicitly trade in counterfeit goods, Natasha Tusikov raises important questions about the global governance of online transactions as well as much larger questions about the relationship between public and private law enforcement in our surveillance societies. Chokepoints is a terrific book."—Roger Brownsword, King's College London
"This is an eye-opening book that everyone concerned about the future of the internet, the power of corporations to regulate, due process of law, accountability, and circumvention of democratic processes should read. Chokepoints is a timely intervention into contemporary concerns over surveillance, overbearing corporate power, and increasing concerns that our political process is for sale to the highest bidder."—Susan K. Sell, author of Private Power, Public Law: The Globalization of Intellectual Property Rights