[Doctorow-L] Competition can fix Big Tech, but only if we don't make "bigness" a legal requirement

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Mon Jun 10 14:36:27 EDT 2019

I'm all for making Big Tech small again and fixing the internet so that
it's not just five giant websites filled with screenshots from the other
four, not to mention doing something about market dominance, corporate
bullying, rampant privacy invasions and so on.

But a persistent thread in the past year's efforts to "fix the internet"
has been to pass out badly constructed regulations that only the very
biggest companies can afford to comply with, making it that much harder
to enact policies that might shrink those companies down to size, and
ensuring that small companies will be forced out of business by
compliance costs long before they grow big enough to challenge the big guys.

In a column I just published in The Economist, I try to show how rules
about harassment, sex trafficking, copyright infringement, terrorist
recruiting and stopping kids from seeing porn have backfired, making the
big platforms much stronger. Unless we do something about this -- like
clarifying patent, copyright and other rules to allow little companies
to plug their tools into the big companies' silos to help users escape
them -- the big platforms will only get bigger, stronger, and harder to


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