Crash Course Economics

Intellectual Property & Monopoly Capitalism — with Cecilia Rikap

May 10, 2021 Crash Course Season 3 Episode 2
Crash Course Economics
Intellectual Property & Monopoly Capitalism — with Cecilia Rikap
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In this second Crash Course episode of the series on Big Tech, Techno-feudalism and Democracy, we will zoom in on intellectual property. We have invited political economist Cecilia Rikap to explain where intellectual property comes from, what its role is in fabricating monopoly power, and why it is important to understand the rise of Big tech and Big Pharma. 

Rodrigo and Sara asked Rikap: 

  • Is ‘intellectual monopoly capitalism’ a new accumulation regime? 
  • And how does it change the rules of the game? 
  • How does intellectual monopoly capitalism fit in the growing geo-political struggle between the US and China?

Cecilia Rikap is a political economist, researcher CONICET, Univ de Paris & COSTECH Univ Tech Compiègne. She studies the rising concentration of intangible assets, focusing on power relations and the distribution of data and innovation economic gains, resulting geopolitical tensions, and the effects on knowledge commons & development. Rikap just finished her new book Capitalism, Power and Innovation: Intellectual monopoly capitalism uncovered.


About Crash Course Economics

Crash Course is a platform designed to open up debate on how we can move out of the current crisis and make the necessary steps towards achieving social, economic, ecological and regenerative justice.

Crash Course is inviting global experts to break down complex issues in lay terms and make them accessible to all so that we can understand how to shape our economic system for a just recovery and future.


Music credit: "Capital G" by Nine Inch Nails, "Tribal Remix" by Imnotlouis (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US) 

Intro by Sara Murawski, including the ‘good news of the week’
Rodrigo Fernandez introduces this series on Big Tech
Rodrigo introduces Cecilia Rikap: a real political economist
Cecilia Rikap starts presentation on Capitalism, Power and Innovation
Intellectual monopolies, intangible assets
Intellectual monopoly capitalism (IMC)
Knowledge traits
Data-driven intellectual monopolies
Amazon’s knowledge predation
Implications for workers & peripheries & what is to be done
Q&A: Big tech and big data, beyond privacy
Q&A: Consequences of balance of power for tech solutions
Q&A: Self inforcing mechanisms & financial firepower
Q&A: High market valuation of tech corporations
Q&A: Monopolies or Oligopolies?
Q&A: Value chains and implications for workers
Q&A: How to tax tech companies
Wrap up by Sara