Inequality Promotion data point: Intellectual Protectionist CEO pay

Confirming my biases we have For Media Moguls, Paydays That Stand Out. Media company CEOs are the highest compensated of any industry, and are far more highly compensated relative to market capitalization than any other (as has often been pointed out, media companies are a small part of the overall economy and in theory ought to just be bought out in order to end their assault on freedom of communications).

But an even higher proportion of the most compensated CEOs are dependent on intellectual protectionism than is accounted for by the media category. #1 is the CEO of Oracle, #6 is the CEO of Nike (I’m guessing that suppression of counterfeiting is significant), and would-be (due to late filing) #2 is the CEO of Activision-Blizzard, a gaming software company.

Why are IP CEOs unusually highly compensated (thus unusually contributing to inequality)? Why? The article cites concentrated ownership and weak governance of media companies (which begs another question) and concludes:

For the time being, traditional media business models are prospering and the leaders of the incumbents are fat and happy. But that might make them bigger, slower targets and in the end, easier to overtake.

I wouldn’t count on it. If you think inequality is a problem (inherently or because it leads to inequality of power, then law) then intellectual protectionism must be attacked on policy and product fronts.

4 Responses

  1. […] If this blog were to have a main purpose other than serving as a despository for my tangents, it’d be protecting and promoting intellectual freedom, in particular through the mechanisms of free/open/knowledge commons movements, and in reframing information and innovation policy with freedom and equality outcomes as top. Some representative posts: Economics and the Commons Conference [knowledge stream] report, Flow ∨ incentive 2013 anthology winner, z3R01P. I’m also fond of pointing out where these issues surface in unusual places and surfacing them where they are latent. […]

  2. […] The very first intervention ought be in our innovation policy, which presently is tuned to maximize concentration of wealth and minimize the access of everyone to the benefits of innovation — because our innovation policy is a property/rent seeking regime. A few data points. […]

  3. […] concerns copyright’s role in keeping the poor poor, rather than its role in concentrating wealth. The latter seems even less studied than the former, but the former seems more important, unless […]

  4. […] we should be concerned for the future of entertainment, at all, is itself bizarre. Freedom and equality should absolutely trump incentivizing a surfeit of entertainment. If we must choose between […]

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