I did a lot of talking in June, and it wasn’t all about myself (though a lot of it was). At the Sydney Writers’ Festival I spoke about digital books and copyright with Sherman Young and Michael Fraser. Sherman gave a very provocative talk about how books have to go digital or else:
The bottom line is that in 2007, books must embrace the possibilities of digital. Sure, there are issues to be discussed and hurdles to overcome, but unless it happens, books are dead. Weighed down by printed objects, the unique qualities and virtues of books will be sidelined in an increasingly irrelevant part of the cultural universe.
It’s exciting stuff, though I think that for most books the hurdles are maybe a bit more significant than Sherman reckons—which is both good and bad: we can go on doing things the way we’re doing them for a while longer, but we could be doing things a lot better. Anyway, my speech is over here. Michael’s doesn’t seem to have turned up online, but he made some important points about why we need copyright (though I don’t think we need quite as much as we’ve got).