Ewan Morrison: Literary Culture in the Digital Age

Ewan Morrison, in situ.

Seth Godin publishes a lot of articles that are designed to trigger wide-spread sharing across the social media channels.

It’s called link bait.

Godin is a master of creating provocative little posts that people repost and share across web.

Some time in June I shared one of Godin’s posts from the Domino Project, Piracy? You Wish, to twitter.

Ewan Morrison fired back a response and thus began a rare non-self-immolating discussion around ebooks, piracy, content aggregation, and the near hopeless situation the digital space presents to culture and literature for those creators who want to be paid for their work.

A grim situation indeed, and one that required more than a spasm of tweets to properly discuss.

Ewan agreed to my request to appear on Books on the Radio for further exploration of these issues and more.

Ewan Morrison is an important and influential voice in the global discussion about what happens when cultural products like literary writing meet the seemingly lawless digital space.

How does one get paid when digital files are capable of infinite replication and sharing regardless of the layers of digital rights management that have been applied to protect them?

How does one even begin to approach the problem of content aggregators and file-sharing sites that are protected by the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)?

What can be done to confront the expectations of younger generations who have grown up with the web and expect their cultural content to be readily available for free?

These are the questions that we discuss in this interview.

Ewan Morrison is the author of three novels: Swung, Menage and Distance (Jonathan Cape/Vintage) and a collection of short stories.

In 2012, he will release his fourth novel Close Your Eyes (Cape) and Tales from the Mall, an enhanced ebook/app with video (Cargo).

He lives in Glasgow and is learning how to make compost.

You can check out his excellent work for the Guardian here.

His two most recent books are:





Listen to our conversation here:

Sean Cranbury is the Executive Editor of Books on the Radio. He's also Founder and Creative Director of the Real Vancouver Writers' Series. Sean is General Manager at the legendary Storm Crow Tavern and consults with literary arts organizations on digital communications strategies.

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