Consider the following tweet from a delegate attending the inaugural Australian Publishers Association the digital revolution: publishing in the 21st century conference in Sydney yesterday.

@kate_elthamThe idea of an author that writes, produces and distributes their own content draws a big laugh from the audience. Interesting. #DRP21stC.

What exactly engenders such a schoolyard response (from the audience)?

In a word: hubris.

Here’s the most frequently cited justification for the illegal file-sharing of music by those engaged in the practice: “Record labels screw musicians. So what if I screw a record label?”

A room full of publishers laughing at the notion that an author is not competent enough to write, produce and distribute their own content is exactly the kind of attitude that leads to consumers thinking, “so what if I download this book, publishers don’t give sh*t about authors …”

And don’t think it won’t happen.