Will Apple iBooks OWN your Books?

25 Jan

Apple just had its best quarter ever: 15.4 million iPads, 37 million iPhones and 140 million downloads on Christmas Day alone. Nevertheless, they did something really stupid:

iBook Author softwareEven so the most glaring omission from the 1.0 version of iBooks Author is the ability to export ebooks in EPUB format and the only export formats iBooks Author 1.0 supports are iBooks, PDF, and plain text documents. However, you are able to create your own e-books in a free, sleek and easy-to-use app and put them into iBooks. You can add galleries, widgets, and other media to enhance your e-book. How could writers not like the pitch?

Mashable Tech wrote:
Apple writes “IMPORTANT NOTE: If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this Apple software (a “Work”), you may only sell or distribute such Work through Apple iBookstore and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple.”

What are the implications of this? Essentially, Apple is asking its users to help add content to iBooks (my comment: “for free, which means you work for them, but your are not paid…”) Not only that, but they will take a cut every time you sell the e-book (your “Work”). And not only that, but even if you wanted to port your work elsewhere, you can’t. As Segan writes, “Apple owns the creative process of anyone who uses [Author].” Has Apple gone too far?

Free software “iBooks Author”?
Well in my opinion it is legally not correct and it is only a matter of time until someone sues or authors band together and start either a class-action case or refrain from using iBook Author software.
Until then… Authors could possibly write a simalar book with a different title, ISBN and cover image and sell it through Amazon or other retailers.


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