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Apple's iBooks2 Announcement today

Graham Irwin said:
I am so put off by the fact that I can't put my stuff on Macs without owning one. I don't want anything to do with them.

You can, but you have to go through Smashwords to do it. Personally I am not a fan of Smashwords.

I am not very outspoken about Apple and their garden, let's just say I am a girl that loves penguins instead of fruit.

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Felis amatus
Let's hear it for penguins. I don't want anything to do with Apple either. Company grows more evil by the day.
Take a look at the zdnet article here

To sum up, if you create your book in the Mac book creating software, and publish to iBooks, whether or not they publish it, they own that book. You can take the raw content and sell it elsewhere, but the book becomes the property of Apple when you try to publish it. If they reject it, too bad, it's still theirs. That is if I understood it. Read it yourself and see if you agree.


I actually downloaded the program yesterday, and spent about 10-15 minutes with it, and between what I initially found, and subsequently read, I do think I was a little over zealous initially...

- It's all Template based. It forces you to choose a template right at open. I haven't played enough to see if you can "break" the template after you choose one yet, but as a typical InDesign person, that was a little disconcerting.

- This (I bolded for emphasis), right from the Apple TOS (coutesy of the zdnet article sashamerideth referenced, and I confirmed it in the software) '(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.'

That's too bad. All of the potential just wasted on a tool that effectively can't be used by an author. At least any author that wants to sell a book anywhere besides the Apple Bookstore...

I'll post some more as I have a chance to play with the software, but I can't actually use the software to publish books, so I may just shelve it until something changes...


Felis amatus
Sasha, I was going to post that same link :)

People like to bash Microsoft for greedy, onerous corporate practices (and rightly so), but Apple is as "evil and greedy" as they came. The difference is, Apple has managed to maintain a completely false public image that appeals to people who, as a rule, would probably generally avoid corporations that engage in such practices. I know people who are ex-hippies, who are all about being against corporatism, who run around with Apple products, and I wonder if they're just uninformed or on crack or what :D

Reminds me of the cartoon of the Occupy Wallstreet protestor, where the protestor has a shirt on with some kind of message about helping the poor or being against consumerism or corporations or whatever, and a homeless guy comes up to him and says "Can I have your iPad?"


I actually heard about the zdnet issue with the licence agreement before I heard about the program (by which I mean, a webcomicky person I know retweeted a link to it about 15 minutes ago). It concerns me greatly that Apple wish to secure their own income in such a way that will unapologetically restrict a creator's ability to even begin to have an income from something which the creator, morally and ethically speaking, is entitled to do what they want with. It sounds a lot like these publishing scams being talked about in the front page article of a week or so ago - where people sign away rights to their works to get them published, and the publisher, either through going out of business or through actively attempting to scam people, fail to publish but still hold exclusive rights, stopping the writer from publishing it elsewhere.

As far as I can see, the way forward with book publishing is precisely what Apple are trying to do - make it easy for people to create stuff and publish it all in one piece of software, while keeping a level of regulation to maintain a minimum level of quality considered acceptable and in so doing prevent the very worst writing from overshadowing or drowning out the gems. But that clause undermines everything about the scheme. It chokes creativity, it undermines author's rights, it discourages people from using software which could otherwise become a powerful tool of sharing creative output, and it really makes them look bad.

As an aside, while others like penguins and fruit, I'm happy with a view of outside with the warmth of inside. Though penguins are fine too.
First off, disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is my take, not legal advice.

My read of the EULA suggest to me that they're not claiming rights to the content of a book, simply that you can't publish that format of that book anywhere else. This is a bit of a red herring, since the software produces a ".ibook" format that only iOS devices can read anyway.

That said, it's unprecedented to my knowledge. It would be like Microsoft telling users what they can and cannot do with things they wrote on MS Word. Bad juju.

But there's nothing barring you from uploading your book to Apple using their software and then converting the original work into a mobi for Amazon, epub for Nook, app for Android, or whatever else you want to do. What they're doing is odd - and I'm not even sure it would survive a court case. But it's not the end of the world. ;)