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ryanwhitney 825 days ago | link | parent

I'm not seeing why this is so unreasonable, if someone could fill me in.

The program is for creating iBooks, not eBooks, to be sold through their iBookstore. I'm seeing these more as apps than something like .ePub files or .PDFs.

Unlike apps though, which require an developer license to load yourself, Author gives anyone the ability to run these books on your iPad. It also gives anyone the ability to distribute an iBook outside the iBookstore.

Since licensing every person who wanted to create an iBook would be a pain in the ass for Apple and a barrier to creation, this seems to be the next good option.

It prevents anyone from creating their own iBook marketplace (reasonable) and profiting off of a software that Apple is giving away for free, under the agreement that products of it are sold though their marketplace. No?



phillmv 825 days ago | link

The icky feeling comes from the hypothetical transitivity of such an agreement. It seems like a great way to bootstrap a pseudo-feudal obligation system.

What if everything you made with the OS was similarly hindered? Launch an auto update that effectively bricks your device unless you agree to the new EULA, blah blah nightmare scenario here.

Less hyperbolically, it's like the first concrete step into killing the freedom to read. My biggest concern with iBooks is whether they have remote wipe and whether you can launch books sans DRM.

It's going to be awkward when the PATRIOTSOPA Act of 2022 remote deletes all of my chemistry textbooks because terrorists can learn about exothermic reactions or revises all of the biology textbooks because evolution has been deemed illegal.

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ryanwhitney 825 days ago | link

I'm just guessing here, but if you write a textbook and get published by a traditional publisher (McGraw-Hill, etc.), they probably disallow you from creating a copy of that same book and selling it for $5 from your own marketplace. They check it for quality, help create the physical book, and put their name on it. They even have some ownership. I'm simply seeing Apple as a publishing partner here. They're helping you create the book and distribute it, and with that agreement you're bound to certain limitations, such as a percentage they'll take for distribution (surely less than what a traditional publisher would take).

You can play the slippery slope card all you want, and try to apply what we're seeing to all other applications, but I don't see anything to back it up.

Regarding remote wipe. I have no idea if that's in the iBookstore EULA, and haven't found a thing about it. My guess is like apps, you'll have to confirm and download the update yourself. In fact, when apps are taken off the app store, you still get to keep them, whereas Android apps have a kill switch. Have you seen anything that implies remote wipe capabilities?

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178 825 days ago | link

As an iOS 'fanboy' i have to tell you that both iOS and Android have a "kill switch". It's a measure for the really dangerous cases and Google has used it once or twice, and i guess Apple too (not shure atm). When jailbroken, you can turn it off on both platforms. But you are right in that there seems to be no such thing for books, unlike on Amazon (remember the 1984 case?)

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ryanwhitney 825 days ago | link

Ah, you're right. I'm not sure why I was thinking there wasn't one for iOS.

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nchuhoai 825 days ago | link

"It also gives anyone the ability to distribute an iBook outside the iBookstore."

That is exactly what the author complains about, you cannot distribute an iBook outside the store:

"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"

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ryanwhitney 825 days ago | link

Yes, my statement said the program gave you the ability to do so, but not the right to.

The reason to say this was to make the point that unlike apps where you don't have the ability to distribute them outside of the store, the EULA is in this case necessary to lock down the user experience to iPad and resulting profits of providing this to Apple.

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Someone 825 days ago | link

IANAL, but an obvious workaround is to sell the eBook version and add an iBook version for free with every order.

Problem with that approach is that receivers of the iBook can distribute copies at will.

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jasomill 825 days ago | link

IANAL either, but Apple's lawyers _are_ lawyers, so rest assured that they've thought about this, as well.

I suspect the answer is this: you're free to sell the e-book version for a fee and give away the iBooks version: this just makes the iPad a more attractive product and undercuts your own e-book sales. This is probably a stupid move on your part, but that's hardly Apple's problem.

But giving away the iBooks version _only to purchasers of the e-book version_ is equivalent to the iBooks version being a "feature" of the (non-free) e-book version, which is quite different than "giving away the iBooks version". This would also apply to giving away the iBooks version, but only to members of my fee-based "book club", subscribers to my fee-based newsletter, and so on. Otherwise, what stops textbook publishers from selling non-iBooks "teachers' editions" for $10,000, then giving away copies of the iBooks versions to students enrolled in courses taught by holders of teachers' editions, then passing the $10,000 cost on to students by way of "enrollment fees" or tuition hikes, offset by the fact that "textbooks are now free"?

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nchuhoai 825 days ago | link

i am not a lawyer either but the wording seems pretty clear:

If you want money, you gotta use us.

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statictype 825 days ago | link

Apple doesn't own the Apps that you create or claim partial ownership of it. Your code and it's output belongs to you. The developer license is offensive in it's own way but that's a different issue than what's happening here with iBooks

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ryanwhitney 825 days ago | link

Sorry, but where does Apple claim partial ownership? Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen that.

You own a car, but you're licensed and registered by the state. You can paint it whatever color you want, but can you make an exact duplicate of that car and sell it as your own? Nope. Can you sell it without transferring registration? Nope (at least, not without alternate state paperwork). You might "own" it, but you still can't do whatever you want.

You're licensed iBooks Author and you enter into an agreement. You create, retain copyright, and own the product, but you can't copy it and do as you please. You follow the licensing and only have certain rights when it comes to the .ibook file.

A comparison in my mind would be saying GarageBand creations can only be sold through the iTunes store. The difference I see is that iBooks Author is not outputting a simple media file, but a more complex experience filled with medias. As often the case with Apple, they want to lock that experience (& resulting profits) into the best device for it, the iPad.

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statictype 825 days ago | link

Sorry, but where does Apple claim partial ownership? Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen that.

hm, you may be right. I got it from the paraphrased part of the article (right after the bold EULA text) but now that I look at it, it wasn't actually stated explicitly in the contract anywhere.

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