Are you saying that Apple should make this tool for free, give it away for free, and let it be used for any purpose, for free, and that to do otherwise is immoral? (you brought up being disgusted "for purely moral reasons")
How is giving software away for free to support an ecosystem you're building "vile bullshit" that "disgusts" you?
For all the other examples you give, society generally knows the implied contract. These terms are not part of the contract that society expects from a free tool used to compose documents, and you know it.
Also worth mentioning: the economics of K–12 textbook publishing are very different than mass-market publishing: essentially 100% of sales are volume purchases by educational institutions who are already accustomed to distributing materials to students.
This is Apple's proposed alternative to publishers bundling interactive content with expensive textbooks (probably "free" if available on the App Store), and the value proposition is wide exposure, lower infrastructure costs, and no used textbook market to undercut profits in exchange for "a la carte" distribution of individual "unbundled" books and a unit price cap.
In other words, it really is an attempt to apply much of the "iTunes business model" to textbook publishing, and it'll be quite interesting to see how it works out.
And the iTunes business model was never about exclusivity. You can buy most of the music on iTunes elsewhere. (There is some exclusive content, obviously, but it is the exception, not the rule.) And, most importantly, the deals negotiated to get music on iTunes are done the old fashioned way: as a mutual, signed agreement between Apple and the labels in question.
When Apple praises their education initiatives and then turns around and puts such restrictions on their authoring tool then yes, that’s some vile bullshit. They are not in it for the eduction, they are in it for themselves.
They don’t have to give the tool aways for free, I would be perfectly happy with Apple selling it. But putting such a restriction on it? I’m not ok with that.
These are not mutually exclusive. They're in it for the education, and they are in it for themselves.
You're in it for yourself too. I think that's the problem that trips people up. They want companies to act a certain way because it benefits them. But when the companies do something that benefits the company, somehow they think that's wrong.
I'd love it if my favorite gave me free food all the time. If my restaurant offered me free food if I'd put a gaudy sign on my car advertising the restaurant that's a choice I could make.
If I didn't like the sign and didn't take their offer, I wouldn't then say "well that's just wrong of them to offer me that!"
> I would be perfectly happy with Apple selling it.
I think when it comes to software, people are so used to getting things for free, that when they see something encumbered by a restriction they think that this is somehow immoral.
Its not, its just a different way of selling the software. Just like the restaurant, rather than selling me food for money, selling me food in exchange for advertising.
True, but there is something immoral about hidden fees.
Are you arguing that this is not a fee or that it's not hidden?
You can produce all the books you want and give them away for free, without paying Apple a fee of any kind, and the notice is prominently displayed right on the screen where you publish your document.
This is no different from the zillions of dual-licensed GPL projects out there that say (roughly) "You're free to use this code in projects that you yourself give away for free, but if you want to sell your application you have to buy a license from us".
Again, I don't like this myself, but let's not make it out to be worse than it is.
Yes, a notice is displayed after you've already put a lot of work in, that is exactly what makes it slimy. A conditional fee is still a fee.
> This is no different from the zillions of dual-licensed GPL projects out there that say (roughly) "You're free to use this code in projects that you yourself give away for free, but if you want to sell your application you have to buy a license from us".
This is nothing like that. GPL projects do not hide their terms. And developers are very aware that libraries have terms. It is typical. An exportable document format having terms is not typical.
The user will not anticipate these conditions. This is why I call it a bait-and-switch. A company that prides itself on putting UX first couldn't have done this on accident. Either the product passed through QA without UX concerns being raised, or the concerns were ignored.
It's a slimy, used car salesman approach. Apple is better than this.
The price of a product is not determined by the effort put into it but by the value it provides to the buyer.