There is no artificial lock in. They are providing a tool to produce content for their distribution system. That's its point.
The comparison to general purpose tools isn't relevant. Consider if this tool, like iAd Producer, had no ability to export in a format outside of Apple's proprietary one. Would you still be upset?
>And also Apple is leveraging their platform dominance in an uncompetitive and unfair manner and should be admonished for it.
What platform dominance is that? The same people who complain about Apple doing anything that benefits them, seem to constantly tell us that the Kindle is the dominant e-reader and that android is the dominant mobile OS.
How is providing new features for electronic books "uncompetitive and unfair"? How is providing a tool that lets you author books that use these new features "uncompetitive and unfair"?
As for competitiveness, this is the very definition of competition. They provided something better, and also provided a tool that lets people easily create content for this better solution. Isn't your real beef that this is competitive?
As for "unfair", it seems that you're the one who is being unfair. You are taking the position that they should provide you tools for free to do what you want in any way you want. You seem to presume an obligation on their part to comply with your arbitrary view that they should give you something for nothing, without restrictions.
I believe the original author's pain is around the paucity of good EPUB publishing tools, and to have one appear with these restrictions makes them sad. It would have been nice if Apple had said, "If you buy a commercial license to this software for $X we won't constrain your ability to sell the books produced." Then at least there would be a way to use to the tool to produce books that would be salable at both Apple and Amazon's shops.
Clearly Apple sees this as a way to build a library of 'exclusive' content in iBooks and mute the Kindle threat. For me at least that shows me just how threatening the Kindle Fire is to their model.
Hell, iBooks Author exports PDFs. PDFs are viewable by Kindle Fires. (And possibly other Kindles.) So iBooks Author already creates content viewable on competitors' platforms.
I'm also not certain the Fire is threatening to Apple. They make far more money off of the hardware than they do off content sold through their various digital media stores.
iBooks Author is not a reaction to the Kindle Fire. Apple has been working on this since before there were rumors that Amazon was going to introduce a tablet of their own.
Steve Jobs even told his biographer about it . Jobs passed away in October, a week after Amazon announced the Kindle Fire.
I don't read it that way at all. I think they want to be properly informed (fine print not counting as "properly"), because they intend to avoid any platform that does this entirely.