iBooks Author 'Mind-Bogglingly Greedy, Evil'
But some defend license, saying critics miss point
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2012 12:09 PM CST
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: Apple's new iBooks 2 app is demonstrated for the media on an iPad at an event in the Guggenheim Museum January 19, 2012 in New York City.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Thinking of using Apple's handy new iBooks Author program to publish your brilliant opus? You might want to think again: Apple's incredibly restrictive iBookstore licensing agreement gives the computer giant a 30% cut of anything you make, even outside of the store. Further, the format isn't compatible with the industry standard EPUB format, and if Apple decides it just doesn't want to peddle your book in its bookstore, you're out of luck. "I have never seen a EULA as mind-bogglingly greedy and evil as Apple’s EULA for its new ebook authoring program," writes Ed Bott at ZDNet.

Microsoft is having fun with the outrage over Apple's licensing, with a company spokesman tweeting: "If you write a novel in Word, we promise not to take a 30% cut." Some analysts think Apple's license isn't at all out of line, saying iBooks Author is not designed as a general publishing tool, but rather a publishing package "specifically for the iPad." So if you don't like it, use another program, contends ebookmagazine. Regardless, this is the first time a software license has limited what someone can do with the output of an app, not just the app itself. Says one expert: "It’s a step backward for computing freedom and we should resist it."

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
athomson
Jan 23, 2012 8:25 AM CST
There is no option for Discusting...
schmidtkoff
Jan 22, 2012 7:20 PM CST
one spoiled apple spoils the barrel. jobs now deceased still rules with an iron fist. a bully. could have left a legacy of benevolence, not the case. ruling from his cold dead grave he wants to rule as a monarch. boycott ibook. boycott I anything that has to to with rotten steve jobs apple crap. how dare them
AustinFound
Jan 22, 2012 4:05 PM CST
Are we forgetting how fucked up the current textbook model is? There are basically 5 textbook companies in the country right now and they are fisting the students. They keep buying each other out. Who knows, in a few years there might just be one textbook company. The class I teach (Genetics and Evolution) charges $230 per book and I have no control over which book we use. The iBooks model sets an upper limit for textbook prices at $15. That would save the students $215 per book. Sure they are fucking over the textbook companies on the 30% cut. Big deal. The textbook companies have been fucking over the students for decades. I'm not going to be crying over the lost profits for McGraw-Hill or Pearson, but I do feel sorry for any mom-n-pop textbook company that has to see a 30% cut taken from their sales, but they don't have a chance in hell with the current model. I'm not trying to defend apple here, but anything that will get my students a $15 textbook has my ear, at the very least. The other biggest digital textbook marketplace is inkling, and they offer zero savings to students also. Their digital versions cost exactly as much as the printed textbook. Pearson and McGraw Hill were the first on board with iBooks, and I'm nearly certain they aren't happy about this $15 maximum charge for textbooks, but they had to sign on or be left out all together. If they had their way I am sure they'd be charging a prolonged fist-fucking.