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
iBooks Author 'Mind-Bogglingly Greedy, Evil'
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)

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." (More Apple stories.)

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