Half an Apple, Better Than None

Evidently Apple took my our advice, and rejiggered their EULA to make it clearer: they claim copyright and exclusive sales prerogatives to the iBooks version of your work, not to the writing, photos, or whatever. Nor do they make any claim on your work presented in a format other than the special iBooks format.
It’s not as much of a loaf as I’d have liked, but it’s better than it had been in the original state.

4 thoughts on “Half an Apple, Better Than None

  1. Brother David, I’d have wished that Apple provide for export in a vanilla (non-Apple-widgets) ePub format. The reasoning goes: if someone publishes a book for sale in .ibooks format, then it belongs in the Apple iBooks store, simple as that; but if the book doesn’t deliberately take advantage of the iBooks format’s plusses, it isn’t integrated in the Apple ecosystem anyway, so why require that it be offered for sale only through Apple?
    It’s a ‘long game’ argument. In the short run, someone who uses iBooks Author to produce vanilla ePub books is already, necessarily, using OS X Lion and iBooks Author and Apple hardware (obviously); that’s all win for Apple right from the start. If iBooks Author is really ‘GarageBand for ebooks’ as it’s been rumoured to be, then the more handsome ebooks out there are being produced with iBooks Author, the more incentive there’ll be to buy Apple hardware/software — and that itself will provide an impetus for the widget-enabled iBooks marketplace. And there would be no loss to Apple for author/publishers who wanted to sell their non-iBooks elsewhere; those sales wouldn’t be coming to Apple anyway, and this way Apple would at least be assured of getting a taste of the action through the hardware/software end. Surely many of the author/publishers would want to sell through the iBookstore as well as whatever other vendor they want, so Apple would garner those opportunities as well (much as you can buy digital versions of movies or music through both Apple and Amazon). And it all would go further faster to create the atmosphere that Apple provides the system for ebook production.
    So that’s what I’d ask Apple for, and why. This new EULA makes a small step toward that, but they could go further at no real harm to their business model, and with several advantages. Or at least, so say I.

  2. Thanks for the pointer, Brother David — curious though I am, I will no doubt go to Lion sometime, and I can wait till then to probe the innards of iBooks Author. I was tempted to try this hack, though!

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