updated 08:20 pm EST, Tue December 14, 2010
More content, diversity, promotion promised
The Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages has granted formal approval to the Canadian iBookstore, opening the door to a flood of new content from Canadian publishers and authors. While the iBookstore has already been operating and offering some -- mostly US-based -- paid titles along with the usual assortment of free public-domain and PDF texts, the approval is expected to boost both the offerings available to Canadian iOS device owners as well as help promote Canadian works in other countries.
In exchange for the official blessing, Apple has committed to featuring Canadian-authored books in both official languages, increasing access to First Nations works, assisting Canadian publishers in streamlining the process of converting books into e-books, and doing more to tailor the existing Canadian iBookstore to the tastes of Canadian readers.
The Canadian iBookstore will be run by Apple Canada, which as a subsidiary of the US-based company needed to show that the investment would result in jobs and benefits specific to the country, according to the Investment Canada Act.
Cultural Minister James Moore reiterated the government's commitment to strengthening Canada's economy through all its sectors, especially arts and culture. Apple made specific promises to give both established and independent Canadian writers opportunities for exposure and promotion, and also pledged to make Canadian works more available in other international iBookstores.