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iBooks Author update clarifies EULA terms on sales

updated 04:05 pm EST, Fri February 3, 2012

Non-iBooks output uncontrolled

Apple has pushed out an update to iBooks Author, the company's recently-launched publishing tool. The sole change in v1.0.1 is a new end-user agreement, clarifying a controversial portion of the document which initially suggested that any material produced with the software could only be sold through the iBookstore if it was sold at all. "If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a 'Work'), you may only sell or distribute such Work through Apple (e.g., through the iBookstore) and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple," one part of the previous EULA read.

Multiple sections have been changed to state that the provision only applies to files in the .ibooks format, which already require iBooks for reading, and the iBookstore for distribution. iBooks Author can also produce PDF files, which people have typically assumed Apple should have no control over.

iBooks Author is a 137MB download, and a free download from the Mac App Store. Users must have at least OS X 10.7.2 or later, as well as iTunes 10.5.3 for sync purposes, and iBooks 2 for .ibooks previews.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple is changing

    This hints at how Apple is changing and, in particular, at its growing addiction to income derived not from hardware or software sales but as a gatekeeper to its own software and hardware from others who have done the actual work of creating and making. That's both apps stores, that's ebooks in this format, and that's their absurd demand for a 30% slice for in-app linking. There's an all to obvious pattern developing.

    Apple wants to make money, not just from what they create and make, but from what others create and make merely because the fruit of their labors happens to pass through one of Apple's software products (here IBA) or ends up on one of their hardware iDevices (but not yet Macs). It really is like Ford demanding a slice of the income you make from a moving business using Ford trucks.

    That's what should have developers, writers, musicians and other content creators outraged. Apple doesn't want to own your copyright. That'd be too much trouble and bother. They simply want to grab a hefty 30% slice of retail from what you have created. And that simply because the app or ebook spends a few seconds passing from their hard drives through their servers to your customers.

    In short, Apple intends to profit, enormously and unjustifiably, from the creativity and labor of others by blocking, in every way possible, every attempt to bypass their 30% tax. That's the point of this license and much else that Apple does. It is becoming their primary business model.

    Apple, once the favorite tool of creative people, wants to exploit its position as a gatekeeper. It is becoming a vampire, sucking on the creativity of others. Authors, song writers, and musicians consider themselves fortunate to get 5-10% of the retail price of their creations. Apple want to take 300 to 600 percent more than the creators for simply passing along what others have created.

    As a business model, that's very, very sick and it is time for a little outrage.

  1. Zanziboy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Weak Argument

    You can't have Apple's data center infrastructure for free!

    Apple's 30% overhead is completely reasonable as they need to keep a massive IT infrastructure running 24/7 to support the digital media, updates, instant purchases and allocation of royalties. The expense to run such massive data centers without guarantee that the author's creation will even succeed or not is certainly justified by the 30% premium.

    Apple must forever manage the service while the creation of the media is a one-off exercise. In addition, Apple has tremendous data reliability and data security costs which are associated with the service.

    The amount of money Apple makes from iTunes, iBooks, etc, is a drop in their financial bucket as they are more interested in selling hardware.

    If you don't like the business model, there's always Amazon or a traditional publisher.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Good I plan on making my book in iBooks for the iPad but I'd like to be able to put a PDF on my website for people who don't have iPads.

  1. eclux

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple cut

    To the first comment I would add that Apple takes a cut on hardware that they don't design or manufacture either, via the Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad licensing. My client's Bluetooth device cannot talk to the app I'm developing for them unless they sign up on the MFi program.

    On the other hand I am happy for Apple to take a 30% cut of sales for apps that I developed using their FREE software and for which they handle product distribution and revenue collection worldwide. I would be happy to do the same if I sold iBooks. In the past I have paid distributors a 50% or higher cut for applications.

  1. aussiearn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    at Inkling

    If you publish a book ther old fashioned way with a publisher you are lucky to get 3% on the first 5,000 copies sold, 6% on copies 5,001 to 10,000, and 8% on anything above 10,000 copies. Of course that is if you are picked up by a publisher in the first place. Not to mention you need to do all your own promotions. But of course Inkling is correct, Apple making 30% is so much more egregious than a publisher making 92%. Inkling needs to get a life and just to go back playing with his samsung phone and leave the comments to people who actually know stuff and just don't mouth off like a r*****!

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