back to article Use iBooks Author, only Apple can ever publish the result

Budding authors attracted to Apple's latest content-creating tool should tread with care lest the small print locks them in tighter than they'd imagined. The End User Licence Agreement, to which users consent by using the software, requires the output of iBooks Author be distributed only through Apple's retail operation - with …


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  1. SteveK

    Surely this only applies to the end result and packaging? If I've already written/prepared my textbook and have then imported it into the Apple software and made it all nice and glossy, fine - that particular end result can only be sold via Apple's store, but there's nothing to stop me also turning the text into another format of ebook?


    1. LarsG

      Sounds just like the....

      Contracts from the music industry that Michael Jackson and George Michael were saddled with, oh and anyone signed up with Simon Cowell.

      They want to OWN you!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        In what way is it like the music industry? Here you're free to repackage your content using any other tool.

        Just in case you didn't know, musicians tied to contracts aren't usually allowed to sell their music elsewhere by just repackaging it.

        I do have to agree that the title of the article is a bit misleading, you have to RTFA to really understand what's going on.

      2. Lewis Mettler

        but Apple does nothing to earn their 30% cut

        But Apple does nothing to earn their 30% cut.

        At least in the music industry, they do help develope the material and help market it. Apple promises nothing. And Apple does nothing.

        Making the work available online IS nothing. Or allowing the owner to make it available online IS nothing.

        Apple demands their 30% but refuses to do anything to earn it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Apple created and gives away the authoring tool, iTunes and the iBooks client. In addition Apple provides servers for the downloads, payment processing and sales customer support (even human, not some automated crap)

          If you're not happy with that then build your own stack, or go elsewhere. I use the Inkling stuff for some textbooks, but you'll find out they don't really offer a much better deal.

          If you start comparing things to music labels you'll also quickly find out labels usually take over 80% of sales giving artists as little as 12% (going by figures mentioned in a 2009 USA Today article by Marco R. della Cava)

        2. Jerren


          Sorry Lewis but your way off here.

          Apple is creating the editing software, providing it to you for free in the app store, hosting/distributing the work on the ibooks bookstore and handling all the payment processing. Apple will also promote books in a similar way that the promote apps and songs as "featured content" in the iTunes store.

          Hosting your book online for money IS something, it's a big thing. it cost money to host a web site and hope and pray someone will find and buy your book from it, or money to advertise the site to get people there. Apple is also providing you a way to get paid for your work, Published and protect your content from being distributed outside the official ibook store. (No one's a big fan of DRM until it's YOUR work getting ripped off...) Sure you have a web site you can sell it yourself, but now you have PCI DSS compliance headaches and costs to consider to have your site tested at least once a month and they don't process the cards for free and put the money in your account for nothing. Chances are the Processor and the bank will slap some fees on you for those services since they have to comply with PCI as well. Nor will all users feel comfortable buying your ebook off the internet from your site vrs Amazon or Apple.

          When you add up what it would cost to develop, distribute, protect, and market a multimedia ebook on your own, 30% suddenly dosn't look that bad.

          Mine's the one with the ipad in the pocket...

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Pat 4

          Except the Music Industry's cut is more like 75% and 100% of the costs of everything come out of the Artists 25%. The music industry takes 0% risk, charge the artist for 100% of their services, and then take 75% off the top... This doesn't even come CLOSE to screwing the author as bad the the standard music industry contract. It doesn't even compare.

          Now that it's out... just don't use the tool... that's all.

    2. Tiny Iota

      Sounds just like...

      ...what was said in the article

    3. Windrose

      OR other.

      "Surely this only applies to the end result and packaging?"

      Indeed. So any .ibook, .epub, or .pdf produced with this software, then. That sounds reasonable, right?

      Since .ibooks are "rich", and the tool is "free", and Apple "only" charge a liiiittle bit, I'm quite convinced we'll see loads of "other works" produced solely for the iPad. Which is great news for the iPad owners, and, actually, quite the same for the rest of us. We'll be able to tell the wheat from the chaff, as is were.

  2. Northern Fop

    *Never* use an application called iPray

    You'll lose your very soul...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple at it's worst

    It's hard to find anything good to say about this, but if you don't like the terms don't use the software. Keep using what you're already using.

    You can distribute the book via iBooks if you wish and then pay apple their cut. You can distribute the same content else where and pay those publishers a cut.

    I wouldn't have thought it would be too hard to repurpose the content. You can export as text or a pdf. The actual output of the software seems to epub3 with added apple.

  4. os2baba

    This would be like Adobe making all photographers or web designers who use Photoshop sell it only via an Adobe store and giving them a 30% cut. Yet another reason to stop using Apple products. Over the years, I have turned from an Apple fan to slowly removing all Apple devices from my house and it's crap like this that's done it. What's happened to them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "What's happened to them?"

      They realised that they can get away with pretty much anything. Now it's all about the $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ .

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not a fair comparison, Adobe isn't giving Photoshop away for free. Last time I checked it cost quite a bit, as does InDesign which many use to layout books.

      This is a free tool, it's not that surprising that it comes with this condition. Apple have hardly invented this concept (not sure who came up with it first, but I've used free PCB layout tools exclusively tied to PCB fabrication company in the past)

      1. James Hughes 1

        On the other hand, you could use LibreOffice which is free and they don't take cut of your work....easy enough to convert to a eBook format if you wish.

      2. Daniel 4


        I was thinking much the same with the PCB layout tools. However, it looks like a key difference may be just where in the process this limitation is made obvious (the EULA is not obvious). If it is before you can waste any time getting locked in against your will, I don't see the problem here. Unfortunately, it sounds like you find this out after you make your first book? If so, it is a serious problem - though as likely a stupid mistake as a deliberate IP grab, me thinks. We'll see if they correct themselves in a timely manner.


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Daniel 4

          That is a good point and Apple should state this limitation more clearly outside of the "App License Agreement" link in the app's page for those who don't read such things.

          But still I can see how the name "iBooks Author" suggests it's really meant to be for Apple's iBook platform and not general purpose e-book producing tool. In any case it's a simple case of communicating this better to would-be authors and let them decide if they want to use it or not.

      3. Eradicate all BB entrants


        Actually while not a direct comparison it is a fair comparison as since when have Apple started giving away OS X systems for free? If the application was not locked to one OS and given away free then you could understand (even if not agree) the reasons for such a move.

        I would even go as far as saying your comparison is not the fair comparison as you are using it to obtain a product for yourself. Applying that to the iRipoffyourcreativity app, the app would be there for the creation of the content and the physical creation of the published works, delivered to you to distribute through whichever channel you choose.

        So as you have actually had to pay Apple a considerable amount of money in order to be able to use said app the enforced 30% cut is rather greedy.

    3. Fuzz

      Kind of

      Kind of like that, except mostly completely different because last time I checked Adobe didn't give photoshop away for free.

      I don't really see a problem with this license agreement, how else are you going to distribute a format that can only be used on iOS if not through iTunes?

      The problem is for any poor kid whose tutor decides that this is the best way for them to buy textbooks and is therefore forced into owning an iPad when they might already own some kind of other tablet device.

      If an author is going to sell textbooks at $15 a time they don't need to sell many before they can easily afford to pay for a software package like this outright.

      Someone else needs to come into the market with a similar product that uses an html5 approach and can be displayed in the browsers of all the competing hardware. Amazon's kindle web app is an example of how this can be done.

    4. kode
      Big Brother

      It seems there still are plenty of fanbois to vote you down, which is just pathetic and sad.

      I also ditched Apple a few years back, after many years of paying them way too much money for their computers, which weren't worth their price in the end. But it never stops to amaze me how fanbois turn anything Apple does to something good. Truly brainwashed sheep. They give their money smiling to the Big Brother. This new stunt by Apple is just a new one in the series of forcing their customers selling their souls to the company.

    5. jkz99

      "This would be like Adobe making all photographers or web designers who use Photoshop sell it only via an Adobe store".

      Really?? You use Photoshop as an analogy?

      Adobe Photoshop Pro costs money. You have to pay for it.

      So naturally you would not expect a paid-for software to have restriction on what you can do with files you created.

      Apple's iBooks Author is a ***FREE*** program designed for creating and publishing ebooks to the iBooks store.

      Apple does not force you to use iBooks Author. You can use 3rd party tools to create EPUB ebooks to be sold in iBooks store if you want to.

      Please give us your reasons why Apple should provide an excellent and ***FREE*** ebook authoring program so you can create good looking ebooks to be sold on other platforms?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Free for sufficiently trivial definitions of "free". The iBooks shit is far, far more expensive than I would ever consider.

        Fuck Apple, and fuck their "everything belongs to us" philosophy.

        1. John Bailey

          Ahh.. But it's iFree. Which is better.. A special magical type of free, where the least useful context is the free part.

          See also the open nature of h264.

      2. GrumpyBob


        Apple's new iBook Author may be free (as in beer), but it relies on other software, such as Pages and Keynote which are not free.

        The principal issue here is that textbook publishers who wish to make rich content eBooks need to think carefully about the tools they use to ensure that their product reaches the widest audience. Going down the Apple route is dangerous. Personally, I think the best approach is to use an application that generates an eBook format that can be read on any platform.

        On the other hand, I strongly suspect that a 1300+ page graphics rich textbook like Molecular Biology of the Cell is going to exceed the capacity of an iPad. not to mention the impossibility of replacing the experience of leafing through the book. Don't forget that students generally use textbooks as reference, and read them differently than they would a novel.

    6. dssf

      Or, like CAD developers if they were to try to

      Charge dirt cheap, but then locking up the format as a hostage for ransom for each sale.

    7. Harthin

      It would only be like that if Adobe provided all of the software needed for free.

      Apple is a publicly traded corporation whose investors expect growth and profit. They are not a charitable organization and never have been. The chances are that most textbooks will already be in a publish-ready format and will simply be pasted and tweaked into iBooks.

      I don't particularly love Apple, but this step isn't particularly surprising given their history of wanting to control content and profit from it.

  5. jai

    sounds worse than it is in practise?

    as i understand it, the iBooks2 format is ePub3, with extensions to ensure all the whizzy embedded content and stuff work well. And no one else supports that yet, so if i make a book in iBooks Author, then the only platform anyone can read it on is going to be iBooks. And so i makes sense to sell via iBookstore, because that's where the majority of your audience is going to be shopping.

    And also, the app is called iBooks Author, the clue is in the name. It's not iBooks&Kindle Author is it?

    And as everyone has said, this restriction is only to the iBooks2 format file that gets generated. Nothing to stop you producing another copy of your file with a different tool that is purely epub3 compatible and missing the iBooks2 specialsauce.

    1. handle

      As bad if you get trapped

      "And as everyone has said, this restriction is only to the iBooks2 format file that gets generated. Nothing to stop you producing another copy of your file with a different tool that is purely epub3 compatible and missing the iBooks2 specialsauce."

      But I presume this tool is designed to encourage you to type the text into it. In which case, you're bound to Apple by the EULA if you want to sell it:

      "If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software ... 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."

      You can only get out of that if you create your work with something else and then import it into iBooks Author.

      1. Spiracle

        No, they're referring to the book as a package of text and formatting created using iBook Author. You'll still own the copyright on your text and illustrations but if you package them into ePub3 using iBA and the associated templates, embedded code and fonts which make it look nice (and which presumably Apple retain ownership of) then they're only letting you sell that package through the Apple app store.

        You can still feed your text into another editing tool and sell through another channel, though it'll probably be a pig to get everything looking and working consistently across all platforms as textbooks have much more rich content than the average ebook port of an airport novel. Apple must be hoping that the job of publishing textbook content across more than one platform will be so onerous that publishers will default to iBooks and the rest will be a 'when we get around to it' job.

        Did I read that iBooks has HTML5 support?

    2. Chad H.

      because of course

      Apple should provide a free bit of software to allow you to create stuff for the competition... why?

      1. EyeCU

        I've said it before

        But change Apple for Microsoft and watch the uproar as everybody cries how unfair and anti-competitive it is and Microsoft do give away plenty of different content creation tools for free.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Have you looked at the EULA for the (>£100) Microsoft Office Home edition?

          "The software may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities."

          A lot worse than Apple is doing here, yet where was the uproar?

          Here's the link if you don't believe it:

          1. EyeCU

            Entirely different

            Office Home is effectively sold at a discount compared to Professional because of the terms and conditions and Microsoft do not attempt to hide it. That isn't something given away under the pretence of being a company that likes to give extras to its customers for free. As other people have pointed out, the clause in Apples t&c isn't shown to you until AFTER you have created something. If you want to compare like for like then Visual Studio Express is given away for free with no such limitations about how you can distribute what you create or if you can charge for it apart from if you make use of the H.264 codec to comply with the rules set out by MPEG LA.


            Neither do the terms of Movie Maker prevent you from making a profit from your work or restrict your sales channel and that is also software they give away free. Again the only restrictions are those directly related to MPEG LA codec rules. I know Microsoft are part of that consortium but so are Apple. The rules governing the use of MPEG LA codecs have to be agreed on by all members so Microsoft are not in complete control of that. There are other examples of content creation software given away by Microsoft and others (KindleGen by Amazon and Moglue e-book creator for example) that do not have lock-in conditions like those laid down by Apple.

            Apple apologists cannot see the woods for the trees. These mistakes have been made before with Microsoft and look how that turned out. Because of public opinion and pressure Microsoft have been forced to change the way they operate and are no longer the big boogeyman they once were. Why are people so happy to walk into the same trap again but this time with Apple? If pressure is put on them now to play fair then we don't need to end up with another Microsoft.

          2. Steve the Cynic

            Well, duh/...

            It says right there on the fecking box that Office H&S is for use, well, by students and people at home. Duh. It even says on the aforementioned fecking box that it's not for commercial blah blah. (Well, it does on the French-language editions, anyway, and it says it on the title bar of the apps when you run them.) And you get a big discount on the price of one OffProf licence, and you get three licences for that one price. And you want to use it for commercial blah blah as if you paid full price?

            Bah. Big fat FAIL for the guy hanging up the modem connection.

  6. SMabille

    All your books are belong to us....

    No alternative bookshelf library for iBook titles then...

    For people saying "You can only use it on iPad so it's not a big deal": It actually is. It prevents Amazon, for example, to start selling books in both Kindle and iBook format (if generated by Apple tool but as the format is closed, Apple is probably the only tool to generate attractive iBooks).

    The only source of (non-free) iBook being Apple is the equivalent of them saying: Your only source of music is iTunes.

    1. Synonymous Howard


      Its still a free market and so publishers are free to develop their own authoring tools and give them away. Don't like Apple's distribution terms, don't use "iBooks Author" and use a free or costly alternative.

      To me what would be more interesting to see if this is limited by an (unenforceable) EULA or is using a DRM mechanism. If its the first then I can see an opportunity for some Open Source software to "strip" any iBooks specific content from the Apple enhanced ePub3 format and even reformat it to remove anything that could be deemed to identify it as "produced using iBooks Author". Apple would then have a big difficulty in proving which format was used to package the content originally, i.e. someone made it in ePub3 format and then imported it in to iBooks Author and added the "extended" content ... or was it the other way around??

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Dazed and Confused

    About bloody time

    They made write unreasonable EULA a capital offence with the automatic non-appealable death sentance for the entire board.

    This is no more unreasonable than many of the terms and conditions such garbage tends to claim.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing is FREE.

    You forgot the part about Apple's iBookstore charging a yearly fee. See what they're doing here? Free software but restrictive to allowing one to only publish to the iBookstore, however it costs $$$$ to have developer access and the ability to publish through the iBookstore. It's a filtering scam to trap authors into giving up exclusive rights! By now the world should realize there's no such thing as free. There's always a cost even if it's not money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where did you read this about a yearly fee? I just signed up without one.

      Maybe you imagined it?

      1. Jim in Hayward

        It's a developers fee. You must subscribe to put content into the Apple App store. I think it's $99.00 per year. A consumer does not pay the fee, only the developer that wants to make money off of their IP via the Apple Store. Not a big deal. Tens of thousands of developers have no problem paying $99.00 per year for access to the tens of millions of shoppers using iTMS and Apple App Store.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Xcode lock-in

    Quote: "Apple provides the Xcode toolkit for free and makes no restriction on the distribution of OS X applications created using it, but one can't help thinking that it's only a matter of time until that happens."

    Impossible. For one, the major components of Xcode are open source - Xcode is simply a front-end for the tools.

    Secondly, and more importantly, a vast amount of development done with Xcode isn't relevant to the App store (mobile or otherwise), e.g. device drivers, plugins, tools, etc, etc. Apple has made it abundantly clear that iOS and Mac OS are designed for different purposes, and even the Mac OS has different audiences in mind, i.e. professional vs consumer. Quite simply, Apple won't have anything to deliver to consumers if it loses the professionals. Anyone who thinks Apple doesn't know that is frankly naive. Put another way, can you imagine that Apple's plan is to entrust development for all Mac/iPhone content to MS Windows? Not a chance.

    IMO the restriction on the output from the iBooks Author software reflects the immaturity of the whole eBook market, e.g. weak (but developing) format standards, wildly differing hardware, and generally rubbish distribution. Apple is trying to carve out an entire, coherent ecosystem for the creation, sales, and consumption of eBooks that 'just works', and so the parts are necessarily bound together. Outside of the iPad, there isn't much of an alternative for viewing these documents anyway (not consistently at least). The publishing industry, like the music industry, has tried to avoid the digital revolution rather than embracing it. And in doing so, they leave a huge, gaping opportunity for a company like Apple to define how it works.

  10. Charles-A Rovira

    Pointless non-argument and link bait.

    Apple has more stringent antivirus standards. You can't fault them for that.

    The reader app is free. The creator/writer app is free.

    The content is free or nearly free.

    You can get your content, from a Word file say, and import it into an iBook2 file, generate the iBook2, publish the iBook2 for the iPad.

    Apple makes no claim of ownership of your content and you can use the same content to publish it on a Kindle or a Nook or on CR-Rom or on paper.

    You can use Kindle™ app for the iPad to get the Amazon version of the content.

    You can use various PDF reader apps to get more generic versions of the content.

    Its exactly the same as having to use Microsoft's Word program to read/write Microsoft' Word file format despite all of its drawbacks as opposed to SGML format.

    1. nsld
      Paris Hilton

      you sure?

      The wording in the article seems to say that if you generate something from the software you can only sell it through apple, this reads as an exclusivity and that you cannot publish the same material on other sites/stores for sale so it looks like they are claiming a sole distribution right.

      As a sidenote you can create .doc and .docx files in other packages apart from MSword

      Paris, she is a sucker as well

      1. SMabille


        Apple get the distribution exclusivity of the resulting file. So no you can't sell the resulting iBook via other distribution methods but the content itself is still yours, so you can sell it via other channels in any other formats (PDF, Kindle, etc....) but as Apple push for more polished content with background, graphics, interactivity etc the efforts required to transpose to several platforms increase.

        So Apple strategy is to offer a tool that make creation easy and hope you'll give up 30% of sales in return to fast, effective production and distribution.

  11. Toby 10

    This is a bit like the Kindle AZW format then is it not?

    You create the content, format it for a particular market (Kindle or iBooks) and then sell it via that market.

    No textbook publishing company (which I don't feel as inclined as others to feel so sorry for) is going to write a whole textbook in Apple's free tool - they're going to author everything elsewhere and then use the tool to format it for iBooks. When other tools catch up (epub 3) then they can reuse the content and format it for other markets.

  12. Volker Hett

    iBook Author is for iPads only

    So I don't see big problems as long as I can repackage my works with another tool for another platform.

    On the other hand, iBook Author and iBook 2 on iPad can do things ePub can't, it is tempting.

    1. Red_Five

      But is repackaging an option? Does this restriction apply only to the distribution of the resulting ebook file, or to the distribution of the creative work that the ebook file represents?

      Reading the quoted passage from the EULA, to me it sounds like any eBook packaged via Apple's software can only be sold via Apple. That eBook cannot be repackaged from the original source text/files/fdata using different tools for sale via another channel. Apple therefore claims exclusivity for the textbook completely.

      Of course, if you are giving your work away, then it looks like the exclusivity condition doesn't apply.

      Or am I reading it wrong?

      1. Jim in Hayward

        You are reading it wrong.

      2. the-it-slayer


        This EULA stops the author taking the iBook file and selling it own their own site/via Amazon/whatever other method. That's what I think from the articles I've read.

        May need to dig out the EULA myself.

        1. Volker Hett

          Nothing new. Where do you expect punters with devices running iBook reader? Yes, in the iTunes store.

          Up to now there is just one iBook 2 reader and that one runs on iPads and nowhere else.

      3. Volker Hett

        It's only the iBook file.

        The tool has just one purpose, making iBook files.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    "It might seem reasonable for Apple, which provides the software for free, to then demand a cut of any tomes created using its toolkit"

    Erm, in what way exactly?

    1. the-it-slayer

      Software development isn't free?

      Some people here think software development is actioned by magic. Hello!? For the cost of developing, testing, analysis, promotion, hosting iBooks, bandwidth for downloading the software etc of iBooks; it does... cost... money... to... operate.

      It's just another model which effectively Apple can take advantage of because of their heavy-weight status in having hard, cold, cash to chuck at projects. Seems reasonable to me for Apple to claim that development cost back + revenue. Whether you agree/disagree with 30%, it's the publishers fault for not coming together and fighting for a better deal. The only reason I can see that percentage not changing is because Apple = huge market share for the tablet market.

      Why would an iBook dev/publisher not take advantage of that and then branch out to publish their iBooks on other platforms once they have multiple times of the 70% they take away from each book sale.

      It's no different than a publisher taking a cut to help print/advertise/stock the book in the shops.

  14. Mage Silver badge

    Open Office

    and Libre Office

    It's simple

    Nothing from Apple is Free. You paid a premium for their HW. They want to lock you into their HW and Store.

    They should be banned from Educational establishments due to the lifelong lock-in to proprietary HW, OS, tools and Store.

    1. Volker Hett

      And how do you do interactive eBooks in Libre Office? With videos, interactive pictures and more?

  15. Owen Smith

    About as evil as your standard publisher

    it's no less evil than the standard publishing cartels T&C's

    having a quick look at some of the terms, you submit a paper to a journal, if they decide to publish it they now own it and will use it for evil.

    apple are only doing what's standard practice for publishers, ripping off the general public, academia (libraries, universities and students) and making big piles of cash

  16. Camilla Smythe

    Eh ?

    "The restriction is displayed when users run iBook Author, but only at the end of the e-book design process. At which point one might be prompted to go back and read the EULA - which wasn't displayed during the installation of the program:"

    Not being one to RTFA but that seems like a nice summary.


    Oh, by the way....

  17. Mark Dowling

    If Microsoft did this people would lose their sh1t

    Oh wait - they did do it. Several times. But this is Apple so...

    .ibook is Microsoft's "Open" Office XML all over again.

    1. dogged

      Not exactly.

      I mean, you can write anything in doc or docx format and then sell it to anyone you like (or dislike, possibly) in any way you choose. MS don't claim to own the right to sell your work for you at 30% commission.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Not if you have Microsoft Office Home edition (the £90 version). According to that license you cannot sell the documents you produce to anyone.

        Quoted from the end-user license: "The software may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities."

        To be able to sell your work you must have the Business edition which costs double.

        1. dogged


          Not at all. You can use Office Live for free on the web and do exactly as you like with your documents. But nice try.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Office Live on the web?

            Good luck writing your textbooks, or any significant document on that. Just don't use too many photos, lest you reach the 100MB limit. Embedding videos? Haha.

            But here have a cardboard star for participating.

            1. dogged

              I thought we were discussing what you were allowed to do with Office, not throwing straw men around. If I am mistaken then good luck playing Crysis 2 on your Mac.

              1. Anonymous Coward

                You're the one throwing straw arguments like Office Live around. My point was that even the commercial Home version of Office - the one many of it's over 100 million users will have - comes with legal limitations that forbid any kind of for profit use. Plus you'd have to really read the fine print to find out about it.

                It's right there on the license, but you have to dig into page 6 to find it:

                I could easily play Crysis 2 on my Mac if I wished, since I have Bootcamp. I use OSX, Windows 7, Red Hat Linux and even FreeBSD daily. I'm sorry you prefer to be more limited.

                1. dogged

                  I have no preference. The fact remains, you can do what you like with a doc or docx file. Office Live writes docx files.

                  You have a Mac. How nice for you.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Why do you insist on this? I just pointed you - again - lo Microsoft's EULA stating you cannot profit at all from documents created using the Home version of Office, so no you can't do what you like unless you pay more for the business edition.

                    Office Live is very limited, including a 100mb limit on documents, so again no you can't do what you like.

                    Feel free to get you head out of your ass at your leisure, I'm done.

                    1. EyeCU

                      Look it's simple

                      Office HOME - for personal use (the clue is in the name)

                      Office PROFESSIONAL for work use

                      If you intend to make a profit from something then that is not personal use, it's work. Office home is cheaper because of this. Writing a letter to your Auntie Mable is personal and you don't make any money from it. Writing invoices for work you have done is business - do you see the difference now? As I said in my earlier post if you want to compare like for like then do so with a content creation tool given away freely. Like Visual Studio express that does not have any restrictions on what you do with what you create. It does not impose restrictions on making a profit from your work OR, and this is the important bit, WHERE YOU SELL IT. Microsoft do not try to restrict you to Windows Marketplace even though they give the software away free.

                      Get your own head out of your ass and see the truth. Apple are now the Microsoft of the 90's. If people don't demand that they change the way they operate now before they get any bigger then we will end up with the same situation. A company stifling innovation, drip feeding it's customers new technology a little at a time because they make more money that way just like they did with the iPad. The iPad 1 shell had a space for a camera that wasn't fitted, not because of any technical limitation but because they knew they could get more money releasing the iPad 2 later including the camera and then they could include Facetime as an 'innovation'. They use lawyers to bully other companies, shit on their own resellers, steal from the people who have supported them by developing for their platform, blatantly ignore the law because they know that they will make more profit from doing so than the fine will cost them when the law eventually catches up. This behaviour needs to be stopped now before they get too big and we reach the 'Microsoft point' where you have no choice but to buy their stuff and subject yourself to whatever rules they impose just so you can reach the majority of potential customers.

  18. Grumble

    Software and hardware licensing....

    The most insidious concept ever devised by man (except for religion of course). It seems nothing we buy these days actually belongs to us. How did our esteemed leaders allow such a concept to develop to these levels.

    1. Richard Taylor 2

      I refer you

      to the eminernt Sir Terry Pratchett's and Niel Gaimens 'Good Omens' in which an eminent demon is quoted as reccomending EULAs back down to hell - if I remember correctly (although it might just be wishful thinking)m, enclosing one of Microsoft's EULAs with a note suggesting that they 'Learn Guys' when they reworked their contracts with (soon to be) lost souls....

      A fine book though - great from both Authors

  19. gazbea

    Really a surprise?!?!

    I don't understand all of the comments about Apple not "informing" everybody about it. I do disagree about their practices at times. However my points are as follows:


    - As has already been discussed, Apple is a business after all. They do provide a service for publicity, sales mechanism, etc.

    - Apple have developed the software. It is theirs to do with as they please. If you don't like it, there are plenty of other eBook creating software available.

    - It is documented in their EULA agreement. You have no case against them


    - Apple are notorious for this sort of stuff. Burying stuff deep in the EULA which people never actually read.

    - Lots of other software out there that won't tie you to a provider. Even create a PDF should you really wish to do so and sell it on eBay.

    - Why use the iBook format when there are many more generic formats available. It is the MP3 vs AAC war all over again.

    If you disagree about the practice then go elsewhere. The EULA should have been read in the first place. It is only a matter of time before Amazon open the very same service and possibly at a lesser rate.

    Is what Apple have done here really a surprise to anybody at all?! I am not pro-Apple by any means. I only have a 60GB iPod video in my artillery! :)

  20. Evan Hadkins

    Bic is about to become wealthy

    So I guess every novel written with a Bic pen means Bic gets a cut and can only be sold through a publisher they approve?

    I won't be using this software, that's for sure.

    Google tries the same thing. I don't use them either.

    I hope someone takes this on in the courts - they would need VERY deep pockets I guess.

  21. Richard Cassidy

    No secret

    The restriction of book sales to Apple's store is not hidden from users - the description of the iBook Author software in the Apple App Store, which presumably you read before you download it, states:

    Submit your book to the iBookstore for sale or free download with a few simple steps*

    * Books may only be sold through the iBookstore; additional terms and conditions apply.

    Which seems like fair warning in advance of downloading, let alone using.

  22. Cutman

    What's the beef?

    The iBooks Author is a nice little App based on Pages. You can export as PDF and sell that anywhere if you want the hassle of setting up your website, promoting it, hosting it, commerce-ing it etc etc.

    If you'd rather go the ebooks route you pay the 30% to Apple but you get the benefits of discovery on the iTunes platform. I suspect you'd be wasting your time if you were trying to sell an interactive Anachists Cookbook or an in depth guide to jail-breaking iDevices as they wouldn't make it through censoring.

    You might just find this opens up a whole new income for many "Tutorialists" who make £0 out of their YT videos. The iBooks platform should be applauded.

    If it's not right for you there's always all the other routes to self publishing that have been 100% successful in the past.

  23. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    It's not quite that bad - this is what you do

    AFAIK, Apple doesn't try to own the copyright (unlike Google) - it simply wants a cut for using their eco system. Thus, write your material in OpenOffice, and create your various eFormats. AFTERWARDS, you paste a copy into the Apple tool - that's what gets sold via Apple.

    It means no lock-in for you, and you can thus see which market works and which doesn't. As YOU are the copyright holder YOU should determine who sells your material. Apple cannot insist to be sole provider (if they put that in their conditions I think they can close shop), so it make a profit on the sales they provide (which is IMHO fair). They won't get $$ for other supply lines.

    However, IANAL, I may have missed something. Does anyone have an online version of their conditions?

  24. RAMChYLD

    There's a even worse side to using the app

    According to ZDNet- if Apple rejects the book for whatever reason, you're still bound by the fact that you used iBooks Author to write the book and it has to be consigned to the Trash. You can't take it and publish it elsewhere.

    To me, that's faff. It means that if Apple doesn't like what you wrote, you have to throw the book away, no way to take it to a different publisher.

    Flame- what happens when Apple doesn't like your work.

  25. HelenaHandcart

    This is the problem "if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple ..."

    A the moment many materials for university courses (for which students pay fees) are distributed through university online learning environments. These tend to be closed platforms that are only available to registered students. If, however, tutors want to produce iBooks instead then they can only distribute them through iTunes, even if there is no additional charge for the books. How will iTunes ensure that iBook course materials are only available to the students who have paid (the university) for them? Almost certainly they won't because the point of iTunesU is that it is a free provider of university content. However many universities do not want to distribute all their course materials for free; they want and need fee-paying students (and will not want to give Apple a 30% cut of the fees). Therefore there is no incentive - in fact there is a disincentive - for a uni to use iBooks. Better to go with Adobe Presenter which allows users to use whatever distribution mechanisms they like. Of course, Adode Presenter output is Flash-based so will not run on iPads. Result? Uni students are advised to buy Android tablets (or even provided with Android tabs for free) so that they can access course content.

    iBooks author should be a loss leader for Apple because students will need to buy expensive iPads in order to use/read iBook textbooks. Forcing authors and institutions to distribute materials for fee-charging courses only through the iTunes store may well force universities and other education providers into the arms of Apple's competitors.

  26. Janko Hrasko

    Reading only possible on Pads and Phones

    Market lock-in is bad enough, what's worse for the customers though is the fact that you WILL need iPad to view the books (or iPhone).

    iBooks isn't available on any other Apple devices!!!

  27. Crisp

    EULA's are not law.

    So I'll publish my work where ever I damn well please.

  28. Jeff Green

    The way out

    It says if you charge for it you must do so via the Apple store, but you can give it away free, so give it away free to your identical twin brother and grant him the right to sell it wherever he wishes, or even anywhere except on Apple if you like, and you are compliant with the licence terms.

  29. Volker Hett

    Actualy, where is the problem?

    If you don't own a Mac and don't intend to sell to iPad users, why are you complaining?

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