[LINK] Apple to Authors: Content You Make in iBook App is Yours, Not Ours

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Sat Feb 4 12:26:05 AEDT 2012

Apple to Authors: Content You Make in iBook App is Yours, Not Ours
(but the format is ours)


> Apple has amended a controversial clause in the end-user license agreement of its recently-introduced iBooks Author e-book creation app. The first version could be read as saying that any e-book created or edited in iBooks Author could only be sold exclusively in Apple’s store.
> The new EULA of iBooks Author 1.0.1, released Friday, makes it clear that content created inside iBooks Author belongs to authors, and can be sold on any other e-book platform; only files encoded in Apple’s proprietary .ibooks format are limited to Apple’s iBooks store. iBooks made in iBooks Author can still be distributed for free anywhere.


> If anything, the new EULA makes it clear that asserting rights over a file format is exactly what Apple wants to do. It’s disclaiming rights to PDF and TXT files made and exported in iBooks Author; it’s effectively asserting an exclusive right to sale of all .ibooks files.


> Apple, in this EULA, is claiming a right not just to its software, but to its software’s output. It’s akin to Microsoft trying to restrict what people can do with Word documents, or Adobe declaring that if you use Photoshop to export a JPEG, you can’t freely sell it to Getty. As far as I know, in the consumer software industry, this practice is unprecedented. I’m sure it’s commonplace with enterprise software, but the difference is that those contracts are negotiated by corporate legal departments and signed the old-fashioned way, with pen and ink and penalties and termination clauses. A by-using-you-agree-to license that oh by the way asserts rights over a file format? Unheard of, in my experience.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
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