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Apple's iBooks EULA Drawing Ire 308

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the publish-and-perish dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with one of many articles about the iBooks EULA, this time questioning whether it is even enforceable. Quoting: "The iBooks Author EULA plainly tries to create an exclusive license for Apple to be the sole distributor of any worked created with it, but under the Copyright Act an exclusive license is a 'transfer of copyright ownership,' and under 17 U.S.C. 204 such a transfer 'is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed.' When authors rebel and take their work elsewhere, Apple has, at most, a claim for breach-of-EULA — but their damages are the failure to pay $0 for the program."
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Apple's iBooks EULA Drawing Ire

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  • Re:Next step (Score:4, Interesting)

    by immaterial (1520413) on Tuesday January 24, 2012 @06:21PM (#38811837)
    If Bic gave you the pen for free, and included with it a bunch of their pre-designed templates for your use (plot outline, prewritten characters, whatever), your analogy would be a bit closer to the mark. If that's a problem, go *buy* a pen and come up with your own stuff from scratch, or contribute to an open-source writing-templates program to benefit everyone. Don't expect some corporation to do it for you for free, that's just not how they work.
  • Re:Next step (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday January 24, 2012 @06:27PM (#38811939)

    Those are bad examples. Hemingway had bipolar, Poe had all sorts of problems, Jack Kerouac seemed to be under the delusion that one can only write while in an altered state. I'm not familiar enough with Jack London to guess as to his motives, but apart from London the other writers had greatly shortened careers because of their alcohol and or drug use. Hemingway himself was only 62 when he killed himself and alcohol is known to make mood disorders worse.

  • Re:Next step (Score:1, Interesting)

    by stanlyb (1839382) on Tuesday January 24, 2012 @06:30PM (#38811981)
    But just a couple of years ago we got our hands on some documents from FBI that proved that FBI were actually after him.......So, he was right, not delusional.
  • Re:$0 Now, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday January 24, 2012 @06:51PM (#38812307) Homepage Journal

    $99 annual developer's fee later *cough*xcode*cough*

    Well, the big difference there is that nothing stops you from cross-compiling your software on other platforms.

    Except when Apple sends you a not-so-nice-gram pointing out where you signed-your-rights-away-in-a-EULA

    Doesn't this sound an awful lot like the "Bad Old Days" of the music business, where performers signed contracts, only later to find they surrendered all their rights to some shady producer?

    What's old is new again?

  • Re:$0 Now, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Tuesday January 24, 2012 @07:35PM (#38812815)

    Those are costs for distributing your app on the App Store not the price of Xcode. From here [] with such links as:

    Download Xcode 4 for Free


    Download Xcode 4.2.1 for Lion
    from the Mac App Store for Free

    If you paid money for Xcode, you're an idiot.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @11:23AM (#38818303) Homepage Journal

    people distributing their works for money aren't typically going to also distribute them for free. That would undermine sales.

    Sorry, but you're 100% incorrect. Very often what seems to be obvious is shown by scientific research to be completely false*. One book publisher thought the same thing as you a couple of years ago, so he commissioned a study to see how much revenue he was losing to piracy. With a book, it takes a few weeks for it to hit the net because it has to be scanned and OCRed, so they looked at how much sales dropped when the pirate edition was availabe. Both the researchers and publisher were amazed when it was shown that rather than a sales dip, there was actually a sales SPIKE. People read the book, liked it, and bought it.

    I'll bet you think libraries cost publishers money, but you're wrong there, too. I have a dozen or more Asimov books on my shelf. Were I unable to read library books for free (I've read a few hundred of Asimov's) I would have never bought a single one. Only the rich or foolish would buy a book from an authout he hadn't read before unless it was highly praised by people he admired. BTW, you can get music CDs and movie DVDs at the library as well -- completely free. No charge. Walk in broke, walk out with an armload of books, CDs, and DVDs.

    Most musicians give their music away. Of course, most musicians aren't RIAA's musicians. Professional musicians I know wouldn't touch an RIAA contract with a ten foot pole; they know the RIAA is made up of nothing but thieving parasites that suck the lifeblood from artists.

    Want some free sci-fi ebooks? Go to boing boing, Doctorow credits his status as a New York Times best seller to the fact that he gives his books away for free on there. As he says, nobody ever lost a dime from piracy, but many artists have starved from obscurity.

    They're not going to read your book if they've never heard of you. BTW, my old Paxil Diaries on K5 half a deceade ago will be in print soon, at the request of readers. Had I not put them on the net, there's no way I could turn them into a book and have anyone read it.

    * another example, although not on topic, is marijuana research. Since all smoke contains carcinogens, it was thought that marijuana cased cancer, so they did a statistical study to back up the hypothesis. They had 4 groups of geezers: nonsmokers, long term cigarette smokers, long term pot smokers, and long term smokers of both substances. They were amazed to find that there was no statistically signifigant differences between long term pot smokers and nonsmokers, and the potsmokers actually had fewer cancers (again, statistically insignifigant). What blew them away was the finding that those who smoked both pot and tobacco had half the cancer rates of those who only smoked tobacco! Rather than causing cancer, it appears to prevent it.

    That's what science is for -- to test whether your perceptions are real. As often as not, they aren't.

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished." -- Goethe