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Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing 144

bonch writes "After drawing criticism over iBooks Author's licensing language, Apple has modified it in a software update to make clear that Apple is claiming rights to the .ibook format itself and not the content therein: '[The license restriction] does not apply to the content of such works when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format.' In other words, the content may be sold on competing book stores as long as it is not packaged using iBooks Author."
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Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing

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  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:04PM (#38922477)

    Hands up all those people who didn't already realise that's what it meant.

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:06PM (#38922499)
    Ambiguity, when it comes to working with a litigious company, is not a good thing.
  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:07PM (#38922515)

    What one knows it means and what one claims it means are two different things. The "Apple hates us for our freedom" crowd never really cared what was meant, it was just another club to troll with.

  • by bhagwad ( 1426855 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:20PM (#38922659) Homepage
    It's still ridiculous. Imagine if the EULA of an IDE like Eclipse were to demand that any programs compiled using it have to give a cut to the creators of Eclipse!

    I'm not saying it's illegal. It's just that Apple is a jerk for doing it.
  • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:28PM (#38922721)

    Apple doesn't want to provide a free tool to be used for producing ebooks on competing platforms. I fail to see how that's being a "jerk". It's called running a business.

    Don't like it? Don't use iBooks Author.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:42PM (#38922863)

    Imagine if Microsoft said "We don't own the content of your document, but if we find any of your *.docx files being offered anywhere other than approved Microsoft partner's shop, we will sue you into the ground."

    Microsoft charges for Word. A general purpose word processing program. They sell it for all the things that WPs are expected to do. Create word processor files, print then and/or share them freely. If they didn't, no one would buy it.

    Apple doesn't charge for iBooks Author. It's a specific tool for preparing eBooks for the iBooks store from source content files. It could have been implemented as a web-app on the author section of their iBooks Store. But a native app means they can make it better and give it more features.

    You can imagine anything you like, but the two are not equivalent.

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:49PM (#38922929)

    Somehow we're not supposed to still be outraged over this?

    I'll compare two products: iBooks Author and Microsoft Office, Home Edition.

    iBooks Author: It is free. The restriction is that documents in the native iBook format, created with iBooks Author, may not be sold for money except through Apple. Microsoft Office, Home Edition: It costs real money. The restriction is that no commercial use of the software is allowed.

    Let's compare the licenses: iBooks Author is free, and it disallows one specific commercial use of the software: Selling documents in iBook format, created with iBooks Author, without going through Apple. Many other commercial uses are allowed, and so are all non-commercial uses. Microsoft Office, Home Edition: The software costs money, and it disallows _all_ commercial use of the software. So it is more expensive, and more restrictive.

    Where were the complaints about Microsoft Office, Home Edition?

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:50PM (#38922935)

    "Jerk" doesn't quite cover it. I believe terms such as "evil" and "monopolistic" should also be applied.

    Please explain in what way anyone is worse off now than the day before iBooks Author was released. In the absence of a compelling answer, how on earth does the word "evil" apply? It's ignorance of the first order.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:51PM (#38923377)

    Because that's what "nice" companies do.

    No it's not. Companies act to make a profit. Not to be nice. All that differs is their business model for making money out of their activities.

    Google for example makes my life easier for free with great tools and so I don't mind buying from them when I have to.

    They just have a different business model. They make their money on advertising. That's why they provide those tools. Not because they are nice.

    BTW, there's no Santa Claus either. Sorry about that.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:46PM (#38923681)

    Sorry, a person is nice by their actions in totality. I like doing business with Google and I trust Google because they're nice. So "nice" IS a viable business model if it gains the trust of your customers.

    You like doing business with Google. Lots of people like doing business with Apple. So what?

    "Nice" isn't a business model. It's hardly even a worthwhile adjective.

  • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:29PM (#38923939)

    So Google will drop all the lawsuits the moment the acquisition is complete?

  • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @04:50AM (#38925253)

    Apple: Give you free tool because they want content for their store.
    Google: Give you free tool because they want your personal details and information on everything you're doing.

    You may prefer the terms of the latter free tool, but that doesn't make them being "nice", it makes them another company, with another motive for giving you a free tool.

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