iBooks Author EULA claims all paid content is exclusive to Apple

iBooks Author content exclusive to Apple

Following Apple's iBooks Author announcement today, word started to circulate that content made with Apple's app could only be sold in Apple's iBookstore. Authors could freely distribute their work, but they couldn't sell it elsewhere.

After digging through the licensing PDF, Leanna thinks she might have found the pesky paragraph in question, namely, section 2.B.(ii).

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 and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.

It wouldn't be unusual for Apple to exert this level of control over content, but that doesn't make it any the less irksome. Given the pushback they faced following subscriptions, if this isn't an error from the outset, Apple will need to walk it back

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iBooks Author EULA claims all paid content is exclusive to Apple

12 Comments

Unless I'm misreading this (always possible), this is no different from any content-for-pay arrangement. If a publisher hires you to write for them, or if you sell something you've already written to them, you cannot then sell that same work to another publisher.
In this case, Apple is not just the distributor, they're the publisher. You are under no obligation to sell them anything, but if you enter into this agreement, and accept their fee, they own it. Not unreasonable

Let's see. Apple provides you the tools to create the content for free. They provide you a place to sell it with a ridiculous audience base for no up front cost (correct? only time you would pay apple for content sold via iBooks is when something is actually sold). In return, they state that you can ONLY use them. I don't know, but I don't see an issue here.
Now, if they 1) didn't provide the authoring tools for free OR 2) said you can only distribute via iBooks for free and paid content, then there would be a problem. I don't see it here.

I generally agree with what you say in that I have no problem with Apple providing me a free tool to create these books in exchange for only publishing on the iBooks store. If they really want this to take off right out of the gates, it'd be great if they release iBooks Author for Windows as well as OSX.

Apple didn't build this book-making tool and give it away for free so that people could make a book and sell it somewhere else. Maybe if you had to buy the creator app then it would be one thing, but it seems perfectly reasonable that Apple would impose this considering they give their app away for free. Make your book in another piece of software if you want to sell it on multiple platforms.

if you publish with McGraw-Hill or any other publisher they get exclusive rights and you can't sell the same work elsewhere so how can they be upset with Apple?

You're exactly right. It's precisely that two-faced, hypocritical aspect of Apple fans that pushed me away from Apple. I own a Macbook Pro and an iPad, and I used to own an iPhone. I moved from iPhone to Windows Phone (mostly as a test, since there was a return policy, but the OS is so good I can't imagine going back to iOS again), and later this year I'll move to a Windows 8 ARM tablet and abandon my iPad entirely. As for my Macbook Pro...well, it's already running Windows 7 95% of the time, and that's just how it's going to be.
While one person can't undo all the damage Apple does, as a Systems Engineer and integrator I can at least do my part to move people away from Apple's products and services, and I do so on a regular basis (which iCloud has made very easy, given what an awful product it is)

Im a huge fan of iPad and iBooks. But I can't imagine any author in his right mind using this. This basically says you will only ever sell your work to owners of Apple products! That's shooting yourself in the foot IMO. So many people use kindles, nooks, and other Android or Windows devices to read, without access to iBooks. You're basically saying, "yeah, I'm not interested in selling to them".

I know this is now a few months after the storm has broken.
But as the dust has settled there is another EULA problem that arises.
I freelance on Elance and there are more and more jobs coming up for layouts to be done in iBooksAuthor. Any freelancer who gets paid for outputting work in iBooksA and getting paid for his/her work is in breach of the EULA and will be sued!!!