Feeds

Use iBooks Author, only Apple can ever publish the result

Cupertino grants itself exclusive rights via EULA

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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 Cupertino getting its customary 30 per cent cut - to ensure that only Apple students get the benefit of Apple's largess.

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:

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.

It might seem reasonable for Apple, which provides the software for free, to then demand a cut of any tomes created using its toolkit, but the point made by Venomous Porridge blogger Dan Wineman (an e-book author who first spotted the restriction) is that he never agreed to make Apple his sole distribution agent, except that he apparently did just by running the software.

"Isn’t this the equivalent of a car dealer trying to bind you to additional terms by sticking a contract in the glove compartment?" asks Wineman.

EULAs have a chequered history at best in the UK, with plenty of precedent that ripping open an envelope or clicking on the small print won't bind one to a lifetime spent as Bill Gates' towel boy. Apple's iBook Author legal red tape is probably no more enforceable than any of the others, but it does push the boundaries a little further.

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. Development tools are generally given away to promote interest in the platform, but if Apple can turn them into a revenue stream too then there seems nothing to stop them.

Apple isn't claiming ownership over the contents of the iBooks, so the videos, sounds and text which make up the electronic publications can be bundled together using alternative tools to create equivalent content for other platforms, but anything that comes out of Apple's software remains under Apple's control and you might have already agreed to let that happen. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.