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back to article Apple clips publishers' wings

Apple is cracking down on applications that provide access to paid content, rejecting anything that looks as though its trying to bypass handing over 30 per cent to Cupertino. Apple gets a 30 per cent cut of anything purchased on the iPhone, or iPad, but iOS applications such as Amazon's Kindle reader and some newspaper clients …

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Unhappy

Unacceptable control

At what point will iFans finally understand that what Apple are doing is unethical. This must be close or past this tipping point, surely.

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They don't seem to care.

"oohhhh, it's shiny!!!" seems to be the only thought they have.

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Maybe not calling them iFans would help?

You know, per the general rule that insulting people tends not to work very well when you're attempting to talk them around to a differing point of view.

I also think you'll want to argue that what Apple are doing is so disproportionately unethical as to be a sufficient reason to avoid the company's products. All of the competing vendors are also doing at least one unethical thing, so there's an on balance argument to be made.

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Anonymous Coward

@Peter Gathercole

This seems unlikely. iPad owners who wish to use it to read books or newspapers probably don't already have a Kindle or similar and so won't have the problem of taking their content between devices. It is likely that they will be able to export books from their iThingy to other formats through iTunes (maybe not but I see no reason why not - once Apple have their 30% they could care less what you do with it)

Ultimately subscribers will care only about how much they have to pay for their books or subscriptions. How much goes to the publisher and how much to Apple will not be relevant. In fact there is plenty of form for this, ranging from the price of supermarket milk through to the net book agreement.

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FAIL

Unbalanced argument

"All of the competing vendors are also doing at least one unethical thing, so there's an on balance argument to be made"

The familiar "two wrongs make a right" argument.

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Bronze badge
Happy

How about, if you don't agree, then don't buy Apple stuff?

Sorry? Yes it is that simple.

If you don't like TESCO bread, then don't buy bread at TESCO! If you don't like Japanese cars, then don't buy Honda, Toyota, etc.!

It's a choice thing and as a full grown adult you have that choice available to you! It's quite surprising how many things you DON'T have to buy IF you don't like them or the people that make them!

( Yes this is supposed read in a sarcastic tone of voice! )

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WTF?

Re: Maybe not calling them iFans would help?

<quote>You know, per the general rule that insulting people tends not to work very well when you're attempting to talk them around to a differing point of view.</quote>

Calling them "iFans" *isn't* insulting. If he wanted to be insulting he could have referred to them as: 'Fanbois', or 'iDiots', or 'Sheeple', or 'crApple-munchers', or 'DumbassApplelovingfashionvictimfucktards', etc...

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Re: Unbalanced Argument

" "All of the competing vendors are also doing at least one unethical thing, so there's an on balance argument to be made"

The familiar "two wrongs make a right" argument. "

The previous poster was not defending Apple, and his point is valid: if you say "but they're unethical" you will get the answer "everyone is". As he said, you're going to have to present an "on balance" argument to say why Apple's unethical enough that to justify other people giving their money to someone else.

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@hitmouse

It's nothing like the "two wrongs make a right" argument. That would be to argue that Apple's behaviour is excusable because of an earlier unethical act perpetrated against it. This is the argument that requiring perfect ethics would preclude you from buying absolutely any of the available devices, so an unethical act is not in itself sufficient.

You seem to have managed to post something to the Internet, so you're almost certainly using a component from an unethical company, whether it's Intel (anti-competitive practices to crush AMD), Google (Wifi sniffing), Microsoft (anti-competitive practices to crush just about everybody), Apple (anti-competitive practices to ensure revenue capture) or somebody else.

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Coat

True

The correct descriptor is "fanbois."

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FAIL

Apple export?

Are you joking? Apple export data to a competitors format? what about the drm? Apple don't just want their 30%, they want the next 30%, and the one after that for the rest of your life. If you have 20 items in itunes and you can't get them out then you will buy the next iProduct as well because you have no choice.

At least with a kindle, if you switch to an android tablet you can get the kindle app. Or for windows, there is no tie in to the kindle device. Infact you don't even need a kindle at all to read a kindle book.

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No likey, no lighty

Yes that is true. However it's economics and if they can make better money in-spite of losing a few customers then that's what they will do. That does not make it right, just makes it profitable.

The Internet expanded due to freedom just as the IBM PC did because of the freedom to make clones. When you own a massive market then you can milk it. But the smart people will leave and start the next big thing. If Google give their mobile OS enough freedom then it will beat Apple.

As with everything there is a leader like Coke and an underdog like Pepsi. Together they make sure everyone drinks the cool-aid.

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Happy

Murdoch and Jobs?

Hopefully these two will be the first ones thrown of the back of the boat when the revolution comes.

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Jobs Horns

Steve the boatman

Jobs is taking over from Charon the boatman, so no one dies without him getting a cut.

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Jobs Horns

Anti competitive... ?

Surely, SURELY, there is something here which can be deemed 'anti-competitive' and therefore fall under the writ of the EU and Nellie Croes. She does little enough as it is, so she does have time to poke around at this.

The point is, if I buy a device, it is mine, mine I tell you, and I should be able to put on it anything I want. It should not be up to the hardware vendor to decide where I buy my reading material. Apple are a bunch of arrogant f%#@ers who should be stomped on for their communist views of "ownership".

P.

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g e
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And now they're crashing Toyota's too

Of course, as mentioned previously, the best thing is to just not buy Apple stuff.

Yes, I'm quite aware how the title reads in relation to the actual facts of the relevant article, thank you.

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FAIL

I laughed

So if I buy a Panasonic DVD player from Argos, should I notify Panasonic or Argos when I hire a DVD from Blockbusters for them to take their 30% cut of the rental fee or will they just "know"?

Well done Apple, I have to admire you for having the balls backup up with a sheepish user base to pull this off!

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Coat

Not just DVDs

Just wait until they start charging you for viewing photos not taken with the crappy built-in camera. Perhaps not allowing you to import MP3s into iTunes because they may not be DRMed. May even start blocking video players because you didn't buy a digital license with the DVD through Apple.

If you've read any previous comments from me on the matter, I've stated it was just a matter of time before they started charging royalties for presenting content on their devices.

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TRT
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Unhappy

Amazon

Does that mean my kindle reader will break?

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Big Brother

Hopefully Amazon won't let that happen.... Maybe...

Another "anyone who owns apple-branded gear is a clueless sheep and all of us should be put up against the wall and shot" post, eh?

Right now any ebook I have purchased from Amazon is available on my Actual Real Live Kindle, the Kindle application on my iPhone, as well as the Kindle reader applications on my Windows notebook, my desktop Mac, my desktop PC, my Olde and Ancient iBook and my Android tablet.

Not sure how Apple can enforce such a thing unless they pull the Android Store trick of automatically deleting things they suddenly deem "unclean" without sending any warning to the user. As I have no particular brand loyalty, that would give me yet another reason to ditch apple.

(other than the current reason, which is the fear of being labeled a "fanboi" and forced by the government to wear an apple-shaped patch on all my clothing so that all can see my shame, even though I also use Windows... lol)

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Big Brother

Gang member ASBOS

If you join the Apple fanboi gang and wear Apple branded gang clothing then you could be arrested and imprisoned for 2 years. However it's up to the police not the courts to decide if the Apple fanboi gang is a bad thing.

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If you want a picture of the future

...imagine an immaculately industrially designed boot stamping on a human face— forever

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Whatever

If you're stupid or rich enough go for it. With all the other tablets coming to market this year Apple's share will start to decrease.

Written on my iPhad

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Unhappy

Market Share Decrease

It already has. See http://www.reghardware.com/2011/01/31/tablet_market_2010/

On topic, this is exactly why I don't own anything with an apple on it. I take time to decide on my tech purchases, and every time Apple comes out with something compelling (and the iPhone and iPad have some quite compelling features), they go and do something boneheaded like this to the platform before I can convince myself to shell out the dough.

Note to Steve Jobs: if you want my money, take a few months longer before implementing your insane power grabs.

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Anonymous Coward

@Amazon

> Does that mean my kindle reader will break?

no that will work fine as its an Amazon product ... if, however, you mean you kindle app for iOS then sounds like you could be in trouble as it appears Apple have rejected a similar app from Sony so I'm sure there will be lots of pressure on Apple now to be consistent and (retrospectively) reject the Kindle app.

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Jobs Horns

@If you want a picture of the future

Maybe next time Steve is up on stage spouting about how the latest iThingy is going to change everything etc and all the obedient masses cheer along somone should arrange for someone to run into the auditorium and lob a hammer at him ... I wonder if he'd get the reference.

Anyway as Orwell said: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

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Pirate

@ac, re:#if you want a picture of the future

> I wonder if he'd get the reference.

I'm sure he would. Then he'd laugh and say "that was then, this is now."

Yes, I own Macs, and an iPod touch (jailbroken). No iPad, no iPhone. When I think about the state of the smartphone ecosystem before the iPhone I have to wonder what that same ecosystem would look like today if the iPhone hadn't come along and raised the bar. Fanboi or no, you have to give Apple, and SJ, a little bit of credit for pulling everyone else up.

(Hydraulic) Empires usually crumble from within. It takes a while. Witness Microsoft's decline. Someday it will be Apple too. Until then, so long and thanks for all the fish.

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Hammer Time

The Show So Far

SJ "... And then a great hammer came and hit him on the head. .... Wait, I don't remember that..."

<giant foam hammer to the head>

<img src="/Design/graphics/icons/comment/go_monty_python.png" />

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Flame

Future := new Bleak ; Future.destroy()

"Fanboi or no, you have to give Apple, and SJ, a little bit of credit for pulling everyone else up."

Well. Or down, depending on your point of view. BiP (Before iPhone) you could trust engineers to actually provide touch-screen devices with - for me and quite a few others - highly superior resistive technology.

Post iPhone the buggers are all going fat-finger friendly. From where I'm standin' Apple has done some good, and a damned lot of bad, to the overall smartphone ecosystem.

And don't mention kinetic scrolling. My BP can't take it :(

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Bronze badge

upvote for the pascal!

upvote for the pascal!

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Grenade

1984/hammer throw

you can buy inflatable toy hammers. I'm sure it'd be possible to smuggle one in, just need to dress as an athlete appropriately under coat.

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iPhone ve earlier Windows Mobile

The iPhone is fantastic compared to what we had before. It instantly eclipsed pretty much everything in hardware and ease of use terms. However it suffers the Apple lockin and Apple way of doing things. At least now you can get pretty much the same hardware and ease of use from other manufacturers.

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Jobs Horns

Happy iPad owner...

...but I'll be buggered if Apple thinks I'm signing up to this useage model. Agree with all the other posters - Apple *are* taking the piss here.

Sadly, other users will re-enforce the model by paying for content as normal, not caring if Apple takes it's 30%-for-doing-f-all.

Apple are simply driving the content providers away, and everybody in the chain will lose out.

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Jobs Horns

Ditto from happy iPhone owner

I don't mind the walled garden - to SOME degree. And I know it's expensive. But I like it (yes, it's shiny etc.). But this is ridiculous. The DVD player example above is spot on. This is Apple simply abusing its position (even further). Categorically I would not have an iPhone if the Kindle app did not exist for it (I'd be using something Android based). I'd be surprised if they can apply it retrospectively - since it's destroying existing functionality.

Basically it seems about as anti-competitive as you can get. Well done Apple. Not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ditto from happy iPhone owner

<quote>I'd be surprised if they can apply it retrospectively - since it's destroying existing functionality.</quote>

Apple have already pulled this stunt in Belgium:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/15/itunes_newspapaer_crackdown/

So, you'd better bend over and brace yourself for a delivery of Apples 'munificence'.

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Megaphone

Here's an idea

Insead of saying 'I won't be buying Apple next time around', don't say it at all, just do it and leave them to wonder where the fuck their revenue went without having the chance to prepare/backpedal to retain userbase.

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Jobs Horns

@ AC 13:18

errr...I think you'll find I *don't* need to accept this at all - it's not a condition of the device. It's just an app as far as I - the user - is concerned. I don't have to install it. I don't have to use it. I can cancel subscriptions. I won't be bending over in the slightest, ta v much.

As per my original statement - all that will happen is anyone with any common sense will not buy the content if it's delivered by Apple. (I'm assuming the provider will simply ramp up the price by 30% to accomodate the apple tax).

If Google offer the same content without the "apple tax", that's an immediate 30% costing saving for the user. And the costs are not inconsiderable, if you pay for a daily digital paper, for a year.

Throw in a rapidly rising competitor market = nobody buying the content through their apple app. Ergo, a mass exodus of content providers from the Apple platform.

Followed quickly by the users leaving the device itself...if I see other cattle-class train commuters with droid tablets reading the content I *used* to enjoy at a reasonable price on an ipad, I know what my next device will be - and it won't be an iPad. And I won't be alone.

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Well either shop around of lump it

"""Sadly, other users will re-enforce the model by paying for content as normal, not caring if Apple takes it's 30%-for-doing-f-all."

So you're trying to shift the blame onto other users?

Sorry, you're part the problem buying into Apple's ways in the first place, it's long been clear how they operate, you can't shift the blame elsewhere.""

People are jointly responsible for what they do.

Did the trailer trash cause the credit crunch by taking loans they could not afford or did greedy banksters prey on them?

Both are responsible but the problem with the crunch is that it was instigated by the banksters and only the trailer trash stood between us and meltdown.

In the case of Apple, they are the instigators and only yuppies with limited technical skills and no idea what we are going on about stand in the way of Apples plans.

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Hmm

I don't really care as an end user, or actually like with Zinio me personally prefers to be able to deal with my magazine subscriptions on the iPad. For now this is between Apple and the Publishers.

However the moment it starts affecting my existing subscriptions and Apps that I paid for already don't work anymore or if I can't load my own content onto it anymore we are in a different ball game.

One to watch but I think there is a bit of detail missing in this story as to why they truly rejected the Sony app since there are many many more that have been selling content within. If they really did this they would alienate an existing user base filled with content they paid for and that I just can't believe is happening.

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Jobs Horns

it won't last long...

once the developers get fed up of coding a nice iOS app, only for it to be rejected they'll just concentrate on developing for Android and/or a nice HTML5 web app.

No doubt, if that happens then Apple would try to nobble Safari so that it blocks access to web-apps that it has decided to put on a blacklist. If they did then I doubt Apple will be around for much longer and all our iCrap will go the way of our Betamax vids.

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FAIL

ginger_tosser, you utter boob...

It was developers screaming for native apps in the first place! Apple initially intended iOS to use web apps . Revisionism at it's best there.

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Bronze badge
Stop

not sure i want to give apple any ideas

but how does this compare to music...

"but if you buy a book on a desktop computer and then read it on your iPhone then Apple won't get its pound of flesh – and that's not acceptable."

What about when I download an album (or buy a CD) from Amazon (or anywhere else for that matter that isn't iTunes), load it into my itunes library, and synch it with my iDevice?

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Thumb Down

Time for the publishers to unite

I think Sony, Amazon, etc. need to take a stand and remove their apps from iOS with an explanation to their consumers about why.

Everyone I know with an iPad uses the Sony or Kindle Reader and would be pretty upset to lose that ability because Apple were being greedy. Would it be enough to start the consumer boycott until they relax their sphincters? We can only hope.

This is some of the scariest stuff Apple has done. They've always stated that they restricted users' freedom for their own good; how do they justify this move?

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Thumb Up

VLC did this

And so many bitched and moaned. I thought it was quite clever, calling Apple out on adding DRM to OSS.

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Coat

Letter from Amazon

Dear Customer;

We regret to inform you that we, Amazon, as well as many other publishers, will no longer be supplying or supporting apps for the Apple iOS platform. We have removed our apps due to a 30% commission required by Apple which we would have no choice but to pass on to you, the Customer, for continuing use on their platform. However, we fully support apps on other popular platforms such as Windows and AndroidOS. Below are links to our website for information regarding our Kindle reader as well as the Archos 101 tablet.

Thank you for your understanding.

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Wireless-Reader-Wifi-Graphite/dp/B002Y27P3M

http://www.amazon.com/ARCHOS-101-Internet-Tablet-16GB/dp/B00422TXZA/

Yeah, fake letter, but honestly, would have a serious impact. Why? Likely people have an iPad because there was no alternative at the time. Perhaps they already had an iDevice and wanted consistancy? I think the obvious solution to this 30% tax levy is to pass a margin of that on to the consumer using the iDevice. Perhaps tag which books have or haven't had the AppleTax paid on them, and give end-users the option to pay the extra $$ to view the material on their iDevice reader. Of course, there'd be a little question-mark people can touch to read why they're being charged (again/more) to view the item on the iDevice, at which point this tax levy can be explained. Such negative publicity, as well as being spoon-fed an alternative, is content-provider's best hope, excepting charging EVERYONE just a little bit more to help even the playing field.

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WTF?

Apple also break the rules

So, what if I use Apples own Safari to log onto a website and view paid for content ? Does this mean Apple have to remove Safari from the iDevice ? If they didn't then surely they'd be in the Microsoft world of being anti-Competative. They sure are playing a dangerous game.

I have and iPhone & an Android phone. I like to be able to share content between them. My preference from using both devices is the iPhone but the more Apple does to restrict access to software/content on their platform, the more they erode away my preference for the Apple product.

I believe 2011 will truely be the year of the tablet with the upcoming Android 3.0 release designed for tablets. Android is picking up speed in the mobile phone market and stupid decisions like this will leave them trailing in both the mobile and tablet markets.

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Stop

The crux of this issue

Actually, the issue here is not that you can not buy 3rd party content on iOS. The issue is that you can not use an IN APP process to buy 3rd party content on iOS.

This is not a money grab, this is not a market control idea. The NYT, Ars, and El Reg all reported this wrong (and others I'm sure). Kindle and Nook (and other) apps PROPERLY use Safari to buy content. This ensures the user in fact sees an SSL security connection, uses an account and password to access the payment system, and downloads a package that is a raw file, not in-app content which could potentially be executable code.

MANY apps have 3rd party purchase options (all through Safari). MANY apps access paid-for content on 3rd party systems, directly. NO apps are allowed to download 3rd party content into app container files or packages, and NO apps are allowed to make direct connections to payment systems.

this is a security issue. All sony has to do is allow their app to use safari and this issue goes away and the app is approved. Simple.

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Thumb Up

Finally, some sanity

As a previous poster pointed out, there must be some bit of info missing to this story. Thank you Michael C. for providing the first bit of sanity in this thread and the only comment that makes actual sense.

What this story does prove, once again, is that the Apple Haters are much more rabid than the fanbois. Suppressed jealousy perhaps?

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