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back to article Apple tells authors: All your books iBook files are belong to us

In a legal rewrite pushed out Friday, Apple has made its iBooks publishing agreement sound slightly less evil by clarifying just what you can do with the content you create on its iBook Author software. Yes, all iBooks are locked to the iBook store but you can export those files as PDFs. As The Reg pointed out at the time of …

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Unhappy

I don't get it

If you wanna take advantage of Apple's distribution network you pay their fee - otherwise you take your work which you own and distribute it some other way of your choosing.

Nothing like Photoshop or Adobe or any of those other products which you pay for.

Not an Apple user - wouldn't even consider buying their overpriced crap but this iBooksAuthor stuff is one of the worst examples of partisan rubbish I have ever read in the Reg.

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WTF?

So what you're saying Colin

Is that apple should provide - for free - software that allows you to create products for their competitors... Why exactly?

If you want to use Apple's tool for personal gain, why should they not share in the wealth - you used their tool after all and didn't pay for it.

Don't make any money with it and you don't pay - lets see you get a deal like that on photoshop and word.

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Linux

Agree.....

""Don't make any money with it and you don't pay - lets see you get a deal like that on photoshop and word. ""....

So use GIMP and Open Office / Libre Office.

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SOUNDS LIKE.....

A Simon Cowell kind of contract tie-in, not something I'd sign without reading the small print.

The term 'got you over a barrel' springs to mind.

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Boffin

OK - lets try again

No - that is not what I am saying - read what I wrote - here's a step by step guide

1) I think that apple things are dear for the spec

2) I to think that this story is anti-apple nonsense

3) These thoughts are not logically exclusive

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Anonymous Coward

I think the primary problem is that Apple wants to take it all. As soon as you use their software, your work is legally infected from being distributed somewhere else. Well, there is an answer to that - use other software, and make Apple the last environment you publish to.

It's IMHO perfectly OK for Apple to take its share of Apple shop sales, after all, you're plugging into its eco system. However, I'll be damned if I let Apple expand its influence outside its closed box and take revenue from other platforms as well, so they can screw that. I'll keep the master in something that converts relatively quick, and Apple gets the last show - and it'll be a version labeled "Apple version" to make it clear it is not the same as the work sold outside Apple (it's your copyright, so it's up to you to state what is or is not identical - Apple cannot change that just yet).

What pisses me off about this is the sheer greed on display. Honestly, is the Apple revenue not enough? Are they so desperate for the next private jet that they are willing to totally toss away the goodwill they have collected by making rather good products? (no, *good* - not perfect).

T*ssers, the lot of them.

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Did you not read the story or did you just not understand it?

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Anonymous Coward

Er

"So what you're saying Colin Is that apple should provide - for free - software that allows you to create products for their competitors..."

That is not what he said, at least not in the understanding I have after reading it.

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Paris Hilton

It'd be nice to say that comprehension skills have gone downhill, but there's just too much of this kind of thing to say that.

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Meh

???

So...'overpriced crap' >> 'dear for the spec'

Sort of...quantity trumps quality argument ? Yeah, I heard Apple was really suffering by losing that battle.

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Anonymous Coward

Haterz gonna keep on hatin'

Wintel fanboys are really losing it. What a bunch of clowns. All Apple is doing is trying to avoid the usual bit where the clown fanboys (hacking at Windows, mostly) are kept from exploiting them all over again.

Regular non-nerds will love the iBook Author sofware as they have no deep seated issues (fear of Windows taking a dirt nap after Win 8 flops, perhaps?)

And you know win 8 is going to flop. Only question is how bad, if it will be slightly less than Vista, or perhaps it will be FAIL on a new level. I think the later is most likely as this is the only project they've ever deined to take on that had any sort of challenge to it. Go ahead Redmond, make Windoze work on a tablet. LOL, didn't you guys already try that? How'd that go last time? Remmeber what Einstein said about insanity?

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Vic
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@Colin

> I don't get it

You certainly don't.

> If you wanna take advantage of Apple's distribution network you pay their fee

If that is all that were happening, that would be perfectly fine.

But it isn't.

What Apple are saying is that, if you develop your own book with your own material, and use this piece of software to create something in the .ibook format, you may not distribute it for a profit unless you sign a deal with Apple first.

> otherwise you take your work which you own and distribute it some

> other way of your choosing.

If you wish to distribute as an ibook, that is explicitly prohibited by the licence agreement.

Now do you see why people are upset about this?

Vic.

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Meh

Ms Leech.....

... could perhaps clarify /exactly/ what she means ?

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If you insist Apple software use Pages

If you have a problem with iBooks Author EULA, use Pages. It cost only 15.99€, it has very similar UI and functionality with iBA, it can export PDF and ePub and you do with the output what ever you want.

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@Steve Ives :(

I don't understand.

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WTF?

What's a "Longhorn" grandpa?

"this is the only project they've ever deined to take on that had any sort of challenge to it"

Eh? Was the "Longhorn" fiasco so long ago that everyone has forgotten that it is to this day, the gold-standard benchmark for FAIL in the IT world?

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Mmm. Clearly you've mis-read or not understood the story.

Apple is in no way trying to stop you selling your work via any other channel, just saying you can't use their (free) assembly line to build for another channel.

BTW Home/Student Office has pretty much the same terms.

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Anonymous Coward

"Yes, all iBooks are locked to the iBook store"

No, only the paid books are.

You can distribute free iBooks - also created using iBooks Author - anywhere you want.

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Anonymous Coward

REMEMBER

that Amazon removed publications off the Kindle, without telling anyone they would.

The tie ins are all the same.

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@AC

Yes and no. Because I also recall that they were called back by a Judge and ended up having to pay damages. In the mean time Amazon also openly admitted that deletion wasn't the best of ideas and they would avoid doing so in the future.

Quite frankly I don't see Apple ever doing that because they have a tendency not to care too much about public opinion and sometimes even the law.

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FAIL

Comparison to Photoshop, et al

"Internet commenters have compared it to Adobe demanding a 30 per cent cut of any graphics or artwork made using Photoshop, or Microsoft getting a kickback every time you use Word or Powerpoint in a commercial situation. "

Um, no, that's a poor comparison because Adobe and Microsoft don't ALSO provide a distribution means for the resulting output like Apple does. There's a license agreement on how to use iBooks, except it also has a clause saying if you distribute a .ibooks file FOR PAY, THEN you can only distribute it through the iTunes store. BUT, if you distribute a .ibooks file FREELY, OR distribute a .pdf version (for free or for pay), you can distribute it as you wish.

I dislike Apple's practices as much as the next, but I see nothing inherently wrong with this particular EULA. You want to use a FREE content creation package by Apple, for creating an *Apple-proprietary* output file, useable ONLY on an Apple device, then you play by their rules, and for once they actually seem like fair rules.

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FAIL

Did you read the article?

It specifically says you can do whatever you want with the resulting PDF - which is super easy to do in the iBooks Author application.

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FAIL

RTFA

30% for distribution through Apple in iBooksAuthor

Nothing, free, no charge at all to export to PDF (made easy by iBooksAuthor) and distribute some other way including printed - yes that is nada, not a sausage, bugger all, SFA.

Where did you get the impression that

"you repackage as PDF and sell it - Apple want 30%

- you print it out and sell it as a Hardback - Apple want 30%"

It wasn't from anything your read here - unless your definition of reading is skim over the headline and make up some stuff based on your preconceived notions on the evility of fruit companies.

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FAIL

RTFA yourself!

Specifically this part.

'(ii) if the work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service) and includes files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author, the work may only be distributed through Apple'

In other words, if you charge, and have an ibooks edition created using iBooks Author, you have to pay Apple for *all* versions!

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Facepalm

No seriously - read it

"includes files in the ibooks format"

Which, if you exported it to {formatX}, it wouldn't - so this part wouldn't apply because "the work" wouldn't "include files in the ibooks format" because it would be in {formatX} which you just exported it to.

You are reading words that are not there.

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Facepalm

No, you RTFA

This is so simple that it is amazing how much energy and stupidity is wasted on attacking what is at its heart a relatively simple matter.

1. Apple does not own your content in any way (ask any other Publisher about that).

2. Apple owns the format if you choose to make money on it. That format only applies to the .ibook format and only if you sell the book (ask any other Publisher about that).

3. You can sell the content in other formats (ask any other Publisher about that).

4. Apple takes 30% of your proceeds for delivering you a vast marketplace, the formatting program, and you get 70% (ask any other Publisher about that).

5. Apple controls wether you can publish on their marketplace. They are not interested your pedophile manual (like Amazon let slip into their marketplace and only removed once they were made aware of it). Go and ask any other Publisher like Random House about that.

For authors this's an amazing deal and more than fair. Ask any other Publisher about that!

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I am Any Publisher

.. and you have to stop sending people to me asking stupid questions.

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Meet the new publishers, same as the old publishers

I can't image why anyone would be dumb enough to use this publishing model. It's like something from Dickens.

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Paris Hilton

"Meet the new publishers, same as the old publishers "

I think a lot of authors would jump at the chance to receive 70% of the cover price of their books that they sell..

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Headmaster

"All your books iBook files are belong to us"

Pardon?

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Anonymous Coward

Hopefully Ms Leach won't be writing ANY books - i or otherwise - soon.

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Anonymous Coward

Didn't you get the meme?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us

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jai
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perhaps there is a missing apostrophe? (i'm assuming you're internet savvy enough to have gotten the Zero Wing reference she is making?)

it should be: All your books' (fee-charging) iBooks files are belong to Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Miss Leach is just being hip and cool

I was hip and cool like that until I took an arrow to the knee.

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Thumb Up

RE: "Didn't you get the meme?" No old chap I did not which is why I did not say more.....

.......than "pardon?". However, thanks to your kindness in posting that link, I now understand the reference. -:)

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Oh Fox...

Someone clearly set you up the bomb.

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Microsoft

The IP lawyers at my previous employers looked over the T&C that everyone signs when they used MS Office package, and told everyone that the license actually meant that MS owned all of the work that you created in their software. Obviously, everyone had just been accepting all the EULAs on the software up until that point (anyone seen the Dilbert cartoons about this last week?).

Eventually, MS backed-down and said that they only owned the copyright in the actual doc and xls files, because it was their software that created them, and they weren't trying to steal your IP. I think in the end even that went though, and Open Office etc. can now open the files with impunity.

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Anonymous Coward

Other things in Microsoft's EULA

There are other issues in Microsoft's EULA, for example the Office Home & Student version can't be used for commercial purposes, you must buy the Business edition (which is twice the price) if you intend to profit from any content created using it.

Of course if anyone actually follows this is another question, but it's there in black and white.

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@BristolBachelor

Someone read the EULA?!?!

Regardless of what it used to say in the EULA, given how old Office is there was clearly no intent on MS's part to claim IPR ownership. They've not so far as I'm aware ever sued someone for royalties because they used a licensed version of Word. Maybe their reticence was because they were embarrassed that they're made a legalese mistake; lawyers are supposed to be fully conversant in it.

It goes to show how useless the complex EULAs of the software world actually when not even the originators understands its meaning fully...

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Anonymous Coward

You should have a read of the current T&Cs of Google. ANYTHING you place on or route through their services they can use for themselves without fee. It's chapter 11 of the current set, haven't seen yet if changes are afoot there.

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Bronze badge

Which brings up my question

IIUC, someone can go to a store that sells (legitimately) ms office pro, not the home/student edition, say. Now, said person is running an office at home, or maybe not, and takes it to ones law office or candy store or such, and generates letters, pamphlettes, invoices, and even for-sale books. IIUC, a BUSINESS has to get a special license/permission to do those things.

Is that so? If so, why? Why is that so? Isn't ms' income on that limited to the first sale, and to whatever desired tech support the consumer is willing to pay for? It seems the same with Lotus SmartSuite. Not sure of Corel/Borland back in the old days or now.

Sounds like double-dipping to me.

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Complete rubbish compared to any other publishing agreement

If you wanted to publish your book any where else you would only receive around 15% of any proceeds from sales - even less a percentage for electronic versions, audio books, etc. - so count yourself lucky you are getting more then two thirds of the sale price.

When you publish a book you give up your copyright to the publisher, so don't confuse things with the 'moral' copyright everybody holds and Apple recognises. Publishing is a form of leasing out your work and the publisher takes a big profit.

Given Apple's worldwide distribution network through iTunes, it is almost equal to most large publishers, so you are getting a bargain on distribution.

The Register is merely Apple bashing as usual on this one and should get its facts right - i.e. producing some pretty rotten cider with a load of silly fizz. Obviously the editorial staff have been replaced by Androids!

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Meh

You forget......

The (traditional) publisher actually does some fucking work! For a start, he will get it laid out so it looks nice, proof read, offer advice, provide illustrations, support and marketing of your book, in return for (sometimes) upfront cash, other times royalties or a combination of the two. They may even buy a series of your books. Most importantly they will market them and try and get them in prominent promotions either on-line, in store etc etc. However, they take a risk with their money. (hence why they are so selective, though that one that missed harry potter - doh!)

Apple, by contrast, give you a word processor, you do all the hard work, formatting etc. You will need to promote yourself, and do all the other stuff. If you are lucky enough, they will give you a prominent position in the bookstore, but then they most likely will not. Either way, they get 30% for *you* doing *all* the hard work. And then, you may do all the hard work and they may just decide to tell you you can't sell it, they don't like it. (Odds of a book "How android is better than ios" ever getting published are not high :P, but i suspect "Taking old people on a one way trip to dignitas" equally won't be allowed )

That is why it just looks a bit unfair. They get 30% profit for 0% risk, unlike a traditional publisher. You take 100% risk for a potential 70% share. I know which party I'd rather be!

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Apple bashing?

If you think this article is apple bashing you must be new here. It's actually pretty balanced, makes it perfectly clear you're entitled to rebundle your work in a different format if you like and that the comparison to other paid for software is disingenuous. In fact, this site is getting more like the daily mail everyday, comment threads full of people complaining about articles they couldn't be bothered to read properly... Depressing...

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Vic
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> you're entitled to rebundle your work in a different format

That is actually the whole point of the article.

A previous version of the EULA laid claim to all versions - including pdf exports.

It is good that this restriction has gone away, but I still wouldn't be happy with what remains...

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

copyright

You do not relinquish your ownership of copyright unless you sell it to the publisher. I would think most individuals would be intelligent enough to sign off on their copyright (you know... lease) with an agreed upon time frame.

The problem is not that Apple wants 30%. They could ask for 95% with their model and it wouldn't make a difference. The point is, if Apple dis-agrees with your content, it won't sell it. If they're the only company with the software to make an iBook, then they are effectively blocking you from the market. This may be an ommission in the article, but I haven't read of any other software the creates the same format.

That 30% may be less than an actual publisher, but you aren't given the same services as a real publisher. Apple's 30% cut is just that, a cut. They provide no specialized services that are specific to the industry you are selling from. They don't provide software engineers to de-bug or double check the code for apps either, so you're comparison is piss-poor at best.

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Facepalm

More dumb comments

Hmm, Apple gives you a program to create your dynamic content book. Apple gives you access to a vast marketplace. Apple will let you publish almost anything. They block you far less than any Publisher would. They give you 70%, while you get less than 5% from a regular publisher who has exclusive distribution rights and effective ownership over your content while giving you 'specialized services' like preparing your book and marketing. Guess what, you can take your iBook content and go see if a Publisher will print it in physical book format. Or you can repurpose the content to sell on Amazon's Kindle marketplace. There is no other software that creates it because it's called .ibook format because it is sold using iBook. This whole debate is beyond silly.

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