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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing Situation in New Software Update






Following Apple's release of iBooks Author last month to support creation of iBooks Textbooks, significant controversy arose regarding the software's licensing, which specified that the output from the software could only be sold via the iBookstore and not any other marketplace.

Some confusion had resulted from Apple's language, with some believing that Apple was claiming rights to all content used in the production of the iBooks Textbooks, perhaps attempting to exclude books from being published in any other form.

Apple has now addressed the issue by releasing an update to iBooks Author that includes a modified licensing agreement to clarify that Apple claims rights only to the .ibooks document format itself, with authors being free to distribute their content in non-.ibooks formats however they wish.

One key clarification comes in the "important note" included at the beginning of the license agreement. Previously, the note read:
Quote:
If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a "Work"), 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.
Apple has now clarified the note to read:
Quote:
If you want to charge a fee for a work that includes files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author, you may only sell or distribute such work through Apple, and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple. This restriction does not apply to the content of such works when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format.
A second clarification comes in section 2B, which addresses distribution of works created using iBooks Author. Subsection (ii) previously read:
Quote:
[I]f 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.
With the updated terms, Apple has reworded this section and added bold text addressing ownership of the original content:
Quote:
[I]f 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, and such distribution will be subject to a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary); provided, however, that this restriction will not apply to the content of the work when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author. You retain all your rights in the content of your works, and you may distribute such content by any means when it does not include files in the .ibooks format generated by iBooks Author.
iBooks Author 1.0.1 with the updated license agreement is a free download from the Mac App Store, but weighs in at the application's full size of roughly 140 MB.

Article Link: Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing Situation in New Software Update
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:06 PM   #2
RichardBeer
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I'm glad that this has been clarified, I really didn't want to see Apple get a monopoly on this kind of book format . So hopefully this means other vendors should be able to compete by creating their own formats.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:06 PM   #3
osx11
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Was only 30ish MB for me.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:08 PM   #4
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I'm sure all those commentators who kneejerked about Apple trying gain an evil monopoly over people's creations will retract them now. </sarcasm>
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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I thought this was pretty obvious. What kind of moron would think differently?

It's like creating a game using, say, Sony's or Nintendo's dev kit. Of course you can't take the exact file and just sell it on your own. You can, however, take the content and create a new work in a different format.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:11 PM   #6
Menopause
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There. Now everyone is happy.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:13 PM   #7
Aeolius
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So I am free to distribute documents created with iBooks Author on my own website, so long as I do not charge for them?
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:13 PM   #8
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There. Now everyone is happy.
I'm happy, you're happy, but I imagine some people on this board are still mad.

"insert stupid foxconn comment from some idiot on this board here"
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:25 PM   #9
gnasher729
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Originally Posted by Aeolius View Post
So I am free to distribute documents created with iBooks Author on my own website, so long as I do not charge for them?
Yes. And that part was always clear. The bit that wasn't clear to the serious Apple haters was that the only thing covered is _files in iBook format produced by iBooks Author_. So you are free (and have always been free) to use your content in a book in any other format and sell it.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:27 PM   #10
thewitt
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Originally Posted by Wildog27 View Post
I'm sure all those commentators who kneejerked about Apple trying gain an evil monopoly over people's creations will retract them now. </sarcasm>
Never happen.....of course you knew that.

Even worse, they will continue to spread the lie they made up over their misinterpretation of the earlier language...
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aeolius View Post
So I am free to distribute documents created with iBooks Author on my own website, so long as I do not charge for them?
The way I understand it, if you have a .ibook file, you can give it away anywhere for free. That file (.ibook) can only be sold through Apple.

If you export it as a PDF or text only, you can sell it wherever you like.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:34 PM   #12
smulji
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Originally Posted by Menopause View Post
There. Now everyone is happy.
As much as I'd like for this to be true, I doubt. Somewhere someone will always bitch about something to do with Apple.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdechko View Post
The way I understand it, if you have a .ibook file, you can give it away anywhere for free. That file (.ibook) can only be sold through Apple.

If you export it as a PDF or text only, you can sell it wherever you like.
By golly I think he's got it. Everyone give him a round of applause
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jdechko View Post
The way I understand it, if you have a .ibook file, you can give it away anywhere for free. That file (.ibook) can only be sold through Apple.

If you export it as a PDF or text only, you can sell it wherever you like.
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by millarj View Post
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
Or imagine if Amazon only allowed their Kindle books to be sold through the Kindle Store.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smulji View Post
As much as I'd like for this to be true, I doubt. Somewhere someone will always bitch about something to do with Apple.

----------


Immediately followed by:

Quote:
Originally Posted by millarj View Post
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
Yep! That didn't take long...
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:48 PM   #16
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Apple is perfectly entitled to restrict sale of books created in their format to their store. If you want to re-author your book using another tool, feel free to do so, distribute it in a different store and charge all you want for it. You can even use iBooks Author to make a PDF and sell it somewhere else.
They don't own the content. They do however own the tool they are giving you for free. They also own the format which they are granting a license to use. Don't like it? Use a different tool. You are free to do so.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by millarj View Post
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
First off, if this isn't for you, don't go and download it. Secondly, in the scenario that you have provided us, Microsoft would not be as popular as it is right now amongst mac and windows users, and adobe would be dead.

In reality, where else would you expect to get a .ibook file? And on what other platform can you read it on? I'm sure it's essentially to ease the confusion of Apple's customers when trying to find a book/textbook, and of course, why not... to make some money as well! They did pretty much create the .ibook file type and iOS app.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 03:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by millarj View Post
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
You mean, imagine if Microsoft supported the use of all kinds of word processors, and then decided to make their own too—Word—with innovative capabilities never before offered; and then gave Word away free, and the way they chose to charge for Word is by making you pay only IF you make money with it; and they made this very clear from the start, and had a very good, established system to make those sales happen; and some people loved this free system, but not everyone; and if you didn’t like the arrangement, you were free to skip Word and make your documents any other way you wanted; and even if you did choose another tool, Microsoft would still help you sell your document in their store if you wanted them to; and whether you sold your work through Microsoft or not, you could still also sell your document, made with Word, through any other means you wanted, as long as you exported a different format; or you could keep it in Word format, with all the new features, and give it away if you chose.

Shouldn’t Microsoft have the choice to release a great tool and charge for it how they like, and people can take it or leave it? Ditto for Apple, then.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 04:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millarj View Post
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
Guess what, Microsoft is worse than you say. If you buy the home user edition of Microsoft money for $100 (not free like iBooks Author), the EULA says that the software cannot be used _for any commercial use_. That means, you can't sell it after converting it to PDF. You can't sell it at all. You cannot even give it away for free if that is for commercial use, like giving away brochures about your hotel or restaurant, if they were created with this version of office.

It would be completely fine for let's say a car manufacturer to produce all their repair and maintenance manuals with iBooks Author and give them to all their distributors and any garage that wants them for free. Clearly commercial use, but absolutely allowed.

It would not be fine for you to write a textbook with the home user edition of Microsoft Word, paste it into iBooks Author, and then sell it, because that would be commercial use which Microsoft doesn't allow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
Or imagine if Amazon only allowed their Kindle books to be sold through the Kindle Store.
Not just that. You are not allowed to produce a competing product (like the same contents in an iBooks Author created book) and sell it elsewhere, like on the AppStore. So if you plan to publish the same book both on Kindle and using iBooks Author on the AppStore, then Apple allows it, but Amazon doesn't.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 04:03 PM   #20
Mike Oxard
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Originally Posted by millarj View Post
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
iBooks Author is just a free tool Apple have made to create iBooks, just like the iOS SDK is only for making iOS apps.

Should they not release tools for people to create content for their products? iBooks files won't work on non-Apple equipment.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 04:04 PM   #21
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Yeah, not really here enough to read legalese, anyone wanna clarify in regular terms?
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 04:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by millarj View Post
And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first. Better yet, what if Adobe tried to force you to sell your PDF only with their permission and on their own terms (and with a cut of the profits I might add)?

Step away from the cool-aid please.
Apple includes custom JavaScript functions that are owned by Apple in the documents. Why should Apple give these functions away for free to the competition? As an author, there is nothing stopping you from creating the document using iBook, then copying the text and pasting it into a different word processor.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 04:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by RichardBeer View Post
I'm glad that this has been clarified, I really didn't want to see Apple get a monopoly on this kind of book format . So hopefully this means other vendors should be able to compete by creating their own formats.
All clear now; thank you Apple!
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 04:13 PM   #24
aristotle
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And what about this ISN'T evil? Imagine if Microsoft claimed you could write anything you want in Word, but don't you dare try to sell it without converting it to PDF first.
Well, if your document made extensive use clipart which was only available in a special "ultimate edition" or a premium addon pack then MSFT would be in their right to block "sale" of an editable document containing those graphics ready for anyone to extract. MSFT could require the author of the document to either:
1. Replace the stock clipart images with original creations OR
2. Purchase a commercial use license.

I think someone similar applies with this iBook creator where you could have some stock images in your document supplied by Apple so they could have only licensed their use for "free" books or books sold in the Apple iBook store.

If all of the content belongs to you then you can simply lay it out again in another authoring tool for ePub format instead whereas Apple's tool is for creating iBook store format which is an extension to the ePub format.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 04:17 PM   #25
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Its their format they can control it how they please. If publishers dont like it there are alternatives.

Amazon does the same with the kindle format.

I think itd be great if they'd focus on a universal format so you can buy from several different places and not have to worry about getting a certain device to run certain content, I'm not talking about just apple I'm talking Barnes and amazon as well. You can get books from several different sources, i don't see why digital distribution has to be different.
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