Recently, Apple announced iBooks Author, a new application that simplifies the process of creating and selling digital textbooks through its iBook store. However, with any new thing Apple announces, there is is controversy that is caused among the media. For this particular software, controversy was created due to the software’s licensing, which specified that anything created within the software could only be sold via the iBookstore and not any other marketplace. Due to this, Apple was once again deemed as “evil.” Confusion was caused due to the way Apple worded its end user license agreement (EULA) for iBooks.
Today, the company has clarified its EULA agreement by rewording it. Apple has now addressed this 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. Also, authors are free to distribute their content in non-.ibooks formats however they wish.
Before the update, the EULA used to read:
“(i)if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means;
(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.”
Now it reads:
“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.”
iBooks Author 1.0.1 with the updated license agreement is available for free via the Mac App Store. Yup, Apple was indeed trying to restrict authors after all…