iBooks Author software license agreement locks authors into Apple

Credit: flickr/kyz

Apple's free iBook Author software comes with a catch: sell only through Apple or give your work away.

There are multiple ebook software platforms and conversion utilities and services, but the EULA (End User License Agreement) in Apple's iBook Author software adds restrictions like few other programs. You can sell through Apple's iBookstore, or you can give away your work, but you can't sell it through another outlet. Quotes Dan Wineman on VenomousPorridge from the EULA: "(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 lists conditions which include setting up a distribution agreement, and Apple's right to say no and not sell your work.

This brings back the argument about EULA's legality. Wineman likens it to a car dealer putting a contract in the glove box of a new car saying you agree to get all your oil changes from that dealer. Wineman claims this is not legal, and created a firestorm between Apple fanboys, contract law fans, and writers looking to get into ebooks. Common example: could Microsoft demand you sell the novel you write in Word only through Microsoft?

That's the rule

You don't see anybody complaining that the iOS SDK doesn't work with Android. This is basically a *free* user-friendly WYSIWYG SDK for the iBook store, and people are griping that Apple wants a cut?

Jeff Roy on venomousporridge.com

Over the years I've seen a large volume of creative software, often free, that is used to produce output, that requires, as part of its license, that you give the creator of the software a cut if you sell any of the things you make with it.

nirvana on news.ycombinator.com

They are just taking the totally reasonable stance that if you use their FREE software as a means of formatting your work, the end result must be monetized through their channel as opposed to a competing one.

nothingreal on venomousporridge.com

End arounds abound

use Pages. they pushed an update shortly after the original iPad came out that allows you to create an ePub document, save it to disk and do what you like with it. $20 on the App store (if you don't have it already), and you're set.

idontwantmypicturetaken on 9to5mac.com

If you want to sell your book, just don't sell the form of the book made by Apple's software.

tstegart on news.ycombinator.com

Wrong wrong wrong

Being upset at this restriction is perfectly reasonable. It is intended to keep authors/editors artificially locked into Apple's products and distribution system.

naner on news.ycombinator.com

People will always find something to complain about. Period!

MacHead75 on 9to5mac.com

Seriously, I can't offer my great American e-novel for sale if Apple doesn't like it?

Matthew Rice on vendomousporridge.com

His comparisons are all wrong. Word, photoshop and cars are all paid for meaning you can do what you want with them because you spent your money for the software/car. This software is FREE!!!

Graham on 9to5mac.com

Have you ever read an end user license agreement completely before you installed the software? Even free software?

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