iBooks Author EULA is Not a Big Deal

iBooks Author EULA is Not a Big Deal

iBooks Author is a *FREE* tool for creating and publishing multi-touch books for the iPad.

Per Apple, “now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All you need is an idea and a Mac. Start with one of the Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. Add your own text and images with drag-and-drop ease. Use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps. And before you know it, you’re a published author.”

Apple has the follow EULA items that some people don’t like.

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.

B. Distribution of your Work. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows:
(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.
Apple will not be responsible for any costs, expenses, damages, losses (including without limitation lost business opportunities or lost profits) or other liabilities you mayincur as a result of your use of this Apple Software, including without limitation the fact that your Work may not be selected for distribution by Apple.

I disagree with what many are saying – Apple is not claiming rights to content but only distribution rights to “Work” created via iBooks if you plan to charge a fee. If authors use exact same content and recreate an ebook, blog post, or publish a paper book using a different tool like MS Word, they are free to do what they want with final “Work” but “iBooks” must be published via iBookstore.

Bottom line, Apple wants their cut if you want to distribute your book via their storefront – iBookstore… Amazon does this and every other for profit business. Software publishers on Apple App Store are familiar with this type of fee structure and restrictions.

I’m OK with above and am willing to agree to EULA to get access to iBookstore. I think this also adds protection for authors and allows Apple to go after future iBookstore copy cats that may start hosting iBooks online. My guess is they will continue to clarify EULA like they have done with App Store and App Store developer guidelines.

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