This week, Apple shook up the education and textbook world with the introduction of iBooks 2.0, iTunesU for k-12 and of course their now ever so popular iBooks Author. Many educators we have talked to seemed enthusiastic about the possibilities presented with the new application, however, Apple has a caveat in the End User Licensing Agreement which prevents users of iBooks Author from selling books created with the package anywhere else other than Apple’s iBook Store. While PDF’s exported from the App and even the iBooks formatted materials are distributable without the Apple iBook Store, if you decide to sell it, then the game changes.
Many people in the publishing arena are worried that the EULA effectively puts apple in control of the publisher and is a bit of an over the top attempt to corner the market on all future publishing. Apple is saying ” you can give it away but if you make one red cent, we want 30% of that red cent”. Is this legal? Will it stifle the actual usage of the program? We think not as we already know several people who are using it for works that have been sitting idle waiting for the proper publishing platform and outlet.
That being said, there was ne area that was not so appealing. The fact that Apple has watermarked all of the PDF’s with the made with iBooks Author watermark and are definitely wanting people to know it is their software making all this new material, however, it seems fair that they get their share of the pie if folks want to sell their books produced with the free Apple Software. This being said, however, there have been lawsuits about using a production package to produce goods and in the end the end consumer won. But I question whether anyone will want to take this one on at this point since iBooks Author works well, is seamless and is really doing what it claims to do.