Apple’s iBooks Author platform for creating textbooks was unveiled with a bang a couple of weeks ago, and while it was greeted warmly for the interactivity it brings to textbooks and the fact that it sets the price of a textbook to only $15, the end user license sparked controversy. It was not clear whether publishing the textbook would mean giving away your rights to the content exclusively to Apple, and for many authors this was just not acceptable.
Turns out, that’s not what Apple meant and Cupertino has pushed a heavy 140+MB update to amend the EULA on iBooks Author and clarify. Apple won’t get any right to the textual content of the book, but just to the .ibooks files created using the software.
"[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," Apple said in the amended license agreement.
Many would still argue that this new EULA is more restrictive as it dictates what you can and cannot do after you’re done using a piece of software. But on the other hand, it’s Apple’s product and the company seems to have the right to defend it. What do you think about the updated license agreement - better now or still problematic? Drop your two cents in the comments below.