If Apple Wants To Own Your iBook, Why Doesn’t It Ask First?

kids with ipad

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A lot of people raised concerns yesterday over the licence agreement for Apple’s new iBook Author app.The app lets you design and sell your books in Apple’s iBooks store.

But according to Apple’s End User licence Agreement (EULA), any book made with the iBook Author app and sold in the iBooks store can’t be sold anywhere else.

PandoDaily’s Paul Carr weighed in on the issue last night. I figured it’s worth another mention since Carr seems to be the only person out there defending iBooks Author’s EULA. (Even John Gruber smashed it.) He argues that Apple has always had a closed ecosystem, so people shouldn’t be surprised that it’s doing the same by locking authors into iBooks:

It’s Apple: a company that has made billions and billions of dollars, despite — or perhaps because of — tightly dictating what people can do on and with its products. They have done this with no law being passed insisting that we all buy iPads and iPods, nor are they using predatory pricing to flood  the market with their hardware so we have no other choice but to use it…

…And yet still we buy their stuff by the bucketload.

That’s a good point. But the problem is that it isn’t realistic for everyone who downloads iBooks Author to read the EULA and know they’re being locked into the Apple ecosysten. Even worse, Apple says simply by using the software you agree to its terms. No signing papers. No “Check Here If You Agree” box. Nothing:

apple end user licence agreement ibooks author

It’s sneaky and it’s wrong.