Slog tipper Levi sent along this very interesting post about Apple's new iBooks Author software, which is supposed to make e-book creation easy. Turns out, if you make a book in iBooks, you can only sell the iBook through Apple:
I have never seen a EULA as mind-bogglingly greedy and evil as Apple’s EULA for its new ebook authoring program.
Dan Wineman calls it “unprecedented audacity” on Apple’s part. For people like me, who write and sell books, access to multiple markets is essential. But that’s prohibited:
Apple, in this EULA, is claiming a right not just to its software, but to its software’s output. It’s akin to Microsoft trying to restrict what people can do with Word documents, or Adobe declaring that if you use Photoshop to export a JPEG, you can’t freely sell it to Getty. As far as I know, in the consumer software industry, this practice is unprecedented.
Exactly: Imagine if Microsoft said you had to pay them 30% of your speaking fees if you used a PowerPoint deck in a speech.
There seems to be a real battle over this in the tech world: Apple apologists are saying that if you want to make an e-book to sell through Amazon.com and other outlets, you can still do that through non-iBooks Author means. But if you want to use Apple's easy-to-use. free software, you should be restricted to Apple's market. Basically: Apple doesn't own the words, just the software that created the book.