6
30 Percent

Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw, in a series of three tweets regarding the iBooks Author licensing terms:

  1. If you write a novel in Word, we promise not to take a 30% cut.
  2. Likewise, if you deliver a speech in PowerPoint, we promise not to take 30% of your speaking fees.
  3. If you manage your finances in Excel, we promise not to take 30% of your income.

OK, but none of these things are true for users of Pages, Keynote, or Numbers. iBooks Author is not a new e-book editing component of the iWorks suite, regardless how many people wish that it were. It is a dedicated front-end to the iBookstore.

The only fair comparison would be to the licensing requirements of the e-book editing and layout app for Microsoft’s e-book store, neither of which exist. Microsoft could make a lot of friends if they released a free editing tool as polished as iBooks Author which places no restrictions upon its output. I’m not going to hold my breath on that.

(The fact that Shaw is able to even attempt to make hay on this point is yet another reason that I still consider it a mistake for Apple to assert the blanket “if you sell it, you must sell it through us” restriction.)

Monday, 23 January 2012