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More From Dan Wineman on the iBooks Author EULA

Dan Wineman:

Yeah, but that only applies to .ibooks files. You can also export .pdf and .txt and those are unrestricted.

Not true. The license defines “Work” as “any book or other work you generate using this software.” That definitely includes PDF and plain text, and it could be construed to include the very words you type in. So if you use iBooks Author to write your novel, you might be legally barred from ever selling that novel in any format, not just as an iBook.

I think this is a gross misinterpretation of Apple’s license. I’m willing to bet cold hard cash that Apple has no intention to and never will try to stop a publisher or author from taking content written in iBooks Author and publishing it elsewhere in another format. No one will ever hear from Apple after exporting from iBooks Author to text or PDF.

But I think the license is crummily written, because it’s not precisely clear what Apple is saying. If Apple wants to make bold and far-reaching licensing restrictions, they should express them clearly and succinctly. Whereas I think, much like with the App Store, their lawyers seek to express the legal restrictions in terms far broader than what they actually seek to enforce. I’m willing to make the above bet based on my understanding of the company and the way Apple thinks, not the language of the EULA. (Although I do think the key word in the EULA’s definition of “work” is generate. I say it’s the .ibooks file you generate using iBooks Author upon which Apple is asserting restrictions.)

Monday, 23 January 2012