More on Apple’s Rejection of Seth Godin’s Book for Linking to Amazon

Brian Ford:

Clearly, a hypothetical customer who purchases Stop Stealing Dreams from the iBookstore 1) prefers (or at least enjoys) ebooks and 2) has chosen Apple’s offering over utilizing the freely available Kindle app. Common sense, then, says you cater to that customer’s established preference, right?

Opinions on this (and regarding my take on it) are all over the map. Some agree, but a bunch of others see Apple’s decision as blatant censorship. Glenn Fleishman tweets:

@gruber I don’t buy the iBookstore/B&N equivalency. Apple is asking for books to be changed b/c content doesn’t accord w/commercial policy.

There are other problems with my analogy yesterday to a brick-and-mortar bookstore not wanting to carry a book that contained coupons for buying books in a competitor’s store. Links to Amazon from an iBooks book are more like teleporting you into the competing store. And e-book stores are stores you never really leave — so long as you have a network connection, you’re never more than a tap or two away from the store. I don’t think Apple needs to sweat over links to Amazon.

Also, for those criticizing my take yesterday: I didn’t say I agreed with Apple’s decision. I simply pointed out the ways how I could see where they were coming from. I still don’t see this as over-the-line censorship, but I don’t think Apple should concern itself with links to Amazon. My recommendation would have been for Apple to suggest to Godin that he change the links to point to iBookstore versions of the books, but if Godin didn’t want to, to let it slide.

Thursday, 1 March 2012