iBooks EULA

January 21, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Disclaimer: I've never published a book.

The uproar with the Apple iBook Author EULA is that the book produced with the tool can not be sold through any outlet other than Apple. My question for anyone that has published a book through a publisher: Can the book be sold through another publisher after it's been edited and formatted for the contracted publisher?

If we think of Apple as the publisher and iBooks Author as the tool that they supply to their authors, then I think the EULA looks consistent with the current model. I understand the comparison with Microsoft Word but I think that's a straw-man argument. Apple is providing a tool to someone to publish through the iTunes store. They are being generous by allowing free iBooks to be distributed outside of iTunes.

What if McGraw-Hill had a cutting edge system to assemble, edit and output a perfectly formatted book? And that system was far superior and easier to use than any other publisher's system. Wouldn't it be their right to insist on a contract that prevented that output from being sold outside of McGraw-Hill's representation?