Apple denies sale of ebook containing links to Amazon

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Comments

  • ken_sanders_aiaken_sanders_aia Posts: 53member
    This isn't 'censorship', it's denial of commerce, which is completely within Apple's rights. If the bibliography links were just text, no problem. The fact that they are, as links with affiliate ID's embedded, business transactions, is the issue.



    Imagine an author unilaterally setting up a pop-up retail stand selling books inside a Barnes & Noble store... Not cool, right?



    'Censorship'' is a shameful exaggeration...
  • auxioauxio Posts: 1,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Someone had a good analogy on another site. Would Walmart be happy if you wanted them to sell a book that had a Target gift card taped to the cover? Obviously not - nor should they be.



    It's a bit of a slippery slope though:



    What if, instead of a Target gift card taped to the cover, there was a redemption code in the book? What if the book simply recommended Target because the author likes it? What if it was a story which involves shopping at Target at some point?



    The same goes for Amazon linking. Maybe a direct link goes too far, but what if it was just a written link? Or just a recommendation because the author likes it?



    At what point does it become censorship?



    There are plenty of movies which have carefully crafted product placements (which help pay for the production of the movie). What's the difference?
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,092member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    If you don't like the rules, don't sell your books on the Apple store.



    Apple's policy is very clear. If the author chooses to violate it, they shouldn't be whining about Apple dropping their book.



    Someone had a good analogy on another site. Would Walmart be happy if you wanted them to sell a book that had a Target gift card taped to the cover? Obviously not - nor should they be.



    I agree with this. Distributors aren't required to sell every book. They have the right to refuse to carry a work, for any reason. Commercial reasons are understandable. I don't quite get what Godin finds surprising or objectionable about that. In any case, it's a free market issue. If Apple refuses to sell Godin's book and it makes a lot of money, that's Apple loss. iPad users can still read the book using the Kindle app.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Yes, but it is an interesting 'situation'. In an e-book you can publish links in your bibliography and references, and really, not doing so would be petty. So if those links genuinely all point to works available at your competitor's stores, and if there is no publishing house involved, what do you do?



    I am not sure this is exactly the scenario here, but it is, or will become important if authors publish directly through the digital outlets.



    Bibliographies don't have to be hyperlinks. It doesn't sound like we're talking about a list of titles in the appendix and it sounds like this guy's modus operandi is to capitalize on using his Amazon account to turn a profit. Apple doesn't have to accept that just as Amazon doesn't have to accept that if books link to iBookstore.
  • constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member
    Right or wrong, I believe that any entity that owns their private store, doesn't have to sell a product if it doesn't want to. If I owned a book store and didn't want to sell porn or white supremacy or religious books, or even a book from an author I didn't personally like, then I just wouldn't sell it. My store, my choice of books. If the author or groups of those certain people didn't like it, then they should just go somewhere else to sell it or buy it. If my store has thousands of books and I reject a few, that's my privilege.



    What's this nonsense that Apple has a responsibility to sell a book it doesn't want to? This author can sell his books on Amazon or the almighty Android platform. Apple isn't blocking him from doing that. I realize that Apple has some set rules for selling books, but as near as I can tell, they can change the rules anytime if they want and still be well within their rights. This author can complain all he wants about freedoms, but Apple also has freedoms to run their store as they see fit.



    You'd figure that deleting a simple Amazon ID link wouldn't be that hard to do and the book would pass with flying colors.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,885member, moderator
    Frankly selling books with DRM puts us right back to where we were with incompatible music formats/stores.





    There is no money in interoperability and thus the digital transition is all about walled gardens and platform locking.



    Seth is a writer that I admire and I don't blame him for voicing his concern but at some point you just have to realize that interoperability isn't going to happen until all parties decide its for the best or consumers revolt.
  • pilgrim850pilgrim850 Posts: 22member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ken_sanders_aia View Post


    This isn't 'censorship', it's denial of commerce, which is completely within Apple's rights. If the bibliography links were just text, no problem. The fact that they are, as links with affiliate ID's embedded, business transactions, is the issue.



    Imagine an author unilaterally setting up a pop-up retail stand selling books inside a Barnes & Noble store... Not cool, right?



    'Censorship'' is a shameful exaggeration...



    Shameful? To decide what an author can and can't link to is censorship. From Apple's own Dictionary app: "the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts."



    eBooks have the ability to link to things. It is one of the benefits of that format. Linking to whatever an author wants to link to is an author's job to do. The idea that an author is going to threaten Apple's business through in-book links is ludicrous. And it's something that Apple should have thought about before getting into the market of being a bookseller. Books are good at subverting the powers-that-be, and Apple supposedly is a champion of independent thought.



    I have a feeling that some of you are OK with censorship, if it is done by an entity you approve of. My point is, the practice can go against you real quick, and as readers we should find Apple's decision to go "between the covers" of a book, and reject inoffensive contents, unacceptable.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Apple doesn't have to accept that just as Amazon doesn't have to accept that if books link to iBookstore.



    If Amazon were to pull a book because it contained direct links to the iBook Store, then I'd say good for Amazon! That is plain common sense and some people are so dense.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post




    And besides the Unabomber, who the hell writes manifestos?






    Communists.



    And the Free software Foundation.
  • stourquestourque Posts: 348member
    Just wondering if the printed version (if there is one) has the Amazon link printed in it.



    This is not a free speech issue - enough with the 'what ifs'. Take out the link to amazon and the book is exactly the same. Besides who reads bibliographies?
  • ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 2,736member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    There are no in app purchases in iBooks.



    The accusation, if true, is pretty low. Let's say I wrote a book on how to build a DIY computer and linked to Amazon for items of a computer parts list used for building said computer, would Apple block it? Probably, they sell computers too, right?



    There aren't in-app purchases, but you could set it up to perform similarly by having the link go straight to a "buy it now" webpage. This is probably why Apple wouldn't let this App in.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post


    I have a feeling that some of you are OK with censorship, if it is done by an entity you approve of.



    I know what you mean. Apple recently pissed me off big time. I'd been working hard on this iOS game called Ninja Pussies from Hell HD for over 5 months, and can you believe that they had the nerve to reject my app? They cited some silly rule about offensive sexual content. My pussies didn't even look like real pussies, these were 8 bit pussies and I don't see why Apple didn't allow my app.



    I also had a few direct links to the STEAM store in my app, but I'm not sure if that too had anything to do with it getting rejected.



    Where the hell is my freedom of speech? I'm so damned mad that I'm about to go outside and occupy something, or at the very least, maybe I'll piss on a cop car.
  • robogoborobogobo Posts: 377member
    The problem here is that there's no valid analogy in this case to paper/analog books, distribution or sales. In a traditional scenario, the bibliography lists references to sources by citing their title, author, publisher, etc. There was no commercial connection and therefore no conflict of interest. A reference to a book was not an endorsement of that book, since the info was available (assumedly) for free at one of millions of public libraries. There is no digital public library (yet). So for digital sources of material, online bookstores are the only go-to. A link in a bibliography is therefore more than citing a source, it's an advertisement for the book. And even if the link is to a hard copy of a book, its still an endorsement because it's linking to a sales site. The proper way to handle this would be to link to a reference site such as wikipedia or to the author's website. Linking directly to a seller isn't just violating Apple's rules, it's poor taste.
  • pilgrim850pilgrim850 Posts: 22member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I know what you mean. Apple recently pissed me off big time. I'd been working hard on this iOS game called Ninja Pussies from Hell HD for over 5 months, and can you believe that they had the nerve to reject my app? They cited some silly rule about offensive sexual content. My pussies didn't even look like real pussies, these were 8 bit pussies and I don't see why Apple didn't allow my app.



    I also had a few direct links to the STEAM store in my app, but I'm not sure if that too had anything to do with it getting rejected.



    Where the hell is my freedom of speech? I'm so damned mad that I'm about to go outside and occupy something, or at the very least, maybe I'll piss on a cop car.



    How are links to Amazon relatable to the offensive content you laid out. They're not. That's the point.
  • sessamoidsessamoid Posts: 176member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post


    I have a feeling that some of you are OK with censorship, if it is done by an entity you approve of. My point is, the practice can go against you real quick, and as readers we should find Apple's decision to go "between the covers" of a book, and reject inoffensive contents, unacceptable.



    So if you own a store, you should be forced to post ads of competing stores in your own store? You think that's okay?
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post


    How are links to Amazon relatable to the offensive content you laid out. They're not. That's the point.



    It's not the apropos example but the essence is exactly the same: retailers can choose to sell the products they want.
  • igxqrrligxqrrl Posts: 105member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post


    Right or wrong, I believe that any entity that owns their private store, doesn't have to sell a product if it doesn't want to. If I owned a book store and didn't want to sell porn or white supremacy or religious books, or even a book from an author I didn't personally like, then I just wouldn't sell it. My store, my choice of books. If the author or groups of those certain people didn't like it, then they should just go somewhere else to sell it or buy it. If my store has thousands of books and I reject a few, that's my privilege.



    Of course you're right.



    As an Apple customer and shareholder, though, this bums me out because I personally don't want to frequent businesses that behave this way, and I suspect that some portion of the population agrees with me.



    I certainly recognize their right to do it. But it will cause me to take my business elsewhere.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post


    Of course you're right.



    As an Apple customer and shareholder, though, this bums me out because I personally don't want to frequent businesses that behave this way, and I suspect that some portion of the population agrees with me.



    I certainly recognize their right to do it. But it will cause me to take my business elsewhere.



    And just as a retailer has the right to sell a product that advertises for a competing a retailer you and I have the right to not buy from a particular retailer if we don't like something about the way they do business, regardless of the validity of the reason. Long live the free market!
  • pilgrim850pilgrim850 Posts: 22member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    It's not the apropos example but the essence is exactly the same: retailers can choose to sell the products they want.



    Read the TOS of this website. Offensive material--as defined by the Supreme Court, etc. ages ago--is not allowed on these forums. That kind of material has been acceptable, via public opinion, to suppress. To go to the extreme and say, "if there's any censorship, than all censorship is OK," is false. Some censorship, of vulgar and offensive/hateful speech, has been done by some companies (but not Amazon.com, if you go to their eBookstore. There is stuff that will melt your eyeballs there.)



    Now we have commercially-motivated censorship, which is what Apple's decision is. The material in question offends no one. It hurts no one. It would meet no prurient standard by any judge in any courtroom. For Apple to make this decision is purely unilateral, based on Apple's perceived fears of competition. It does not benefit the customer, and the precedent that Apple sets here has a chilling effect on the potential for other kinds of subjective censorship in the future.



    If you don't see how this could happen, then you might want to a buy a book on history.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post


    Read the TOS of this website. Offensive material--as defined by the Supreme Court, etc. ages ago--is not allowed on these forums. That kind of material has been acceptable, via public opinion, to suppress. To go to the extreme and say, "if there's any censorship, than all censorship is OK," is false. Some censorship, of vulgar and offensive/hateful speech, has been done by some companies (but not Amazon.com, if you go to their eBookstore. There is stuff that will melt your eyeballs there.)



    Now we have commercially-motivated censorship, which is what Apple's decision is. The material in question offends no one. It hurts no one. It would meet no prurient standard by any judge in any courtroom. For Apple to make this decision is purely unilateral, based on Apple's perceived fears of competition. It does not benefit the customer, and the precedent that Apple sets here has a chilling effect on the potential for other kinds of subjective censorship in the future.



    If you don't see how this could happen, then you might want to a buy a book on history.



    You fail to understand what censorship or freedom os speech means. A retailer choosing not to sell an item is not the same thing as the item not allow to exist within a nation.
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