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iBooks Author works limited to commercial distribution on iPad through iBookstore

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
While Apple's free new iBooks Author publishing app generates what appears to be a modified EPUB format, Apple's licensing terms for the app restrict commercial distribution of the ebooks it creates solely to the iBookstore. Noncommercial, free distribution of ebooks and PDFs is not restricted in any way.

This has generated a minor controversy, with critics claiming that Apple's business model would be akin to Microsoft restricting what users can do with their Word documents. However, there has long been licensing restrictions that artificially limit how software can be used.

Microsoft, for example, licenses its Windows Server and Exchange software on a per-user and/or per machine basis, while a variety of end user content creation apps, including Adobe's, offer a free version limited to producing non-commercial work or low cost versions aimed solely for use in education.

iBooks off the iPad?

In Apple's case, the company is offering free development and deployment apps and the iBookstore service in hopes of generating content that adds value to its iPad hardware. Apple appears to have reason to be concerned that third parties might try to resell textbooks and other ebooks for use on other platforms or in stores that compete with iTunes.

While it would not appear to be difficult to reverse engineer an ebook reader capable of loading and displaying titles created with iBooks Author (given that the output is based on standards ranging from H.264 video to HTML, CSS and JavaScript code), without a paid business model it is hard to imagine how such a project would ever be completed.

So, while Apple doesn't appear to do anything to make content generated by iBooks Author incapable of working outside of iPad's new iBooks 2 app, there is a significant barrier of practicality given that Apple restricts firms using its free authoring tool from creating work they could sell through other markets or on other platforms.




Carrots rather than sticks

Under the clause "Distribution of your Work," the iBooks Author End User Licensing Agreement states: "As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows:

(i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means;
(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution."

This effectively means that while anyone can use iBooks Author to create content that can subsequently be used any way they like, if the ebooks are sold, they must get Apple's permission to sell them outside of the iBookstore.

Ignoring Apple's license would likely result in rejection of the author's work in iBookstore, the biggest available market for the work. This would extinguish any potential for a publisher to "add" side sales of its iBooks Author-created ebooks to a third party such as Amazon (which restricts the formats it accepts for distribution and wouldn't accept Apple's files anyway) or a third party store selling ebooks to Android or Windows 8 tablets, for example.

However, Apple's EULA does not appear to block the free distribution of titles for any use, including the distribution of limited functionality PDF copies or the distribution of full ebooks (something that would require a specialized ebook reader capable of rendering them).

Additionally, content authored in iBooks Author could largely be reformatted into a basic EPUB format or other file type, such as Amazon's KF8, and redistributed without complaint from Apple. However, such works would also lack the multitouch features and dynamic widgets that iBooks Author makes it easy to incorporate into its own titles.
post #2 of 47
You want to publish anywhere? Pay for the software. You have plenty of options.

You want to publish on the iBooks Store? Great! We'll even give you wonderful software to help for free.

Makes sense.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You want to publish anywhere? Pay for the software. You have plenty of options.

You want to publish on the iBooks Store? Great! We'll even give you wonderful software to help for free.

Makes sense.

My thoughts as well. When using various software libraries and tool sets (Unreal for example), it is not uncommon for non-commercial use to have different strings when compared to commercial use.
post #4 of 47
I don't have a problem with this licensing. Apple invested in the development of iBooks Author for the purpose of getting exclusive content. There's always other content creation applications if you want to sell across multiple stores.
 
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post #5 of 47
Uh, actually, Apple is providing the software for free and limiting the commercial use of its output on Apple's platform... OK. Way different than Word, which you have to pay for...

You can still export to PDF et al and do whatever you want...

Not a problem for me... Competition is good... This new model may or may not prevail in the marketplace, but let's skip the 'controvery', shall we? Controversial to whom? The self-assigned overlords of the Internet?

C'mon, folks!
post #6 of 47
Exactly! Nobody is harmed by this arrangement...
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You want to publish anywhere? Pay for the software. You have plenty of options.

You want to publish on the iBooks Store? Great! We'll even give you wonderful software to help for free.

Makes sense.

Agreed. But there will be haters that will scream anti-trust and everything else they can think of.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You want to publish anywhere? Pay for the software. You have plenty of options.

You want to publish on the iBooks Store? Great! We'll even give you wonderful software to help for free.

Makes sense.

Agreed.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #9 of 47
Agree with all here that Apple is not doing anything wrong. But I do wonder - would publishers not desire an app that allows them to create contents once and be able to distribute thru most if not all channels? When some other app comes along that's compatible with Amazon as well as iBooks, iBook Author might not be so appealing anymore.
post #10 of 47
I love these manufactured controversies.

I saw ealier that Cult of Mac thinks it's absurd that the iBook Authoring tool requires you to have an iPad to preview how your content will actually look and feel on an iPad.

It just seems logical to me that if you were creating books for iPad, you would want to have an iPad to test and preview your work before distributing it...

Simulators are ok, but wouldn't an actual iPad be better?
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Agree with all here that Apple is not doing anything wrong. But I do wonder - would publishers not desire an app that allows them to create contents once and be able to distribute thru most if not all channels? When some other app comes along that's compatible with Amazon as well as iBooks, iBook Author might not be so appealing anymore.

There is no limitation on the PDF output of iBook Author. Of course there would be no dynamic content.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Simulators are ok, but wouldn't an actual iPad be better?

Particularly when the simulators don't simulate RAM.

Make an app. Runs perfectly on the iPhone simulator. Crashes instantaneously on your iPhone because it's using 210 MB of RAM and your phone only has 128.

Ah, life.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You want to publish anywhere? Pay for the software. You have plenty of options.

You want to publish on the iBooks Store? Great! We'll even give you wonderful software to help for free.

Makes sense.

perfect!
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, Apple's EULA does not appear to block the free distribution of titles for any use, including the distribution of limited functionality PDF copies or the distribution of full ebooks (something that would require a specialized ebook reader capable of rendering them).

I have not had the chance to play with the new software yet but it was my understanding from another poster that Author can export to a .ibook file format that can be viewed on an iPad. How you get this file on the iPad was not explained. Can you sync it through iTunes? Can you view it from an email attachment or download from a website? Is the .ibook file full featured with all the original interactivity? If that is the case it would seem that you don't need another specialized ebook reader.

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post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I have not had the chance to play with the new software yet but it was my understanding from another poster that Author can export to a .ibook file format that can be viewed on an iPad. How you get this file on the iPad was not explained. Can you sync it through iTunes?

When you click the Preview button, the application asks you to have your iPad plugged in and iBooks open.

Which I found interesting and odd.

It's not required, it seems, as the iPad syncs the file over (which is given a purple "Proof" banner), opens it automatically, and it's viewable as any other book would be.

Quote:
Is the .ibook file full featured with all the original interactivity?

Of the I'm not sure what you're asking here.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Of… the… I'm not sure what you're asking here.

I am not sure what the various export options are. If you can export to a .ibook file on your Mac then do something about trying to get the file onto an iPad does it work? Not just preview actually copy the file.

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post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I am not sure what the various export options are. If you can export to a .ibook file on your Mac then do something about trying to get the file onto an iPad does it work? Not just preview actually copy the file.

I wouldn't imagine it would, but that's me. Too busy working properly with this new .ibook file of mine to test it out.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I wouldn't imagine it would, but that's me. Too busy working properly with this new .ibook file of mine to test it out.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I am only asking because it would be a proper way to create a document and then have my editor be able to review and markup the document without having to come over to my office and read it on my iPad which is connected to my Mac. You know? Properly writing and editing a professional manuscript with a proper work flow, not just fooling around with a new toy.

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post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You want to publish anywhere? Pay for the software. You have plenty of options.

You want to publish on the iBooks Store? Great! We'll even give you wonderful software to help for free.

Makes sense.

The only problem is that right now it's the only app to generate the books - once Adobe InDesign and other apps have an 'export' for this format then it'll be fine.

I seriously doubt that all the existing textbook publishers are going to manually cut and paste their books into this new app - they'll want to generate the book from their existing tools. Anyone know what the most popular textbook publishing apps are? Framemaker, InDesign? Any sign that there are 'preview' versions of a converter/export plugin yet?
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Additionally, content authored in iBooks Author could largely be reformatted into a basic EPUB format or other file type, such as Amazon's KF8, and redistributed without complaint from Apple. However, such works would also lack the multitouch features and dynamic widgets that iBooks Author makes it easy to incorporate into its own titles.

This is the key point. Obviously some third parties will create programs that will import the .ibook and will likely convert it and the multimedia type features into other formats. Adobe created a FLASH to HTML converter and a FLASH to app converter and Apple banished submission of apps that used the latter from what I remember.

So the question will be that if someone like Adobe or Amazon creates a converter/reformatter that basically keeps the interactive features while allowing the work to be reused in other Ebook readers and formats, will Apple pull the book from their own book store.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthurba View Post

Anyone know what the most popular textbook publishing apps are? Framemaker, InDesign? Any sign that there are 'preview' versions of a converter/export plugin yet?

Believe it or not I think Quark on PC is still the most widely used platform for large document publishing. Famemaker was popular for scientific manuals for a while but I don't think it is as much now days. inDesign originally had issues with really large documents, so it was slow to make it into the book publishing world that largely relies on servers and database connectivity for which there are third party Quark extensions available. Not sure how much things have changed in the industry since I haven't been involved in that side of the business for a few years. In my office we use inDesign for everything so that would be my focus as this Apple proprietary file format becomes more widespread.

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post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

When some other app comes along that's compatible with Amazon as well as iBooks....

Oh yeah, I am betting that your pals have their copiers out in droves already.

And, sobbing while they're copying.....
post #23 of 47
Anyone know if the iBooks can be viewed on the Mac yet? If students are taking notes, and marking up their textbooks, they might like to then use that on their desktops and laptops.
post #24 of 47
I personally don't get this one. Authors who's looking to make money of the book would not want to tie themselves to the small iBookstore market only. Which means this tool will mostly be used by authors who want to distribute their work free - which means good books would be driven away (because good books usually charge money).
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

I personally don't get this one. Authors who's looking to make money of the book would not want to tie themselves to the small iBookstore market only. Which means this tool will mostly be used by authors who want to distribute their work free - which means good books would be driven away (because good books usually charge money).

Nonsense. It would be distributed free in settings such as classrooms and meetings, millions of them. In addition to the currently available (pedestrian) cannels of distribution, people will be told they can view it as an iBook if they have an iPad.

You can bet that, as people look over their shoulders to see what iPadders have access to, they will want one too. This will sell a gazillion more iPads.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

Anyone know if the iBooks can be viewed on the Mac yet? If students are taking notes, and marking up their textbooks, they might like to then use that on their desktops and laptops.

Good question. I want to know the answer to this too.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Good question. I want to know the answer to this too.

No. There is no iBooks for the OS - none. The iBook Author program is only for the creation and publication of iBooks - it has no integration with the Book Store. iTunes doesnt either and I doubt it ever will.

iBook Author is not a reader program - neither is iTunes.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

Anyone know if the iBooks can be viewed on the Mac yet? If students are taking notes, and marking up their textbooks, they might like to then use that on their desktops and laptops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

No. There is no iBooks for the OS - none. The iBook Author program is only for the creation and publication of iBooks - it has no integration with the Book Store. iTunes doesnt either and I doubt it ever will.

iBook Author is not a reader program - neither is iTunes.

This is a seriously strange omission on Apple's part and shows, in my opinion why they don't get cloud computing as well as the competition. Kindle books can be read on my iPhone, on my Mac, through a web browser, etc. I can play any music I have purchased or uploaded to Google Music through a browser or similar phone based app. I can use any music I have purchased through Amazon through the browser as well.

It appears Apple is narrowing the usuability of their solution to a range so narrow that it won't have a chance of becoming an industry wide option. They've been doing this more and more and it is bad business in my opinion and gives others an opportunity.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Agree with all here that Apple is not doing anything wrong. But I do wonder - would publishers not desire an app that allows them to create contents once and be able to distribute thru most if not all channels? When some other app comes along that's compatible with Amazon as well as iBooks, iBook Author might not be so appealing anymore.

That's my concern as well. Apple has every right to do what they are doing, but it might create an opening for Amazon to follow with a similar product that will enable would-be textbook authors to use their solution and have their work available on multiple devices such as the iPad, the Kindle Fire, Android tablets, Windows PCs, and Macs.
post #30 of 47
Apple was really thinking ahead when they first released iBooks to make it not pre-installed but a free download. They avoided any potential legal action associated with what is now an obviously very stealthy political coup.

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post #31 of 47
I think this "marketing model" is only going to last a little while.

Apple obviously cares more about making the iPad (iOS) platform the distribution platform for textbooks - -which is a smart move.

In the short term, this will work. In the long term, obviously, other companies will come out with software that competes -- the apples iBook will be the "limited one" and if you were developing these textbooks, I think that you would pick one that could be used for more than one platform, even if it isn't quite as good.

So after about 6 months -- maybe Apple changes this business model.

>> I think it would be reasonable to have a "non-free" upgrade to distribute to other platforms. Hopefully it won't be too proprietary to iOS platform - likely there will be a lot of optimized effects and multimedia -- but all of that can have a reasonable alternative fallback that's more compatible.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I am not sure what the various export options are. If you can export to a .ibook file on your Mac then do something about trying to get the file onto an iPad does it work? Not just preview actually copy the file.

I don't have an iPad, but the .ibook file can be copied to an iPhone by email, I assume that you can copy it to an iPad as well. iPhone iBooks won't open it, but it does come up in the iBooks library.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post

That's my concern as well. Apple has every right to do what they are doing, but it might create an opening for Amazon to follow with a similar product that will enable would-be textbook authors to use their solution and have their work available on multiple devices such as the iPad, the Kindle Fire, Android tablets, Windows PCs, and Macs.

I don't think of it as a *concern*, but rather a potentially fascinating development. After all, competition is good. The fascination is - what will Apple do then?
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

In the short term, this will work. In the long term, obviously, other companies will come out with software that competes

companies already have come out (years ago) with software that competes

http://www.kno.com for instance.
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthurba View Post

The only problem is that right now it's the only app to generate the books - once Adobe InDesign and other apps have an 'export' for this format then it'll be fine.

I seriously doubt that all the existing textbook publishers are going to manually cut and paste their books into this new app - they'll want to generate the book from their existing tools. Anyone know what the most popular textbook publishing apps are? Framemaker, InDesign? Any sign that there are 'preview' versions of a converter/export plugin yet?

It's the only app that can generate proper iBooks and the iPad is the only device that can view them, correctly (as of now). I think textbook authors would prefer the iBooks Author app because they can add interactive and rich content into the iBook rather than hacking at it in an outside program and exporting a possibly "half completed" textbook for iBooks; with this interactive and enhanced content, they have ground to make their iPad edition book stand out from the other guy's iBook in the iBookstore, enhancing the books as more are created. This also gives another route for companies to advertise themselves to school ("We have the best book and best iBook version available.")

Plus, Apple has made iBooks Author so bloody simple that it's not a challenge to create an iBook copy of a textbook. You could have multiple less experienced (in digital book creation) people work on context and a single editor go through and fix the loose ends very quickly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

companies already have come out (years ago) with software that competes

http://www.kno.com for instance.

I had to laugh at this; I had a buddy working for Kno awhile back and almost worked there myself and didn't think of them as a competitor! The main difference is that Kno doesn't offer the rich, interactive textbooks Apple is trying to inspire publishers to create. Apple also has more influence than smaller companies like Kno, an influence that it needed to get content into their already popular bookstore. From there, the dominos fall in line (more content, more readers, which creates even more content, etc...)
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post


I had to laugh at this; I had a buddy working for Kno awhile back and almost worked there myself and didn't think of them as a competitor! The main difference is that Kno doesn't offer the rich, interactive textbooks Apple is trying to inspire publishers to create.

It's not the same, and also not the only one, but it still competes within the same market.

Maybe rich and interactive is not what you want in a classroom (unless all ipads can be synced/controlled by the teacher (numerous systems provide this) or everyone is wearing headphones)...
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

It's not the same, and also not the only one, but it still competes within the same market.

Maybe rich and interactive is not what you want in a classroom (unless all ipads can be synced/controlled by the teacher (numerous systems provide this) or everyone is wearing headphones)...

You may correct that they compete in the same market, but its obvious they do not compete at the same level. Much like the decision to buy a feature phone versus a smart phone, yes they both compete in the cellphone market but at two different levels.

And your second statement is confusing. First why would you NOT want engaging and interactive content? You are talking about a generation of student whose frame of reference is the internet - which is by definition engaging and interactive. Engaging and interactive provides a level of information density AND diversity which promotes understanding and assimilation that is not present in the printed word alone.

Can you actually cite which "numerous systems" already deliver the same level of information as this does? There are already entire system set-ups which allow for customized configuration of the iPads for classroom use. Including controls, access and content management. And since most students come equiped with their own headphones - jacking in is not, even in urban schools, a significant challenge.

Are you perhaps suggesting that the chalkboard (itself an innovation at the time) and plain text is sufficient to deliver information in the most effective manner.

Further point: This of course is not definitiive by any stretch but makes my point:

Quote:
In an attempt to assess the effect of iPad textbooks on student performance, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) performed a year-long pilot program using an iPad version of the company's Algebra 1 textbook for middle school students. The study, conducted at Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside, California, saw 78% students taking the course using the iPad textbook rank as "Proficient" or "Advanced" in the subject, compared to only 58% of students using the traditional print textbook.
The first assessment of the pilot— Riverside's district Algebra benchmark –took place during the second trimester of the 2010–2011 year. Students using HMH Fuse scored an average of 10 percentage points higher than their peers. The app's impact was even more pronounced after the California Standards Test in spring 2011, on which HMH Fuse students scored approximately 20 percent higher than their textbook-using peers.

Educators noted increased motivation on the part of students using the iPad app, as well as the personal level of interactivity, as factors contributing to student success. Students also found the iPad experience more natural and put them more in charge of their own learning, factors that increased student interest and engagement.

From MacRumors here:
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/20/...ooks-for-ipad/
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post #38 of 47
I had dinner last night with a friend who purchased an epub book for a college course. (Obviously not an iBooks2 book).

After the course had started and the students had their books (only a couple opted for electronic versions), the instructor announced there would be open-book tests, but those with epub Textbooks would not be allowed to use their copy.

The instructor feared those students would also use the internet, and gain an unfair advantage.

Like every other tool that comes into existence, there will be some issues that arise with using the tool.
This reminds me of the advance to programmable calculators, which allowed students to store information they were expected to memorize.
In one of my daughter's Physics classes, the instructor walked around and cleared the program memory of every calculator prior to starting an exam.
She was angry, since she did not have any "cheats" on her calculator, but did have some personal data that she completely lost.
post #39 of 47
Apple should just shut everyone up by selling iBooks Author for $1,999 if they want to use Apple's free tool design for iBookstore to create other works for other distribution methods.

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post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Apple should just shut everyone up by selling iBooks Author for $1,999 if they want to use Apple's free tool design for iBookstore to create other works for other distribution methods.

Maybe they should just give away Final Cut Pro but claim they own the exclusive rights to all the "works" created with it.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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