Apple loads up new iBooks Store with free public domain iPad titles

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple has reportedly filled up its upcoming iBook Store for iPad with a wide variety of free ebook titles curated by Project Gutenberg, heading off any attempts by third parties to profiteer on literature in the public domain.



AppAdvice.com says Apple has already listed more than 30,000 free books from Project Gutenberg into its new ebook store for the upcoming iPad (as pictured below). The Gutenberg library of free digital books is supported by volunteer efforts, which maintains a huge collection of literature in the public domain.



While Apple has already announced that the iPad's iBooks application would be compatible with the ePub format, this latest news shows that it will be even easier for users to access public domain books directly through the iBook Store. Apple is not preinstalling the iBooks app on the iPad, but it will be available for free from the App Store, allowing competing ereader apps such as Amazon's Kindle App for iPhone an equal footing.







The move to include Gutenberg's large library of public domain titles will not only help fill out Apple's new marketplace for books, but will also prevent the iPad's ebook library from being overrun with multiple versions of public domain books wrapped up in a trivial app package by third party developers hoping to take advantage of public domain content.



When the company initially launched the App Store for iPhone, the new market was deluged with book "apps," which contributed little real value and distracted attention away from more significant iPhone software titles. The iBook app for iPad is expected to eventually become available for the iPhone and iPod touch as well, although Apple has not yet announced any plans for a smaller version of the app.



In pushing ebook titles out of the general App Store and into its own iBooks or other third party apps, Apple seems to be attempting to contain problems related to monitoring and managing adult content. Last year, the company temporarily rejected at least two content reader apps for iPhone that included "obscene" content, including a Newspapers app that included topless pictures of women from the UK tabloid The Sun, as well as a conventional ebook reader app that included the title "Kama Sutra," an ancient text that includes graphic sexuality.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,797member
    Smart not to preload iBooks and instead give it equal footing with Kindle and Nook bookstores. Heads off the feds, makes customers happy, broadens iPad's appeal, and somewhat nullifies Amazon and BN as competitors. At virtually no cost to Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 70
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    I should hope this means we will have full illustrations as well, as what we could expect from something like archive.org
  • Reply 3 of 70
    uberbenuberben Posts: 62member
    This is great, not only a selection of books to buy from the modern selection we are used to but enough books worth reading to fill up your reading time, probably for the rest of your life. The best books in the world have already been written, and they are free.



    Not that all those free books will stop be repurchasing a choice selection of Discworld books.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Smart. Very smart.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    Awesome. This will definitely boost even greater iPad sales numbers right out of the gate.
  • Reply 6 of 70
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:

    Apple pre-loading iBook Store with 30,000 free eBooks



    Impressive, but people can already get all those free books on their computers right?



    http://www.archive.org/details/cornell



    http://www.archive.org/details/library_of_congress



    http://www.archive.org/details/gutenberg





    No censorship either
  • Reply 7 of 70
    Very smart. The more people can do with the iPad out of the gate the more likely it is to succeed.



    Apple is trying to establish a new category in computing and as such measures like this one, bringing the device in at an attractive price, etc. is the way to go. The point is for there to be as few obstacles as possible, hence speeding up adoption of this form factor.



    If only other companies simply just got it the way Apple obviously has. What's good for the customer is good for the company offering a particular product, within reason, of course.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,351member
    Crazy thought...



    If I write a book, how can I get it in the iBook store? I shouldn't need a publisher.
  • Reply 9 of 70
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    We already knew this, well I did. You even see free public domain books on Steve's presentation iPad. Hard to believe AI never mentioned in this story that iBooks the app will be U.S. only. Not Apple fault, but a big "issue" for International customers nevertheless.



    Come on A.I. I'm expecting to see appended this story - Update: iBooks is U.S. only for now. So international customers will have to wait if they intend to buy an iPad for reading eBooks through the iBooks app and downloading them from the iBookstore.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member
    That is a HUGE +1 for Apple! Google is going to be pissed! Now that Apple is one-upping "Google Books".
  • Reply 11 of 70
    I sure hope this will allow the iBookstore app to be available to non-US residents, together with all 30,000 free books, which clearly do not need negotiations with non-existent rights owners.
  • Reply 12 of 70
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member
    I'd like to see Graphic Novels on the iPad. It's almost the same form factor too!

    Can't wait!
  • Reply 13 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    Impressive, but people can already get all those free books on their computers right?

    http://www.archive.org/details/cornell

    http://www.archive.org/details/library_of_congress

    http://www.archive.org/details/gutenberg

    No censorship either



    This is true, but recognize that Apple's iBook Store is a different environment on a very optimized closed platform. It's a consumer device that IS NOT a "laptop" or "netbook". So, including free content in their easy to read ereader app is a huge WIN. My question really is... will Apple allow you to add content to its iBook Store from ANY source on the web? This isn't likely, but the ereader app they have is so nice, people will want to add content dynamically and not have to sideload it like they otherwise are required to (with other media).



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post


    That is a HUGE +1 for Apple! Google is going to be pissed! Now that Apple is one-upping "Google Books".



    What? Not even a little.

    http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2009/...ic-domain.html



    Google is a natural "partner". Unfortunately, Google is so paranoid (as well they should be) of being closed OUT of ecosystems, that they develop their own solutions (like buy Android or developing Chrome OS) to serve customers of the same partners they work so well with. It's a little bit of an unfortunate facet of their business practice.



    From the article above:

    Quote:

    Download Over a Million Public Domain Books from Google Books in the Open EPUB Format

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Posted by Brandon Badger, Product Manager



    Over the years, we've heard a lot from people who've unearthed hidden treasures in Google Books: a crafter who uncovered a forgotten knitting technique, a family historian who discovered her ancestor once traveled the country with a dancing, roller-skating bear. The books they found were out of copyright and in the public domain, which meant they could read the full text and even download a PDF version of the book.



    I'm excited to announce that starting today, Google Books will offer free downloads of these and more than one million more public domain books in an additional format, EPUB. By adding support for EPUB downloads, we're hoping to make these books more accessible by helping people around the world to find and read them in more places.



    So, let's carefully set aside "30,000". Apple should get Google's 1,000,000 books... or at the very least, allow people to download ePub books directly to their iBook Store.



    ~ CB
  • Reply 14 of 70
    adamwadamw Posts: 114guest
    I believe this is a good, smart, preemptive move by Apple to keep many duplicate copies of public domain titles from numerous vendors from cluttering up the iBookstore. Also this adds instant titles, and will be a benefit to many people who prefer to read the older classic writings.
  • Reply 15 of 70
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cleverboy View Post


    ... will Apple allow you to add content to its iBook Store from ANY source on the web?



    Of course not. It certainly would be PG rated given what's happened to girlie apps on the App Store recently. Also the iBook Store is a "store" to purchase what Apple sells and get's it's commission on.



    Likely there will some issues over what apps can be allowed on the App Store.



    For instance Kindle for the Mac would likely not be allowed on the App Store so it won't work on the iPad. However Kindle on the Mac (for the Mac) will work and possibly files transferred to the iPad via a neutral holder with DRM protection scheme, like PDF's or something.



    So already there is going to be some division going on and some material is not going to be on the iPad because publishers don't want Apple to get a monopoly. Or Apple will rate the material not safe for children and ban it.



    Since the iPad is a closed device, Apple is going to do everything in it's power to route all content through the iBookStore.



    It's the Disney World approach, you go there for a few days to vacation and can only buy a few Coke products. No Pepsi, no RC Cola, no Avian, no Fuji water, no wine, no beer, no liquor...etc. etc.



    At least on a computer, one can choose to step outside Apple's closed world and buy material from Amazon or other providers.
  • Reply 16 of 70
    I like this move. With a built in 30,000 books in the iBookstore and over 150,000 apps in the app store and millions of songs in the itunes store, Apple has set a new standard for ready made content on a device. All the supposed competitors will have to match this. Throw in a starting price of $500 for the iPad and I can start to see this will make it very hard for the competitors to compete. Not impossible but harder.
  • Reply 17 of 70
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Good Idea... though this kind of thing has always been available on Sony/Amazon/Nook/every other eBook reader yet devised.



    Maybe it'll encourage more people to read the classics.
  • Reply 18 of 70
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    For instance Kindle for the Mac would likely not be allowed on the App Store so it won't work on the iPad. However Kindle on the Mac (for the Mac) will work and possibly files transferred to the iPad via a neutral holder with DRM protection scheme, like PDF's or something.



    ---



    Since the iPad is a closed device, Apple is going to do everything in it's power to route all content through the iBookStore.



    Actually the Kindle and Nook applications are on the App Store already and both work. Apple has also confirmed that you can use DRM-free ePub files from any source on the iPad. So, you are wrong on all accounts.
  • Reply 19 of 70
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    Impressive, but people can already get all those free books on their computers right?



    http://www.archive.org/details/cornell



    http://www.archive.org/details/library_of_congress



    http://www.archive.org/details/gutenberg





    No censorship either



    This is great, THANKS.
  • Reply 20 of 70
    zc456zc456 Posts: 96member
    Looks like I'll have plenty to read on the go.
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