THE END USER License Agreement (EULA) for Apple's new iBooks Author free new software seems not only to restrict what users can legally do with it but, according to ZDNet (see znetibooks.notlong.com), would appear also to restrict its output - the e-books that the user produces using the software. ZDNet described it as being a bit like Microsoft deciding what images you can project at your presentation using PowerPoint, or determining what views you can express in a Word document.

The EULA states that if the work you produce using iBooks Author is for commercial purposes, "(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."

There's also what, on ZDNet's first inspection, appears to be a liability clause absolving Apple of any legal action resulting from the e-book you publish with their software, and dumping that liability on you. This includes any claims arising from Apple deciding not to distribute your work.

ZDNet suspect "sloppy lawyering" rather than deliberate greed. One author told the Freelance that they thought no serious professional writer would be using any free software to publish e-books anyway.

Last modified: 10 Feb 2012 - © 2012 contributors
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