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Apple cleans iBook Author license but not far enough

When Apple released its iBooks Author program a few weeks ago, the company was criticized for it’s Draconian end user license agreement (EULA) that appeared overreaching. Apple then released an updated EULA that cleaned a few things up – but still has issues.
The biggest one is that Apple retains exclusive rights to anything an author wants to sell in its new format. If you give the iBook away, you retain the rights.
Some have asked that it seems “normal” to do so. After all, you are using this free program to do so. But there are plenty of ebook creators and converters which are free and do not require the author to give up any rights.
For Apple, they want to protect the iBook format. They will keep the iBook format proprietary – so no one can create it [unless you use the iBook Author] and no one can read it [except in Apple gadgets] and nobody can convert to and from the iBook format. iBooks format is an undocumented extension to an industry standard format.
The main part of the updated EULA states: “If you want to charge a fee for a work that includes files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author, you may only sell or distribute such work through Apple, and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple.”
But a sentence at the end of that preamble now specifies that files created in PDF format or exported as plain text are not subject to Apple’s exclusivity requirement.
At least Apple pulled the line “Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.”