Apple has reworded the user licence for its iBooks Author software after a number of commentators and bloggers misreported the intent behind the original version.
The terms originally read: “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.”
Some presented this as an attempt by Apple to claim ownership of the author’s work and restrict what they could do with it.
In fact creators were always entitled to distribute their content via any store, the only restriction was on the commercial distribution of the .ibooks file created by iBooks Author.
The software is provided solely as a content assembler for Apple’s iPad and .ibooks files do not work on other devices.
Apple has now simplified the language used in the licence to make the original intention clearer:
“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. This restriction does not apply to the content of such works when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format.”
Despite the simplifying of the language, it’s likely some will continue to claim Apple are claiming ownership of people’s work.
The images, text, animations and all other content remains the property of the author who is free to bundle them together with any other tool and sell them where and when they like.