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Apple's iBooks Author EULA fix

07 Feb 12

The controversial End User License Agreement (EULA) which accompanied Apple’s new iBooks Author app when it was released last month has been re-written by the tech giant after experts criticised its onerous and ‘sloppy’ terms.

At issue was the rule that users of the app were able to distribute the works created within it however they liked, but if they wanted to accept payment, Apple had to get its share.

You can read a full run-down of the changes here, but in short, Apple has clarified that the rule applies only to works in the .ibooks format, meaning there is no restriction on selling PDF or plain text files.

Of course, those file types don’t support the iBooks Author widgets like embedded videos and quizzes, but as something specific that Apple is offering it seems fair that Apple gets its share of those.

The important thing is that the new EULA specifies that the rights to the content continue to be held by the creator.

"You retain all your rights in the content of your works, and you may distribute such content by any means when it does not include files in the .ibooks format generated by iBooks Author,” the new EULA reads.

Ed Bott, one of the experts who criticised the original EULA, says in a post on ZDNet that the changes makes the agreement easier to understand, ‘but the degree of control that Apple demands is still hard for me to accept as an author or a publisher’.

"This set of changes is part PR, part legal cleanup,” Bott says.

"If an author decides to create a work in the new format, he or she can still sell it only in Apple’s store, with Apple’s approval.”

Do you think the changes make the EULA more agreeable? Post your comments below.

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