Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2012 17:41 UTC
Apple Apple's education event just ended, and just as Ars Technica said, Apple announced better support for textbooks, as well as a textbook authoring tool. The textbook authoring tool is heavily inspired by Keynote and Pages, and hence, I already know it's going to be top-notch and very pleasant to use. In addition, the company also repositioned iTunes U as a Blackboard competitor. As great as all these new tools are, several large red flags went up in my mind: I remember what it was like being the only student who didn't use Windows. Update: "Any e-textbook author that wants access to the iPad-toting masses must make his or her work an exclusive to iBooks 2."
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The underlying complaints
by clasqm on Sun 22nd Jan 2012 07:38 UTC
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All the bellyaching I see here can be boiled down to the following:

1. I have the right to produce any nonsense I like and place it on iTunes for sale.

I guess you've never worked with a traditional publisher. They reject 10 books for every one they print. And Apple should be different ... why, exactly? They do not want Homeland Security to come asking why they published your handbook on overthrowing governments. They do not need lawsuits because they published your libellous celebrity memoir.

They are going to pick and choose what gets published. Just like every other publisher in the history of the alphabet.

Even Smashwords reserves the right not to publish in their Terms of Service:"Smashwords may decide not to Publish Author’s work or may decide to discontinue its publication of Author’s work for any reason and for no reason, and no reason need be provided." Sound familiar? This is standard stuff in the publishing world, people. Expressing your ignorance of this just shows that you have never published anything.

2. I have the right to sell the same product on any other store and do it all with a single workflow.

You do have that right. You can place your.ibooks file on iTunes. Then you can reformat the same text and put it on Amazon. And then you can reformat the same text again and put it on Smashwords. You can even sell the bare text directly from your own website.

Yes, that means you'll have to do the formatting three times. It's called work. Deal with it.

3. I am one of the 15-20% of people who bought a tablet that is not an iPad. It is Apple's duty to let me read the .ibook format.

Apple wants you to buy an iPad. Apple is a business, not a charity. They are required BY LAW to maximize shareholders' interests. They also have certain duties to their customers. They have no duty whatsoever to people who are neither customer nor shareholder.

Reverse-engineering the .ibooks format and creating an Android/Win8/Linux/WebOS app to read it is YOUR problem, not Apple's. Writing a Android/Win8/Linux/WebOS app to create new .ibook files is YOUR problem, not Apple's. I'm sure some bright spark has already registered a project on Sourceforge instead of moaning and groaning on the forums.

This is like complaining that Microsoft does not make Office for Linux. Yes, it would be nice if they did. But you do not have an inalienable human right to such a product.

Nobody is holding a gun to your head and making you use iBooks Author (BTW, it is still a little rough on the edges, I'd wait for a point upgrade or two before betting the farm on it). There are many ways to get an .epub/.mobi up for sale on a number of stores.

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