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Old 01-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Predatory Apple License Agreement

It's funny to think that Apple once portrayed itself as the liberating force, saving us all from a Big Brother image of their competitors. According to this article, Apple's license for using their iBooks Author program says the following:

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(ii) 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.

Apple will not be responsible for any costs, expenses, damages, losses (including without limitation lost business opportunities or lost profits) or other liabilities you may incur as a result of your use of this Apple Software, including without limitation the fact that your Work may not be selected for distribution by Apple.

   
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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What's predatory about it? They're saying you can use their free software to produce iBooks, but if you do, and you want to sell them, you have to distribute them through their store.

You're free to take your iBook and use its contents in any other format on any other platform. Does it try to lock you in? Absolutely. But predatory? Hardly.

They're basically saying that iBooks is free for non-commercial use, otherwise it's a tool for producing books to be sold through Apple, and for which you'll pay a percentage of earnings.

Does anyone seriously think they should have given away a free program designed to make content to be sold by their competitors?

(And yes, I sell a book electronically, and no, I won't be using it. That's the thing: it's an option you can take or leave.)
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:24 PM   #3
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Does anyone seriously think they should have given away a free program designed to make content to be sold by their competitors?
Why not. Lots of people make development environments they give away for free or for a fee, and they don't prevent authors from selling the result.

   
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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Lots of people make development environments they give away for free or for a fee, and they don't prevent authors from selling the result.
But that's not what's happening here.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Well then what's happening. Because whenever other technology companies push for exclusivity regarding output from their tools, they are seen as predatory. Apple does it and it's "just business."

   
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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Well then what's happening. Because whenever other technology companies push for exclusivity regarding output from their tools, they are seen as predatory. Apple does it and it's "just business."
Can you give me another example?

I remember Microsoft being labeled predatory when they introduced Internet Explorer. But then they gave that away free, without restrictions, for multiple platforms. Oh, that's right, giving it away like that was seen as a way of wiping out competitors.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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shane: But then they gave that away free, without restrictions, for multiple platforms.
I may be misremembering history and this may also be off-point but, the issue I always had with Microsoft and IE is that you couldn't run Windows OS without it (and/or couldn't uninstall it) and it entwined itself deeply within the OS in such a way that created difficulties if you tried to use a different browser. I think that is no longer the case and I've always attributed that to Microsoft being forced to pull back that deep entwinement.

I know that in the past I have considered some of Microsoft's practices predatory but I don't think that way so much now and I don't know if that's because I've grown accustomed to the way business is done thinking they are all predatory in their own way or...if Microsoft is less predatory now...'-}}

Personally, I use software that works for me. I have no requirement that software be free for me to consider using it because the person(s) who created it have the right to decide the cost.

Lastly...one reason I've never bought a mac is that they cost too much. When I compare the pc systems I've had custom built for me over the years, I think I've gotten "better" systems for less money than I would have if I'd bought a mac and I've been able to do the work I want on a pc. Because of my hearing loss, I have no experience with other Apple products--music things and phones and stuff--so as much as I might admire Apple's design aesthetic, it's highly unlikely I will ever be one of their customers...

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Old 01-22-2012, 10:32 PM   #8
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I may be misremembering history
No, you're not -- but that was a little later. The original move was to release it free, both on Macs and Windows, which effectively killed Netspace and anyone who might want to charge for a browser.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:44 AM   #9
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Netspace = Netscape. Typo or dyslexia.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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Netspace = Netscape. Typo or dyslexia.
Memory fade -- thanks.
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