Last month after Apple released its latest Mac software, iBooks Author, careful readers of the licensing agreement noticed some legal restrictions for publishing books in the iBooks/e-Pub format. This week, Apple update that agreement.
iBooks Author allows you how to write, design, and publish interactive e-Pub books and post them for free or for sell on Apple’s iBooks Store.
In the latest 1.0.1 update of iBooks Author, Apple 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, in such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple.”
The above is essentially what Apple required in the original license. In this update, however, it adds in part, “This restriction does not apply to the content of such works when distributed in any form is not include files in the .ibooks format.”
Apple further clarifies it policy agreement on its iBooks Author: Publishing and distribution FAQ page. It says in part:
If a fee is charged for the work and it is in the .ibooks format, the work may only be sold through the iBookstore. If the work is in a different format, such as PDF or ePub, this restriction does not apply.
When the work is provided for free, it can be distributed through the iBookstore or by other means, including when the work is in the .ibooks format.
While Apple says it doesn’t own the copyright of your book, it might be a good idea to hire a legal expert if you think your book is going to have significant sell value.