iBook Software

Tech Column:
Apple's authoring software creates a digital rights conflict

Earlier this year Apple released their iBooks author software which helps authors write books for online distribution. Although Apple’s new software for authors looks appealing, especially with its option for interactive book content creation, at the core there are some serious problems relating to free enterprise.

The battle over digital media rights is not a new one, but American authors in the past have always had exclusive rights to their works to publish as they wish. However, Apple, with its new iBook author software app, has created a licensing stipulation that specifically states “if your Work is provided for a fee, you may only distribute the Work through Apple.”

Companies have forced their customers to use proprietary software for projects before, but Apple is trying to force customers to also give up publication rights to their own works. This is nothing short of astonishing. By imposing this publishing limitation on their users, Apple is trying to force authors who use their software to give up potential monetary value attached to their works and give Apple a cut of the publishing profits.

According to business and entertainment website Business Insider, Apple is the number four PC manufacturer and in 2011 they shipped of over 88 million computers. I find it very hard to believe that Apple, a multi-billion dollar industry finds it necessary to profit from a single individual who writes a book with Apple software. The only word for what Apple has done is simple: it’s Greed, and I for one will stick with free software.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.