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Old 01-23-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
fjtorres
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ZDNET: Apple sabotaging ePub?

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/how-a...78?tag=nl.e539

I think he is over-stating the case but the core idea isn't wrong.
More important, though; they *will* get away with it and there is nothing <idpf> will do about it.

Not. A. Thing.

That message is now out in the wild.

ePub3 brings a lot of useful stuff (and a few nasty surprises) and is going to be the core format internal to the BPHs, but there literally is nothing to prevent retailers (or other publishers) from embracing and extending it to serve their specific agendas, especially in asia and other protectionist markets.

Let a thousand (incompatible) epubs bloom.

This is what lack of enforcement brings.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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And that's what overreaction brings... just because Apple have released a new authoring package hasn't mystically destroyed all other current methods of authoring... if you don't like it, don't use it but stop behaving like yo-yos because Apple has released a tool and format variations that favour... wow, Apple's products... It doesn't stop you doing what you did before, it just adds another alternative...

And see http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=166506
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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That isn't the point.
The point is that what Apple does, hundreds copy.

Wait a bit and watch what Rakuten does. What the chinese publishers do.
What happens in South Korea and Brazil and India.
This is about the entire ebook market, not the chunk Apple may or not control.

Embrace and extend is going to be a lot more tempting paradigm to players looking for ways to compete with Apple and Amazon.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-23-2012 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
ePub3 brings a lot of useful stuff (and a few nasty surprises) and is going to be the core format internal to the BPHs, but there literally is nothing to prevent retailers (or other publishers) from embracing and extending it to serve their specific agendas, especially in asia and other protectionist markets.

Let a thousand (incompatible) epubs bloom.

This is what lack of enforcement brings.
Apple do not claim that the files that iBooks Author produces are "ePub" files. There's nothing to enforce.

Storm, meet teacup.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Apple do not claim that the files that iBooks Author produces are "ePub" files. There's nothing to enforce.

Storm, meet teacup.
Never mind HarryT, I give up... facts are a waste of time and effort on these forums, attacks and rumours go much better...
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #6
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This is no more (or less) embracing and extending ePub3 than Amazon's new KF8 format it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
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What is the IDPF supposed to do about it? Is there a license which precludes anyone from forking ePub in this manner?
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #8
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As long as they don't call it ePub I don't really care that much.

They should change the text on their site to reflect that they use a format derived from ePub but that's about it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
What is the IDPF supposed to do about it? Is there a license which precludes anyone from forking ePub in this manner?
No. And that is the problem.
Apple has in fact been producing and selling non-compliant epubs since they first set up iBooks. With no consequences.
What they're doing now is simply saying they have no intention of *ever* being compatible. As of now, iBook files are *officially* whatever Apple says they are. Just like Kindle books are whatever Amazon says and Kobo books are whatever *they* say.

Now, Apple (and Amazon) have every right to do this; that is why I said its not about Apple. There are many valid business reasons to do it, thich is why I said the article was overstating it. Apple isn't sabotaging epub as much as undercutting its "universal format" message; saying the emperor is buck nekkid.

The point to me is that the epub "standard" being undercut by a company that still gives lip service to supporting it (unlike Amazon, who have never disguised their indiference) is something to pay attention to.

Dunno if you remember the copy-protected music Discs of a few years back that the guardians of the CD standard hit with a cease-and-desist notice on calling their discs "CD" and denying them the uuse of the trademark and logo. Or Sun's suing MS over J++ and its claims of Java compatibility.
That is how proper standards are defended.

As of now, epub support simply means the app can open an epub file and display...something...

Until now these implementation consistency issues have generally been seen as growing pains of an immature spec and that over time they would get settled as epub use became universal.

What the ZDNet report suggests, though, is that epub implementation consistency issues aren't going away--they are being institutionalized by Apple and whoever chooses to follow their example.

The question that now faces all of us epub users is how many other ebook vendors are going to follow Apple's example and what it means to the epub3 transition.

I don't think this is trivial; the BPHs still see Apple as their biggest defense against "Amazon domination". That means the top ebook vendor and its most prominent challenger, worldwide, are both proprietary. And the next best ePub "knight", Kobo, has a tarnished record themselves. Come the transition to ePub3, they might decide to standardize on a kepub variant. The epub3 forking is not going to stop with Apple, guys...

Like the ZDNet guys, I have seen this *before* in other technology markets. The closest parallel right now is Engineering Workstations, where UNIX (In a variety of theoretically-compatible implementations) was once the annointed standard and the multivariate forks and the infighting over which Unix was holiest allowed Microsoft to get in the market with Windows NT and eventally squeeze most UNIX workstations out of the engineering market.

One more time: epub needs a coherent *consumer-level* story if it is going to remain relevant as a commercial consumer ebook format. And the time to get the story straight is running out.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-23-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:50 PM   #10
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If anyone has sabotaged ePub it's the IDPF themselves.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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No. And that is the problem.
Sounds like no one put any legal restraints on forking ePub. If so, then no one should be surprised if someone forks ePub for their own purposes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres
Dunno if you remember the copy-protected music Discs of a few years back that the guardians of the CD standard hit with a cease-and-desist notice on calling their discs "CD" and denying them the uuse of the trademark and logo. Or Sun's suing MS over J++ and its claims of Java compatibility.
That is how proper standards are defended.
Those were/are both proprietary standards.

If you want to use Red Book (the CD standard), you need to license it from Philips. Java was proprietary until 2006, and they sued MS in 2002.

Not to mention that vendors have used incompatible DRM mechanisms on various ePubs for a long time now.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:28 PM   #12
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I don't see the big deal, I never intend to buy a Kindle or an Apple anything so whatever they do, won't impact me.

All big companies want to be the only game in town, what they don't realize is that someone is ALWAYS going to go their own way to offer us more choices So long as I have a choice on where I spend my money, the rest of this BS is unimportant.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:02 AM   #13
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Dunno if you remember the copy-protected music Discs of a few years back that the guardians of the CD standard hit with a cease-and-desist notice on calling their discs "CD" and denying them the uuse of the trademark and logo. Or Sun's suing MS over J++ and its claims of Java compatibility.
Have Apple ever said that iBook files were ePub compatible?
Not just the new iBook2 format, but ever?
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:58 AM   #14
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iBooks itself is even more dangerous to writers than anything Apple could do to the epub standard. Read this:

http://zdnet.com/blog/bott/apples-mi...agreement/4360

That does it. I knew Apple is greedy and arrogant, but this beats anything I've ever read with regard to a software EULA, bar none. Now I won't even consider their products ever again.

Last edited by Katsunami; 01-24-2012 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:08 AM   #15
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iBooks itself is even more dangerous to writers than anything Apple could do to the epub standard. Read this:

http://zdnet.com/blog/bott/apples-mi...agreement/4360

That does it. I knew Apple is greedy and arrogant, but this beats anything I've ever read with regard to a software EULA, bar none. Now I won't even consider their products ever again.
I'm sorry, but I don't see the problem.

This is free software for producing books specifically for the iBooks application. Apple are (very reasonably, to my mind) saying that if you choose to sell the resulting book, you must do so via the iBookstore. If you wish to give it away, you can freely do so. Similarly, if you export your file in another format, such as PDF, you can do whatever you wish with that.

Really, what's all the fuss about?
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