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Old 07-26-2012, 10:37 AM   #1
fjtorres
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Holly Lisle dumps iBooks for cause

http://hollylisle.com/apple-made-its...JkKEsJQqZE_XgP

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All my self-pubbed books are now out of the iBook store. The work by me that is still there is commercially published, and I cannot do anything about its presence or absence.

But, for writers, especially those involved in or considering self-publishing, I can no longer recommend Apple as a professional distributor. Requiring no links to a competing website was borderline…but I complied because I wanted to keep the courses available for students who could not get them any other way.

Requiring the removal of actual lesson content, however, is unacceptable. No, it isn’t censorship. Again, only governments have the armies that allow them to censor.
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You don’t tell someone “The problem is the live links,” and then, when that person has complied with your change request and removed the live links, turn around and say, “No, no. The problem is the CONTENT. You can’t mention Amazon in your lesson.

This is not professional behavior from a professional market.

And cold moment of truth here—you cannot write a writing course that includes information on publishing and self-publishing and NOT mention Amazon. It’s the place where your writers are going to make about 90% of their money.

So I’m pulling ALL my work from the iBookstore today. I apologize to iBookstore fans. I tried. Hard.

But I’m done.
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I’m deeply disappointed by the loss of Apple as a viable market. I know a lot of folks hate the company. I loved it, though—and recent decisions on this issue as well as the issue of sandboxing in the next OS make me realize it’s working hard at making itself a company I won’t be able to support.
I like her books that I've read.
(Found her through the BAEN Free Library and Webscriptions.)
Her tutorials for writers sound interesting and useful but they're apparently too useful for Apple's taste.

I like her tone, too.
No, it's not censorship; yes, Apple has the right to do it; and, yes, she has the right to walk out.

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Old 07-28-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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Agree with all her points except the mention of sandboxing. That's an important step for enhancing security on any platform and is only required for apps sold via the app store. Granted certain apps will no longer be sellable via the app store because of how they need to work been incompatible with sandboxing, but those apps can still be sold the traditional way. Maybe in time once sandboxing is accepted by all developers as standard practice apple will start to allow non sandboxes apps into the store where there's no way to make such an app with sandboxing.

Agree with the rest though.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
http://hollylisle.com/apple-made-its...JkKEsJQqZE_XgP


No, it's not censorship; yes, Apple has the right to do it; and, yes, she has the right to walk out.

Actually, I don't think they have the right to do it. You CAN'T offer a course on self-publishing and not mention Amazon.

I use a Canon camera and I buy books specifically about my Canon camera to learn it better. What if I owned a Sony Reader and they wouldn't allow me to buy or read any books on Canon cameras because Sony also sells cameras?

Amazon has the book "iBooks Author For Dummies." They obviously don't ban books about competitors. They understand their market -they are a book store so they carry the books their customers want to buy and they aren't worked about how-to books that show people how to publish elsewhere.

Very short sighted on iBooks part. Kudos to Holly Lisle for standing up to them.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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Actually, I don't think they have the right to do it.
Apple owns the store, the hardware that accesses it, and the souls of its users (most of which neglected to read the terms of use where this is clearly stated).

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-29-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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seems like very selective enforcement. are they excluding any book that mentions competitors? do they disallow windows programming books? do they exclude "how to convert your iOS app to blackberry"? do they exclude books written about photo editing with photoshop? if someone does a book on the history of digital publishing will it have to start and end with iBooks if its to be sold there?
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Apple owns the store, the hardware that accesses it, and the souls of its users (most of which neglected to read the terms of use where this is clearly stated).
There is a huge difference from a small business in a competitive marketplace refusing to offer a product, and a multinational corporation in a market with limited competition. In the former case, refusing to offer a product isn't an issue. In other words, the "they own the store argument" is valid. In the latter case, refusing to offer a product is on par with denying a product access to the market.

Now it isn't quite that bad as things stand today. You can access other book stores, even using Apple's platform. But what happens when Apple decides that the Kindle, Kobo, and other such apps are competitors and they would be better off without those competitors? Worse yet, what happens if there is consolidation in the ebook market and there is only one or two major vendors to choose from?

It is probably okay for Apple to restrict the products available today, because there is a moderately competitive market out there. Yet I also believe that they have to be watched very carefully since it is very easy for this to develop into a situation where anti-trust regulation will need to be enforced.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Great points about selective enforcement, Dulin.

And yes, fjtorres, a company can legally state those kinds of things in terms and conditions, but I still believe it is wrong from a business practice perspective even if it is right legally.

Also annoying to tell the author the links are the problem, and when she complies with removing them, then telling her the content is the problem, not just the links.

Interestingly, I went to search iBooks to see if they had other books that mentioned competitors but you can't search iBooks online. Unlike Amazon, you have to install an app even to see if a book you want is even on iBooks. Wow, how awkward.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
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And yes, fjtorres, a company can legally state those kinds of things in terms and conditions, but I still believe it is wrong from a business practice perspective even if it is right legally.
Oh, no question it's not right. Downright petty and stupid.
I just think that if Apple wants to do stupid things they should be allowed to do so.
It's not our job to save them from themselves.

And yes, it *is* arbitrary and inconsistent--there *are* self-publishing ebooks and apps on the Apple store that refer to Amazon. They are older, though. But, as I said above: I have no problem with them doing stupid things.

It's not as if I'm an iTunes customer.
(I'm a big fan of driving around train wrecks.)
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:42 AM   #9
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It is possible that this could be considered a "restraint of trade" which would be illegal. I hope someone challenges this in court. Apple is clearly engaged in interstate commerce.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:37 AM   #10
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Here's another case of Apple's roughshod and arbitrary approach to running the iBookstore:
http://publishingperspectives.com/20...g+Perspectives)

There is their way and there is the highway.
(shrug)
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Here's another case of Apple's roughshod and arbitrary approach to running the iBookstore:
http://publishingperspectives.com/20...g+Perspectives)

There is their way and there is the highway.
(shrug)
Thanks for sharing that fjtorres.

Another example of their arrogance. To assume they can require all South American countries books to only sell in Mexican Pesos is a real slap in the face. They really don't get it...
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
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Actually, I don't think they have the right to do it. You CAN'T offer a course on self-publishing and not mention Amazon.
What law says so? Is that in the US Code somewhere? Of course they have the right to do that. If it were to cause the company to go out of business, they'd still have the right to do so.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:59 PM   #13
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It is possible that this could be considered a "restraint of trade" which would be illegal. I hope someone challenges this in court. Apple is clearly engaged in interstate commerce.
If Apple had a monopolistic control over the book market, you might have a point. But when Amazon has an outright majority of the market over all their competitors (which they did, last I heard), no, nothing Apple could possibly do could ever be considered an unfair restraint of trade.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Here's another case of Apple's roughshod and arbitrary approach to running the iBookstore:
http://publishingperspectives.com/20...g+Perspectives)

There is their way and there is the highway.
(shrug)
They are currently being investigated by an Australian Governmental inquiry as to why they add a significant price premium to all of their products sold in Australia. Everything is much more expensive when it comes to the products from some companies, Apple ranking high among them. The iTunes stores, as well as all Apple hardware and software are much dearer than in the US and elsewhere. The only answer so far as to why they are doing it is - because they can. That is about to change, but it is taking Government intervention to change it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by taustin View Post
If Apple had a monopolistic control over the book market, you might have a point. But when Amazon has an outright majority of the market over all their competitors (which they did, last I heard), no, nothing Apple could possibly do could ever be considered an unfair restraint of trade.
I believe the laws concerning monopolies are different than the laws concerning restraint of trade. I think they are two separate things. But I'm not a lawyer.
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