Apple’s starts the iBook rollout

Posted: March 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Apple’s starts the iBook rollout

While Apple’s iPad and iBookstore aren’t news—they were announced several weeks ago to much fanfare—Apple on Friday supplemented its own website with an iBooks features page.

While much key information about the details of iBook development and distribution have remained cloaked by NDAs and limited to key partners, provided a useful summary of what has been confirmed and also shared information about the supposed categorization of iBooks: Approximately 20 primary categories, and 150 secondary categories. The mention of an Erotica subcategory is interesting for those of us who have been following Apple’s rather capricious acceptance and rejection of iPhone applications in its App Store.

Many developers have cried foul when their apps were rejected or accepted and subsequently removed by Apple only to learn that their recourse is limited: Apple’s agreement gives it extraordinary discretion to determine what’s sold in its store. Last week the Electronic Frontier Foundation made public Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement. Will Apple’s agreement for the iBookstore be substantially similar, or will books get different treatment than apps? Will works published by large trade houses be able to skip past or receive preferential treatment in Apple’s review process? Or will all works with content that might not be suited to younger and more sensitive readers (to borrow a phrase from broadcasters) be unwelcome?

Stay tuned. More as the iPad launch date—3 April— draws closer.

Defining “out of print”

Posted: July 25th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: In the News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

With an increasing number of options for print-on-demand (POD) and electronic publishing available to publishers and authors alike, it’s important for both to pay careful attention to the provisions in their contracts that define what conditions must exist for a work to be considered out of print and the rights subject to reversion.

These are perennial points of negotiation because the market for these formats is still evolving. Benedicte Page writes for today’s (UK) about how both sides are characterizing their concerns, with input from Random House UK and the Society of Authors.

In tandem with a careful evaluation of the out-of-print provision of their contracts, publishers and authors need to be aware of what rights have been granted, whether a publisher has the right to produce an electronic edition (and what forms of electronic editions), and whether there are any contractual barriers to publishing in POD or to licensing a work for a third party’s POD program. Provisions for reasonable royalty rates, or the ability to revisit the rates at appropriate times, are also key.