When Apple released iBooks Author, its new eBook authoring software, last month, most pundits and users loved the software but didn't love the end-user license agreement. The EULA, depending on how you interpreted it, seemed to say that Apple would own the exclusive rights to your content once you sold your newly designed eBook in the iBookstore. Now, Apple has clarified this, and as I predicted, the company has no interest in owning your content.
The New iBooks Author EULA
Here is the new text (my emphasis):
B. Distribution of Works Generated Using the iBooks Author Software. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, works generated using iBooks Author may be distributed as follows:
(i) if the work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute it by any means;
(ii) if the work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service) and includes files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author, the work may only be distributed through Apple, and such distribution will be subject to a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary); provided, however, that this restriction will not apply to the content of the work when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author. You retain all your rights in the content of your works, and you may distribute such content by any means when it does not include files in the .ibooks format generated by iBooks Author.
The changes are in section II, which originally read (my emphasis):
(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.
Your Content is Yours
As expected, Apple has no interest in owning the full, exclusive rights to your content. Instead, the company simply wants to ensure that the books you won't sell the eBook you create with this tool – and specifically the layout and .ibooks file you create – on your own site or in another store. The updated language also seems to imply that it would be okay to sell the PDF version of the book, for example, as the EULA now specifically references "files in the .ibooks format."