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{ZDNET] How Apple is sabotaging an open standard for digital books

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Summary: For nearly two years, Apple has wooed digital book publishers and authors with its unconditional support of the open EPUB standard. With last week’s introduction of iBooks 2.0, Apple has deliberately locked out that standard. Here’s why you should care.

Apple has built its iBooks platform on the back of an open standard. With last week’s introduction of iBooks 2.0 and the free iBooks Author software for Mac OS X, Apple is deliberately locking out that popular open standard.

Apple’s behavior is a modern, sophisticated version of the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” behavior that got Microsoft in so much trouble in the 1990s: Enter a product category supporting a widely used standard, extend that standard with proprietary capabilities, and then use those differences to disadvantage competitors. (The strategy is even more effective if you have a dominant market position in another, related category that you can use for leverage. Think Windows in the 1990s, iPad in 2012.)

If you read, write, or publish digital books, you should be concerned.

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post #2 of 75
So Apple has built a better product and in doing so locked out the competitors because the feature that iBooks 2.0 has are superior to theirs?
post #3 of 75
So let me get this right: Apple is evil because they've taken ePub 3.0 and added their own functionality to it for use in iBooks? Seriously? It's not Apple's fault if the standard lacks functionality that Apple needs for iBooks.
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post #4 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbom View Post

So let me get this right: Apple is evil because they've taken ePub 3.0 and added their own functionality to it for use in iBooks? Seriously? It's not Apple's fault if the standard lacks functionality that Apple needs for iBooks.

Its kinda like word documents. They are ubiquitous now. apple isn't evil for doing what's good for business. It has the possibility to make a great reading frontier, but hopefully apple licenses the use of the format to other companies some years out, otherwise it won't quite stick. In the mean time I will enjoy other (more limited) offerings.

Typed From somewhere over the rainbow.

edit: this is kinda like the Blu-ray vs HD-DVD wars. It's apple (sony) vs. every body else.
Edited by Nocturin - 1/23/12 at 6:53pm
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post #5 of 75
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Originally Posted by steelbom View Post

So let me get this right: Apple is evil because they've taken ePub 3.0 and added their own functionality to it for use in iBooks? Seriously? It's not Apple's fault if the standard lacks functionality that Apple needs for iBooks.

They've added functionality...fine I'll go with that. But at the same time they are slowing working to strong arm publishers/writers into using their system and only their system. This would mean the end of amazon if Apple had it's way and only due to licensing issues. With Amazon and the other digital book stores out of the way Apple could keep the price of their books low or raise them significantly (depending on if they wanted to out price and kill paper text without buying a patent on that). Then what are you left with? From there Apple is in the position to squash or acquire any possible new format that would be "better" (by the market's view). You've essentially killed capitalism right there. (Please note this is an extreme example but still sadly quite possible).

Everyone had a problem when MS did these kind of things(embrace, extend, extinguish I think it was called)...and why shouldn't they when Apple does?
     
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post #6 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturin View Post

Its kinda like word documents. They are ubiquitous now. apple isn't evil for doing what's good for business. It has the possibility to make a great reading frontier, but hopefully apple licenses the use of the format to other companies some years out, otherwise it won't quite stick. In the mean time I will enjoy other (more limited) offerings.
Typed From somewhere over the rainbow.
Knowing Apple I don't think they will, one can hope though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

They've added functionality...fine I'll go with that. But at the same time they are slowing working to strong arm publishers/writers into using their system and only their system. This would mean the end of amazon if Apple had it's way and only due to licensing issues. With Amazon and the other digital book stores out of the way Apple could keep the price of their books low or raise them significantly (depending on if they wanted to out price and kill paper text without buying a patent on that). Then what are you left with? From there Apple is in the position to squash or acquire any possible new format that would be "better" (by the market's view). You've essentially killed capitalism right there. (Please note this is an extreme example but still sadly quite possible).
Everyone had a problem when MS did these kind of things(embrace, extend, extinguish I think it was called)...and why shouldn't they when Apple does?
I don't see this going that way. I'm sure Apple wants to dominate the book market but I see publishers using both. Making their book for Amazon and whoever else, and then doing a iBooks version.
Edited by steelbom - 1/23/12 at 6:55pm
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post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbom View Post

Knowing Apple I don't think they will, one can hope though.
I don't see this going that way. I'm sure Apple wants to dominate the book market but I see publishers using both. Making their book for Amazon and whoever else, and then doing a iBooks version.

But that's the point...Apple's moves have indicated they won't tolerate publishers going elsewhere...and that they will seek ways to tie them down. Also, the publishers could be as lazy as game developers and not decide to port because of the effort. But I'm thinking more so that Apple will try to bind them to their store alone by changing the licensing terms. IE, you won't be able to port the works if they are used on the software or to make the software even more destructive of porting formats.
     
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post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

But that's the point...Apple's moves have indicated they won't tolerate publishers going elsewhere...and that they will seek ways to tie them down. Also, the publishers could be as lazy as game developers and not decide to port because of the effort. But I'm thinking more so that Apple will try to bind them to their store alone by changing the licensing terms. IE, you won't be able to port the works if they are used on the software or to make the software even more destructive of porting formats.
Apple doesn't want you using their software to create books that you'll distribute on other platforms but there's nothing to say you can't create that book (not in iBooks Author) for other platforms and then port it over.
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post #9 of 75
Doesn't matter, the iPad will never replace real eInk readers.
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post #10 of 75
Did Apple block other digital distributions of music? Why do you seem to think they will with digital books? They don't own the market. They bring competition to it...

And what's with the meme pic? If you're going to compare Microsoft today, put Steve Ballmer's mug on there. Gates' personal philanthropy has nothing to do with Microsoft's business. How is bringing competition to the smartphone and tablet industry evil?
Edited by PoopaScoopa - 1/23/12 at 8:22pm
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