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Apple iBooks 2 license agreement gets icy reception in higher education
Leaders of the open-license textbook movement heap criticism on restrictiveness of iBooks 2 publishing platform
Advocates for open-license textbooks in higher education, while largely unhappy with Apple’s new iBooks 2 platform, say the technology behemoth has done a favor for their movement: Apple’s pricey, limiting approach to digital textbooks is in stark contrast to the textbook model that aims for low-cost or free college texts.
iBooks 2, announced to great fanfare during a flashy Jan. 19 press conference in New York City, offers iBooks Author software that enables instructors and others to create and publish their own interactive digital textbooks in the Apple iBooks Bookstore.
Some campus technology leaders hailed the new iBooks platform as a revolution in digital publishing.
Others took a close look at the iBooks 2 licensing agreement’s fine print and called it “crazy evil,” “mind-bogglingly greedy,” and “deliberate sabotage” of the open, industry-leading standard known as EPUB.