TED’s new ebook series and ebook app highlights the concern that ebook purchases lock readers into specific platforms.
The TED organization, which sponsors a range of conferences and talks on cutting edge topics recently launched an ebook series known as TED Books. Like the non-profit’s other initiatives, TED Books are “designed to spread great ideas.” Sticking to that ideal, the organization is making the ebooks, which will be released every two weeks, available across a range of ebook platforms including the new TED Books app for iOS devices.
The move highlights one of the challenges about ebooks – the choice of merchant and platform. That’s a particular concern when it comes to Apple’s iBookstore because purchases can only be read on an iOS device.
French publishing and price-fixing laws might have been the model for Apple’s iBookstore price-fixing
One of the ironic twists about the anti-trust lawsuits against Apple and the major publishing companies is that Apple’s entrance into the ebook market actually broke Amazon’s virtual monopoly on the ebook business. In the process, publishers gained the ability to control ebook pricing, which can be seen as actually encouraging competition in the industry.
While the U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys general from many states are pursuing lawsuits around the matter, not every country would see the situation in the same terms as the U.S. government. In France, for example, publishers can legally control pricing and are protected from booksellers undercutting their business as Amazon had been doing with its power over the ebook market. It’s even possible that France’s laws protecting publishers may have served as inspiration for the agency model that Apple used in building the iBookstore.
New information made public in anti-trust suit against Apple and publishers
The Justice Department’s anti-trust suit and the accompanying class action suit brought by various states (totaling 31 plus the District of Columbia) on behalf of consumers against Apple and the major publishing houses has always been tinged with more than a little irony. After all, the alleged price fixing and collusion actually broke Amazon’s monopoly-like hold on the ebook market. In doing so, it opened the door for products and platforms to compete with Amazon’s Kindle.
The idea of Apple as a sort of digital age Robin Hood is a powerful one in the narrative and one that could give Apple a viable case in the anti-trust suit if the actually goes to trial. Unfortunately, new evidence in the class action suit throws a bit ice water on Apple’s attempt to cast itself as the good guy (or at least as the better guy than Amazon).
JAMF's Casper Suite provides integrated Mac and iOS management
May is Mobile Management Month at Cult of Mac, where we will be profiling a different mobile management company every weekday. You can find all previous entries here and read our Mobile Management manifesto here.
JAMF specializes in Apple management technologies. The company Casper Suite is a full featured Mac client management solution as well as an iOS device management product. Being devoted specifically to Apple technologies, JAMF is able to include features not found in other products at this time including the ability to integrate with Apple’s enterprise sales and warranty system known as GSX, the ability to distribute ebooks to iOS devices, and deployment workflows that integrate with Apple Configurator.
While Casper Suite is an excellent option for organizations that are predominantly or completely Apple-based, organizations with a mix of desktop and mobile platforms may find the product somewhat limiting. In addition to Casper Suite for Mac and iOS management, JAMF also offers Mac enterprise deployment and asset management tools. Finally, it’s worth noting that JAMF offers significant licensing discounts for education institutions implementing Casper Suite.
Apple feels that it has a case against the DoJ regarding e-Book pricing in the iBookstore.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently accused Apple and 5 large book publishers of conspiring to raise e-Book prices in the iBookstore. Experts said that it would be unlikely for Apple to be found as guilty of collusion, and now the Cupertino company is wanting a trial to defend itself against the DoJ’s accusations.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently accused Apple of conspiring with book publishers to thwart Amazon’s power over eBook pricing. Today Apple has responded saying that “the DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true.”
Visage MobilityCentral transforms the white paper for Apple's iBookstore
When Apple announced iBooks Author in January, the company positioned the free ebook publishing tool as a way for faculty members of schools and colleges to create their own customized and interactive textbooks. However, since Apple allows the software to be used by anyone, it has become a tool for authors or organizations that want to self-publish either for personal distribution or for sale/download in the iBookstore.
While easy self-publishing tools may bring to mind the image of someone writing their first novel or a memoir, there are any number of ways to use both the publishing features of iBooks Author and the distribution channel of the iBookstore. One of which is as a marketing and informational tool – an approach that takes the concept of a white paper to a new and powerful interactive level.
Register a domain name that attempts to pass for Apple or its products and you'll probably end up losing it.
Ever since the first iPod, Apple has had problems with squatters sitting on top of Apple-related domains, trying to scam people. Here’s another one. It is now seeking to take ownership of the Applecom.com and ApplePrinters.com domains and protect its trademark after filing a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on March 29.
Don't expect Harry Potter or Near-Dead Dumbledore to appear on the iBookstore.
J.K. Rowling’s enormously successful Harry Potter series is about an incompetent orphan who lucks his way through a series of magical adventures despite being essentially inept. Tens of millions of people — myself included! — have enjoyed them over the course of the last decade, but only in dead tree form. Bizarrely, Harry Potter has never officially come to e-books up until now.
Of course, no longer. As one last magical trick, Harry Potter has made the jump to a number of e-book stores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and Sony. The only company left out? Apple’s iBookstore.