iBooks Author, iBooks 2.0, and ePub

This is a brief collection of links and tidbits related to the iBooks Author - ePub discussions from the last week.


  1. Apple had an "education event". They introduced iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and a much improved iTunes Edu.
  2. Apple's latest initiative is characteristically ambitious: the reinvention of the textbook. At an event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City Thursday morning, Apple executives introduced two new applications that the company hopes will revolutionize the way textbooks are created and consumed: iBook Author, a brand new application for Mac intended for textbook writers and publishers to create iPad-optimized textbooks, and iBooks 2, an update to the iBooks app with several new note-taking and study features. Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller characterized the current state of textbooks and classroom learning as bleak, outdated experiences. "One thing we hear louder than anything else is student engagement, inspiring kids to want to discover and learn," Schiller said, according to MacWorld. "That's why we get excited to see student reactions to iPads in the classroom.'
  3. After reviewing the EULA from iBooks, Ed Bott kicked off a discussion describing the iBooks Author EULA as mind-bogglingly greedy and evil...
  4. Summary: Over the years, I have read hundreds of license agreements, looking for little gotchas and clear descriptions of rights. But I have never, ever seen a legal document like the one Apple has attached to its new iBooks Author program.
  5. Oh, and they are sabotaging the open ePub standard...
  6. John Gruber engaged and he and Mr. Bott had an entertaining back and forth, which included a nice hat tip to the Beastie Boys.
  7. UPDATE: Apple clarifies that their EULA only applies to .ibooks, not to PDFs or txt files generated using iBooks Author.
  8. (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.
  9. iBooks Author is not the only game in town in terms of pay-for iPad legal content. A standard DE textbook is available in an "iPad-only" format; (via @emasters, like most things I notice in this area). Notice the big prices - the complete ebook is $160 or you can go a la carte from $25 per chapter. Yowza!

    Inkling, the company behind bringing this title to digital, has a comment on Apple's announcement.
  10. Wills, Trusts, and Estates 8th edition By Dukeminier et al. Published by Wolters Kluwer Need Dukeminier's Wills, Trusts, and Estates for class? Grab your iPad. With the Inkling edition, research for a killer paper is right at your fingertips. All referenced cases link to the original documents and citations can be accessed with the tap of a finger. Looking into a specific case? Our robust search engine pulls results from your notes, everything in the book and the web. In Inkling you will trust.
  11. OK. So maybe you've decided not to jump on the iBooks Author bandwagon. What if you just want to make those open ePub's that they were talking about? Well, CALI's Sarah Glassmeyer tells you how to make your very own ePubs, using OO.org, Sigil, and other cool tools.
  12. CALI folk have been talking about ePub for a while now...
  13. eBook: Standards, Creation, eReaders, DRM and Impact on Legal Education
  14. There are several sites that provide ePub formats or that can help you get documents into that format. For example, the CALI Free Law Reporter project provides case law in epub format. You can read a bit more about that from John and Elmer.
  15. the universe of case law — as represented by all the cases in all the law school casebooks — was only about 5,000 cases, and that if you extended that to all the cases mentioned — not just included — in a casebook, the number was closer to 15,000. I approached the major vendors of online case databases to try to obtain unencumbered copies of these cases, but I had no luck. Although disappointing, this too is not surprising, considering that these same case law database vendors are part of larger corporations that also sell print casebooks to the law school market.
  16. Now that the Free Law Reporter (FLR) has had a few weeks to settle processing Public.Resource.Org’s Report of Current Opinions (RECOP) XML feeds into valid HTML and making sure .epub ebooks is working (I even released the code on github), I thought it might be time to lay out where I see FLR heading in the coming months. Right now (5/17/11) you can visit FLR, search through slip opinions from over 60 state and federal jurisdictions, view the documents in HTML, download complete FLR volumes by jurisdiction as ebooks, and download all documents in a search result as an ebook.
  17. eLangdell offers FRCP, etc. in ePub format.
  18. Introducing eLangdell Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence ebooks. Powered by Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell Law School, and published in partnership with the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI).
  19. The twitter folk added in some additional comments as well. Pages will apparently ingest Word and spit out ePub and there are other authoring tools out there as well.