According to Sony, Apple has instituted a new policy for its App Store -- the only source of software that you can lawfully run on your iPad, iPhone and iPod. It has told Sony and other software vendors that they may not produce iOS software that can accept payments for content, or allows access to content that has been purchased elsewhere. If Apple applies this across the board, it would mean an end to the Kindle ebook reader app, and no apps for Netflix or other services that compete with the iTunes Store.
For me, this means that once again, my books won't be available directly through an iApp. Last year, my publisher Tor/Macmillan, approached all the major ebook vendors and asked if they'd carry my books without DRM. Apple said no, books in its iBook store were required to have DRM, even if the publisher and the author didn't want it. However, Amazon said yes, and so my books have been available through the Kindle and on the Kindle iPad app ever since.
We've often heard that Apple doesn't like DRM and only uses it to appease the foolish copyright titans who demand it. But Apple has refused requests from Random House to carry my audiobooks without DRM in the iTunes Store, and requests from Macmillan to carry my ebooks in the iBook store. Those sure don't sound like the actions of a reluctant DRM vendor to me.
A recent Copyright Office ruling has made it lawful to jailbreak your iPhone for the next three years in order to load unapproved third-party software, but the ruling doesn't apply to iPads or iPods, and also doesn't make it legal to provide jailbreaking services to iPhone owners. When the Copyright Office made its ruling, Apple petitioned against it, saying that its practice of locking devices so that it had control over which code could run on them was good for consumers.
The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.
Apple rejected Sony's iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store.
Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading division
(Thanks, DrPretto, via Submitterator!)