Saturday, January 15, 2011

Apple tightens rules for iPad news delivery

From The Register

Apple is putting the screws to a handful of European newspapers, no longer allowing them to provide their paid print subscribers with free access to their content through downloads into iPad apps. Whether this is the beginning of a wider crackdown is not yet known.
"Apple verandert de regels terwijl het spel bezig is," Gert Ysebaert of the Belgian media group Corelio told De Tijd. If your Dutch is rusty, know that Ysebaert was expressing a sentiment that has been uttered in many a language: "Apple is changing the rules while the game is in progress."

According to Ysebaert and William De Nolf, director of new media at a second Belgian media group,Roularta, the two reasons that Apple is tightening its control over their provision of digital content to paid subscribers are ones that are also understood worldwide: money and power.

See the rest: The Register

You know, it's really not unreasonable for someone to expect to get their media in multiple ways if they pay for it.   Netflix let's you stream to 6 different devices simultaneously.  WB's dvds are coming with Digital Copy that lets you copy your movie to different places to watch it wherever you want.  Even though it's their right, Apple is just being a really huge douche about it.


  1. Dontcha just hate it when Apple is run like a business rather than a charity?

    It's also not unreasonable for Apple to collect a percentage if someone wants to distribute paid content via the Apple store. On the other hand, if newspapers want to offer a free app available to everyone (not just paid print subscribers), I'm sure Apple would allow it.

    Buying a dead tree book doesn't create an expectation that you are also entitled to a free audio book or ebook version. Why should it be any different for newspapers?

    Nevertheless, it would be nice if Apple could work out a system whereby newspapers could send their print subscribers some sort of prepaid redemption code that would allow them to purchase the app. Or maybe interested readers could inform their newspapers of their appleIDs, the newspapers place a batch order with Apple, and the app store informs those users that they have a free newspaper app waiting for download.

  2. I think if a newspaper wants to give their subscribers special access to the online content, Apple should let it be. That is kinda "douchey" of Apple I agree.

  3. Yeah, but its Apple's servers, Apple's bandwidth, and Apple's support personnel who get called if there is a problem. Shouldn't the newspapers (who, after all, are making a profit off this value-added feature) pay something?

    You can argue that if only Apple just allowed people to bypass the app store and install whatever they wanted from whatever source, this wouldn't be a problem as it takes Apple out of the loop. And you'd be right. But everything involves tradeoffs. Many non-technical people are easily overwhelmed by tasks you take for granted such as researching and locating sources of software appropriate for their devices, creating accounts, making online purchases, installing software, keeping it up to date, and so on. These are problems Apple has solved with its iTunes App Store. Apple's walled garden provides a simple consistent experience. Most Apple customers understand and accept this tradeoff.

    What critics fail to understand, is that Apple's success comes because of (not despite) its tight control. The average person does not enjoy the glorious chaos surrounding technical devices. Apple provides relative safety and comfort.

    Because there is an apparent need, I'm confident that Apple will soon figure out a way to support the newspapers without getting screwed financially or giving up end-to-end control of the user experience.