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Not available on the iBookstore: Apple rejects eBook due to links to Amazon

Seth Godin – Who decides what gets sold in the bookstore?:

I just found out that Apple is rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books I mention in the bibliography.

Quoting here from their note to me, rejecting the book: “Multiple links to Amazon store. IE page 35, David Weinberger link.”

I agree with Marco Arment and don’t think Apple should stop eBooks from being published just because of their content, like having links to another store, in this case Amazon. Would it be okay if Google would ban videos from YouTube that have a link to Vimeo in their description or inside the video itself?

Of course Seth Godin could have put the ISBN and title of the book into his eBook, but since we can have “interactive” things like links in digital books, why not use them? But maybe we need a white list/black list of URLs that Apple likes or doesn’t like. If it was just the pure number of links, we need to know how many links would be okay for Apple.

In case you were wondering, after checking the links in his free eBook: none of the linked titles were available for Amazon’s Kindle. They were only hardcovers, paperbacks, etc. and audiobooks by Audible.

I think that Amazon and Apple and B&N need to take a deep breath and make a decision on principle: what’s inside the book shouldn’t be of concern to a bookstore with a substantial choke on the marketplace. If it’s legal, they ought to let people read it if they choose to.

Sounds good to me.