Apple's iBooks 2: An Attack on Educational Freedoms

Glyn Moody | ComputerworldUK | January 20, 2012

This is the dark side of the e-textbook revolution. Yes, it's clearly fantastic to have all those "interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos" available to enhance learning; and yes, it's great that you can carry around an entire library in a single iPad (assuming you can afford both of those elements), but the ugly truth is these are not your books: you are simply licensing them, just like proprietary software.

That's a sad day for education, since it strikes at the heart of thousands of years of scholarship, which has been based around the accumulation of knowledge made manifest in the accumulation of manuscripts and books which can then be passed on to the next generation. With Apple's e-textbooks, that's no longer allowed: you can't simply pass on your carefully curated collection. The most other academics can do is pay Apple to have the same set of licences that you had - a rather sad come-down for the transmission of knowledge...