Apple bans eBook from iTunes for containing references to Amazon

Holly Lisle is an independent author that publishes online writing guides, which she sells on Amazon, iTunes, and presumably other eBook stores. Or, at least she used to in the case of iTunes. Lisle is reporting Apple has banned her How To Think Sideways Lesson 6: How To Discover (Or Create) Your Story’s Market from iTunes for containing references to Amazon, an Apple competitor in the eBook market.

According to Lisle, no one can write a guide on how to write, sell, and publish eBooks without referencing Amazon seeing as they are the biggest player in the market currently. As such, parts of Lisle’s book, specifically Lesson 6, contained links to Amazon as part of what she was trying to teach. Lisle says Apple rejected How To Think Sideways Lesson 6: How To Discover (Or Create) Your Story’s Market because of these links — Apple doesn’t want Lisle to have “live links” to Amazon in her books. So Lisle removed the links and resubmitted her guide only to be told by Apple that her guide couldn’t contain references to Apple’s competitors, Amazon in this case.

As already mentioned, Lisle states you cannot write a guide on eBooks without mentioning Amazon in some way, form, or fashion. Since Apple won’t let Lisle publish her book because of Amazon references, Lisle cannot sell part of the guide on iTunes (i.e. removing the whole section on Amazon), so she won’t be selling the guide at all on iTunes. In fact, as a way to protest Apple’s policy, Lisle has stopped selling books/guides on iTunes in totality.

Now it should be mentioned Apple has not issued a statement on this matter, and probably never will. As such there is no way to verify Lisle’s claims; we don’t know if she is telling the truth or not, especially since quick research shows eBooks on iTunes that clearly have Amazon references. However, if what Lisle is claiming is indeed true, Apple may see another anti-competitive lawsuit in the near future.

[via BGR | Image credit: Johan Larsson]

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  • Peter

    All these efforts to become the one and only lead to sad, very sad but well deserved loneliness, I hope. There’s a german phrase “Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall”, in english words: “Pride will have a fall.” (“Hochmut” seems to be better translated with “arrogance”, but this is what I found on
    Megalomania is the only word to say in this case

  • She should talk to the attorney general in her state. This is a monopolistic tactic and could be used as the beginnings of a case against Apple. I for one would like to see Apple put in their place for once. I won’t use Apple products because I don’t agree with their walled in philosophy. Not only that but with all the lawsuits against Android I think this might also help make a case for monopolistic tactics also. I advise anyone who feels the same to send letters to your attorney general letting them know about this as well as your senators. If we act then maybe we the people can protect our rights instead of giving them up to big corporations…

  • Mike

    This proves the dangers of a “walled garden” (maintained by someone else) . . . .