Here is a nasty little side-effect of dedicated e-readers that few people, if any have addressed. In addition to any and all deficiencies they might have compared to print, we have a situation in some cases where there’s a single portal through which data flows. Apple has recently given us a glimpse of what could happen if all your media came from one source (be it iTunes, or Amazon, or whatever). Gallycat gives us the story of David Carnoy’s self-published novel Knife Music. Apparently the guy is tech savvy (he’s an editor at C-net) so he want’s to pimp an e-book version. He wants it on the iPhone. He makes it easy by embedding its own reader and putting it up at the Apple App Store.
Or, more precisely, he tries to.
Apparently his book violates the SDK agreement Apple imposes on developers for the iPhone. “Objectionable content,” quoth Apple. In the end, Mr. Carnoy wants the book on the iPhone badly enough that he edits out the objectionable content. Yes, you read that correctly. Apple wants to dictate what’s in the media played on their devices. This means we all better hope that iTunes always has competition, otherwise you’re going to have Apple lawyers re-writing song lyrics.