Author Seth Godin has an interesting article detailing how Apple rejected one of his works because (horror) there are links in the bibliography for books on sale at Amazon.com.

Godin submitted his manifesto “Stop Selling Dreams” to Apple’s iBookstore for purchase. But he received a rejection notice specifically stating the book was rejected because of the links to purchase books from Amazon’s store:

And there’s the conflict. We’re heading to a world where there are just a handful of influential bookstores (Amazon, Apple, Nook…) and one by one, the principles of open access are disappearing. Apple, apparently, won’t carry an ebook that contains a link to buy a hardcover book from Amazon.

That’s amazing to me. It must be a mistake, right?

Godin, who has authored 12 books, goes on to argue that the major online bookstores should let people read anything – as long as it’s legal. He compares the Apple rejection to YouTube blocking videos that promote Vimeo or Bing refusing to link to Google Docs:

There’s been a long history of ubiquity at the bookstore. With a few extreme exceptions, just about every book is available at every bookstore if you’re willing to order it. Universal availability feels like part of the contract we make with bookstores–we expect them to sell everything. In the digital world, this goes triple, because there’s no issue of shelf space to deal with.

Is Apple right to not carry Godin’s book? Is this any different than Apple forcing Amazon’s Kindle app to follow the in-app subscription and purchasing policy? Or are books different than apps?