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Apple Censors Ulysses App In Time For Bloomsday 333

Posted by timothy
from the aren't-most-publishers-corporations-already? dept.
Miracle Jones writes "Apple has censored a 'Ulysses' comic book app — just in time for 'Bloomsday' — because of a picture of Buck Mulligan's stately, plump cartoon penis. Not since Amazon removed digital copies of '1984' from people's Kindles while they slept has there been such a hilarious episode in the ongoing slapstick farce 'Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.'"
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Apple Censors Ulysses App In Time For Bloomsday

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  • Android (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:13AM (#32563320)

    This is why I bought an android. Every time I see a story like this it just makes me feel better about my choice

    • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:18AM (#32563958)

      This is why I bought an android. Every time I see a story like this it just makes me feel better about my choice

      Who the hell publishes a book as an app ? Not even an iBook or whatever they are calling it, an application. If you want to read the book just use THE publishing tool of this age: the internet. The website is here [ulyssesseen.com] (warning contains "plump cartoon penis") and can be read on Android and *gasp* iPhone.

      • by Yetihehe (971185)

        Who the hell publishes a book as an app ?

        Because iPhone has an (app)store and because it is hugely popular. Also maybe there is no good comic sending app and/or existing comic apps which allow selling comic strips of random authors have unacceptable rules or demand too much margin? The easiest way is to just write application which will sell author's strips or which you buy once and you have access to all strips and author has some money.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You're kiding right ? There are several [bitolithic.com] readers [panelfly.com] out there including for jailbroken [comicreader.mobi] phones and open source [google.com]. Then there's a couple of options to self [kobobooks.com] publish [lulublog.com] through some vendors or as an independant [blogspot.com] straight through Apple.

          Sure there are times when making app might provide some added value [tuaw.com] but to call it the easiest way is simply not true.

    • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PinchDuck (199974) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:48AM (#32564330)

      Ding! Ding! Ding!
      I applaud Google for keeping Android open, and for further allowing me to install apps outside of the market, or even without a market at all. Apple is so power-trip stupid it isn't even funny.

  • so honestly... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:15AM (#32563324)
    Is this really even a suprise? I thought it was well known that, in general, Apple will reject apps with nudity.

    I mean, whats next, an article alleging that Google may, in fact, have ties to the advertising industry?
    • Is this really even a suprise? I thought it was well known that, in general, Apple will reject apps with nudity.

      Yeah but illustrated nudity (and poorly at that)? What happens if I made an app that let you clothe South Park characters and you start with two peach colored circles with eyes and mouth on the top circle? What is that, child nudity?

      I mean, uh, it's been ninety years or so since it was first banned in America and now here we are in 2010 ...

      I mean, whats next, an article alleging that Google may, in fact, have ties to the advertising industry?

      A better analogy, in my opinion, would be an article discussing Google's ties to advertising inside MMOs. Slight twists on commonly known things are sometimes int

      • Yeah but illustrated nudity (and poorly at that)? What happens if I made an app that let you clothe South Park characters and you start with two peach colored circles with eyes and mouth on the top circle? What is that, child nudity?

        In Australia "depiction" of someone "who appears" under eighteen will count as child porn yes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by El_Muerte_TDS (592157)

      Nudity or art?

      This reminds be of the Simpsons episode where the statue of David by Michelangelo makes a visit to Springfield, but S.N.U.H. wants it to be censored because of the nudity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itchy_&_Scratchy_&_Marge [wikipedia.org]

      Besides, I don't think Apple has any problems with nudity because afaik they do have a Playboy and Sports Illustrated app. I think the problem was with "low brow porn". If the problem was with nudity every person shown in an app should be wearing a burqa.

      • by Cyberax (705495)

        " If the problem was with nudity every person shown in an app should be wearing a burqa."

        Don't worry, that's going to be added to the next update of the Little Red Book of the restrictions.

    • by Dishevel (1105119) *
      We need to make sure that National Geographic never gets accepted into the App Store.
  • by lapsed (1610061) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:16AM (#32563332)
    This is what happens when books are licensed rather than bought.
    • by siglercm (6059) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:48AM (#32563610) Journal

      "To buy" a book versus "to license" it, I don't think you understand the concept. Granted, it was much easier to understand when books were hardcopy only. Back then, it was well understood that you couldn't just go to the local copy shop and have them make 10, 100, 1,000 copies which you then sold, or even gave away. Digital makes this process trivial. It is no longer thought-provoking (huh, a publisher sells these, maybe they'll object to my selling them or giving them away -- there is that thing about copyright) because it's so easy and appears so innocuous.

      When you buy a book, you're buying the physical media -- the paper and cover/spine/jacket/glue/stitching, and also the ink covering the page -- for what that's worth. You're also buying the consumption of the words. You're not buying the words or the right to reproduce them. The same holds true with digital media. You're buying the right to consume the information contained within a particular ordering of bits, but you're not buying the information itself or the right to make even one filecopy of that information which you sell or give to someone else. (Yes, backups are fair use, no matter what anyone says.) I'm sorry, but you're just not.

      In other words, whether hard or electronic copy, when you "buy" a book, you're really just licensing it, to put it in the words you used. There is no "bought."

      This is why I like the book/record model of licensing. Buy this digital resource, and you can use or lend or trade it just like you'd do with a hard media book or record or tape in days of yore. The problem with "piracy" in the digital age is that enforcement of copyright is no longer strongly supported by the limitations of the (physical) media that carries the copyrighted information. To me, this is a true "middle of the road" licensing position.

      Now, that being said, if I purchase "1984" and wake up one morning and find it missing, then discover the publisher I bought it from repossessed it, I'm going to be ticked off. If they've refunded my purchase price in full, I'll be quite a bit less ticked off.

      One other thing. My limited reading indicates to me that when a digital media resource is allowed to be "shared" (even if that means copying), it seems to stimulate sales. If the objective is highest sales, which one assumes helps maximize profits, maybe lax copyright enforcement is the way for artists and even publishers to go in the digital age. When you think back to the way things worked 50, 75, 100 years ago, that's pretty amazing.

      • by Danse (1026) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:54AM (#32563660)

        Now, that being said, if I purchase "1984" and wake up one morning and find it missing, then discover the publisher I bought it from repossessed it, I'm going to be ticked off. If they've refunded my purchase price in full, I'll be quite a bit less ticked off.

        If it were a hard copy, I wouldn't be the slightest bit less ticked off. I'd be pressing charges for every law they broke in order to take back the book, and throw a lawsuit on top of it for whatever my lawyer could think of. That shit wouldn't fly, which is, I believe, the point of the post you were replying to.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:04AM (#32563794) Homepage Journal

          If it were a hard copy, I wouldn't be the slightest bit less ticked off. I'd be pressing charges for every law they broke in order to take back the book, and throw a lawsuit on top of it for whatever my lawyer could think of. That shit wouldn't fly, which is, I believe, the point of the post you were replying to.

          Would you really go through all that trouble of getting a lawyer and pressing charges and bringing suits if it were a $20 book? If so, you're probably going to be in the minority.

          This is why we're seeing these corporate "micro-crimes" where you get cheated out of $1, $5, $10 or much more. Whether it's something you bought that doesn't work and isn't worth the trouble of returning or a $50 game for which there was no demo that turns out to be garbage or unplayable. Most people just suck it up and move along, which is what the corporation is counting on. You say "I'll never buy from them again" but you do, you always do. Because if you have a Kindle, you're kind of stuck regarding where you can buy your books. If you have an iPhone, you're absolutely stuck as to where you buy your apps. In most American cities, you're stuck as to where you get your broadband.

          So I disagree when you say "this shit wouldn't fly" because it's flying all over the place right now.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Dishevel (1105119) *
            If you have an iPhone you knew you were stuck. You made that decision and prayed that Steve would be good to you. Apple can do whatever they want with their platform. I can do what ever I want with my money. I don't buy iShit, and I do not buy iShit for my children.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Sir_Lewk (967686)

            Seeing as the publisher stealing a hardcopy of a book from me would likely also involve breaking and entering, yes. I most certainly would pursue the issue legally.

            This is why I don't own a kindle. I don't like to make it easy for others to take advantage of me.

        • by siglercm (6059) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:21AM (#32563990) Journal

          If it were a hard copy, I wouldn't be the slightest bit less ticked off. I'd be pressing charges for every law they broke in order to take back the book, and throw a lawsuit on top of it for whatever my lawyer could think of.

          I agree with you. If they took back the (hard copy) book (I would agree with the wording "stole it from me"), I'd be really ticked off, too. If they refunded my purchase price in full, I'd be quite a bit less ticked off. (Please note that I'm not addressing the issue of censorship here.)

          And your point here is an excellent one. Recapturing something from someone's hard/flash drive in their home is the digital equivalent of breaking and entering, unless the publisher has a court order/warrant to repossess it. Just because it's licensed, the licensor isn't granted the right to take it back at any time and place. Thank you for emphasizing that. I'm dubious as to whether clicking on a EULA can legally grant a seemingly unlimited right of repossession, just because the media is digital.

          So, thanks for hitting another important issue this raises :^)

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LordLimecat (1103839)

            Recapturing something from someone's hard/flash drive in their home is the digital equivalent of breaking and entering,

            Id say that depended rather heavily on what terms you agreed to when you bought the device, wouldnt you?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Patch86 (1465427)

              Lets say I sell you a car (I know I know, oblig.). You fork over £5000, I fork over the keys, you drive home. 1 month later, you wake up to find the car missing, and £5000 deposited in your bank account. You eventually notice I've emailed you saying "took the car back, cheers".

              You'd obviously be pissed, refund or no. Even though no breaking or entering or mugging happened, you'd still be unhappy that something you thought you owned has suddenly up and gone.

              Now lets say you complain, I tell you t

      • by moronoxyd (1000371) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:55AM (#32563682)

        Well, the point is that everybody expects the license for a book to be irreversible.
        When I buy the book, I have that license FOR EVER, or until I sell that book and give away that license.

        But in this digital age, companies like Amazon or Apple tend to deny me that.
        The licences I buy from them come with a lot more limits (but usuallay without being less expensive).

      • by lapsed (1610061) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:03AM (#32563780)
        Woosh? I understand the concepts - maybe I could have been a bit more verbose. The point I was trying to make is that there are differences between licenses to read digital books and physical copies of them. The 1984 example so pissed everyone off not because it was inconvenient but because it points to how governments and corporations might use DRM and digital media distribution to rewrite history and suppress potentially subversive literature. The irony is that 1984 addresses and cautions against concentrating and enabling the power to rewrite history. You might be ticked off if your copy of 1984 was involuntarily refunded -- the rest of us would be alarmed. It's not the loss of money -- it's the loss of control.
        • by siglercm (6059)

          Thanks for clarifying. I was totally puzzled because your wording was too short to take from it any clear meaning. Sorry.

        • by Dishevel (1105119) *
          Not only that but as we move further from tangible goods and unrestricted computers that have full access to the internet and move more to small restricted devices controlled by others with all content licensed bad things really can happen. The government will be able to change digital papers store on the device and really change history. At least for the dumb masses that lock themselves in for ease. Then again. Fuck those cows.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dkleinsc (563838)

          Actually, better in the irony department would have been forcibly erasing everyone's copy of Farenheit 451.

      • by icebraining (1313345) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:08AM (#32563846) Homepage

        But the problem isn't licensing, it's DRM - the thing that can prevent you from lending or reselling the book, from using it in multiple devices and that enables them to remotely delete your book.

      • If I discovered that a publisher had repossessed a physical book, I would charge them with breaking and entering, theft, etc .etc ..

        They have no right to hack into my device and remove the copy of a book I bought either .... ..they can rescind my licence, but I will still own the copy (weather it's a physical book or a set of bits on my device)

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        In the context of the Amazon 1984 debacle, the GP is clearly talking about access to the "physical media (sic)" , not the rights to duplicate the content, you patronising jackass.

        • by siglercm (6059)

          ... you patronising [sic] jackass.

          .... Huh?

          Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        My limited reading indicates to me that when a digital media resource is allowed to be "shared" (even if that means copying), it seems to stimulate sales.

        It doesn't just seem to, there have been numerous studies showing that sharing leads to sales. Someone posted a link to one last week. I can't find the link, but the study was funded by a book publisher wondering how much pairacy hurt sales; according to the article, it takes a while for pirate versions of books to hit the internet. They were amazed to fi

      • by gwolf (26339)

        When you buy a book, you're buying the physical media -- the paper and cover/spine/jacket/glue/stitching, and also the ink covering the page -- for what that's worth. You're also buying the consumption of the words. You're not buying the words or the right to reproduce them.

        Precisely, you are buying one tangible item which happens to be the support of the real good you want to use, the knowledge/art/whatever that lies printed in its pages. It is hard -although possible- to copy, and has always been so. H

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Now, that being said, if I purchase "1984" and wake up one morning and find it missing, then discover the publisher I bought it from repossessed it, I'm going to be ticked off. If they've refunded my purchase price in full, I'll be quite a bit less ticked off.

        I think if a publisher stole a hardcopy book from me, but left the ammount that I paid for it in it's place, I'd be even more pissed off. If they just stole it, then it is just that: stealing. It is illegal, they know it is illegal, everyone can see

      • by anethema (99553) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:19AM (#32564700) Homepage
        Keeping in mind of course apple did not 'take away' anyones copy. If they later reaudit and change their mind, they just stop selling the app in question.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Duradin (1261418)

          But that doesn't inspire Apple Panic nearly as well as saying the mean ol' turtleneck Nazis are coming to take your apps, from your cold, dead, hands (after they rape your dog and shoot your spouse).

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:17AM (#32563342)

    This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

    Apple can say "no penises on the store, even comic ones" just like network TV can say "no swearing before 9pm" or a store can say "we'll carry all of your products except that flavoured lube you make, it just doesn't fit with our image".

    Also, I thought most publishers *were* corporations. When did it become ok to post troll articles as summaries? Oh wait, it's slashdot. Carry on.

    • quite different (Score:5, Insightful)

      by yyxx (1812612) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:38AM (#32563534)

      This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

      Apple is trying to become a primary conduit for digital media; if they succeed, then we are stuck with their censorship rules.

      That's why people need to understand the danger that Apple poses now, before Apple succeeds in establishing a Microsoft-like monopoly over media, content, and apps.

      just like network TV can say "no swearing before 9pm"

      TV networks are forced to do that by government rules.

      or a store can say "we'll carry all of your products except that flavoured lube you make, it just doesn't fit with our image".

      Individual physical stores can't impose worldwide controls over products or content; those that do get big enough to do so are just as much of a concern as Apple is.

      Just because other companies are sleazy and dangerous doesn't mean we should stop complaining about Apple.

      • Re:quite different (Score:4, Insightful)

        by paiute (550198) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:49AM (#32563620)

        That's why people need to understand the danger that Apple poses now, before Apple succeeds in establishing a Microsoft-like monopoly over media, content, and apps.

        Microsoft managed to establish a monopoly on operating systems because there were a small number of computer manufacturers. The barrier to entry into manufacturing was high, and on top of that, they were in a race to the bottom in terms of retail pricing as they were all making essentially the same product from the average consumer's point of view.

        There are many creators of content. The barrier to entry is low. There are providers of content parallel to and just as easily accessible by the consumer as Apple.

        I don't see an Apple monopoly in any of those areas being inevitable. In fact, it is probably impossible.

        • Re:quite different (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Demonantis (1340557) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:24AM (#32564024)
          Not with a walled garden model. You should be comparing architectures instead of OSes of a single architecture. Imagine if Intel decided to wall off its processor to a single OS where they dictated what applications you could use. You would not be defending what Apple is doing. Further, Apple does not create content. They only act as the delivery system for content. Barrier to entry is high because you need a device to deliver content and Apple is building a monopoly on that.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          We're not talking about creating content (obviously Apple weren't the ones to write this Ulysses app), but about distribution and access to that content.

          The barrier to creating content is low. But the barrier to devices to read electronic content - mp3/video players, phones, other portable devices - is very high.

          What good is the low barrier to creating content, when you can't get it on the one and only official distribution store? And if you put it on any other server, no one will be able to read it unless

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by yyxx (1812612)

          Microsoft managed to establish a monopoly on operating systems because there were a small number of computer manufacturers. The barrier to entry into manufacturing was high, and on top of that,

          Barriers to entry for PCs were also low; the hard part was getting into the distribution channels. It's analogous now: anybody can publish, but for commercial success, you need connections to movie studios, publishing houses, and music distributors. Apple has many of those, few other companies do.

      • Apple is trying to become a primary conduit for digital media; if they succeed, then we are stuck with their censorship rules.

        It'll never happen. Let's assume for a moment that iPhones are SOOO great that everyone gets one. It's not showing any signs of happening, but we'll play in never-never land. Ohes noes! Apple is the sole source of digital media! Except that they have a Kindle reader, a PDF reader, a Barnes and Noble e-book reader, and a web browser. Any of which can be used as an alternate publishing route.

      • Apple is trying to become a primary conduit for digital media; if they succeed, then we are stuck with their censorship rules.

        No we're not. We stop buying their watered down crud, and they'll quickly relax the rules.

        Yes, this is some far-off fantasy where the populace are informed and educated, but it's no less improbable than the Competition Commission / FCC allowing a single distributor of digital media.

    • by Zerth (26112)

      The difference is if I want to put objectionable stuff on a Kindle/Nook that I can't buy it through Amazon/B&N, I can get it elsewhere and read it without rooting the device.

      True, I may have to decrypt the content beforehand, but Amazon/B&N isn't the one preventing me from doing so.

      On the other hand, people really should stop making an app out of their content unless it needs it. They probably could have sold this through Amazon's kindle for iWhatever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by vlm (69642)

        The difference is if I want to put objectionable stuff on a Kindle/Nook that I can't buy it through Amazon/B&N, I can get it elsewhere and read it without rooting the device.

        New to the ipod? Never heard of bookz? No need to "root the device"

        http://www.iphonebookz.com/ [iphonebookz.com]

        or just search for "bookz"

        You can't, as far as I know, pay money for "objectionable stuff", but you most certainly don't need to "root the device" to put "objectionable stuff" on it.

    • by captainboogerhead (228216) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:41AM (#32563566) Journal

      This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

      Apple can say "no penises on the store, even comic ones" just like network TV can say "no swearing before 9pm" or a store can say "we'll carry all of your products except that flavoured lube you make, it just doesn't fit with our image".

      Sure. They have the right. And we have both the right and the duty to mock them when they do. If we don't, all publishers will turn into Disneylands. That would be a bad thing, BTW.

      Just cause they're a corp and they have the right doesn't mean they should--and it sure as fuck doesn't mean we should shrug and let them get away with it. If they're gonna be moral gatekeepers for millions and millions of people they need to be accountable. Not to their idiot pandering gormless shareholders, but to their audience.

      • by cowscows (103644)

        Yeah, except you're not saving the world from cruel corporate overlords, you're complaining over the internet. All publishers are not going to turn into Disneyland, that's a silly argument to make. As long as there's demand for more open systems, then someone will find a way to supply that demand.

    • ... because Walmart cannot (yet) stop you buying the stuff it doesn't want you to have elsewhere.

      Mind you, if you want to look at a penis on your iPad, just draw a large cock and balls on the screen with a Magic Marker. It's not as if you're going to be using it for much else...

      • ... because Walmart cannot (yet) stop you buying the stuff it doesn't want you to have elsewhere.

        Neither can Apple. If you don't like their policies: Jailbreak your iPhone or craigslist it and get a more open handset.

        • Neither can Apple. If you don't like their policies: Jailbreak your iPhone or craigslist it and get a more open handset.

          Oi. Here's an easier solution: Complain loudly about their fool policies so that they change them. That way you don't have to throw away your $300 phone and pay a $600 penalty for switching carriers or void your warranty.

          The mobile phone industry isn't like a physical store. You can't walk across the street to a competing store.

    • by vlm (69642)

      This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

      Ulysses is well written on a small scale, yet doesn't really have anything to say on the large scale, although it occasionally has interesting parts. Its used by the intellectual (and wannabe) class to "other" themselves away from the general population, and especially away from the neo-puritans, by being chock full of in-jokes / symbolism that only they understand.

      Using walmart as a straw dog is hilarious because Ulysses is not going to appeal to the typical resident of "peopleofwalmart.com". University

      • by bytesex (112972)

        False. I voluntarily read it. Twice. Granted, I was sixteen, but still. Finnegan's Wake, however, I never got beyond page 32 on that one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MrHanky (141717)

      It's different because Apple has a monopoly on selling content to the iOS devices. Walmart does not have a monopoly on magazines. This is blatantly obvious to everyone who isn't a through-and-through fanboy. It really amazes me how you idiots go out of your way to defend everything Apple does. And 5, "insightful", as well. Yes, you're a cult.

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

      Way to defend the cause, fanboy. "Apple is no different than a bunch of censoring conservative twats!"

    • This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

      That doesn't make the news anymore. Trolling Apple: cheaper than an advertising budget !

  • Publishers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Allicorn (175921) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:17AM (#32563346) Homepage

    Publishers weren't corporations before the iPhone?

  • Ironic (Score:5, Informative)

    by grizdog (1224414) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:20AM (#32563376) Homepage

    This is ironic because Ulysses not only was the cause for stricter pornography laws in the United States, when it was first published not as a book but in serialized form, but it was also the book that was used to get the laws struck down. Although the Ulysses case itself never went to the Supreme Court, it did influence later cases that did wind up in the Supreme Court.

    Maybe Apple could have an Ulysses app with all the nasty bits removed. Or better yet, a Bowdlerization filter that would transform any book into something absolutely harmless.

    • Re:Ironic (Score:5, Informative)

      by MrAtoz (58719) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:57AM (#32563704)
      Exactly so. The case was United States v. One Book Called Ulysses [wikipedia.org]. The gist of the ruling was that the book was not obscene because it had merit as a work of literary art. Judge Woolsey's ruling was an eloquent defense of contemporary (for then) literary art. Once the book was no longer banned in the US, the UK and Ireland followed suit and allowed unexpurgated versions. What is doubly ironic here is that the case was engineered by Random House in order to be able to publish the book freely through the US without being prosecuted for pornography. Wow -- look at the difference today! What publisher would challenge the government and culture in this manner today? Instead, Apple seeks to create a Digital Disneyland [freedom-to-tinker.com] where everyone can have a fully predictable, enjoyable, inoffensive, and commercially lucrative (for Apple) time.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Wow -- look at the difference today! What publisher would challenge the government and culture in this manner today? Instead, Apple seeks to create a Digital Disneyland where everyone can have a fully predictable, enjoyable, inoffensive, and commercially lucrative (for Apple) time.

        While I agree with what you are saying about Apple, no publisher has to challenge the government and culture in this manner today, because so far the only pieces of sexual media which are illegal are child porn and snuff flicks. Sure, you are expected not to put billboards with big cocks in people's faces, but other than that we have pretty open freedom as to what we publish.

        Now that I've said it, I guess some publisher is eventually going to go to war over a book full of pictures of naked children.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Knara (9377)

          There are books that have pictures full of naked children that are published by major publishing houses, and there are people who picket and protest national chains who carry them.

          Also, when the first wave of popular anime started coming over to the US, they decided they needed to change the age of many of the high-school-aged characters (or older characters who had relationships with high-school aged girls, specifically) because, shockingly, sometimes in literature people do things that not everyone might

  • Become Publishers? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ehynes (617617)

    Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.

    And Random House, HarperCollins, etal. are what, chopped liver?

  • by linzeal (197905) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:26AM (#32563422) Homepage Journal

    Steve Jobs, I believe having a good "sex life [techcrunch.com]" means something entirely different than it does for the rest of us. Even me, a staid almost boring 30 year-something person with a long term partner has gotten on board with sexting, sex pics and other naughty stuff with gadgetry.

    I would never even consider owning a telecommunication/internet device that came with somebody's seemingly arbitrary and contradictory moral strictures as the arbiter of what I may use the device for. Ownership of Apple products has always been about willing to go into their secretive walled garden but lately with the hostility and snarkiness that has been shown to both Apple developers and consumers the experience is more akin to living in Gaza.

    • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:11AM (#32563868)

      I would never even consider owning a telecommunication/internet device that came with somebody's seemingly arbitrary and contradictory moral strictures as the arbiter of what I may use the device for. Ownership of Apple products has always been about willing to go into their secretive walled garden but lately with the hostility and snarkiness that has been shown to both Apple developers and consumers the experience is more akin to living in Gaza.

      Yes not being able to buy a book through one (1) store is the same as living in a war zone where the essentials of life are blockaded. That's not overdramatic at all. You can get/buy the book through other channels (as a pdf for example) and put it on your phone to read with another program or, you know, through the friggin' website [ulyssesseen.com] (NSFW, contains traces of nuts) as Apple continuously says to do to get content to the phone without Apple approval. That's not to say this behavior doesn't sucks and doesn't need to be challenged but the hyperbole isn't helping any.

  • But it's only in the past few years they've become retailers, like Apple. It's as if Walmart suddenly became a publisher and sold only its own books through its stores.

    Such vertical integration can, and does, lead to monopoly.

    --
    BMO

  • by Vapula (14703) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:38AM (#32563536)

    One of the things that rules in favor of VHS was that Sony was forbidding the use of it's format (Betamax) for pornography... So all porn movies were VHS only... Betamax was superior but noone ever cared about it...

    Could the same happen with the iPhone ? People choosing Android/Blackberry/Maemo/SymbianWindows Mobile over the iPhone because of this restriction on nudity ?

    • by robably (1044462) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:15AM (#32563908) Journal
      But nobody is having a problem getting porn on to their iPhone - it has a browser on it with unrestricted access to all the porn in the world. Who is finding porn so hard to find on the internet that they need an _app_ for it?
    • Not until Safari for the i* platforms includes a porn filter that can't be turned off.

    • by halivar (535827)

      Seeing as how history did not repeat itself with Sony's new format, Blu-Ray, I would say no.

    • No (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hellfire (86129) <(deviladv) (at) (gmail.com)> on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:27AM (#32564044) Homepage

      Steve's banning of iPhone porn apps from the store is a front. Steve is playing both sides of the porn coin here to make as many people as he can happy.

      You can find plenty of iPhone compatible mobile porn websites. These same sites work on any just about other smartphone as well. And the porn industry doesn't need any apps in the app store, because they don't make money on apps, they make money on monthly subscriptions. Sure they would love some kind of free app to drum up more subscriptions, but they aren't bothered too much, they are used to this kind of discrimination. They are also used to their customers hunting them down via Google or clicking thru 15 ads.

      It's like Betamax creating a bunch of corner stores and saying "you can't buy porn in our stores" but then being able to go to Joe's porn emporium down the street and get all you want. If Steve really was that concerned he'd have permanently turned on the parental controls on all iPhones. That would be how he would have to shoot his foot clean off, because then he'd have created the VHS/Betamax situation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Except that Apple is also working to make it difficult for websites to compete with native applications on the iPhone/Pad. They simultaneously released an ad blocker for their web browser and an unblock advertisement system for their mobile devices. They advertise applications in the apps store, but have made it clear that they will not even attempt to create an index of web pages. They encourage users to turn to the apps store for content and programs, not to go searching the broader web.

        It is like c
  • The emerging multiple layers of filtering that is disturbing to me. An artist has an idea, it is then edited and tweaked by the publisher, it then is edited and tweaked by Walmart/Apple/Whoever. Use a search engine, and you have a nontransparent filter that makes choices for you like Google and Bing that give you press releases from BP/the government and others.

  • Install Linux and enjoy your freedoms without a distortion field, DRM, book removal or mass packet collection.
    Time to take computing back from the multinationals and make it personal again.
    Name and shame all their efforts to double dip, control or steal.
    If they push back, it's a McLibel with web 2.0 updates :)
    • Install Linux and enjoy your freedoms without a distortion field, DRM, book removal or mass packet collection. Time to take computing back from the multinationals and make it personal again.

      If you mean Android, you know that's a *non-free* version of Linux, right? It's owned by your carrier, who can change policies and dictate pretty much any terms they like.

  • "'Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.'"

    Books, music, and games have been published by corporations for a LONG time. Somebody needs more coffee -- I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't do Mondays well.

  • Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.

    Hate to break it to you but most major publishers are corporations. I know you were trying to be witty and make a point but you might want to try harder next time.

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