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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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  • uhhh, what? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:16AM (#32563334)
    'Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.'

    Because the current crop of publishers aren't corporations?
  • Re:simple answer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bottles (1672000) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:23AM (#32563398)

    If you're a programmer, give your stuff away for free. If you're good enough, people will make donations. If not, then what's the point of being a programmer?
    If you give it away for free, then people are free to make .js/.pkg/.exe or whatever, that can be passed around with no problems.

  • by linzeal (197905) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:26AM (#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.

  • Re:simple answer (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:32AM (#32563482)

    If you're a farmer, give your stuff away for free. If you're good enough, people will make donations. If not, then what's the point of being a farmer?
    If you give it away for free, then people are free to make bread/salad/pie or whatever, that can be passed around with no problems.

  • by Vapula (14703) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:38AM (#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 siglercm (6059) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:48AM (#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.

  • Re:so honestly... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <<elmuerte> <at> <drunksnipers.com>> on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:59AM (#32563726) Homepage

    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 mcgrew (92797) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:41AM (#32564234) Homepage Journal

    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 find that there was a sales spike when the bootleg versions appeared, rather than a drop.

    Cory Doctorow covers this quite succinctly in the forward (or afterward, it's been a while since I read it) to Little Brother. There's a free copy on craphound.com; he practices what he preaches.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:03AM (#32564528) Journal

    I could make an official app of Ash-Fox and distribute it outside of the app store for jail broken iphones.

    Oh well that's just great isn't it - you can still get it to work on a minority of phones that have been hacked.

    No, this is still a criticism. And people are right to criticise Apple over it and encourage alternative platforms; just as people do when there's a criticism against Google, Microsoft, or whatever else.

    For the app store, yes.

    For the entire Iphone/Ipad platform, yes.

    Not really, nobody is stopping you from showing off your applications, at worst, they're just stopping you from putting it on their store because they don't want it.

    You mean: Apple is stopping you from showing off your applications on the Iphone because they don't want it. But you can always develop for another, better, platform instead.

  • Re:No (Score:3, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:11AM (#32565420)
    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 claiming that you can watch as much porno as you want on Sony TVs, but that you are not allowed to sell porno on their line of video cassettes. Oh, wait, that is exactly how it played out. Except that Apple's marketing machine is much stronger than Sony's, so the results will probably be different.
  • Re:so honestly... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:29AM (#32565646)

    Then why did they block the 4chan app? On its own it didn't have any nudity - however it was able to get said nudity online over the net.

  • Re:Ironic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Knara (9377) on Monday June 14, 2010 @12:40PM (#32566632)

    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 approve of.

    It's not so rosy a picture of free-from-censored-influences with regards to art in the US as you appear to believe it is.

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