Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Apple

Apple Bans Sale of Comic Book On All iOS Apps Over Gay Sex Images - Update 299

Posted by Soulskill
from the past-lessons-remain-unlearned dept.
New submitter RicardoGCE writes "Apple has banned all iOS apps from carrying Saga #12, a comic book created by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and published by Image Comics. The reason for the ban is the depiction of oral sex appearing on the computer monitor that serves as the head of one of the characters. The content has been deemed pornographic, and sale of the comic has been blocked. Comixology will allow users to sync their purchases, however, so users of their app will be able to read the book on their i-devices. They just won't be able to buy it through the iOS version of the app." Vaughan himself points out the sexual representation in this issue ("two postage stamp-sized images") are not as graphic or as prominent as other situations from past issues. The difference is that this depiction is of a homosexual encounter rather than a heterosexual one. Image Comics took the high road, saying they regret the decision, but that it's "Apple’s decision and it would be inappropriate for us to tell another company how to run its business."
Update: 04/10 18:36 GMT by S : As it turns out, reports of Apple censorship were wrong. Comixology posted today on their blog that they were the ones who decided to remove the issue of Saga from the app. They did so because they were trying to follow Apple's content guidelines. The issue will be available via their app soon.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Bans Sale of Comic Book On All iOS Apps Over Gay Sex Images - Update

Comments Filter:
  • Can't have that at Apple, can we?
    • Companies have a simple Agenda and people will tend to read too much in it.
      Apples Goal is to make money. There are different ways to make money. Some companies make money by serving the niche markets other make money selling general products. Apple is the later.

      Why does Apple choose to censor their Apps? Well to make money, If they allow images that the general population recognizes as inappropriate then it will get a recognition as being a source, and those rich parents will not get their kids an apple p

  • by DumbparameciuM (772788) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:09PM (#43408411)

    So the appropriate response to being censored now is to roll over? No fight whatsoever?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AlphaWolf_HK (692722)

      Only governments can sensor. Sure you can do e.g. dmca takedowns, but it is up to the government to enforce that at gunpoint.

      You can refuse to pay the lawyers, and you can refuse to go to court, but if you refuse to go to jail for contempt of court the police will drag you there at gunpoint.

      I'm no fan of apple by any stretch, but the app store is their property, and their private domain that they are free to remove you from if they don't like you. If you don't like it, go to a more open platform like androi

      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:27PM (#43408505)

        Only governments can sensor.

        Anyone can censor, but only government censorship is typically limited by legal "free speech" provisions like those of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

        Private censorship -- especially by a player with substantial market power -- can have similar effects and raise similar ethical issues to government censorship, even if it isn't addressed by the same legal provisions.

      • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:29PM (#43408519) Journal

        Only governments can sensor.

        That's bullshit. Companies use the government to protect their market. It is their tool. Things like DMCA, and even copyright itself are industry sponsored, written laws enforced with the government's gun.

        • Your comment is just ironic enough to prove the point. Yes, only the government can censor.
      • This is why I have never been tempted to buy a ticket into Apple's "walled garden". It's not that it's overtly bad, it's just has a giant "no weirdos allowed" sign at the entrance. I *like* the weirdos. I find the fact that the weirdos can do their weirdo things comforting. When the wierdonium level in the social construct around me drops below a certain level I go into withdrawal. It's not a good thing! Weirdonium starts running from my pores in an attempt to fill the void. Luckily there's a place on Amazo

        • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:44PM (#43408615) Journal

          I have never been tempted to buy a ticket into Apple's "walled garden". It's not that it's overtly bad,

          Right, it's not that it's overtly bad, it's just that the system is set up in a way that someday, it's inevitable will cause you pain. Just like monarchies can be great in the beginning when the king is benign and an excellent administrator (hey, the trains run on time!) Eventually someone else will come into power, and you don't want to be involved in a system like that. Best to avoid it when it's easiest, from the beginning.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Just remember folks - that since they are choosing to only allow certain things that fit their "ideas of good and right" - then anything they do let in, if it harms you or your device in any way, the onus is on Apple to make good on it. They become, as gatekeepers to their domain, responsible for *ALL* activities that occur within it.

            Someone cyberstalking you? Apple is responsible. Someone tracks you, steals from your home based on info from your iDevice? Apple is responsible, legally and financially.

            T

      • by dcollins (135727) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:04PM (#43408733) Homepage

        "Only governments can sensor."

        For god's sake, you don't even know how to SPELL "censor". I mean, look it up in a dictionary; it's not restricted to governments.
        - True statement: "The First Amendment only applies to the government."
        - False statement: "Censorship is something only government can do."

        Privately-owned broadcast television companies and publishing houses have in-house staff who function as censors.
        http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-to-get-back-at-network-censor.html

      • by manwargi (1361031)

        Only governments can sensor.

        Never used America Online?

    • Wait a sec (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fyngyrz (762201)

      Censorship is a government function; it is repression. Anti-freedom in every sense of the word, using power backed by violence. When an individual or a corporation decides it will not (or will) go somewhere, and government doesn't get in the way, that is an actual *use* of freedom.

      I would not make the same decision -- I think it is the exact wrong way to go -- but it is simply wrong to call making this choice "censorship."

      If you don't like it, you can always vote with your wallet, and encourage others to do

      • Re:Wait a sec (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sesshomaru (173381) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:35PM (#43408559) Journal

        Any sufficiently large corporation is indistinguishable from a government.

        • by khallow (566160)
          No corporation is sufficiently large to be confused with larger governments.
          • No corporation is sufficiently large to be confused with larger governments.

            That depends on what you consider to be "larger governments." "Apple by the Numbers" by Scott Austin [wsj.com] claims that there are 105 countries whose gross domestic product is smaller than Apple Inc.'s revenue of $46 billion per year.

            • by khallow (566160) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:26PM (#43408861)
              What's Apple's direct GDP contribution? That's the actual apples to apples comparison after all. I imagine it's much closer to their net income than their revenue. That drops their GDP contribution by almost a factor of four. I'd say it contributes about as much GDP as Uruguay did in 2012. That's nice, but that's not a large country.

              Uruguay is a country of a bit under 3.4 million people, and it has a military of about 25,000 people. Apple has power only as long as it maintains that GDP contribution and its profit. Uruguay's power comes from its monopoly of power status over 3.4 million people. When you toss in the substantial constraints on the power of Apple, I think it's rash to compare the power of a corporation to that of even a government of comparable size.
        • Any confidently-stated opinion is indistinguishable from fact

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          No matter where you live, you can always ignore Apple. And pretty much any corporation for that matter. They are not governing you; they try to sell you something. You don't like them? Don't buy anything from them.

          However you can not normally ignore your government. If you don't pay your taxes, they'll come after you. If you don't follow their rules, they'll come after you.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Censorship: [wikipedia.org]

        Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body. It can be done by governments and private organizations or by individuals who engage in self-censorship.

      • Censorship is a government function

        No, its not. Censorship is an act anyone can do. Its an act that raises a particular set of issues when governments do it (which is the reason that, e.g., the U.S. government is restrained in its power to do it by the First Amendment to the US Constitution), a related but distinct set of issues when powerful private interests do it, and reduced or no significant issues when less powerful non-government interests do it.

        A number of people have a limited understanding of cens

    • by couchslug (175151)

      No, the appropriate response is not bother with a walled garden YOU DO NOT OWN unless it PAYS to do so.

      If another business doesn't want your product it need not carry it.

    • by MacDork (560499)

      So the appropriate response to being censored now is to roll over? No fight whatsoever?

      How ya gonna fight it? It's in the EULA bro. Don't like it? Move to android where 75% (and growing) of the mobile users are located.

      • by Roogna (9643)

        Well an obvious way is to complain if you're an Apple customer. Honestly, companies behave this way because a lot of very ridiculous minority groups raise a HUGE fuss against stuff like this on TV, or in the AppStore or whatnot. But the majority of people who could care less, or simply think parents should look at the ratings before handing it to their kids? They don't bother to raise a fuss. They shrug and move on. So yes, buying android is a solution (and a decent one at that, after all, taking away

    • When it comes to Apple, more or less, yes. Other options: don't use the care bear garden.

    • Remember that Apple has a history of e.g. excluding journalists who criticize them from events. Regarding the app approval process, they've said pretty clearly that if you complain publicly, expect life to get harder for you.

      Once you've made yourself dependent on them, you pretty much need to stay on their good side.

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:23PM (#43408489)

    We live in an age where big corporations can legislate morality

    Are we "thinking different" enough yet?

    • We live in an age where big corporations can legislate morality

      Only if you buy Apple. This is what you get when you buy into a system with a gatekeeper. Stuff gets kept out.

    • by Swampash (1131503)

      We live in an age where big corporations can legislate morality

      You think the word "legislate" means something other than what it actually does.

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:27PM (#43408507) Homepage

    that you can't get porn on iPhones/iPads.

    Is gay porn somehow different and worthy of new nerd rage?

    • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:51PM (#43408669) Homepage
      You are missing the central point: This doesn't even require reading TFA, just the summary. Previous issues of Saga had as graphic or more so heterosexual situations. Yet they were not banned, nor have they been banned. Saga 1-11 is still available. So the problem here is that heterosexual and gay are being treated differently.
      • by quantaman (517394) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:17PM (#43408813)

        I'd be curious to see the examples they were talking about. I'd say in general that male genitalia are the most pornographic body part of either gender, and that images involving men are generally considered more pornographic than those involving women, ie two women is less pornographic than a mixed pair, which is less pornographic than two guys. Basically I'm saying it's not clear that it's discrimination at work so much as different standards as to what constitutes pornography.

        • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
          That almost makes it sounds like it is gender discrimination rather than orientation discrimination.
      • by the_B0fh (208483)

        Are you saying previous issues had female on male blowjobs that were allowed through, and #12 had the male on male blowjob that was banned?

        • by the_B0fh (208483)

          OK, took a look, it had sex. Either they missed it previously or the guy doing the review was homophobic (or both or some other combo).

      • Nothing new here (Score:4, Informative)

        by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @01:27AM (#43409317) Homepage Journal

        You might take a look at This Film Is Not Yet Rated [imdb.com]. Not saying it's correct. Just pointing out that treating homosexual sex more strictly than heterosexual sex has been a given in the film business for a long time. Looks like Apple is just following precedent from a different media.

        BTW, it's actually a good flick. Definitely worth watching with regard to how MPAA rates movies.

        Cheers,
        Dave

    • by stenvar (2789879) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @12:21AM (#43409067)

      Is gay porn somehow different and worthy of new nerd rage?

      No, but what is worthy of nerd rage is when a company discriminates and prohibits depictions of gay activities when it allows depictions of straight activities. And the "rage" is not so much over the discrimination itself, but over Apple's hypocrisy and pretense of being a liberal and modern organization.

  • So, what is this faux outrage we are being presented with? (And I think the ban on porn in general is childish)
    • by stenvar (2789879)

      RTFA. Apple apparently tolerated straight sex from this publisher, but kicked them out when they put in something gay themed that was much more tame. And the outrage isn't "faux" and it isn't even over discrimination. The outrage is that Apple pretends to be a modern and liberal company, but then behaves like some Christian conservative family organization. And the solution is simply not to buy Apple, for the simple reason that their products are boring, their content is boring, and it is beyond anybody's p

      • by bfandreas (603438)

        RTFA. Apple apparently tolerated straight sex from this publisher, but kicked them out when they put in something gay themed that was much more tame. And the outrage isn't "faux" and it isn't even over discrimination. The outrage is that Apple pretends to be a modern and liberal company, but then behaves like some Christian conservative family organization. And the solution is simply not to buy Apple, for the simple reason that their products are boring, their content is boring, and it is beyond anybody's power to change that.

        The outrage is even broader.
        If stuff in their shop doesn't match their whims then letting it should not go in it. Never. Not be put in it. Once it has been on the shop they can't get rid of it. That should teach them due dilligence.

        This is also precisely the reason why each of my Amazon purchases get deDRMed and backupped. You can't trust those guys either.
        No, my intent of this purchase wasn't obtaining a license at the price of the real paper thing. No, you don't get to revoke that license you somehow

  • Getting tired of the hype, stories, and fanboyism everyday.
  • and was giddy for a moment

  • with Apple taking its DHS/TSA responsibilities so seriously.
    I, for one, welcome our making the choice for us overlords.
    Oh, by the way, Its a cookbook!
  • The solution is to file a complaint about each and every app containing even the slightest hint of sexuality. Or something other that's on the censorship list. That way only the most dull apps make it to the consumer. Let's see how well that goes for Apple.
  • by carou (88501) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @02:58PM (#43414817) Homepage Journal

    The "update" (retraction) of this story was posted after the story had left the front page. Slashdot readers are only going to see yesterday's unjustified criticism of Apple and their supposed agenda. How many times in the next six months are the Android-trolls going to refer to this story as an example of Apple's control-freak tendency, without being aware that it was based on a lie?

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

Working...