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Apple a bit bashful - censorship in action...

Discussion in 'iBooks' started by Prasius, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    Apple accused of censorship after iPad erotic fiction removed from top 10 chart | Mail Online

    Is this the downside of ebooks? I'm not talking about a little bit of erotic fiction which offends some religious zealots or parents who rely on someone else to supervise their childrens exposure to unsuitable material - but censorship of the written word.

    What's next? The communist manifesto? Mein kampf? Plato's Republic?

    Not good. :mad:
  2. Bremen
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    Bremen iPad Addict

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    Only the government can censor..... a company not allowing certain material on their product is their business choice. There are plenty of places to get erotic fiction and port, don't worry..... Apple for example refusing to allow a KKK or Black Panther or Third Reich app is their business decision. A government not allowing such organizations to have a voice is censorship..... The UK censoring the sale of certain video games is censorship....
  3. muyoso
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    I think you are getting a little mixed up. The first amendment applies only to the government, censorship is just the act of censoring.

    Corporate censorship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Apple certainly practices censorship. So does walmart. What else would you even call it without sounding like you are trying to explain censorship without using the word? A business decision? Of course its a business decision. Anything Apple decides is a business decision.
  4. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    Just seemed a little silly to me and very 1950's to me. I'm curious to see where Apples "business decisions" line is drawn....

    While I understand what you are saying Bremen, I consider anyone dictating what I may or may not see as an adult to be censorship. What if all ebook providers decided to stop the sale of a particular book because they didnt like what was in it? Is that "okay" just because it's a business decision? It's okay for a business to do that, but not a government?

    There is just something about it that sits really unwell with me. Before anyone points out that these were just, presumably, silly erotic novels, I get that; but really see it as being besides the point. Hey, its just a silly political text.. No need for you to read and worry your little head about that.. Now run along you ignorant little adult......
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  5. Bremen
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    You are right, but I was not mixed up at all. The OP brought "The communist manifesto? Mein kampf? Plato's Republic?" into the mix, and it is just silly to even suggest any connection. FYI Just because someone who jots down a Wikipedia entry uses the word 'censorship" means nothing to me. I know it does to many others, but choosing which products to stock in your store is not censorship. There are plenty of other stores...... Only if the government forbids the product from being sold in their county, is it true censorship. A bookstore (for example) cannot stock every possible book ever made in history. So they decide what their inventory will be. Just because they may not stock a particular book is not censorship, it's just they don't stock that particular book. If I own a bookstore and choose not to sell the bible (the most banned book in history, and is even now banned in several countries), it is my choice as owner of the shop, and not censorship. But, if the government tell ALL bookstores that they cannot sell bibles... that is censorship.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  6. Bremen
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    And I totally agree with the highlighted statement above. But no one is dictating that to you. Apple is just saying they are not going to provide that product to you. For example... If a game seller in the UK does not want to carry a certain video game because they think it is to violent, you just go somewhere else.... BUT, if the GOVERNMENT says you can't sell it in the country, THEN they are dictating what you can see. You then cannot view the content, because you are forbidden by your government from viewing it....
  7. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    Is it so silly to say that a company might consider Mein Kampf to be promoting racism and making a "business decision" to decide you're not responsible and level headed enough to read it?

    I admit I picked extremes for the purpose of making the point.
  8. Bremen
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    It's all good.... kinda fun thread really :)
  9. cmalinowski
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    cmalinowski iPF Novice

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    Technically, if the government is banning the sale of the items, they may not necessarily be banning you from viewing it. I know it's a fine line, but it's there :)

    And I completely agree with pretty much all posts here. It's a crock for apple to dictate, but it is what they have been doing for ages and we've all been okay with it. It is their choice not to sell it, and our choice not to purchase their products.

    In a free market economy this shouldn't happen. Someone would pop up to fill the void and sell the book. Unfortunately, Apple would not allow that app on their iDevice. But the book would be for sale :)

    Ultimately, I think Apple's choices to limit what they allow on their devices to only that which meets some Jobs' morality bar may hurt them as more open devices with similar abilities hit the streets, it is still their right to do it. It is now our right to jailbreak the devices they provided to get whatever we want on them.

    I love this country... But I also love a lot of others too.

    Chris
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  10. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    You shouldn't be mad at Apple for not offering "adult" material, you should be upset at the person who held a gun to your head and made you buy an iPad!
  11. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    Well I'm guessing the Amazon and Kindle App allow a little more freedom, which gives the ability to download things that Apple may not like?

    1991-C4 - I think you've kind of missed the point of my post. :confused: It's not really about the specific books they've removed, but the fact they will remove books at will, and what guidelines they apply.

    I've never actually bothered looking to see what Apple will allow and what they won't. Is Secret Dairies of a Call Girl excluded? Lady Chatterly's Lover? Is it certain words they'll ban or is there a percentage of sexual content they'll allow in a novel before they won't sell it?

    Seems like the App Store debacle all over again...
  12. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    With all due respect, I think you missed my point which was that no one forced you to buy an iPad or to buy books through iBooks.

    I think the situation would be totally different if your only choice of book vendors was iBooks, but that is not the case. There are at least a dozen other sources for electronic publications, paid and free.

    And it would also be different if Apple told Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and the others what they could or could not offer to iDevice customers, but again, they don't.

    So if you don't like the way Apple does business, vote with your wallet and simply buy your stuff somewhere else.

    Easy, huh?
  13. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    What is stopping Apple from preventing those other book vendors - Amazon, for example, releasing books on any topic on the iPad as well? Of course you could download it from elsewhere on a non-Apple computer (god forbid you taint an iMac with such FILTH!), and email it to yourself. But then you might not be able to open it up in Page because it could do a word scan and block out any words they consider offensive to the little Baby Jesus.

    I don't see why Apple has seemingly decided of late that it is the Guardian of all that is wholesome and good (feel free to buy violent hollywood blockbusters from the iTunes store though..). I'd understand a little more if the material in question was anything more than what you can probably buy in the relevant section of a high street bookshop, but I doubt that.

    I personally find "no-one made you buy an iPad" to sound a bit Apple fanboi, especially when followed by
    . I like lots of what Apple does, and how they do it - that doesn't mean they should be free from question or criticism.
  14. Bremen
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    The fanboi card has now been played.... all serious discussion has ended.... :p
  15. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    The point is that Apple is NOT preventing Amazon from selling whatever they want to whomever they want. If there is a Kindle version available, I can read it via the Kindle app on my iPad.

    The iPad is a piece of hardware. If I want to use a "pornographic" image as my wallpaper, there is nothing Apple can do about it. On the other hand, iBooks is an application that is tied directly to Apple. I can not buy certain books from iBooks, so what? But there is nothing, absolutely nothing preventing me from buying anything I want from any other ebook seller and reading it on my iPad... as long as there is an app for it.
  16. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    I get accused of it all the time, so it's nice to be able to pull it out now and again ;)

    I was going to go back and delete that comment as I know someone will end up getting their knickers in a twist about it - you've gone and ruined it now, so it can stay for posterity ;) - No company should be free from any question or criticism, and to say that I personally shouldn't question the Holy Apple just because I own one.. wait.. several.. of their devices, is just silly.

    Does it concern you that they might see providing the Kindle app (example?) through the App store, which may or may not provide access to such obvious literary genius as the books in question (I honestly have no idea! :D), is a similar link, and pull the App? Given Apple's history on such decision making, it seems there is nothing stopping them from turning around right now and just pulling it because they've decided it offends them. Of course they have *the* right to do it, it doesn't mean that they would *be* right to do it.

    The whole story just really got me wondering where Apple considers its liability (as it presumably sees it) stops?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  17. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    It concerns me not because I honestly do not see that happening. The enormous popularity of the iPad is due in large part to its ability to serve as an eReading device and Apple would be cutting off their nose to spite their face if they pulled all of the other eReading apps.

    Steve Jobs is, first and foremost, a businessman who's first loyalty is to the stockholders. He likes money too much to stop that stream of revenue into Apple's bank accounts to pull all of the other eReading apps.

    I don't think it is a liability issue at all. Even with such inane apps as the Atomic web browser, I have to agree to the fact that it could be used to obtain material suitable to people over the age of 17 (or something like that) before I download it. And speaking of noses, if Apple wants to "take the high road" in terms of its literary offerings, what skin is it off of your nose? Show Mr. Jobs the way you feel then next time you are in the market for a computer.
  18. iPadCharlie
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    Or better yet, buy stock in Apple and voice your opinion that way. Venting your spleen on an Internet forum serves absolutely no purpose (except maybe to make you feel better) and Apple is much more likely to consider the opinions of their share holders even before those of their customers. At the end of the day, it is the share holders who own Apple, they merely let Mr. Jobs run it... for now.
  19. iPAD@UVA
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    Actually, Apple is telling sellers what they can sell through their apps.
    This is from the Zinio FAQ page:

    Q: Why aren't adult titles available on my iPad?

    A: Zinio must abide by the guidelines set forth by Apple in order to have our app available on their iTunes store. One of those guidelines currently prohibits content deemed mature. We are sorry that this title, and similar titles, are not currently available on the iPad. They are, however, viewable on Zinio.com or by installing the Zinio Reader on a conventional laptop or desktop.

    That said, while I disagree with the concept and seemingly randomness of Apples decisions I do believe it is their right to be able to make these decisions. Just as it is our choice to Jailbreak if we wish to go around their choices.
  20. Bremen
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    Well said :cool:

    Note how Zinio tells how to get their content, if you want it, on other devices. Not censorship, just company guidelines of what products to sell. In our local Wal-mart they have HP, Dell, and Acer computers. I want a SONY! Wal-mart is censoring and cherry picking products to sell! It is MY RIGHT to buy a SONY computer if I want one.... err...... well, instead of whining and threatening, perhaps a trip to Best Buy is in order.....

    By the way, I DO NOT recommend making your computer purchases at Wal-mart, it was just an example... :D

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