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Old May 22, 2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Apple Rejects eBook App Over Access to Kama Sutra



In an extensive blog entry, James Montgomerie reveals that Apple has repeatedly rejected his eBook reader iPhone application, Eucalyptus, due to its ability to access a version of the ancient Indian text Kama Sutra, which Apple considers to contain objectionable content.

As Montgomerie describes, the Eucalyptus application does not contain the "objectionable" text, as it merely serves as an interface to Project Gutenberg, a well-known distributor of free eBooks based on content that is in the public domain. Moreover, translations of the Kama Sutra are readily available on the iPhone via a host of other sources.
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The exact book (the Kama Sutra) that Apple considers the ability to read 'objectionable' is freely available on the iPhone in many ways already. You can find it through Safari or the Google app of course, but it is also easily available via other book reading apps. You can get it easily via eReader, though the search process is handled by launching a third-party site in Safari, with the download and viewing taking place in eReader. Stanza offers up multiple versions, some with illustrated covers. Amazon’s Kindle app, the latest version of which was approved by Apple this week, offers multiple versions too - although it does charge from 80˘ to $10 per book - and you again purchase via Safari before Kindle downloads the book.

I am at a loss to explain why Eucalyptus is being treated differently than these applications by Apple. I’m also frankly amazed that they would suggest I should be manually censoring content that is being downloaded from the public Internet - classic, even ancient, books, no less.
While Apple's rejection of Eucalyptus could very well have been a result of an overzealous reviewer, Montgomerie proceeds to document his numerous attempts to contact Apple to have his case reviewed, only to be met with silence, automated e-mail responses, and in the responses that actually address his submission, tersely worded messages that provide little assistance.

Montgomerie has resubmitted for Apple's consideration a version of Eucalyptus that manually blocks access to the version of the Kama Sutra available through Project Gutenberg.

Article Link: Apple Rejects eBook App Over Access to Kama Sutra
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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Why is Apple afraid of the sacred art of lovemaking?
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:03 AM   #3
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Why is Apple afraid of the sacred art of lovemaking?
Because they want to be the best at it.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:07 AM   #4
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Actually, I think it's because Apple wants to be the only one doing any screwing of its flock.

Apple joins the religious right in this quest.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:19 AM   #5
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Stanza provides access to Project Gutenberg, among others... I would guess that there is even a version of that text (or maybe even "worse") trough the Kindle Store.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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Bad karma for Apple.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:38 AM   #7
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Come on Apple!!! Internet is for PORN
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:38 AM   #8
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This has to be a mistake (an over-zealous reviewer). As the developer points out, this book can be downloaded and read in several other already-approved applications.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:43 AM   #9
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this clear shows the tech geek reviewing the app doesn't even know what sex is..nor ever participated in such feats..
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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i want love making technique on my i phone........
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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Thumbs down

The author is 100% right, and Apple is 100% wrong in this case. The eBook reader does not contain the "objectionable" information - just like Safari doesn't contain objectionable content. Perhaps Apple should put all sorts of filters into Safari so anytime a "bad" image or word showed up, it would just block that content?! For that matter, maybe Apple shouldn't allow "explicit" music in iTunes. I might download that to my iPhone...oh noes!!!!!

Apple is getting insane over this. The author is right in comparing his app to the Kindle app, Stanza or any other reader.

I feel badly for the Eucalyptus author. What a crock.



--DotComCTO
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:51 AM   #12
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That's why I'd never buy an iPhone. Blackberrys make me better in bed.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:51 AM   #13
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It's too bad

These type of things are getting pretty sad. Does anyone have any common sense anymore?
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:57 AM   #14
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That's why I'd never buy an iPhone. Blackberrys make me better in bed.

I think you might have just stumbled upon the Microsoft ad campaigns next line of attack!
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:58 AM   #15
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I think you might have just stumbled upon the Microsoft ad campaigns next line of attack!
I'm a PC, and I can pleasure your girlfriend in ways you could never imagine.
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:00 PM   #16
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they should look into that safari app it contains all sorts of evil
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:05 PM   #17
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If this kind of rejection continues to happen after 3.0's parental controls are released... Well, I won't do anything, but it will seriously piss me off. Apple's reviewers really need to lighten up and learn the difference between art and porn.

And once they learn that difference, they should lighten up even more.
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ltcol266845 View Post
Stanza provides access to Project Gutenberg, among others... I would guess that there is even a version of that text (or maybe even "worse") trough the Kindle Store.
Shhhh! Don't let Apple know about this. This may cause them to pull their most popular eBook reader.

Anyways, thank you Mommy and Daddy Apple for looking out for me and letting me know what could possibly corrupt my feeble mind. For God's sake, Apple is acting like the Catholic church in the Middle Ages!
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:17 PM   #19
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Apple doesn't always seem to employ the brightest crayons in the box.

I remember someone posting a link on the Apple support forums to a legal document, which happened to be titled "Petition to the FCC".

The word "petition" in that case, of course, had nothing to do with collecting signatures. It's a legal term simply meaning "formal request".

The uneducated Apple forum managers repeatedly deleted the link because their forum rules said "no petitions allowed".

So... kudos to Apple for giving their people power and responsibility. They just need to pick different people to give those to.
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:21 PM   #20
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This one seems pretty out there. Even if OS 3.0 provides app parental controls (allowing mature content in apps) it would be pretty weird to have this app rated such.

This also implies that reviewers of ebook apps have to read every ebook available to screen them. That is insane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcol266845 View Post
Stanza provides access to Project Gutenberg, among others... I would guess that there is even a version of that text (or maybe even "worse") trough the Kindle Store.
Uh... did you read the article? It says exactly what you said, only without guessing.
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:31 PM   #21
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Very odd. One would have hoped that the Trent Reznor business would have taught Apple a lesson. If the Kama Sutra is banned, then the Song of Solomon should be banned too.
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Old May 22, 2009, 12:46 PM   #22
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Apple would by their own standards need to remove Safari. As it too can access this same ebook.
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Old May 22, 2009, 01:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrishnan View Post
Very odd. One would have hoped that the Trent Reznor business would have taught Apple a lesson. If the Kama Sutra is banned, then the Song of Solomon should be banned too.
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Apple would by their own standards need to remove Safari. As it too can access this same ebook.
Exactly. For crying out loud, how many times? Apple need to sort this approvals mess out, they're looking increasingly stupid over it every time we hear another of these stories.
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Old May 22, 2009, 01:24 PM   #24
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Obviously, there are flaws in the approval process. And yes, Apple is being silly when they can just slap a 18+ warning on apps.

But at the same time, I am sick and tired of every developer with a rejected app blogging and creating threads in the hopes of gaining attention. I wouldn't be surprised if someone tries to get rejected on purpose so they can complain later for the free attention/publicity.
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Old May 22, 2009, 01:27 PM   #25
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An absurd decision on many levels, and surely to be reversed--but the decision should never have been made in the first place.

I take the silent treatment as a good sign in a sense: it's not a rejection of the issue; someone's deciding something. My own dealings with the dev program have always started with me sending an email, and getting a live call--not an email--back (in a week or two) with helpful answers. So if that's not happening, I take it as an indication that gears are slowly turning. (An upcoming content-ratings system could complicate the decision too.)

This is a side-effect of the sheer scale of their app-approval process. I think Apple does pretty well considering the tidal wave, and they keep improving--but they do have a ways to go yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by srl7741 View Post
These type of things are getting pretty sad. Does anyone have any common sense anymore?
Yes. Everyone--with the exception of the one-in-a-thousand bad call that one-in-a-thousand Apple employees sometimes makes. Which then gets a lot of attention. (As it should!) But it's hardly a trend of any kind: we're looking at a few bad calls out of THOUSANDS of decisions. Still bad--still in need of correction of course. And Apple has, in the past, reversed their bad calls. I'm sure they will in this case too. (And in the meantime, I feel the developer's pain! Very frustrating to be one guy dealing with such a massive operation.)
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