Will Apple censor books and comic books?

MVApple

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 18, 2008
527
1
Anyone here waiting to see what kind of censoring approach Apple takes towards books and comic books?

Are they going to pull books like Catcher in the Rye or Lolita?

I haven't heard of music and movies being censored, but all their App censorship has me worried.

I did a google search to see how manga publishers felt about the iPad and most of them were excited about the technology but one in particular said that they were excited but worried about censorship because Apple had recently pulled one of their Manga books from the App store for being too violent.

At this point I think I'm going to just sit back, and wait and see before I invest in something that is going to be censored.
 

SteveSparks

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2008
904
31
St. Louis, MO.
Nope. These are content items that will be purchased via the store. You can also add your own content items.

The only real potential censorship is Apple not choosing to carry a book in the iBook store, however that's not really censorship..Just becuase you choose not to sell something is not censorship.

Choosing not to sell something is part of the free market.

If apple proactively deleted items from your iPad based on something like a key word etc, that would be censorship
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
Hard to say. They censor apps, but not music and video. Comic books will likely be delivered as apps, or as in-app purchases. Apple has historically censored these.
 

SteveSparks

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2008
904
31
St. Louis, MO.
Hard to say. They censor apps, but not music and video. Comic books will likely be delivered as apps, or as in-app purchases. Apple has historically censored these.

Apps are not the same as books. Since people are "self publishing" via an app they will likely have issues with various content.

However people can seee ePub format books all day, even on their own website and Apple won't care one way or the other. Apple only has a concern for content when they are selling the item.

Comic books need to self publish using epub rather than using an App.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
Apps are not the same as books. Since people are "self publishing" via an app they will likely have issues with various content.

However people can seee ePub format books all day, even on their own website and Apple won't care one way or the other. Apple only has a concern for content when they are selling the item.

Comic books need to self publish using epub rather than using an App.
Yep, if they can side-load, they're fine. My understanding of ePub, though, is that it's not ideally suited for heavily layout-oriented stuff.
 

SteveSparks

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2008
904
31
St. Louis, MO.
Yep, if they can side-load, they're fine. My understanding of ePub, though, is that it's not ideally suited for heavily layout-oriented stuff.
I think PDF might also work well, however I don't know how DRM will work. I would think someone needs to have an APP for comics that is not the actual content.

I don't think Apple cares so much about reading the content as the view when they sell the app they are in fact representing the content since they get a cut.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
I think PDF might also work well, however I don't know how DRM will work. I would think someone needs to have an APP for comics that is not the actual content.

I don't think Apple cares so much about reading the content as the view when they sell the app they are in fact representing the content since they get a cut.
Apple has notoriously rejected some apps just because they could be pointed at external content they found objectionable. I wouldn't be so sure they won't be dropping the banhammer on apps capable of loading comics they think don't meet whatever their standards are.
 

MVApple

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 18, 2008
527
1
Nope. These are content items that will be purchased via the store. You can also add your own content items.

The only real potential censorship is Apple not choosing to carry a book in the iBook store, however that's not really censorship..Just becuase you choose not to sell something is not censorship.

Choosing not to sell something is part of the free market.

If apple proactively deleted items from your iPad based on something like a key word etc, that would be censorship
I don't think you understand what censorship is. Yes choosing not to sell something is part of the free market, but choosing not to sell something because you don't agree with the content is censoring. The fact that it is a free market means they can do this.

But if Apple thinks is going to remove books because they don't like what they say then I don't think I want to be part of that Eco-system and I can tell you that no self-respecting 21st century librarian will either.
 

MVApple

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 18, 2008
527
1
Here's how I sum it up: I hope you can tell the difference between Catcher in the Rye and iFart.
What does that have to do with censorship?

The idea is that I don't think Apple should decide what content a user should enjoy. They just removed thousands of applications because they deemed them too sexual, several of which were selling very well, which means it was content their users wanted. There are tons of movies and music that are total trash in itunes, would you be okay with Apple picking what you should like by removing movies and music from their store?

Sorry Im not one of those Apple fan boys that considers all of Apple's choices to be divinely inspired.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,676
272
What does that have to do with censorship?

The idea is that I don't think Apple should decide what content a user should enjoy. They just removed thousands of applications because they deemed them too sexual, several of which were selling very well, which means it was content their users wanted. There are tons of movies and music that are total trash in itunes, would you be okay with Apple picking what you should like by removing movies and music from their store?

Sorry Im not one of those Apple fan boys that considers all of Apple's choices to be divinely inspired.
EVERY business should decide what its customers can access. I work for a newspaper. We decide not to put bloody pictures in it, and we don't print most curse words. I mean we're literally in the business of "censoring" stuff.

Apple is no different from any other vendor. You don't see Best Buy stocking Back Door Sluts 9, do you? (Please let someone have seen South Park) Walmart is notorious for censoring stuff. I think its stores don't sell explicit lyrics CDs -- while still selling R-rated movies.

So I'm fine with Apple playing gatekeeper. I wasn't forced to buy an iPhone. If Apple were to just go totally overboard, I can buy an Android-based phone or BlackBerry in a year. But then I'd realize how few useful apps those phones have and be right back to my "censored" iPhone.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,609
34,838
USA
There's a definition issue here.

Censoring would be if Apple sold an eBook and removed a chapter or subbed a word or deleted a word.

Choosing not to sell items is a policy, not censorship although sort of a grey area.

The difference between Apple not selling one ebook vs a library not having an ebook is that a library isn't a private company and is funded by the community.
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,749
0
Kansas City
There's a definition issue here.

Censoring would be if Apple sold an eBook and removed a chapter or subbed a word or deleted a word.

Choosing not to sell items is a policy, not censorship although sort of a grey area.

The difference between Apple not selling one ebook vs a library not having an ebook is that a library isn't a private company and is funded by the community.
100% agree. Well said.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,530
8,151
Colorado
The idea is that I don't think Apple should decide what content a user should enjoy. They just removed thousands of applications because they deemed them too sexual, several of which were selling very well, which means it was content their users wanted. There are tons of movies and music that are total trash in itunes, would you be okay with Apple picking what you should like by removing movies and music from their store?

Sorry Im not one of those Apple fan boys that considers all of Apple's choices to be divinely inspired.
Apple has made a business decision to remove some apps while still selling music with explicit language and R-rated movies. While some people may be upset, some people are pleased with this decision. If you are that worried about this, then maybe the iPad isn't the right device for you.
 

anthonymoody

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2002
2,529
598
I don't believe Apple will get into the book censoring business - pretty much however you define it - broadly speaking. However they're actively removing "adult" apps as we speak rather than simply instituting a rating system, similar say to the MPAA film ratings system, and shipping devices pre-set to disallow such adult content. (They could/should also ship an IT admin tool which allows such a setting to be set system-wide for deployed devices.)

Censorship is a slippery slope.
 

vini-vidi-vici

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2010
416
0
what is the policy?

Whether it’s censoring or policy or whatever… that’s not the point. The question is: will they ban not only apps they find objectionable, but also content.

While it’s true that you can choose to offer whatever products you want in “your store”, you do still have to comply with civil rights laws. The government can’t force you to put tuna fish on the menu, or stock satanic books in your Christian book store. But you can’t refuse service to someone because of their skin color either. These are very different things, but the point is that you don’t have 100% free reign to operate your business however you want.

I have mixed feelings about where this is headed. What if Apple decides a few years from now that they have some political agenda, and refuses any content that opposes it? What if devices like the iPad & iPhone became so ubiquitous that although you did have other choices, as a practical matter, most people “already have what they have”?... and are unlikely to change for one small principled battle. I know there is a wish from some that the market will determine what’s right – that if Apple gets too heavy-handed, people will ditch them. But, reality doesn’t work so smoothly. Most people won’t toss their $499 iPad because they want to read blocked articles about Tibet…

Do you think that if Internet Explorer was coded so that websites critical of Microsoft loaded slowly or inconsistently… or not at all… would that be OK? What if Google deleted or downranked search results critical of Google? A few people might protest, but those protests… wouldn’t show up in Google news, and most people’s online experiences wouldn’t be drastically affected.

For the most part, traditional media has had a pact with the public – we generally trust them to present the facts, even if it’s painful to their benefactors. I would expect the Wall Street Journal to expose shady business practices at company X, even if company X is a big advertiser. Companies like Apple are becoming media gatekeepers, but they have no such history of moral obligation.

What I'd like to see for starters is a complete list of exactly what's banned (apps, content, anything), and why.
 

darngooddesign

macrumors G3
Jul 4, 2007
9,310
210
Atlanta, GA
Here's how I sum it up: I hope you can tell the difference between Catcher in the Rye and iFart.
Replace iFart with the SI swimsuit app. Now go back to the late 60s and ask any of the parental and religious groups in favor of banning CITR what they think of your comparison.

They could easily ban the Sin City comic for its sex & violence or the Watchmen comic for Manhattan's ding-a-ling despite both movies being for sale in their store.
 

FrankieTDouglas

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2005
1,489
1,957
Apple has made a business decision to remove some apps while still selling music with explicit language and R-rated movies. While some people may be upset, some people are pleased with this decision. If you are that worried about this, then maybe the iPad isn't the right device for you.
What you're missing is the major point that perhaps the form and functionality of the DEVICE is perfect for the person. The problem is the singular content distribution that Apple locks into the device. If Apple tells people this is the only way to add official content into your device, then you have a situation where conflict of interest takes place.

You buy a TV based upon how you feel it will work in your living space. You buy the content based upon your own personal choices and preferences. They are two separate items, and that's how it should be.

Apple is producing an ecosystem now of both hardware and locked in software, and therein lies the problem.
 

EssentialParado

macrumors 65816
Feb 17, 2005
1,154
6
don't expact to see playboy or any type of porn.
and yet the playboy app remains in the app store, while all the small dev apps have been removed. Hmmmmm…!

I think this action by Apple is a huge mistake. It appears they gave into pressure from extremist parenting groups. But the correct course of action for Apple to take would have been to tell those mothers how to turn on the parental controls in iTunes.