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Old 01-16-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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Censorship in the App store

I know I shouldn't be shocked to read this but Apple's App store is rejecting e-books for word choices:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10144025-37.html

I can understand the desire for a rating system but to not accept the text at all because of some word choices is.... *sees red at censorship* grrrrr
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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I agree with you. Ironically, the same book is available for free on the Sony site. Go figure.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:00 PM   #3
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Censorship by definition is use of government force to limit expression.

This is simply a commercial business forming and enforcing a set of standards it believes will be most pleasing to the greatest number of customers. While you may quibble with the standards they come up with - the y have every right to do so.

One may chose to say what one likes. Conversely, others may chose not to listen or repeat it.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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Censorship by definition is use of government force to limit expression.
You mean that "corporate censorship" (see e.g. wikipedia) is not censorship?
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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You mean that "corporate censorship" (see e.g. wikipedia) is not censorship?
Absolutely it is not. Because there is no threat of physical force behind it. Without a physical means of enforcement - it isn't censorship.

There is a reason wikipedia is not in any sense an accepted academic source. You just revealed one case.

One is free to say what one wants. However, net being free to do so on another person's dime does not now and never has constituted censorship.
An author can write whatever they want. But having written what they wanted does not give them any sort of right to demand that another person or entity then market or distribute that work. Not even if they have a certain customer who would buy it.

There is not one thing preventing the authors in question from self publishing and self distributing (however ill equipped they might be for such endeavors). If the government (or a lynch mob) were standing buy to seize the product and prevent dissemination of it - That would constitute censorship.

The difference used to be taught in the schools. But then they used to teach basic math too.

Do you understand now?
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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Phogg, that's all very nice until it becomes the norm and you can't read non-redacted texts. Call me sensitive. On this topic I am. Or put it this way, the iPhone is the hottest mobile device in history. Something like this has the potential to influence other outlets.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
Phogg, that's all very nice until it becomes the norm and you can't read non-redacted texts. Call me sensitive. On this topic I am. Or put it this way, the iPhone is the hottest mobile device in history. Something like this has the potential to influence other outlets.
Iphones are trendy but hardly the only thing out there. If you chose to buy Apple then you chose their limitations.

Apples closed system cost them the majority PC business market twenty five years ago when they wouldn't open up development to third parties overmuch. They will always relegate themselves to being merely a niche market (and an overpriced one). They not only are not the only option, usually they aren't even the highest tech one.

You will note that Apple never embraced the computer game market. I would point out that it has developed and flourished in spite of Apple's diffidence toward it. So if you claim that Apple not publishing books will have some wide ranging chilling effect on the over all market, well, that is not an assertion supported in even the slightest bit by the empirical evidence of the recent past.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phogg View Post
Absolutely it is not. Because there is no threat of physical force behind it. Without a physical means of enforcement - it isn't censorship.

There is a reason wikipedia is not in any sense an accepted academic source. You just revealed one case.

One is free to say what one wants. However, net being free to do so on another person's dime does not now and never has constituted censorship.
An author can write whatever they want. But having written what they wanted does not give them any sort of right to demand that another person or entity then market or distribute that work. Not even if they have a certain customer who would buy it.

There is not one thing preventing the authors in question from self publishing and self distributing (however ill equipped they might be for such endeavors). If the government (or a lynch mob) were standing buy to seize the product and prevent dissemination of it - That would constitute censorship.

The difference used to be taught in the schools. But then they used to teach basic math too.

Do you understand now?
No, it is censorship.

What you mean is that it's not a violation of the First Amendment or the Bill of Rights.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:55 PM   #9
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No, it is censorship.

What you mean is that it's not a violation of the First Amendment or the Bill of Rights.
Not in the least. There is no entitlement for anyone to have to disseminate someone 'views.

Your assertion that writers have some write to demand a retailer hawk their particular wares is silly. Of course Apple has a right to determine to not sell things it doesn't want to.

Trying to make Apple's exercising that basic right of all thinking creatures into a crime doesn't say anything at all bad about Apple.

It is like a child who hasn't been given a toy she want's shouting out that her parents hate her. It is just a tantrum.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Phogg View Post
Not in the least. There is no entitlement for anyone to have to disseminate someone 'views.

Your assertion that writers have some write to demand a retailer hawk their particular wares is silly. Of course Apple has a right to determine to not sell things it doesn't want to.

Trying to make Apple's exercising that basic right of all thinking creatures into a crime doesn't say anything at all bad about Apple.

It is like a child who hasn't been given a toy she want's shouting out that her parents hate her. It is just a tantrum.
Censorship is the process of suppressing or deleting something that's the censor considers objectional. Just because you agree with Apple's actions doesn't make their actions not censorship. I'm not the one that's saying that's a crime, you're the one doing that.

Censoring is perfectly valid and fine with me in a few cases - ie, a parent censoring the material that their child will read.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:20 PM   #11
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Apple hasn't suppressed anything at all.
No one here has shown that they have.
They simply refuse to market some.
If they weren't marketing those things before than there is hardly any suppression, now is there.

Where did I say censorship was a crime? I said it requires a physical enforcement mechanism to qualify as censorship. That is not the same thing in any way.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:27 PM   #12
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You said it was a crime here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...55&postcount=9

Trying to make Apple's exercising that basic right of all thinking creatures into a crime doesn't say anything at all bad about Apple.

Also, you're definition of censorship continues to include things like only government or physical interference. Those aren't standard definitions.

In this case, Apple basically said they would only publish a certain book if particular words were deleted based on moral objections to the word. That's censorship - they are suppressing the usage of that word on their site.

That IS within their right to do, I don't dispute that. I do, however, think that it's objectionable and it's definitely the sort of thing that I like to know about - because just as they choose to censor, I can choose not to patronize organizations that censor. See?
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
Phogg, that's all very nice until it becomes the norm and you can't read non-redacted texts. Call me sensitive. On this topic I am. Or put it this way, the iPhone is the hottest mobile device in history. Something like this has the potential to influence other outlets.
Quote:
Phogg: Apples closed system cost them the majority PC business market twenty five years ago when they wouldn't open up development to third parties overmuch. They will always relegate themselves to being merely a niche market (and an overpriced one). They not only are not the only option, usually they aren't even the highest tech one.
Such policies do concern me, and I do worry about them becoming a trend. Still, I think it is worth noting that books of similar and far more mature content are readily available, and directly marketed to iPhone users who have Stanza and/or eReader. That Apple does not want to promote such content does not bother me at all, so long as they do not restrict my access to it.

I would be more concerned if they were monitoring the content of my iPod, which I believe was in the terms of service for some other reader at some point -- Kindle, was it? Not sure.

On to the point of a niche market... iPhones are one of the best selling phones around, and iPods pretty much own the MP3 player market. As a music retailer they are anything but niche. Macs can certainly be called a niche at less than 10% of the PC market, but I would say calling Apple a niche player overall is pretty silly.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rixte View Post
You said it was a crime here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...55&postcount=9

Trying to make Apple's exercising that basic right of all thinking creatures into a crime doesn't say anything at all bad about Apple.

Also, you're definition of censorship continues to include things like only government or physical interference. Those aren't standard definitions.

In this case, Apple basically said they would only publish a certain book if particular words were deleted based on moral objections to the word. That's censorship - they are suppressing the usage of that word on their site.

That IS within their right to do, I don't dispute that. I do, however, think that it's objectionable and it's definitely the sort of thing that I like to know about - because just as they choose to censor, I can choose not to patronize organizations that censor. See?
My definition is what I was taught in civics classes back in the 1960s when spent a couple weeks covering censorship, and why it is wrong when it is abused.

I oppose degrading the nuance of language. See?
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:48 PM   #15
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On to the point of a niche market... iPhones are one of the best selling phones around, and iPods pretty much own the MP3 player market. As a music retailer they are anything but niche. Macs can certainly be called a niche at less than 10% of the PC market, but I would say calling Apple a niche player overall is pretty silly.

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Regionally they may be very big where you are. I got into MP3's with the early RIO players, and the hard drives in Ipods made them entirely unsuited to my usage. most early adopters I know have moved onto convergence use with cell phones now.
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