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Old 05-22-2009, 06:19 AM   #1
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WIRED: E-Reader iPhone App Rejected Because Users Can Download Kama Sutra


http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/eucalyptus/




Apple has rejected an e-book reader from its iPhone App Store because of the app’s ability to search for and download the Kama Sutra.

Called Eucalyptus, the reader app doesn’t come with any content. Similar to what the iTunes Store does with music, Eucalyptus enables users to find and download the books they wish to read. The app pulls e-books from Project Gutenberg, a well known web site that hosts public domain books.

Apple’s problem? Users can choose to download the text of Kama Sutra, which contains “objectionable” material. Eucalyptus developer Jamie Montgomerie posted Apple’s rejection letter on his blog:

We’ve reviewed Eucalyptus — classic books, to go. and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains inappropriate sexual content and is in violation of Section 3.3.12 from the iPhone SDK Agreement which states:

“Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”


Apple’s App Store has been a huge hit in the mobile software industry, recently surpassing 46,000 applications available. However, the company’s iPhone application approval process has fallen under major scrutiny because of its inconsistency and unclear guidelines. For example, the company initially rejected a novelty fart app called Pull My Finger and then later approved it, but the game Baby Shaker, which involved shaking a baby to death, was initially approved before it was pulled down amid parental outrage.

The company is generally strict about potentially offensive content in its iPhone apps, but this is the first time we’ve seen Apple reject an app based on content that a user must manually search for to download. Montgomerie points out users could easily search for the Kama Sutra by typing a Google search in Safari.

...

In its latest e-mail to Montgomerie, Apple requests that the Kama Sutra be removed — even though the e-book is actually located on the Project Gutenberg database. Montgomerie has succumbed to installing a filter blocking users from searching for the Kama Sutra, and he awaits a response from Apple.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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You can download the KS on any of the ebook readers on the iphone if you like. Did they use the KS as a selling point? That would be extremely dumb of them if they did.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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From the blog & the emails reposted there, it looks as if an individual Apple reviewer choose it as an example to manually search for & probably misunderstands where the content's coming from. (And fails to actually read any of the responses from the developer...)
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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This is absolutely idiotic. There are many ways you could get the book on your iPhone. Pretty much all the ebook reading apps support it, a search within Safari, emailing a text version to yourself, etc.
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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With this same logic, then, Apple must recall the Amazon application. Want me to show you hundreds of pornographic -- and much more explicit than the Kama Sutra -- novels available in the Kindle store?
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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With this same logic, then, Apple must recall the Amazon application. Want me to show you hundreds of pornographic -- and much more explicit than the Kama Sutra -- novels available in the Kindle store?
Actually, you can probably browse straight pr0n from Mobile Safari, so with that in mind, will they remove Mobile Safari, too?
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:31 PM   #7
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Well they should have made their app avialiable for the BlackBerry or PocketPC. They wouldn't have been rejected then

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Old 05-22-2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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Actually, you can probably browse straight pr0n from Mobile Safari, so with that in mind, will they remove Mobile Safari, too?
Not to mention, you can upload pornographic videos from your computer to your iPhone, so they better recall the lot of them at once. Stupid Apple wanting to play moral guardian...

Ah, well. They are just giving people an incentive to jailbreak their iPhones, anyways.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:22 PM   #9
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huh what?

Since when did Apple have the right to pick and choose what books you can read? There is a huge list of books that have been banned from libraries and other institutions are they planning on preventing those from being downloaded?

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Old 05-23-2009, 01:47 AM   #10
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I bet downloads of the Kama Sutra shoot up after this. All those kiddies with their iPhones who never heard of it before - now if Apple had just kept their mouth shut. . .
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:26 AM   #11
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Only Apple APPROVED content on all Apple devices....nothing new there. It has always been that way. Seems, for a while, Apple simply forgot that was Comandment #1 handed down from The Mighty Jobs.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:37 AM   #12
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Only Apple APPROVED content on all Apple devices....nothing new there. It has always been that way. Seems, for a while, Apple simply forgot that was Comandment #1 handed down from The Mighty Jobs.
Wonder if that will apply to the tablet/ereader? If so, kiss goodbye to any chance of competing with Kindle.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:16 PM   #13
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We've seen things like this pop up periodically in the iPhone world. So far, each of the cases like this -- the ones that are obviously bone-headedly stupid! -- have been resolved when someone higher up at Apple over-rules the less-than-sensible person who produced the original rejection.

For example, the NIN fan application was rejected over the lyrics of one of the songs that was accessible through it (but not included in it). After a few days and a bunch of news stories, someone inside Apple overruled the original rejection.

I predict much the same outcome this time, too. Of course, first Apple will look like idiots, and will be excoriated by all the folks who love to do so. Then someone sensible will fix the problem, but that will be given far less play in the press (and blogs!) than the original problem was. This latter is not unique to Apple, by the way; it's the normal pattern of public attention to any such issue.

Of course Apple would do better to avoid such missteps in the first place...

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Old 05-24-2009, 03:57 AM   #14
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it's back!

Apple changes its mind, accepts Eucalyptus app
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
We've seen things like this pop up periodically in the iPhone world. So far, each of the cases like this -- the ones that are obviously bone-headedly stupid! -- have been resolved when someone higher up at Apple over-rules the less-than-sensible person who produced the original rejection.

[...]

I predict much the same outcome this time, too. Of course, first Apple will look like idiots, and will be excoriated by all the folks who love to do so. Then someone sensible will fix the problem, but that will be given far less play in the press (and blogs!) than the original problem was. This latter is not unique to Apple, by the way; it's the normal pattern of public attention to any such issue.
And that's the way it should be. If a certain purveyor of goods, digital or otherwise, is chronically prone to bouts of abject and gross stupidity, I want to know about it, so I can avoid them like the plague or otherwise factor in that stupidity when doing business with them. The fact that some of their staff are sensible people means far less in that regard, especially if there aren't enough of those to keep the stupid ones in check.

Besides, these episodes nicely refresh my memory regarding any policies about content those censoring bastards decide is too dangerous for my fragile mind, regardless of my own opinion on the matter.
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