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Apple Rejects Nine Inch Nails iPhone App

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-must-be-this-tall-and-this-melodic dept.

Media (Apple) 397

jarrettwold2002 writes "Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails announced via his Twitter account today, 'Apple rejects the NIN iPhone update because it contains objectionable content. The objectionable content referenced is "The Downward Spiral."' The initial NIN Access iPhone app garnered much fanfare (Wired article, Guardian article) and was approved by Apple. The update has been rejected due to an album reference. If Nine Inch Nails is having problems with censorship and approval what kind of problems are you having with the iPhone app approval process?"

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Gee. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27802965)

Looking at his Twitter feed, who woulda thought that Trent would be such a boring twit?

Oh, so THAT'S how it got its name.

What the hell?! (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803379)

Apple sells The Downward Spiral on iTunes!

Apple is starting to sound like Sony, where two (or more) competing ideologies threaten to drag the entire company down. Jobs needs to issue a set of objective, fair guidelines that apply across ALL content Apple sells on ALL of its storefronts. And yes, those guidelines need to come from His Steveness Himself, so that random lackeys in the App Store aren't left making judgment calls on the company's strategic direction.

This really is pretty outrageous; if you've seen the advance publicity for the NIN app, you'd probably agree that it was looking impressive as hell.

Re:What the hell?! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803517)

Starting? Apple has always been a DRM peddling big-media supporter, it's just that the honeymoon period they had with fanboys distracted everyone from this fact. Now that the novelty of shiny white gadgets is wearing off, perhaps we'll start seeing a bit more objectivity and a little less worshipful adoration from Jobs' zealots.

Re:What the hell?! (4, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803523)

iTunes has some songs tagged as adult content; I'm sure Spiral qualifies. On the other hand, the app store doesn't which explains this "paradox" up to first-order.

The obvious question is why the app store doesn't have an adult content section. The answer is pure politics; just calling something "adult software" (or even admitting you stock such things) has a stink of "low-art" about it: crude S&M games or masturbatory aids. On the other hand, "adult content" in music typically just means that you maybe don't want a 12 year old listening to it. Your adult friends typically wouldn't hide their NIN, but they'd hide their copy of rapelay [boingboing.net] .

And, an accurate label like "non-adult software containing/accessing music which would be labeled `adult content'" is too risky for Apple to feed its users, who might well just read it as "adult software". Sad but true: 90% would, left alone, ignore it; 5% would be in the niche; and (of course) 5% would raise holy hell about how Apple is going to start selling porn-games and rile up the 90%. It's more un-Apple than putting EQ levers or a microphone on an iPod; just icky and won't happen.

Re:What the hell?! (3, Interesting)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803673)

Tagging it as "rated mature" is a little easier for people to digest, while still allowing Apple to reject apps with overly sexual or extremely violent themes. While not perfect, Apple should adopt something similar to the ESRB rating system for games for it's app store.

Re:What the hell?! (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803647)

This really is pretty outrageous; if you've seen the advance publicity for the NIN app, you'd probably agree that it was looking impressive as hell.

One might be inclined to believe it's the beginning of another downward spiral on Apple's part in terms of commitment to recognizing the actual wishes of their customers...

iStroker (0, Troll)

ifeelswine (1546221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802967)

does this mean that they're likely to reject my stroker port from the commodore 64? http://www.lemon64.com/?mainurl=http%3A//www.lemon64.com/reviews/view.php%3Fid%3D142 [lemon64.com]

I own a record store. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803011)

My business faces ruin. CD sales have dropped through the floor. People aren't buying half as many CDs as they did just a year ago. Revenue is down and costs are up. My store has survived for years, but I now face the prospect of bankruptcy. Every day I ask myself why this is happening.

I bought the store about 12 years ago. It was one of those boutique record stores that sell obscure, independent releases that no-one listens to, not even the people that buy them. I decided that to grow the business I'd need to aim for a different demographic, the family market. My store specialised in family music - stuff that the whole family could listen to. I don't sell sick stuff like Marilyn Manson or cop-killer rap, and I'm proud to have one of the most extensive Christian rock sections that I know of.

The business strategy worked. People flocked to my store, knowing that they (and their children) could safely purchase records without profanity or violent lyrics. Over the years I expanded the business and took on more clean-cut and friendly employees. It took hard work and long hours but I had achieved my dream - owning a profitable business that I had built with my own hands, from the ground up. But now, this dream is turning into a nightmare.

Every day, fewer and fewer customers enter my store to buy fewer and fewer CDs. Why is no one buying CDs? Are people not interested in music? Do people prefer to watch TV, see films, read books? I don't know. But there is one, inescapable truth - Internet piracy is mostly to blame. The statistics speak for themselves - one in three discs world wide is a pirate. On The Internet, you can find and download hundreds of dollars worth of music in just minutes. It has the potential to destroy the music industry, from artists, to record companies to stores like my own. Before you point to the supposed "economic downturn", I'll note that the book store just across from my store is doing great business. Unlike CDs, it's harder to copy books over The Internet.

A week ago, an unpleasant experience with pirates gave me an idea. In my store, I overheard a teenage patron talking to his friend.

"Dude, I'm going to put this CD on the Internet right away."

"Yeah, dude, that's really lete [sic], you'll get lots of respect."

I was fuming. So they were out to destroy the record industry from right under my nose? Fat chance. When they came to the counter to make their purchase, I grabbed the little shit by his shirt. "So...you're going to copy this to your friends over The Internet, punk?" I asked him in my best Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry voice.

"Uh y-yeh." He mumbled, shocked.

"That's it. What's your name? You're blacklisted. Now take yourself and your little bitch friend out of my store - and don't come back." I barked. Cravenly, they complied and scampered off.

So that's my idea - a national blacklist of pirates. If somebody cannot obey the basic rules of society, then they should be excluded from society. If pirates want to steal from the music industry, then the music industry should exclude them. It's that simple. One strike, and you're out - no reputable record store will allow you to buy another CD. If the pirates can't buy the CDS to begin with, then they won't be able to copy them over The Internet, will they? It's no different to doctors blacklisting drug dealers from buying prescription medicine.

I have just written a letter to the RIAA outlining my proposal. Suing pirates one by one isn't going far enough. Not to mention pirates use the fact that they're being sued to unfairly portray themselves as victims. A national register of pirates would make the problem far easier to deal with. People would be encouraged to give the names of suspected pirates to a hotline, similar to TIPS. Once we know the size of the problem, the police and other law enforcement agencies will be forced to take piracy seriously. They have fought the War on Drugs with skill, so why not the War on Piracy?

This evening, my daughters asked me. "Why do the other kids laugh at us?"

I wanted to tell them the truth - it's because they wear old clothes and have cheap haircuts. I can't afford anything better for them right now.

"It's because they are idiots, kids", I told them. "Don't listen to them."

When the kids went to bed, my wife asked me, "Will we be able to keep the house, David?"

I just shook my head, and tried to hold back the tears. "I don't know, Jenny. I don't know."

When my girls ask me questions like that, I feel like my heart is being wrenched out of my chest. But knowing that I'm doing the best I can to save my family and my business is some consolation.

Some people are offended by my blacklist system. I may have made my store less popular for pirates and sympathisers, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to save my industry from destruction. I am inspired by artists such as Metallica that have taken a stand against the powerful pirate lobby. When everyone believes 2 + 2 = 5, to simply state the truth, that 2 + 2 = 4, is a courageous act.

Re:I own a record store. (0, Offtopic)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803093)

If I had mod points I'd mark you a troll. You put a lot of effort into that if it's not just copypasta. Nice OC though, the world deserves to see it. I suppose I might give you a +5 funny instead. ;)

Re:I own a record store. (1)

enrgeeman (867240) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803151)

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but that troll was a copy/paste from around a year ago. It stopped being used, and I was somewhat surprised to see it again. Some trolls are like that, I just wish more would stop being used so often.

Re:I own a record store. (1)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803511)

Ah, some copypasta then...in that case Troll...troll..troll your boat.

Re:I own a record store. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803571)

In your world 1 year is ten years long?

Re:I own a record store. (0, Offtopic)

Mike Savior (802573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803171)

Oh boy, the one day I wish I had mod points to use.

Re:I own a record store. (3, Insightful)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803215)

... and get off my lawn! seriously though, i'm all for folks like you trying to make a profitable business but frankly, you (and the rest of the industry) need a better business model. let me make analogy from your time period you're selling horses and but steve jobs is really henrey ford, and itunes? well, you can call that the assembly line. what you offer is obsolete.

should artists get paid for what they do? sure, but everyone wants to eliminate the middleman. if you cant find a good reason for people to buy CD's rather than download music (legally or otherwise) you need to stop being a middleman- produce something. the industrial revolution left a lot of people crying the same sob story you are.

sure you can argue that digital distribution is often illegal, but frankly the law is whatever people make it. the law in this case actually makes it harder on the artist. if the lawmakers werent at the beck and call of their corporate constituents the whole RIAA DRM crap would be ancient history, much like retail CD stores. now i know that last sentence may look kinda "conspiracy theory" but truthfully, someday the law will represent the will of the majority and when it does, artists will make music, put it on the tubes and i'll buy it directly from the artist and the RIAA, the record label, and you, will all be unemployed. so do yourself a favor, like i said before, go do something productive, dont be a middleman.

Re:I own a record store. (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803217)

I bought the store about 12 years ago. It was one of those boutique record stores that sell obscure, independent releases that no-one listens to, not even the people that buy them. I decided that to grow the business I'd need to aim for a different demographic, the family market. My store specialised in family music - stuff that the whole family could listen to. I don't sell sick stuff like Marilyn Manson or cop-killer rap, and I'm proud to have one of the most extensive Christian rock sections that I know of.

When they came to the counter to make their purchase, I grabbed the little shit by his shirt. "So...you're going to copy this to your friends over The Internet, punk?" I asked him in my best Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry voice.

"Uh y-yeh." He mumbled, shocked.

"That's it. What's your name? You're blacklisted. Now take yourself and your little bitch friend out of my store - and don't come back." I barked. Cravenly, they complied and scampered off.

Great job. Your physically forceful demeanor and choice of words just single-handedly destroyed your business in ways that the Internet never could.

Re:I own a record store. (3, Funny)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803317)

How did it? Seems to be working wonders for the MAFIAA, they're making more money than ever.

Re:I own a record store. (5, Funny)

Snarky McButtface (1542357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803339)

Oh my. The Christians are pirating music?

Re:I own a record store. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803407)

A sob story from the same people who brought you "help the electric light companies are putting my candle store out of buisness" and "Oh no! Why does nobody wants to buy betamacs any more!"

Re:I own a record store. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803465)

This is an old boilerplate troll.

Re:I own a record store. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803443)

funny story. obviously fake, but there's a huge flaw in the logic here.

the kid buys the cd, the kid has every right to let his/her friends listen to it. if it's in his house, it's his property. i don't see people going back to get legalities over people who made mix tapes way back in the day.

holy shit, revelations.

They rejected my app (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803209)

iGoatse. I'm not really sure why. Once I had submitted it, it was like my application disappeared into a black hole, and I had to do a lot of digging to find out where it had disappeared to. Apple needs to pull their head out of their ass.

Re:iStroker (1)

CountOfJesusChristo (1523057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803243)

And it's ideas like this that make you realize just how useful the accelerometer can be

Apple's prerogative (4, Insightful)

runlevelfour (1329235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802973)

Hey if Apple wants to reject a killer app from one of the most popular contemporary artists I guess that is their prerogative. Pretty stupid effiing move, and I guess Trent will have to take his application (and devoted money spending fans) elsewhere I guess...

New NIN single: Steve f*ckers, Inc. (4, Insightful)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803113)

I guess Trent will have to take his application (and devoted money spending fans) elsewhere I guess...

Or he will write a song about Apple. Knowing Trent's material, Apple better hope he just moves on, because I doubt they will want to license it for a commercial...

Re:New NIN single: Steve f*ckers, Inc. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803459)

No problem. Microsoft will.

TFA? (4, Insightful)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802977)

Which of those links has TFA in question? 140 bytes of twitter? A you tube video. WTF is so bad about "downward spiral"? I'd RTFA if there was one.

Re:TFA? (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803087)

Yeah, I never saw the "much garnered" fanfare of the first app, so I wanted to see what it was about. I guess the Guardian and Wired links are about the first version of the app.

Confused! (2, Insightful)

Vincent West (1521953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802979)

Confused! Why would they ban the app because of a reference to his most famous album?

What the fuck (1, Insightful)

Jrabbit05 (943335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802991)

WTF is that shitty summary. "If Nine Inch Nails is having problems with censorship and approval what kind of problems are you having with the iPhone app approval process?" That's the entrance fee to the walled garden of the App Store for iphone/ipod. You trying to subvert apple is just another punch in the face. So they care more about the bigger/popular apps and how they fit their rules. That's kind of their job. It's not free stop expecting it to be.

Re:What the fuck (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803309)

That's right.

iPhone : computer :: Disney World Main Street USA : real town

App Aproval? I'm still waiting for iPh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803023)

I've been waiting since April 14th just to be accepted into the iPhone developer program as a business developer. I've been a Mac user since 1985 but this is just about enough for me to say goodbye to the Apple. The more I hear about slow customer service and delayed payments to developers make me seriously consider not participating(if I ever am approved) in the App Store. I may just have to go with a mobile framework like Rhomobile's Rhodes.

Re:App Aproval? I'm still waiting for iPh (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803099)

that's odd. I signed up a few days after 3.0 beta was released (when they would have had a huge influx of sign ups) and got approved the next day. perhaps you should give them a call and see what the hold up is

No problems at all (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803033)

With jailbreaking it, I don't have problems at all. I can write my own programs using free software, upload them without paying $150 to access my own device, and share them with my friends. I can do a lot more than Apple would let me in their walled garden. The only question is how soon untill mainstream companies/groups like NIN release their promotional apps on the distribution channels for jailbroken iPhones.

Re:No problems at all (2, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803101)

It'll happen as soon as jailbroken phones stop being a niche market, so probably never.

A more interesting question (3, Interesting)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803039)

Now Trent has publicly stated the reason for it's rejection, does that not break Apple's NDA rules on "don't talk about rejection"? Will Apple throw more PR petrol on themselves by fighting Trent with a lawsuit instead of trying to let the embers die out?

Is anyone really surprised with another Apple rejection on dubious grounds? Perhaps the real message is that Apple design their products for good church going people who would rather vote Democrat than see anything with a little adult content. The way I see it, is that there are a LOT more "adult" users who would rather have the choice of content, even if they wouldn't consume it themselves. This means that Apple are seemingly intentionally cutting themselves off from that spending power.

We complain rightly about government treating us like children, making our decisions for us with little right of reply, yet it seems if you stick a flashy interface on it and apply some PR brainwashing it's all good and dandy.

For the Apple fanbois, feel free to mod me down for speaking ill of the almighty......the power of Jobs compels thee.

Re:A more interesting question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803097)

He wasn't really specific about the reason. He said it was because of inclusion of "The Downward Spiral". If he wanted to be more specific, he could have said it was because of the song "Closer", or to be even more specific, the lyric "I want to fuck you like an animal" (among others in that song that could be considered offensive by some uptight individuals in Cupertino).

Re:A more interesting question (1)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803555)

There's quite a few more lyrics on that record that could be considered offensive... For example:

Heresy: "Your God is dead, and no one cares - and if there is a hell, I'll see you there"

Reptile: "She spreads herself wide open to let the insects in... Seeds from a thousand others drip down from within"

Then there's the fan favourite, "Big Man With a Gun" [ninwiki.com] , a song with lyrics so offensive and puerile that Trent Reznor himself said that he wished he'd left it off the album.

Re:A more interesting question (2, Insightful)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803603)

If it's simply a case of adult lyrics, mark the content as such and allow it. Let the people decide for themselves if they want adult content or not. They do already have an "explicit" tag in iTunes.

Re:A more interesting question (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803645)

It seems like something a serial killer might think.

Re:A more interesting question (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803559)

Is that song on iTunes?

Re:A more interesting question (1, Troll)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803231)

Your first two sentences were interesting. The rest of your post was flamebait... what does voting Democrat and going to church have to do with this, and why is it "PR brainwashing" and why is anyone who disagrees with you an "Apple fanboi". IMHO, any post that uses the word "fanboi" should instantly be auto-modded flaimbait.

So anyway, if you're modded to -1 it won't be because you spoke ill of the almightly. To the contrary, it's very popular to bash Apple on Slashdot and your post will most likely NOT be modded flamebait even though it is. Enjoy your free karma.

Re:A more interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803409)

Word.

Re:A more interesting question (-1, Offtopic)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803567)

The Democrat / church sentence was probably flamebait in hindsight, perhaps I should have thought through my point to find more appropriate wording before posting. The deeply religious conservative people living in small towns who fear and reject most of the modern world tend to be the strong voting support of the Republicans, who would rather do just about anything than even listen to an alternate option, let alone vote for an alternate.

A better way of putting it is that some people like to live in a bubble where the real world does not enter. There is no swearing anywhere near them, nobody mentions the existence of sex, there is no violence unless it's the bad guys getting a whoopin' from the good guys on some repeat of a 50's western drama, there is no real injuries / blood etc. I grew up in this type of household, I know how it feels. It's also devoid of reality where many people enjoy legal consensual porn, even if they do it in secret and won't let anyone else know in case they are condemned as a pervert and fired from their jobs.

This conservative mindset seems to want to live in a world that time forgot rather than accept that most of us have moved on. They seem content to have all their censored for their own good, rather than risk seeing something which distorts their time bubble.

Re:A more interesting question (2, Insightful)

Snocone (158524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803721)

This conservative mindset ... seem content to have all their censored for their own good

Indeed.

OK, let's put "The Greatest Nigger Jokes of All Time.app" up on the store and see how cool liberals are with it.

Oh, wait, the liberal mindset "like to live in a bubble where the real world does not enter" and "seem content to have all their censored for their own good" too?

Funny, that...

Re:A more interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803247)

"Perhaps the real message is that Apple design their products for good church going people who would rather vote Democrat than see anything with a little adult content."

??? Uh... right, because there's nothing Republicans love more than adult content, or hate more than church going people. What color is the sky on your planet?

Re:A more interesting question (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803509)

??? Uh... right, because there's nothing Republicans love more than adult content, or hate more than church going people.

I generally vote Republican, and certainly love adult content and hate churches. I think I'm the only one, though.

Re:A more interesting question (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803585)

He was saying that church going people who normally are strong republican voters would rather violate that preference than see any adult content. There was nothing wrong with the grammar or logic in that sentence, though a bit stereotypical in nature.

Re:A more interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803265)

Wow. Your first paragraph asks a very good question. I do wonder what will come of it.

The rest of your post danced a bit with the idea of substance, but ultimately was nothing but troll. Too bad, I think maybe you had something to say.

You've just gained a freak, so rejoice in that.

Re:A more interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803291)

I would not be surprised if large portions or the entirety of Apple's NDA for application developers is invalid within the state of California.

Re:A more interesting question (1)

paralaxcreations (981218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803323)

I have mod points, and was going to mod this down as flamebait for the last line, but found the rest of your post interesting/insightful...but felt it more appropriate to mention each - you don't seem to be at a shortage of modding on this post anyway ;)

Re:A more interesting question (0, Troll)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803365)

good church going people who would rather vote Democrat than see anything with a little adult content

Come on, at least get your stereotypes straight! It's good church-going Republicans who want to burn the vile pornographers and fornicators at the stake to please Jesus Christ Our Lord And Savior. Democrats hate porn because they're all secret Muslims who are paving the way for President Hussein's upcoming declaration of sharia law ... or because they're under the thrall of the Godless man-hating hairy-legged feminists, I can never remember which.

Re:A more interesting question (1)

ieatcookies (1490517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803427)

Now Trent has publicly stated the reason for it's rejection, does that not break Apple's NDA rules on "don't talk about rejection"? Will Apple throw more PR petrol on themselves by fighting Trent with a lawsuit instead of trying to let the embers die out? Is anyone really surprised with another Apple rejection on dubious grounds? Perhaps the real message is that Apple design their products for good church going people who would rather vote Democrat than see anything with a little adult content. The way I see it, is that there are a LOT more "adult" users who would rather have the choice of content, even if they wouldn't consume it themselves. This means that Apple are seemingly intentionally cutting themselves off from that spending power. We complain rightly about government treating us like children, making our decisions for us with little right of reply, yet it seems if you stick a flashy interface on it and apply some PR brainwashing it's all good and dandy. For the Apple fanbois, feel free to mod me down for speaking ill of the almighty......the power of Jobs compels thee.

Wasn't apple lambasted for allowing a "Baby Shaking" app into the App Store? What church going crowd appreciates that again?? Having just come off some publicity for being a little too liberal on their app approval I'm sure they're just knee jerking and Trent gets the shit-end of the stick.

Re:A more interesting question (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803505)

Wasn't apple lambasted for allowing a "Baby Shaking" app into the App Store? What church going crowd appreciates that again??

The 54% of church-goers who approve of torture? [pewforum.org]

Re:A more interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803445)

First, we're basing this off a vague message from the person whose app was rejected.

Assuming it was about the lyrics, there are two likely causes. The first is simply that the person doing the reviewing made a mistake. The second is that it's fallout from the baby shaking app getting released and then having the wrath of the politically correct police come down on them. The problem is that the PC brigade is hyper-vocal and they are good at getting media outlets to carry their stories, thus they're really good at shitting on other people's parades. The people reviewing apps for release almost certainly are now erring on the side rejecting too many apps for content. You can buy The Downward Spiral from iTunes, so it's not as though Apple has a general policy against explicit lyrics.

Apple's initial reasons for rejections were generally either "this copies our own software" or "you need to fix this and this and this", which are both terms I find acceptable (even though the first one is undesirable, especially to me as a full-time iPhone developer). With the exception of the app that charged thousands of dollars simply to show a picture, Apple has not been about censoring content (and that was one probably more about the high rate of returns). I think it's going to be a while before Apple comes to a reasonable solution to the baby shaking fallout, although the PC police have definitely tainted the App Store forever.

Re:A more interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803489)

I dunno. It's Apple's gig, I guess they can use their own discretion. Anyone familiar with NIN's work knows that some of it is really, really extreme ('Broken' anyone? The film, not the album). I am a big believer in freedom of expression, and I don't fault someone for making their work, but it goes both ways: if you deal in extreme, unsettling material, you might have to accept that some people are going to take issue with it. Reznor CAN take it elsewhere if he wants, there are other options; given Apple's very public stance on things like porn on the iPhone, is this really a surprise?

Re:A more interesting question (1)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803525)

If we keep feeding the monsters, this is the kind of garbage we have to put up with. There are clearly enough of us that want to be able to buy a device and actually own it and be in control of it that we should be able to get what we want. We're pretty close with the android dev phone (not the one from t-mobile, it's still locked down). Now we just have to win over the networks so that we can actually use the damned thing. I'm holding out for a device that will work on a network that has 3g in my area (St Louis). Though I'm still annoyed with the whole 5GB limit on EVERY 3g plan. I have high hopes for 4g (WiMax/LTE) but I know I'll be disappointed. I have slightly higher hopes for WiMax because the ones pushing that aren't quite as deep in bed with the content providers... so it's a possibility that they'll only cap if the network requires it (which it likely will early on, but shouldn't after a few years). Though time warner has a big stake in clearwire now, so who knows.

Re:A more interesting question (1, Troll)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803535)

For the Apple fanbois, feel free to mod me down for speaking ill of the almighty......the power of Jobs compels thee.

Why would you get modded down? Putting up Steve Jobs in the supposed light of divinity as seen by "Apple fanbois" is a common, subtle straw man used to get modded up around here.

I'm guessing you already knew that.

Mistake on Apple's part (5, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803049)

I'm not really into NIN but I watched the Youtube video explaining what the app is. This is something Apple should be promoting because it does a pretty good job of taking advantage of the platform's capabilities - not suppressing because it contains a reference to a 15-year old album.

None at all. (1)

koterica (981373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803053)

"If Nine Inch Nails is having problems with censorship and approval what kind of problems are you having with the iPhone app approval process?"

None at all.

Why? Because I don't develop for the iPhone. Because I don't have an iPhone. I *think* OP is trying to troll, or start a debate, or seem insightful. Or something.

Also: a twitter entry does not, by itself, constitute a TFA

Re:None at all. (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803551)

I'm having a hard time reading your comment. It looks all... slanted.

Been waiting since April 14th (0, Offtopic)

kraln (1477093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803061)

I've been waiting since April 14th for my latest application to be 'approved'. It's called iTakeCredit, and I submitted it around the time that those new appstore ads (with the credit card terminal) went live.

My page for it is here: http://www.soulstrewn.com/itakecredit [soulstrewn.com]

It's not that complex an application, and my games and other stuff have gone through in the past much more rapidly. This is getting to be just silly.

Fuck any platform where the vendor must approve... (5, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803067)

Fuck any platform where the vendor must approve content. (In this case that means fuck Apple, which immediately means I get modded up and down until the fanboi zealots are the only ones modding and I end up with a -1).

We've seen open platforms dwindle in past years. PC gaming is in decline. Most consoles need all manner of hack and mod to run home brew content. Hell even GPS APIs (like TomToms) have been discontinued on newer models. We've gone from a society of tinkerers where the best idea wins to an increasingly IP law based profit model that stiffles innovation.

Hell I don't even understand why objectionable content needs to be censored like this. For the most part don't buy it if you're offended. For the truely heinous stuff like that shake a baby to death iPhone app that was in the news lately, existing laws should be brought to bear if applicable. ...and you know what? I say this knowing that I fucking can't stand NIN music. As far as I'm concerned the only thing close to being any good they ever did was Closer, and that sold more on novelty and shock factor (and as a shagging song) than anything else.

Re:Fuck any platform where the vendor must approve (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803211)

Fuck any platform ...

... like an animal?

Re:Fuck any platform where the vendor must approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803287)

For the truely heinous stuff like that shake a baby to death iPhone app that was in the news lately, existing laws should be brought to bear if applicable.

As far as I know, there aren't any laws that would apply. Nor should there be-- it's a pretty slippery slope from "egad! this is a baby-killing trainer" to "egad! Quake is a Columbine trainer"... ...and honestly, aside from satisfying some darkly twisted sense of humor (although I've seen far worse from Spike and Mike [spikeandmike.com] ), is anyone REALLY going to confuse an iphone with an actual baby? ...and if they have an real-life psychopathic inclination to shake babies, I'd rather see them work it out on a accelerometer.

Apple has every right to remove it from their store. Which is why I exercised my right and bought a G1. Cupcake is awesome [andblogs.net] , btw.

Re:Fuck any platform where the vendor must approve (1)

ieatcookies (1490517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803437)

Fuck any platform where the vendor must approve content. (In this case that means fuck Apple, which immediately means I get modded up and down until the fanboi zealots are the only ones modding and I end up with a -1).

We've seen open platforms dwindle in past years. PC gaming is in decline. Most consoles need all manner of hack and mod to run home brew content. Hell even GPS APIs (like TomToms) have been discontinued on newer models. We've gone from a society of tinkerers where the best idea wins to an increasingly IP law based profit model that stiffles innovation.

Hell I don't even understand why objectionable content needs to be censored like this. For the most part don't buy it if you're offended. For the truely heinous stuff like that shake a baby to death iPhone app that was in the news lately, existing laws should be brought to bear if applicable. ...and you know what? I say this knowing that I fucking can't stand NIN music. As far as I'm concerned the only thing close to being any good they ever did was Closer, and that sold more on novelty and shock factor (and as a shagging song) than anything else.

Becuase you then lose all your pre-15 market due to having uncensored material available on your device.. It's business sense to moderate the content on your device as they go hand in hand when it comes to product acceptance.

Re:Fuck any platform where the vendor must approve (3, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803557)

Becuase you then lose all your pre-15 market due to having uncensored material available on your device..

...and all your post-15 audience due to them seeing the app store as being filled with an ocean of peurile and flaky apps. Not a professional image to present to your customers.

Sounds similar to the trend with everything PR (2, Insightful)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803073)

TODAY, my GF called Apple support, it said call back in 15 mins and automatically hung up on her.

2 days ago we tried to get a replacement on an Ipod 8gb Nano and despite having an extra 59$ service plan we were told we had to go through apple. Apple informed us that shipping was 39$ Canadian plus 10$ for insurance.

Apple seems to want to turn its back on it's customers, even if they are gods like Trent Reznor.

Re:Sounds similar to the trend with everything PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803327)

Hi,
They do this because you, as a loyal Apple customer, will continue to request (and consume) big servings of shit when you continue to buy their products.

I have an iPhone (issued one at work) and they ain't all that, at least for me. Some nice features, pretty pictures, etc, etc, but the others in that very competitive market are catching up.

Boot Apple back to the 1% market share they deserve. Clearly, anything more than that and they can't handle the demand.

RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803075)

...oh wait, TFA only has a maximum length of 140 characters anyway, so why bother?

twatter n. chatter chopped into slices too small to be practically informative

Enough Already (4, Interesting)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803077)

I am sick and tired of articles like this, where the developing community has surrendered to Apple the rights to veto apps, for pretty much any reason, that they no doubt worked hard on, as well as giving Apple the ability to retroactively change their minds and kill apps on paying customer's phones. Why is is so acceptable for Apple to do this, when it clearly is not acceptable in the PC* world? Why do developers put up with this kind of draconian control by a third party over their own apps?

I for one can't stand it. To all developers of the iPhone, please stop developing for the iPhone. Hit Apple where it really hurts and develop for Android (not on the Market), the Freerunner, or pretty much any other platform instead, where you don't have to appease some entity that really needs you more than you need it. Don't just make an app that needs jailbreaking, as this still targets the iPhone and consequently still gives Apple more revenue and more power to control developers. If Apple insists on this kind of control, let them get their comeuppance.

*Note by "PC" I mean microcomputers, not Windows machines.

Re:Enough Already (1)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803105)

"Why do developers put up with this kind of draconian control by a third party over their own apps?"

Because iFart apps make people millionaires. Because some teenager can whip up a limited app that looks cool and fills a very specific niche and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The is an absolute shitload of money to be made with apps on the iphone and shitloads of people are making that money.

Re:Enough Already (4, Informative)

kraln (1477093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803169)

Maybe if those other platforms you mentioned had sdks and documentation nearly as nice. I've developed for blackberry, and for android, and it's a crapshoot.

Re:Enough Already (1)

chonglibloodsport (1270740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803267)

It's simply, really. A few of the developers who do play ball with Apple tend to make a shitload of money. Everyone else sees that and scrambles to cash in.

People are willing to abandon far more important causes in exchange for money, why expect anything different here?

Re:Enough Already (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803381)

Currently iPhone accounts for 73% of our mobile hits followed by Windows Mobile and Blackberry with about 12 percent each. We've registered a grand total of 4 hits from android phones. We see about 600 unique mobile visitors per day.

If we had a lot of people using Android, we'd develop for it. But so far, it's available from one carrier, that doesn't even compete in our local market.

Re:Enough Already (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803743)

While Android is irrelevant right now in terms of user base, remember that it's still a very new project and is still building mass. Give it a couple of years, when several phone manufacturers have Android OS on their models and in most stores. At that point the iPhone balance will be seriously cut back. The more Apple restrict while Android is open, the more it will turn some people towards Android. Some will always stick to Apple, that will only change if Apple go bankrupt.

Re:Enough Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803545)

Why is is so acceptable for Apple to do this, when it clearly is not acceptable in the PC* world?

Because the PC world belongs to everybody and nobody at the same time, while the Apple world belongs to Apple. Just like the Nintendo world belongs to Nintendo and so on.

What amuses me most, and I say this as the owner of both a PC and an iMac, is the "Think Different" slogan. Yeah right, as long as "Different" fits rigidly inside of what Steve thinks is kosher. Does anyone remember that 1984 Mac commercial? Apple has turned into the totalitarian monster they were supposed to be the answer to. A small (by percentages) totalitarian monster, a really cool totalitarian monster, but totalitarian nevertheless.

Think Different My Ass.

Re:Enough Already (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803651)

Here's the problem: The iPhone is the most attractive, lucrative platform I can find for me as an independent developer. Millions of users with the willingness to shell out cash. The platform itself is limited - meaning most traditional apps won't directly port - and uses Obj-C, which is a nice OO language I know and most others have to learn. The App Store provides an easy means for releasing software with no-fuss protection against illegal copying, which is important to me as both a developer and a customer. (I do wish they'd improve their searching and such, but hopefully with time.)

What's more, I love my iPhone. Love, love, love it. I started writing for it because it's a really solid, powerful platform for the things I want. I watched the Google demo vid for Android and I wasn't impressed; similar features, but more awkward and uglier. If I'm not a fan of something, there's got to be a compelling business case for me to develop for it. I don't see that with Android at this point in time, though I'm more than willing to have people cite articles comparing its market with the iPhone's.

The openness of Android is a major failing point as far as attracting me as a developer. Given the choice between a platform that's open to anyone and one that has some hurdles I know pass but others won't, I think I'll take the one with the small hurdles. Why would I want more competitors? I'm trying to make a living here and, frankly, Free Software doesn't mean as much to me as getting paid for my work -- or even as much to me as enjoying the platform I write for. Another problem is the people who are major proponents of Free Software also tend to go with free software or get illegal copies of non-free software. Maybe that's not as applicable to cell phones, but I suspect the spending habits of Android customers are probably not as rewarding as those of iPhone customers.

Really, though, feel free to point me towards articles comparing the markets for Android or other open platforms' applications in comparison with the iPhone app market. If I saw real opportunity, I'd be willing to go with a platform I don't like as much -- or at least port the code over.

Why not block it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803185)

Ironically, the "Downward Spiral" is with the morals of the average American. Good for Apple, it's one step towards morality...unfortunately, we've got millions more to go...

No censorship on andriod. (3, Insightful)

headhot (137860) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803213)

I wouldn't mind having the app on my gphone.

Explicit Content (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803227)

Is it just me, or is this very same album available on the iTunes music store? How is it that you'll be rejected on the App Store for referencing an album you can buy on the Music Store?

Re:Explicit Content (1)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803279)

Left hand... meet right hand.

Common scenario when your thumbs are stuck in a wide variety of pies.

Will apple starting filtering porn next? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803263)

Will your next update to OSX on your laptop scan your drives for porn and then delete it?

The iPhone is "your gear" and they are making judgement about the appropriateness of the content that you, personally, would like to have on it.

Nice move Apple, ya bunch of Nazis.

Just more proof... (3, Insightful)

Ogre332 (145645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803277)

that no matter how hard Apple argues it, they're just as bad as Microsoft.

Re:Just more proof... (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803471)

can you tell me one place where ms rejected apps developed for winmo or windows?
right, you can't, because ms never tried to control the market as tightly as apple want to.

Re:Just more proof... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803723)

I'll show you one when show me pornography sold through Microsoft's online store.

So much for that Hip "artist" Apple Image. (4, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803299)

iTunes sells Trent Reznors Music but wont distribute his App?

HUH?

Shouldnt Apple be giving the big "DUH" on this. What the fuck is Apple thinking?

I thought Apple was the "artist" friendly computer platform. You know that image they try to sell us on, using that hip "Mac guy"...

BEGIN SCENE

MAC GUY: "Hey PC, I'm a MAC, I dress like an artist, but really I'm just another fake image driven sock puppet for an evil corporation"

PC GUY: "Boy, I sure know how what it feels"

FADE TO WHITE

Apple.. Think What We Allow You To.

END SCENE.

Apple really has changed over the years. Its a very snobby platform for so called "artists". I find it histerical when I see college students thinking they MUST get a MAC if they will ever be an artist. Its just embarrasing. As if a platform makes you talented... If only it were that easy.

Image is everything, and Apple really needs to change direction and stop censoring song titles on itunes, and stop censoring applications. Simply have parenting mode settings in Itunes. Thats all you need. Let the parent decide what is right for their children. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY... Let us ADULTS choose what is right for us.

Oh and btw to you snobby college students that think you're artists because you just bought a Mac. You're wrong :) 95% of todays blockbuster films are made with windows pcs and linux pcs running various kinds of special fx software. Photography is done on both platforms but windows users out number mac users by a far.

Music? Sure... Protools for the Mac... of course! No wait... How about Nuendo for the PC? :) Far better.

Final Cut? ok you got us. :P

Hey will still have avid though... and the entire 3d animation industry.

Re:So much for that Hip "artist" Apple Image. (4, Insightful)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803373)

Oh and btw to you snobby college students that think you're artists because you just bought a Mac.

I bought a Mac because at the time it was the most powerful machine packed into the thinnest and lightest package (so it fits in my backpack nicely) with the longest batter span.

That was two years ago. Nowadays I'd buy a Mac because having dropped it a lot I've come to appreciate the aluminium case and I do believe it's still the best battery life for a laptop with a graphics card that has its own memory ... plus the touchpads are just bloody awesome.

Art has nothing to do with it, it's just a better (portable) computer

Time to shift to jailbroken software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803337)

He should switch his app distribution mechanism to cydia, which will let him publish anything.
On his website, he could post links to the now, easy jailbreaking software, along with some destructions.

So wither the EU? (1)

cstec (521534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803377)

When I see stuff like this, I wonder where our EU champions are? You know, the folks who decided that having software development components of Internet Explorer like internet access that people use to add connectivity to non-Microsoft code constitutes illegal tying of Explorer to Windows.

Well, if even a universal networking component in Windows is illegal tying, what is Apple's deciding what we can think, say and use? Apparently the EU is all good with that.

And besides, far easier to bust an American company on foreign soil in kangaroo courts, than to bust Nokia/Symbian for the -40 PAGES- of hoops you have to jump through to get signed for their platform, for which they charge you big bux. And then can pull your auth at any time for any trivial reason, and charge you again.

No, when I see stuff like this, I remember the golden rule. He with the gold, makes the rules...

Big Deal (0, Troll)

LittleStone (18310) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803391)

Next, sex toy manufacturers announced that Walmart rejected them as suppliers.

Re:Big Deal (1)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803461)

More like: sex-toy store rejects new sex-toy videogame.

iPhone devs dirty little secret... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803395)

This isn't a big deal, and it happens all the time, and every developer tries to use it for marketing leverage.

Basically, when you submit your app, you have to indicate what inappropriate content it contains. If you don't flag it appropriately, or go way over the top in any of the categories (ex. baby shaker), you get rejected. The content areas you flag automatically 'calculate' the age rating for the app.

In this case, the dev probably forgot to flag/was too lazy to flag the correct areas, and it got 'rejected' the second time around because a better reviewer noticed.

If you don't believe me, idle in #iphonedev on Freenode. It's very common, and really not that big of a deal unless you misunderstand the issues.

The real evil here is the soccer moms that get to run social policy nowadays. Not the companies that have to kowtow to them in fear of negative publicity from the mindless media.

Trent's philosophy doesn't match with Apple's (5, Interesting)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803455)

Trent Reznor is the artist with the most tech savvy attitude on the planet, at least as far as popular acts go. He currently has no record label contract and surely will never again have one, he has released music for free (as in beer), and has released music under the CC license, allowing fans to freely share and remix it. He has leaked his own material (the Broken Movie and the Closure DVD) to The Pirate Bay to overcome legal entanglements, because he wanted his music out there for people to hear. Like his music or not or not, you have to give him some credit for breaking out of the mainstream and proving the old record label system of doing things is not a necessity and can be overcome.

His attitudes resonate with a lot of us here on /. and I wouldn't be surprised if he is a member of this site.

Apple should reconsider... Trent has probably made the majority of his music on Apple computers, so he is a highly visible user of their products, not just "some musician". They should have embraced the marketing opportunity presented here.

I hope Trent shuns them for this... Apple's control freak attitude does not match with Trent's embrace of freedom, in both the monetary and the speech sense of the word. I say he is a trailblazer, the first big artist of the post RIAA/copyright dominated world. The first artist of the 21st century and the digital information age.

This is art (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803485)

This is art. Someone home at Apple?

At any rate, it illustrates the slippery slope Apple's going down. All sorts of people will feel invited to seek attention for their agenda now.

seems to be a common story (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803589)

There was a piece on G4TV [g4tv.com] a while back about a game [persuasivegames.com] parodying airport security policies. While you might think Apple objected to the concept itself, they rejected it instead for "inappropriate sexual content", without telling the developer what specifically they objected to, leaving him rather confused since the game wasn't sexually explicit at all. It turned out, after some months of guessing and resubmission and trying to contact people, that what had offended Apple was the inclusion of items like underwire bras (which are notorious for setting off metal detectors).

Censoring in the name of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803593)

F*&^& you I won't do what you tell me!

Re:Censoring in the name of (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803609)

That's Rage Against The Machine... not Nine Inch Nails.

nin: access available in iTunes. (1)

emeade (123253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803655)

Just "bought" nin:access for free on iTunes.

What kind of problems am I having? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803689)

None

Lack of guidelines (1)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803735)

Apple's management really need to gather up their courage and actually establish some guidelines for approval. It seems apparent to me that such guidelines don't exist at all, even inside Apple, so the staff responsible for approval of apps have to make their own guess. Whether your app gets approved depends on the personal opinion of whichever random Apple staffer it was whose desk it came across, which would be why Apple's policy seems so inconsistent.

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