Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

German Publishers Want Censorship Talks With Apple

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the define-"press" dept.

Censorship 197

An anonymous reader writes "The association of German magazine publishers has sent a letter to Steve Jobs (Google translation; German original here) demanding talks about censorship by Apple. The move draws attention to growing concerns about freedom of the press when a single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for the iPhone and, especially, the iPad." While the magazine publishers may rightly be concerned about private control of a platform that many of them are counting on for their long-term salvation, the German state is at the very least ambivalent about the subject of censorship. This is the country that has banned Wikileaks, sought a ban on violent games, and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32399848)

Eat my shorts slashdot !!

The internet (5, Informative)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32399854)

I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

Still, I'd be happy to see an alternative to the App Store or some compromise on their approval process.

Re:The internet (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400370)

As much as I'm in the anti-apple camp but are they also going to sue microsoft, sony and nintendo for having total control over what goes on their platforms? It's not as if there's no alternative to the iPad, how about an iPed (http://kotaku.com/5549865/china-rips-off-the-ipad-with-the-iped)

"According to this TBS news report, the iPed is on sale in Shenzhen, China. Shenzhen is the location of the largest Foxconn plant, where the iPhone and the iPad are manufactured. The iPed comes packaged in a box that looks like the iPod. While it is slightly heavier than the iPad, the device is powered by an Intel chip and runs on Google's open source operating system Android. But like the iPad, it is a multi-media device.And is priced at the equivalent of ¥9,600 (US$105). The iPad is priced at ¥48,800 ($536) in The Land of the Rising Sun."

Bargain.

Re:The internet (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401848)

the iPed is on sale in Shenzhen, China

What good does that to German consumers?

Not that I agree with this, and it's obvious that it's a move by the magazine publishers to get a cut of the new market.

Re:The internet (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401952)

They could import I guess, maybe playasia carries them. The point is though there's plenty of alternatives to an iPad so if you don't want a locked down platform, don't buy one.

Re:The internet (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400380)

Not yet.
But, thanks! That’s a great idea, that... I just had.

Ok, have to speak to the goons. Gotta go...

Your God Steve.

Re:The internet (1, Troll)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400642)

I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

And even if Apple did have complete control of what is available on the iPhone/iPad, who cares? Does freedom of speech require me to let you publish whatever you want on my webpage, or my billboard, or on my TV/radio show? Is the iPad your one and only source of media?

To all these questions, there is but one answer: No. You have other options. There is the web, as you pointed out. There are books. There is broadcast TV or radio. Build and market your own e-reader. You can say what you want, publish what you want, but that doesn't obligate anybody particular entity to distribute it.

Re:The internet (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401142)

I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

Does freedom of speech require me to let you publish whatever you want on my webpage, or my billboard, or on my TV/radio show? Is the iPad your one and only source of media?

It's my hardware and my iPad/iPhone/iPod! I should be able to use whatever I want on it. If Apple doesn't want to host certain applications in their store, that's just fine. But they shouldn't block all other sources of applications. That's forcing people to use your particular billboard and qualifies as censorship.

In fact, they've also claimed that jailbreaking is illegal. Another example of how they don't allow us to do whatever we want with our devices.

Re:The internet (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401476)

That's forcing people to use your particular billboard and qualifies as censorship.

If you're going to use a ... billboard analogy, it's more like having the most prominent billboards and refusing to post certain types of ads. Not sure how illegal that is. Furthermore, censorship is usually the domain of the government, not corporations - while there's a right to free speech, I'm not so sure there's an obligation/responsibility to carry/transmit/enable said speech. It's the old "you can go elsewhere" argument - short of the iPhone/iPad ecosystem becoming a dominant monopoly - owning every billboard in town worth owning - it's unlikely to draw the ire of government with any force.

In fact, they've also claimed that jailbreaking is illegal. Another example of how they don't allow us to do whatever we want with our devices.

Technically, circumventing protection measures is in violation of the DMCA, so it is the jailbreaking that is in a legal grey area, not the subsequent use of your own applications. (that on the other hand is likely to be in violation of the licence and terms of use of the device, so you're violating a contract).

(Note: I'm not saying I agree with Apple/Jobs' actions, just pointing out the legal ground isn't quite so clear cut as it's made out to be. Not a lawyer, however.)

Re:The internet (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401604)

But I look at it this way: The App Store is a billboard. Other app stores are possible, but apple wants everyone to use only their particular app store and then goes ahead and dictates what can be shown on it. So it's like having the only billboard and making all other billboards illegal.

Re:The internet (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402120)

Yes, the App Store is a billboard, but Apple's not the only "billboard seller" out there.

It might be the only one with halogen lighting, say, but there's another billboard just down the block that uses LEDs (in this analogy, Android Market). The halogen billboard is prominent, readable, and displays a single ad, but the LEDs are just as functional and readable most of the time and the LED boards also can post more than one ad at a time, which enables it to be cheaper and more widespread.

People want to get on the halogen-lit board because of its premium "location" and its easy appeal. That doesn't stop "advertisers" from boycotting the halogen-lit boards in favour of the LED boards, but clearly they want to play by the rules because of the cachet it gives them.

You're basically saying someone else should be able to post their own bills on the halogen-lit boards' poles. Some have found a way to do it, but that doesn't mean it's legal.

Probably have now flogged the analogy to death, but the thing you have to remember is that Apple will always be able to argue "if you don't want to play by our rules, go elsewhere." Corporations are allowed to do that, unfortunately, until such time as doing that harms the greater public interest.

Re:The internet (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401560)

That's forcing people to use your particular billboard and qualifies as censorship.

No one is forced to buy an iPad.

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all exert similar (actually, much greater) control over their console platforms.

Re:The internet (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401620)

But once I buy it its mine. After buying the hardware and software it's not apple's anymore and I want nothing more to do with apple. By making jailbreaking illegal, apple is messing with my right to do what I want with my device - no matter what the DMCA says.

Re:The internet (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401760)

By making jailbreaking illegal, apple is messing with my right to do what I want with my device - no matter what the DMCA says.

If something is illegal (hint: Apple hasn't made jailbreaking illegal), and you know that going into it, the only one messing with your rights are yourself for voluntarily giving them away. Unless you have no choice but to buy such a product (such as when states require Word documents or IE, for example, to interact with them).

Jailbreak away, you will not go to jail. Or don't buy an iPad. Or buy one and just use the App Store. It's called freedom. Contrary to many here, Apple has not taken away any of your freedom.

Re:The internet (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401850)

Apple is certainly trying to make jailbreaking illegal [eff.org] .

Moreover, I believe that any TOS stripping people of their right to use a product legally bought in any way they wish without hurting others is legally questionable. Are you saying Apple can write anything in their TOS and that if I bought the product I'm legally bound by it? What if they insert a clause saying I have to pay them $10,000 whenever they want?

Re:The internet (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402076)

Apple is certainly trying to make jailbreaking illegal.

Please quote where I said otherwise. Straw Man #1.

Moreover, I believe that any TOS stripping people of their right to use a product legally bought in any way they wish without hurting others is legally questionable.

You may believe that, but you'd be wrong.

Are you saying Apple can write anything in their TOS and that if I bought the product I'm legally bound by it?

Absolutely not. Straw Man #2a.

What if they insert a clause saying I have to pay them $10,000 whenever they want?

Depends on the context. Straw Man #2b.

Re:The internet (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32402174)

Please quote where I said otherwise. Straw Man #1.

"Apple hasn't made jailbreaking illegal". You're implying that Apple is ok with Jailbreaking. If you didn't imply that, what point were you trying to make? If you want to nitpick, I can say that your sentence is a tautology because Apple isn't a lawmaker and can't make anything legal or illegal!

You may believe that, but you'd be wrong.

That's for a court of law to decide.

Absolutely not. Straw Man #2a.

...

Depends on the context. Straw Man #2b.

On the one hand you claim that I'm bound by an objectionable TOS. On the other hand you claim it depends on the circumstances. Can you enlighten us as to what exactly these circumstances are that determine whether or not I'm bound by a TOS?

Quit Whining (1)

mr_death (106532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401628)

You accepted the iPad/iPhone/iPod restrictions (which are no secret, by the way) when you bought the device, and again when you accepted the license agreement. If you don't want to honor your contractual commitment, buy something else.

Re:Quit Whining (2, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401716)

I'm well aware of apple's TOS restrictions...but I'll ignore them anyway. And if I ever get taken to court, I have faith in the judiciary at some level upholding my right to do what I want with my device as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

Re:Quit Whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402078)

If you don't want to honor your contractual commitment, buy something else.

Hear hear!

Re:The internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400968)

For book publishers, a variety of options are available - most notablly Amazon has a Kindle app, Kurzweil's Biblio is "and day now", .... All a publisher has to do is offer their work in an industry standard format such as epub, PDF, HTML, or plain old text. Even today, we have different bookstores for folks with different tastes ...

Re:The internet (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401598)

Still, I'd be happy to see an alternative to the App Store or some compromise on their approval process.

As a father, the iPad looks appealing to me precisely because you can only get software for the iPad from the App Store.

Less worries about whether any individual app will work (I just had to return a game for my daughter because it would crash if the computer had too much memory - no lie!). One stop shopping...a very high guarantee of compatible apps...very convenient.

Also, my daughter wouldn't be able to accidentally install a virus or Trojan even if she wanted to. One less thing to worry about, which is really great when your time is limited (most parents will understand what I'm talking about). I don't want to baby-sit an anti-virus program or worry that every little click could lead to infection.

Besides being a father, I'm also a software developer, so I understand the whole geek angle pretty well. Maybe for myself, I'll get an Android tablet (some day), because I'll want to do geek-friendly stuff.

It seems to me there's room in the world both for Apple's approach and for alternative approaches (like Android). I like that they work different, because different people have different priorities.

Re:The internet (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401664)

The thing people don't like is that Apple doesn't give you the choice. Sure, you're the protecting father who doesn't want little Sally installing viruses on her sparkly new iPad. That's great. They should give you parental controls. Those parental controls should be able to be disabled so sleezy Sam can browse all the dark corners of the internet, install all his dubious apps, and <gasp> play porn games on his iPad.

People don't mind being ABLE to restrict the content that reaches them. They mind when it's some corporation halfway across the USA pushing their social agenda on them*.

* I frankly don't give a shit because I don't have an iAnything, but if I did, I'd care.

Re:The internet (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401790)

People don't mind being ABLE to restrict the content that reaches them. They mind when it's some corporation halfway across the USA pushing their social agenda on them*.

Apple is not pushing a "social agenda." Apple is choosing to not allow certain types of apps into the app store. If you were forced to buy and use certain types of apps only from Apple, then the "social agenda" argument may hold water. As it is, you are under no obligation to buy Apple products, or not buy somebody else's products.

Re:The internet (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401838)

The thing people don't like is that Apple doesn't give you the choice.

Sure, and those people can buy Android tablets, WebOS tablets, or some other kind of tablet, when they become available (and they will become available).

As a geek, I look forward to them. As a consumer, I look forward to the competition. But I can also appreciate Apple trying to make devices that are very appealing to a certain segment of the market.

Sure, you're the protecting father who doesn't want little Sally installing viruses on her sparkly new iPad. That's great. They should give you parental controls.

Apple is selling a very specific experience to a very specific market. I don't think they want to muddy their marketing message.

Re:The internet is locked on an Iphone (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401916)

I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

Just let me view site number 1. nope, flash.

Site number 2 is HTML 5, nope, they use Theora.

Site number 3 displays but doesn't work because I cant use the JavaScript controls.

I'd like to posit that just because it has a web browser does not make it free. I'd also like to posit that Apple maintains 100% control over what can and cannot run on that browser and seeing as you cant install an alternate browser effectively decide what you can and cannot view on the web.

I just don't get it. (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32399860)

The iPad is a *new* device, and anything published on it is available there in addition to all the other devices and media through which publication was previously possible. How could this be a censorship issue worthy of government attention?

Is it censorship? In the broadest sense, yes. But do I want the federal gov't meddling with this? Any federal gov't? It sets a scary precedent.

It's the association of magazine publishers (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400326)

Not the German state.

Get it now?

i.e. They want a slice.
 

Re:I just don't get it. (1)

mrwolf007 (1116997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400660)

Its not just about the iPad.
German magazine publishers have been uncomfortable with Apple for quite a while now.
The issues are Apples censorship, ranging from tits to satire, and the 30% cut Apple demands.
It is likely the WeTab (formerly known as WePad) will receive major backing from german publishers.
A video from a prototype can be found here [youtube.com]

Re:I just don't get it. (3, Informative)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400698)

Is it censorship? In the broadest sense, yes. But do I want the federal gov't meddling with this? Any federal gov't? It sets a scary precedent.

I don't see the problem. It's not like it were about letting the government censor instead of apple, it's about exactly the opposite: The government preventing censorship, for a change.

And you thought Microsoft was evil! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32399878)

Apple 2010: censoring apps, hindering competition, trying hard to get a music selling monopoly, delivering substandard quality and then selling it as 'it just works'. The list could go on and on. Please people, realise that Apple is inherently evil and that we can be extremely lucky that Microsoft won the PC market in the 80's. We could have been stuck with a closed pc market where Apple controls what apps you can run, which documents you can download and what music you are allowed to listen to.

And the funny thing? Apple gets away with it due to Steve Jobs' reality distortion field. What a douche.

Boycot Apple!

Re:And you thought Microsoft was evil! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400332)

"Apple 2010: censoring apps, hindering competition, trying hard to get a music selling monopoly (..)"

The worst part is, it just works!

Re:And you thought Microsoft was evil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400778)

My flash based internet doesnt.

Tu quoque! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32399884)

Ah yes, the tu quoque [wikipedia.org] fallacy. Weak, very weak.

Different morals (4, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32399906)

Germans usually tolerate porn and other adult content more than in the US. In contrast vandalism, violence, nazism, or other cultist movements are censored in Germany.

Re:Different morals (5, Insightful)

jeti (105266) | more than 4 years ago | (#32399964)

We just don't think of nudity as porn.

Re:Different morals (4, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400056)

Some of us Americans don't either... though we seemed to be in a minority.

Re:Different morals (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400012)

I don't think that vandalism or violence are particularly censored in Germany. They had their crazy lobbyist about violent games but I don't think they manage to pass laws in that direction.

Re:Different morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400106)

The German versions of games are as heavily censored as Australia.

Not exactly (3, Informative)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400192)

You can publish nearly everything, but in some cases you will have to accept that shops can only sell it to adults. So most game companies decide to remove some of the more violent scenes for easier publishing and a larger amount of potential customers. So I wouldn't call it exactly "censorship". (But this may be a matter of definition)

Re:Different morals (2, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401014)

Violent video games can be rated, indexed and completly banned in Germany. When they just get rated, an 18+ sticker gets onto the box and sales to minors is forbidden (somewhat similar to M rating). When they get indexed, it is also forbidden to do advertisment or public sales of those games (i.e. no more buying them at amazon.de), you are still allowed in theory to purcase them under the counter, in practice however Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo won't even publish those games in Germany, so you have to import them (similar to the effects of AO rating). The last stage is completly banning a game, it doesn't happen often, but it does happen (i.e. Dead Rising), then even the sale is forbidden.

Another difference is that the rating system is enforced by the state, while in the US its just the cooperation that do the enforcement of ESRB stuff.

Re:Different morals (2, Insightful)

Dr. Hok (702268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400550)

Germans usually tolerate porn and other adult content more than in the US.

True. For instance, I wonder why nobody complains about the beeps that replace all four-letter words (except "Lord") on American TV. (You are aware that the people aren't actually saying "beep", right?) I'd call that censorship. I can live with people saying "fuck" on TV every once in a while.

On the other hand, I find it hard to live with the knowledge that kids are being abused in order to produce child porn. And I wouldn't (necessarily) call the attempt to dry out the child porn market censorship. I mean, seriously, does it impede your right to free speech if you are not allowed to produce and circulate child porn?

Re:Different morals (1)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400978)

mean, seriously, does it impede your right to free speech if you are not allowed to produce and circulate child porn?

It depends on how you would define child porn. Some would argue that having small breasts makes you a child.

Re:Different morals (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401114)

It depends on how you would define child porn. Some would argue that having small breasts makes you a child.

Of course, on Slashdot, the big issue is whether big breasts make you a woman.

Re:Different morals (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401814)

I mean, seriously, does it impede your right to free speech if you are not allowed to produce and circulate child porn?

Only if you're the kid :)

Seriously, free speech is not supposed to override every other right, and the child has the right to protect his own image. Now, if we're talking about drawings, then yes, it does impede the right of free speech - drawings don't have rights on their image.

Re:Different morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401904)

It's quite funny, 15 years ago or so, swear words were much more often censored ("bleeped out") in Germany iirc.

Over time, they stopped doing this, because no-one thought it was offensive to show somebody saying a swear word, and now the only shows with bleeps are the afternoon talk shows, and that's only for nostalgia, I guess. It seems that shows about people shouting at each other just wouldn't be the same without the funny bleeps.

Re:Different morals (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400958)

Germans tolerate nudity, not porn. When you want to publish a pornographic webpage in Germany you have to jump to quite some hoops to not get into conflict with the law, a simple age-gate isn't enough here.

Nudity on the other side is pretty much a non-issue, you see naked people on public TV quite frequently and even in advertisment.

Re:Different morals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401528)

Undoing accidental mod.

I thought we got rid of them... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32399912)

"This is the country that has banned Wikileaks"
Damn Nazis.

Why then can I access it? (2, Informative)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400224)

Just checked that out, I have no problems to access Wikileaks here in Germany. actual headline: "... could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act. — Time Magazine

Re:Why then can I access it? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400432)

Wikileaks was bannend because they published lists of child pornography. They did this in order to demonstrate that most child pornography cencore lists are misused to ban harmless sites. In fact, in germany you can get a house search just for knowing, that there ist child pornography somewhere in the world. But Wikileaks isn't banned anymore.

Re:Why then can I access it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400624)

Sorry, my mistake: Wikileaks wasn't banned. They just forget to renew their contract with their provider. This happens on the same time when they published the lists, so that a lot of people thought they were banned for that.

Re:Why then can I access it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401268)

Exactly, Wikileaks wasn't banned. TFS is just FUD against Germany ... I mean which country developed plans to destroy WikiLeaks?

It's Called A Browser (3, Informative)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32399942)

Build a better website, and you won't need an iPhone app.

Re:It's Called A Browser (2, Funny)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32399950)

Just, for the love of god, don't build it in Flash! ;-)

Re:It's Called A Browser (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400226)

Just, for the love of god, don't build it in Flash! ;-)

I think that's implied when he says "Build a *better* website".

Worldwide control? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400030)

The move draws attention to growing concerns about freedom of the press when a single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for iPhone and, especially, iPad.

I wasn't aware that an elected government body was responsible for the iPhone and iPad. I thought they were made by Apple. Are iDevices now some kind of "public good" equivalent to the airwaves?

How is freedom of the press affected by Apple's decisions? Surely, newspapers and other media outlets have other avenues to publish besides the iPad? The device has only been on sale for a few weeks, how can it have any real effect on journalism, when the number of people who own one are such a miniscule portion of the media-consuming public that it doesn't even count as a rounding error?

Maybe it's not so much about freedom of press (1)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400246)

I can't say for sure, but this may as well be about Apple controlling the market for applications on their devices. This would be more on the line of Microsofts trouble about bundling IE with Windows and using a monopolist position to prevent small companies from competition.

Re:Maybe it's not so much about freedom of press (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400304)

I can't say for sure, but this may as well be about Apple controlling the market for applications on their devices.

Why would that be an issue? Are they investigating Sony for controlling the market for PS3 applications, or Microsoft for controlling Xbox applications?

This would be more on the line of Microsofts trouble about bundling IE with Windows and using a monopolist position to prevent small companies from competition.

But Microsoft did not control just Microsoft computers. In fact Microsoft doesn't even make PCs. They controlled a whole constellation of third-party companies, who probably would not survive without Windows installed on their hardware.

Re:Maybe it's not so much about freedom of press (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401642)

I can't say for sure, but this may as well be about Apple controlling the market for applications on their devices. This would be more on the line of Microsofts trouble about bundling IE with Windows and using a monopolist position to prevent small companies from competition.

Apple's App Store has nothing to do with preventing competition. Microsoft's bundling of IE with Windows was using one Monopoly to promote another product. Apple has no monopoly.

Re:Worldwide control? (1)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400298)

The Press similar to Banking was once a regulated but fair industry actually helping consumers,while deregulated banking gave us a GFC, the press is owned more by single entities that control and give you crap news and look only for advertising dollars with the cheapest content possible. Seriously when is the last time you saw an expose in a paper or on TV that wasn't already reported elsewhere. It appears germany is at least trying to keep up with technology and if the iPad is the next way to read a paper then the company that controls the platform can also control the content. Easily solved though force the platform to use open and non DRM content that can easily read by any device and most importantly downloaded from any source.

Re:Worldwide control? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400376)

Easily solved though force the platform to use open and non DRM content that can easily read by any device and most importantly downloaded from any source.

Seeing as that is already allowed on the iPhone/iPad platform, how is it an issue?

And? (5, Insightful)

bidule (173941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400054)

"A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the PS3.

"A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the Wii.

Are they pushing Apple to do the same as Sony and Nintendo, or are they pushing for special privileges?

What's stopping them from simply publishing their content as web pages?
Why would they want special applications?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400546)

If you had read the article you would know that the ones addressing Apple are none other than the association of German magazine publishers. Do you believe that the PS3 and the Wii is being used to read magazines? Well, the iPhone and the iPad is most certainly being used to read magazines.

Re:And? (2, Insightful)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400638)

While having the games market under control of these corporations is unfortunate, having media censored by one is actually quite bad for society. Of course, there are still classical newspapers and the internet and thus Apple cannot effectively censor -- but especially if the iPad becomes more widespread, they will be able to influence what people can get easily. I imagine people might choose to ignore a media source because there is no app for it.

Also, this appears to be a distribution channel people actually are willing to pay for, making access to it even more important for publishers.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400860)

Except, for the PS3 and Wii, you're wrong. The only requirement is that you buy a dev kit from them. After you do that, you can publish whatever the fuck you want. Apple wants you to buy in too, true, but they can then still say no to whatever you make.

Re:And? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401600)

Except, for the PS3 and Wii, you're wrong. The only requirement is that you buy a dev kit from them. After you do that, you can publish whatever the fuck you want.

Wrong. You can make whatever you want with a dev kit, but it requires Sony's or Nintendo's approval to get them to publish it.

On the magazine issue, if the magazines are asking for the ability to control what gets published, I would like the magazines to agree to publish whatever I ask them to in their magazines. It's only fair that it works both ways, right?

Re:And? (1)

mrwolf007 (1116997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401864)

I would like the magazines to agree to publish whatever I ask them to in their magazines. It's only fair that it works both ways, right?

You can.
Its called advertisement.

Re:And? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401690)

Except, for the PS3 and Wii, you're wrong. The only requirement is that you buy a dev kit from them. After you do that, you can publish whatever the fuck you want. Apple wants you to buy in too, true, but they can then still say no to whatever you make.

There are no homebrew games (outside of hacked consoles) for the Wii, PS3 or Xbox 360. So, no, you can't "publish whatever the fuck you want". You still have to get approval from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Re:And? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401976)

"A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the PS3. "A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the Wii.

Let me know when Sony forces you to buy A Bravia TV to use a PS3. Also let me know when Nintendo forces all third party game developers to sell through the N store.

Such a terrible analogy, how did it ever get modded insightful. you're not comparing apples to apples, you're not even comparing apples to oranges, you're comparing apples to rocks as far as corporate policies go. Compared to Apple, Sony is the paragon of freedom (and I don't have kind words to say about Sony's policies either).

As Indiana Jones said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400080)

"Nazis! I hate those guys!"

Fool (1)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400254)

Really, what else to say? That's a democratic country and you would find far more White-Power-Supremacists in your country...

Re:Fool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401660)

Really? You REALLY think there are more white supremacists in Mexico than in Germany?
  Really?

apples lockin also brakes freedoms in German law (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400092)

apples lockin also brakes freedoms in German law as well.

Re:apples lockin also brakes freedoms in German la (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400356)

That's nonsense. Why doesn't anyone have an issue with Microsoft's "lockin" for XBox games? They require the same approval process to get the XBox logo on your game box. They've consistently blocked third party installation of software. Or Nintendo? Nintendo has gone so far as to sue every game publisher that tried to sidestep their approval process... on the NES back in the early 90's. That was almost 20 years ago! Every game for every Nintendo console has to be approved. Or Sony? The PSP had a browser and no flash, and software updates consistently blocked installation of unapproved software.

Nothing Apple is doing hasn't been done by the game console manufacturers for at least a decade, and mobile phone companies too. You can't install software on my Verizon Env phone without going through their "Get it Now" store, which also requires approval, and this phone was released 2 years before the iPhone existed.

I don't understand the focus on Apple and the iPhone/iPad or why this is suddenly an issue now. Is everyone blind about this being normal business practice for the entire industry?

Re:apples lockin also brakes freedoms in German la (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400966)

Nintendo doesn't require their approval, nor do they censor games anymore. They haven't since the creation of the ESRB. Learn your facts before spouting off. You sound like a fucking idiot to people who actually know this shit.

Re:apples lockin also brakes freedoms in German la (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401708)

Nintendo doesn't require their approval, nor do they censor games anymore. They haven't since the creation of the ESRB. Learn your facts before spouting off. You sound like a fucking idiot to people who actually know this shit.

You are absolutely wrong. You cannot write homebrew games for the Wii without either hacking your Wii, or going through Nintendo.

Re:apples lockin also brakes freedoms in German la (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401872)

Read the summary. It's *not* the government, it's the magazine publishers - they want a cut. Nobody will read magazine-like content on those machines.

On the other hand (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32400200)

If Apple's name were Apfel and its offices located outside of Frankfurt, the Krauts would be squealing about high-quality German products untainted by shitty Yankee apps.

New record on summary mistakes? (5, Informative)

Menchi (677927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400262)

This is the country that has banned Wikileaks

Except they didn't. wikileaks.de was disabled because the guy who own this domain (and nothing else related to wikileaks) didn't pay his bills. He was also involved in some fraud so his ISP didn't want to do business with him any more. They informed him 3 or 4 month before killing his account, he just forgot about it.

sought a ban on violent games

Good thing the word sought is there. The conservative hardliners have been talking about it for 20 years now and so far not much has happened. Preemptive censorship by the publishers is far worse.

and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering. All in all, awesome summary.

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (2, Interesting)

Dr. Hok (702268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400362)

and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering.

The success of the German Pirate Party may be one of the reasons, but I guess the major reason is that the law gives the BKA (German federal police) the right to decide which site is to be blocked. Which is unconstitutional. The job of the police is to enforce the law, not to decide what is lawful. So everybody is scared that the law is torn to pieces by the constitutional court.

BTW: The German Pirate Party has its own problems now. Their most famous member (Jörg Tauss, former social democrat and member of parliament) has just been convicted of possessing child porn (no surprise he is against censorship). Oh, ex-member: he left the party in order "to keep damage away from it", but I suspect that sufficient damage has been done already.

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402036)

But it has to be said that he court doesn't consider Tauss a pedophile (look into the official press release of the court [landgericht-karlsruhe.de] (German, last paragraph has it)).
They just said that he has taken the wrong measures to gain inside knowledge about the child porn scene. He could just have asked some expert and would have got the same knowledge. Therefore his possession of child pornography was not covered by the exception of the law that says that you may possess CP if you need it to do your job. (e.g. if you are a federal agent trying to catch the creators).

German law is actuall rather harsh about it. If you should happen to find child pornography (I don't know how this could possibly happen by accident, but still...) you can't even report it to the police, since your browser cache of the images would still count as possession, and since you don't work as a federal agent who fights child pornography, you are pretty much screwed then. One police officer even recommended in a public magazine that you PRINT IT OUT and bring it to the nearest police station. Udo Vetter (a blogging German lawyer who is famous among German netizens) was outraged by such stupid advice [lawblog.de] (link German) since by printing you would duplicate the child pornography, and there is no excuse for that by German law and you would be hit by the full force of justice even if you just tried to help.

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400612)

Mod parent up please...

Unluckily cross-checking facts about foreign countries is not a high priority on Slashdot. They hope the comments will correct any mistake (as one does here).

CU, Martin

P.S. There is a lot more to this news than it appears. The media moguls are complaining about a new stranglehold threatening their stranglehold on the public opinion. What an irony ....

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (1)

WoOS (28173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400710)

And also wrong is:

> This is the country that ... voted to censor child porn

Due to lack of a plebiscite in the constitution _the country_ definitely did not vote on censoring child porn. The parliament did and thanks to highly enforced party whip (great expression in English) even that can hardly be called a vote.

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401120)

It's kdawson. That's all that needs to be said.

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401348)

Its not just kdawson. Which country tried to destroy WikiLeaks?

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (2, Insightful)

datorum (1280144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401300)

>> sought a ban on violent games >Good thing the word sought is there. The conservative hardliners have been talking about it for 20 years now and so far not much has happened. > Preemptive censorship by the publishers is far worse. let me guess why? I am pretty fucking sick of "available in the EU except Germany", "worldwide (except Germany)", etc. on steam, impulse, etc. This happens for games with different themes like Star Wars: Battlefront, Company of Heroes (which as far as I can remember, doesn't have any swastikas in it)... well, maybe these "preemptive censorship" is due to the fact that the put a "ban" (no commercials etc. allowed) on Dark Forces and several other titles ages ago? The content-delivery services seem to be very cautious about what you can buy from German soil...

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401726)

and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering.

Am I in some parallel universe where banning child porn is considered a good thing? I'm not talking cartoons and the like, but actual child porn featuring actual children?

Re:New record on summary mistakes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32402212)

Don't worry, child porn is banned in Germany. But there were plans to make a law to introduce DNS blocking of child pornography pages.

Only this means of fighting CP was criticised because it is considered ineffective and exploitable by experts. Still the law passed. It was a short time before the elections after all, and the minister of family wanted to make clear that she wasn't just slacking off for 4 years. Now the government considers a new law to enable the law enforcement agencies to take the servers of CP offline (which is actually already possible by current law, but somehow they have to get rid of the flawed bill after all)

Apple =/= News Monopoly (1)

JonBuck (112195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400294)

The submitter seems to think that Apple somehow wields a monopoly over information sources. While they may have a degree of dominance in certain areas, there are far more choices of where to get your media than an iPhone/iPad. If you don't agree with Apple's "walled garden" approach, then you don't have to use their product. There's Blackberry and Android out there for you instead. Have fun.

Re:Apple =/= News Monopoly (1)

mrwolf007 (1116997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401940)

The submitter seems to think that China somehow wields a monopoly over information sources. While they may have a degree of dominance in certain areas, there are far more choices of where to get your media than China. If you don't agree with China's "walled garden" approach, then you don't have to live there. There's Europe and America out there for you instead. Have fun.

It's a bit of an overstatement, but maybe you get the point.

It's their product (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400652)

They can do what the heck they want with it.

You can't release a game on the Wii, XBox 360 or PS3 without involvement from Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony. You have to buy their dev kit, get approval from them and even pay them a royalty for each sale of the game.

So why is the iPad different? just because the distribution is electronic and it is a slightly more generic device than a games console doesn't mean Apple can't control the platform.

If you don't like the rules, don't agree to them. Buy something else.

Re:It's their product (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400760)

Unlike games, media are actually important to society. Letting apple control them even a bit sets a bad precedent.

Re:It's their product (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401734)

Unlike games, media are actually important to society. Letting apple control them even a bit sets a bad precedent.

Apple controls no one except for Apple. People voluntarily buy into Apple's products, and they can get rid of them voluntarily, at any time.

Re:It's their product (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32401198)

So why is the iPad different?

Magazin publishers don't publish on Wii, Xbox360 or PS3, they however do publish on the iPad. So its only natural that they actually care about the platforms they use and don't care about those they don't use.

Definitely a new record on summary mistakes. (4, Informative)

w4rl5ck (531459) | more than 4 years ago | (#32400666)

Well yes, we *have* problems with censorship and freedom in germany (as probably any other country has these days), but this summary is so wrong it hurts really bad...

As mentioned in comments before:

- the internet censorship stuff has not been banned by President Köhler, he just did not sign immediately. He did later, but after an election and a shift in government partys, the law has been stopped by the new government

- the "violent video" thing has been discussed by many hardliners, but there never has been a broad support for that

- wikileaks was not "banned" or anything. The stupid domain owners just did not take the proper steps to keep the domain

So, one will find other, definitely even worse crimes against humanity in Germany, but this list is, well... sort of "outdated and overcome".

Oh, and on topic: the publishers have some valid points here, and we might see some regulations for Apple in Germany. Porn is not illegal here, mind you ;)

The iPad is l33t, anyway.

Re:Definitely a new record on summary mistakes. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401800)

The law is not "stopped", it is still in full effect. The government only gave order to the police not to make any blocking lists. According to the law, the telecommunication providers could still be fined if they don't install the blocking infrastructure. And in addition, the government could still say any day, that the police may start blocking offending pages (Unlikely that they would, though, especially now that most people have understood that finding and taking down the servers of child pornography is possible and better than simply DNS blocking them)

We banned Wikileaks? Good to know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401712)

Funny how I'm in Germany and can happily access Wikileaks without problem...or how it wasn't "the country" that voted to put censorship architecture in place, but the conservative parts of parliament...or how it wasn't "the country" that tried to ban violent video games, but 16 politicians.

But hey...a bit more than a hundred...sixteen...eighty million...what's the difference?

I guess the facts weren't as impressive as the random hyperbole over a faraway country.

Then again, it's posted by kdawson...what do I expect?

Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32401880)

I'm not a fan of it. But there is a difference in a democratically elected constitutional government censoring something and a private company doing it.

That being said, is Apple within their right to sell what they want? Sure. I don't think you can order a bookstore to carry specific material. You *can* buy other ebook readers, and buy your ebooks from other sources. Some of them make it pretty easy (although not *as* easy, which seems to be a system/software design on the part of the competition.)

As much as I am annoyed by Apple (seriously, my next phone will likely be android based) I can't see that Apple should be forced to sell stuff they don't want to. Where Apple crosses the line is when I have to Jailbreak the phone to run a competing SW installer and "app store". And the inability to expand the system easily, to accomodate other data formats (ogg, flac, etc.) Like a car company only letting you use their brand of tires or gasoline. The courts have been there, done away with that.

How long would Apple remain out of court is they attempted the same degree of control on their desktop? Just because the computer is more mobile and some of them include "phone" chips, doesn't mean it's not a computer.

Someone needs to drag their sorry ass into court. But *censorship* is not the winning case. It would be racketeering.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?