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Apple Censors Ulysses App In Time For Bloomsday

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the aren't-most-publishers-corporations-already? dept.

Books 333

Miracle Jones writes "Apple has censored a 'Ulysses' comic book app — just in time for 'Bloomsday' — because of a picture of Buck Mulligan's stately, plump cartoon penis. Not since Amazon removed digital copies of '1984' from people's Kindles while they slept has there been such a hilarious episode in the ongoing slapstick farce 'Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.'"

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Android (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563320)

This is why I bought an android. Every time I see a story like this it just makes me feel better about my choice

Re:Android (-1, Offtopic)

allcar (1111567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563418)

What a load of cock!

Re:Android (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563724)

I thought we were discussing Android, not Apple ;D

Re:Android (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563510)

Flamebait?!
Offtopic I could undestand...

Re:Android (5, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563694)

Poor little Apple fanbois feel all sad and hurt if you point out that their demigod Steve is an uncultured pathetic little micromanaging dictatorial prick.

Re:Android (5, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563924)

I don't even understand how this is off topic... The issue at hand here is what happens when a corporation gets too much control. Or as the summary said:

'Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.'

So the fact that you have two platforms --one that's notorious for exerting arbitrary and inconsistent control and another that's known for being 100% open-- really is about as on topic as you can get. The fact that Android is thriving is proof that people don't need (And that at least a fair number of them don't want) that kind of control pushed upon them. It's not a "Apple sucks and Android rules" fanboi statement. It's a simple statement that a platform can survive (and thrive) in a realm without censorship and control (and that corporations can be publishers and yet still be responsible and open about it).

The way the summary (and TFA) is written, it makes it sound like this is a universal problem for all corporations that get into publishing (that they have to walk a fine line between "protecting the users" and limiting censorship). But I think the fact that there is at least one corporation thriving in the industry that doesn't partake in those practices says a heck of a lot (and hence isn't flamebait or offtopic)...

Re:Android (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563958)

This is why I bought an android. Every time I see a story like this it just makes me feel better about my choice

Who the hell publishes a book as an app ? Not even an iBook or whatever they are calling it, an application. If you want to read the book just use THE publishing tool of this age: the internet. The website is here [ulyssesseen.com] (warning contains "plump cartoon penis") and can be read on Android and *gasp* iPhone.

Re:Android (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564112)

Who the hell publishes a book as an app ?

Because iPhone has an (app)store and because it is hugely popular. Also maybe there is no good comic sending app and/or existing comic apps which allow selling comic strips of random authors have unacceptable rules or demand too much margin? The easiest way is to just write application which will sell author's strips or which you buy once and you have access to all strips and author has some money.

so honestly... (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563324)

Is this really even a suprise? I thought it was well known that, in general, Apple will reject apps with nudity.

I mean, whats next, an article alleging that Google may, in fact, have ties to the advertising industry?

Yes But Drawings of Nudes? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563404)

Is this really even a suprise? I thought it was well known that, in general, Apple will reject apps with nudity.

Yeah but illustrated nudity (and poorly at that)? What happens if I made an app that let you clothe South Park characters and you start with two peach colored circles with eyes and mouth on the top circle? What is that, child nudity?

I mean, uh, it's been ninety years or so since it was first banned in America and now here we are in 2010 ...

I mean, whats next, an article alleging that Google may, in fact, have ties to the advertising industry?

A better analogy, in my opinion, would be an article discussing Google's ties to advertising inside MMOs. Slight twists on commonly known things are sometimes interesting. I find it interesting that artistic interpretations of nudes are rejected. Could you even have the Venus de Milo or Vitruvian Man on an iDevice app? This definitely shows they err on the other side of the millennium.

Re:Yes But Drawings of Nudes? (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563870)

Yeah but illustrated nudity (and poorly at that)? What happens if I made an app that let you clothe South Park characters and you start with two peach colored circles with eyes and mouth on the top circle? What is that, child nudity?

In Australia "depiction" of someone "who appears" under eighteen will count as child porn yes.

Re:so honestly... (1, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563666)

They blocked a dictionary app because the dictionary also had definitions for inappropriate words.

Oddly enough, they don't block the Wikipedia app. You can find nudity on Wikipedia. Quick alert Gestapo Steve Jobs!

Re:so honestly... (1, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563726)

Nudity or art?

This reminds be of the Simpsons episode where the statue of David by Michelangelo makes a visit to Springfield, but S.N.U.H. wants it to be censored because of the nudity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itchy_&_Scratchy_&_Marge [wikipedia.org]

Besides, I don't think Apple has any problems with nudity because afaik they do have a Playboy and Sports Illustrated app. I think the problem was with "low brow porn". If the problem was with nudity every person shown in an app should be wearing a burqa.

corporations have always been publishers (5, Insightful)

lapsed (1610061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563332)

This is what happens when books are licensed rather than bought.

Re:corporations have always been publishers (0, Offtopic)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563370)

astonishingly, timothy actually got this one right. -1 flamebait to submitter...

I do not think it means what you think it means (4, Interesting)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563610)

"To buy" a book versus "to license" it, I don't think you understand the concept. Granted, it was much easier to understand when books were hardcopy only. Back then, it was well understood that you couldn't just go to the local copy shop and have them make 10, 100, 1,000 copies which you then sold, or even gave away. Digital makes this process trivial. It is no longer thought-provoking (huh, a publisher sells these, maybe they'll object to my selling them or giving them away -- there is that thing about copyright) because it's so easy and appears so innocuous.

When you buy a book, you're buying the physical media -- the paper and cover/spine/jacket/glue/stitching, and also the ink covering the page -- for what that's worth. You're also buying the consumption of the words. You're not buying the words or the right to reproduce them. The same holds true with digital media. You're buying the right to consume the information contained within a particular ordering of bits, but you're not buying the information itself or the right to make even one filecopy of that information which you sell or give to someone else. (Yes, backups are fair use, no matter what anyone says.) I'm sorry, but you're just not.

In other words, whether hard or electronic copy, when you "buy" a book, you're really just licensing it, to put it in the words you used. There is no "bought."

This is why I like the book/record model of licensing. Buy this digital resource, and you can use or lend or trade it just like you'd do with a hard media book or record or tape in days of yore. The problem with "piracy" in the digital age is that enforcement of copyright is no longer strongly supported by the limitations of the (physical) media that carries the copyrighted information. To me, this is a true "middle of the road" licensing position.

Now, that being said, if I purchase "1984" and wake up one morning and find it missing, then discover the publisher I bought it from repossessed it, I'm going to be ticked off. If they've refunded my purchase price in full, I'll be quite a bit less ticked off.

One other thing. My limited reading indicates to me that when a digital media resource is allowed to be "shared" (even if that means copying), it seems to stimulate sales. If the objective is highest sales, which one assumes helps maximize profits, maybe lax copyright enforcement is the way for artists and even publishers to go in the digital age. When you think back to the way things worked 50, 75, 100 years ago, that's pretty amazing.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (5, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563660)

Now, that being said, if I purchase "1984" and wake up one morning and find it missing, then discover the publisher I bought it from repossessed it, I'm going to be ticked off. If they've refunded my purchase price in full, I'll be quite a bit less ticked off.

If it were a hard copy, I wouldn't be the slightest bit less ticked off. I'd be pressing charges for every law they broke in order to take back the book, and throw a lawsuit on top of it for whatever my lawyer could think of. That shit wouldn't fly, which is, I believe, the point of the post you were replying to.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563794)

If it were a hard copy, I wouldn't be the slightest bit less ticked off. I'd be pressing charges for every law they broke in order to take back the book, and throw a lawsuit on top of it for whatever my lawyer could think of. That shit wouldn't fly, which is, I believe, the point of the post you were replying to.

Would you really go through all that trouble of getting a lawyer and pressing charges and bringing suits if it were a $20 book? If so, you're probably going to be in the minority.

This is why we're seeing these corporate "micro-crimes" where you get cheated out of $1, $5, $10 or much more. Whether it's something you bought that doesn't work and isn't worth the trouble of returning or a $50 game for which there was no demo that turns out to be garbage or unplayable. Most people just suck it up and move along, which is what the corporation is counting on. You say "I'll never buy from them again" but you do, you always do. Because if you have a Kindle, you're kind of stuck regarding where you can buy your books. If you have an iPhone, you're absolutely stuck as to where you buy your apps. In most American cities, you're stuck as to where you get your broadband.

So I disagree when you say "this shit wouldn't fly" because it's flying all over the place right now.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (4, Insightful)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563990)

If it were a hard copy, I wouldn't be the slightest bit less ticked off. I'd be pressing charges for every law they broke in order to take back the book, and throw a lawsuit on top of it for whatever my lawyer could think of.

I agree with you. If they took back the (hard copy) book (I would agree with the wording "stole it from me"), I'd be really ticked off, too. If they refunded my purchase price in full, I'd be quite a bit less ticked off. (Please note that I'm not addressing the issue of censorship here.)

And your point here is an excellent one. Recapturing something from someone's hard/flash drive in their home is the digital equivalent of breaking and entering, unless the publisher has a court order/warrant to repossess it. Just because it's licensed, the licensor isn't granted the right to take it back at any time and place. Thank you for emphasizing that. I'm dubious as to whether clicking on a EULA can legally grant a seemingly unlimited right of repossession, just because the media is digital.

So, thanks for hitting another important issue this raises :^)

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (4, Insightful)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563682)

Well, the point is that everybody expects the license for a book to be irreversible.
When I buy the book, I have that license FOR EVER, or until I sell that book and give away that license.

But in this digital age, companies like Amazon or Apple tend to deny me that.
The licences I buy from them come with a lot more limits (but usuallay without being less expensive).

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563900)

This is why book stores are not in decline. Plus having a bookshelf with actual books on it in my home is awesome.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (4, Insightful)

lapsed (1610061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563780)

Woosh? I understand the concepts - maybe I could have been a bit more verbose. The point I was trying to make is that there are differences between licenses to read digital books and physical copies of them. The 1984 example so pissed everyone off not because it was inconvenient but because it points to how governments and corporations might use DRM and digital media distribution to rewrite history and suppress potentially subversive literature. The irony is that 1984 addresses and cautions against concentrating and enabling the power to rewrite history. You might be ticked off if your copy of 1984 was involuntarily refunded -- the rest of us would be alarmed. It's not the loss of money -- it's the loss of control.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563846)

But the problem isn't licensing, it's DRM - the thing that can prevent you from lending or reselling the book, from using it in multiple devices and that enables them to remotely delete your book.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563980)

If I discovered that a publisher had repossessed a physical book, I would charge them with breaking and entering, theft, etc .etc ..

They have no right to hack into my device and remove the copy of a book I bought either .... ..they can rescind my licence, but I will still own the copy (weather it's a physical book or a set of bits on my device)

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564130)

In the context of the Amazon 1984 debacle, the GP is clearly talking about access to the "physical media (sic)" , not the rights to duplicate the content, you patronising jackass.

uhhh, what? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563334)

'Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.'

Because the current crop of publishers aren't corporations?

And this is different to Walmart.... (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563342)

This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

Apple can say "no penises on the store, even comic ones" just like network TV can say "no swearing before 9pm" or a store can say "we'll carry all of your products except that flavoured lube you make, it just doesn't fit with our image".

Also, I thought most publishers *were* corporations. When did it become ok to post troll articles as summaries? Oh wait, it's slashdot. Carry on.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563430)

It different because if you don't like Walmart's policy you can go to Target or any other store.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563466)

I seem to own a non-Apple phone upon which I can place any content someone will sell me from any of hundreds of websites up to and including self-published applications that aren't even sold through a marketplace.

I don't know whether to be impressed that Apple has apparently convinced you that they're the only choice, or horrified that you didn't stop to think beyond the fact that just because that handset has only one marketplace doesn't mean there's only one marketplace.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (2, Insightful)

cl0s (1322587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563502)

If you don't like the iPhone get an Android phone. If you don't like the iBook store go to Amazon or B&N or the comic books website.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (2, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563996)

I think you're arguing on the same side here - yes, exactly, there are other better alternatives out there. But that's why people are criticising Apple here, and it's right to do so, so that people are aware of those alternatives (whilst there are many bigger phone sellers to Apple, some people here seem to think that the Iphone is the only phone that can access the Internet, etc).

When people criticise Windows, you don't say "Why are you criticising Windows, you could just use Linux" - on the contrary, the fact that Linux is out there is even more reason to criticise Windows. Similarly, the fact that Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG, RIM, Google, Microsoft and basically every company in the phone market except Apple don't have this problem adds to the criticism - Apple can't respond with "but that's what everyone else does too".

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1)

Proteus (1926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563614)

It different because if you don't like Walmart's policy you can go to Target or any other store.

And if you don't like the iBooks store, you can -- with the same Apple device even -- buy your books from Amazon's Kindle store, the Stanza stores, or a few others.

And if you don't like any of those choices, you can buy a different computing device altogether.

Contrary to what the Apple fanboys would have you believe, Apple is NOT the sole provider of useful things.

quite different (4, Insightful)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563534)

This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

Apple is trying to become a primary conduit for digital media; if they succeed, then we are stuck with their censorship rules.

That's why people need to understand the danger that Apple poses now, before Apple succeeds in establishing a Microsoft-like monopoly over media, content, and apps.

just like network TV can say "no swearing before 9pm"

TV networks are forced to do that by government rules.

or a store can say "we'll carry all of your products except that flavoured lube you make, it just doesn't fit with our image".

Individual physical stores can't impose worldwide controls over products or content; those that do get big enough to do so are just as much of a concern as Apple is.

Just because other companies are sleazy and dangerous doesn't mean we should stop complaining about Apple.

Re:quite different (3, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563620)

That's why people need to understand the danger that Apple poses now, before Apple succeeds in establishing a Microsoft-like monopoly over media, content, and apps.

Microsoft managed to establish a monopoly on operating systems because there were a small number of computer manufacturers. The barrier to entry into manufacturing was high, and on top of that, they were in a race to the bottom in terms of retail pricing as they were all making essentially the same product from the average consumer's point of view.

There are many creators of content. The barrier to entry is low. There are providers of content parallel to and just as easily accessible by the consumer as Apple.

I don't see an Apple monopoly in any of those areas being inevitable. In fact, it is probably impossible.

Re:quite different (3, Insightful)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564024)

Not with a walled garden model. You should be comparing architectures instead of OSes of a single architecture. Imagine if Intel decided to wall off its processor to a single OS where they dictated what applications you could use. You would not be defending what Apple is doing. Further, Apple does not create content. They only act as the delivery system for content. Barrier to entry is high because you need a device to deliver content and Apple is building a monopoly on that.

Re:quite different (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564046)

We're not talking about creating content (obviously Apple weren't the ones to write this Ulysses app), but about distribution and access to that content.

The barrier to creating content is low. But the barrier to devices to read electronic content - mp3/video players, phones, other portable devices - is very high.

What good is the low barrier to creating content, when you can't get it on the one and only official distribution store? And if you put it on any other server, no one will be able to read it unless they hack their device? Thankfully I don't think there's any way Apple could pull this off for mp3s, but it's the model they're using for mobile applications. (The sad thing is though, that if Apple came out with Ipods that now required all media played on it to be approved by Apple, many people here on Slashdot would be loving it, and saying we shouldn't worry because it's Apple.)

Re:quite different (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564060)

Apple is trying to become a primary conduit for digital media; if they succeed, then we are stuck with their censorship rules.

It'll never happen. Let's assume for a moment that iPhones are SOOO great that everyone gets one. It's not showing any signs of happening, but we'll play in never-never land. Ohes noes! Apple is the sole source of digital media! Except that they have a Kindle reader, a PDF reader, a Barnes and Noble e-book reader, and a web browser. Any of which can be used as an alternate publishing route.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563564)

The difference is if I want to put objectionable stuff on a Kindle/Nook that I can't buy it through Amazon/B&N, I can get it elsewhere and read it without rooting the device.

True, I may have to decrypt the content beforehand, but Amazon/B&N isn't the one preventing me from doing so.

On the other hand, people really should stop making an app out of their content unless it needs it. They probably could have sold this through Amazon's kindle for iWhatever.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (2, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563942)

The difference is if I want to put objectionable stuff on a Kindle/Nook that I can't buy it through Amazon/B&N, I can get it elsewhere and read it without rooting the device.

New to the ipod? Never heard of bookz? No need to "root the device"

http://www.iphonebookz.com/ [iphonebookz.com]

or just search for "bookz"

You can't, as far as I know, pay money for "objectionable stuff", but you most certainly don't need to "root the device" to put "objectionable stuff" on it.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (5, Insightful)

captainboogerhead (228216) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563566)

This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

Apple can say "no penises on the store, even comic ones" just like network TV can say "no swearing before 9pm" or a store can say "we'll carry all of your products except that flavoured lube you make, it just doesn't fit with our image".

Sure. They have the right. And we have both the right and the duty to mock them when they do. If we don't, all publishers will turn into Disneylands. That would be a bad thing, BTW.

Just cause they're a corp and they have the right doesn't mean they should--and it sure as fuck doesn't mean we should shrug and let them get away with it. If they're gonna be moral gatekeepers for millions and millions of people they need to be accountable. Not to their idiot pandering gormless shareholders, but to their audience.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1)

cardpuncher (713057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563582)

... because Walmart cannot (yet) stop you buying the stuff it doesn't want you to have elsewhere.

Mind you, if you want to look at a penis on your iPad, just draw a large cock and balls on the screen with a Magic Marker. It's not as if you're going to be using it for much else...

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563956)

... because Walmart cannot (yet) stop you buying the stuff it doesn't want you to have elsewhere.

Neither can Apple. If you don't like their policies: Jailbreak your iPhone or craigslist it and get a more open handset.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563824)

This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

Ulysses is well written on a small scale, yet doesn't really have anything to say on the large scale, although it occasionally has interesting parts. Its used by the intellectual (and wannabe) class to "other" themselves away from the general population, and especially away from the neo-puritans, by being chock full of in-jokes / symbolism that only they understand.

Using walmart as a straw dog is hilarious because Ulysses is not going to appeal to the typical resident of "peopleofwalmart.com". University bookstore might stock it, a "coffee bar/bookstore" type of place to show off your literary taste to meet MOTOS maybe, etc. It's stocked/owned as a symbol for intellectualism, but no one really voluntarily buys or reads it, because its just not that good. I'm not seeing it selling to the stereotypical walmart customer, so walmart stocking it would be a stupid business decision, which is not something walmart is known for. It's very much like complaining that the christian scientist bookstore won't stock Dawkins and Sam Harris, or the jewish bookstore won't stock Mein Kampf.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563882)

It's different because Apple has a monopoly on selling content to the iOS devices. Walmart does not have a monopoly on magazines. This is blatantly obvious to everyone who isn't a through-and-through fanboy. It really amazes me how you idiots go out of your way to defend everything Apple does. And 5, "insightful", as well. Yes, you're a cult.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563936)

This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

It isn't different at all. Apple's PR dept is more than welcome to play the "We're just as good as Walmart." card.

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563960)

This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

Way to defend the cause, fanboy. "Apple is no different than a bunch of censoring conservative twats!"

Re:And this is different to Walmart.... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563992)

This is different to Walmart deciding not to carry content its store owners find objectionable, how?

That doesn't make the news anymore. Trolling Apple: cheaper than an advertising budget !

Publishers (4, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563346)

Publishers weren't corporations before the iPhone?

Re:Publishers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563484)

Well, it did change everything. Again.

Become, you say? (1)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563354)

Publisher/corporations have been corporations/publishers for a long time now and this sort of censorship is neither new nor limited to literature.

The internet gives everyone the option to publish without censorship; you want to publish through a corporation though, because you want their lovely money.

But it's true, their timing is impeccably poor.

Read the fine prints (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563356)

Apple is not about what you want but what they think you want. So if you are not satisfied with the fine prints/ device itself DONT BUY MORE.

"Ohhh but its pretty" Then congrats you bought a device just for the looks... next time buy a cardboard box and glue a pic of it to the side.

I want 2x more width on the tires of my car... can i do it? Ups its not according to the law.....

simple answer (0, Troll)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563372)

If you're an artist, give your stuff away for free. If you're good enough, people will make donations. If not, then what's the point of being an artist?
If you give it away for free, then people are free to make txt/pdf/avi/ogg or whatever, that can be passed around with no problems.

Re:simple answer (2, Interesting)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563398)

If you're a programmer, give your stuff away for free. If you're good enough, people will make donations. If not, then what's the point of being a programmer?
If you give it away for free, then people are free to make .js/.pkg/.exe or whatever, that can be passed around with no problems.

Re:simple answer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563428)

http://www.gnu.org
http://www.mozilla.com/firefox
http://www.ubuntu.com

Etc, etc.

Re:simple answer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563482)

If you're a farmer, give your stuff away for free. If you're good enough, people will make donations. If not, then what's the point of being a farmer?
If you give it away for free, then people are free to make bread/salad/pie or whatever, that can be passed around with no problems.

Re:simple answer (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563884)

If I could give copies of my bread/salad/pies away and still keep the originals, why not?

Re:simple answer (2, Insightful)

Raffaello (230287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563520)

I think this is the first time I've heard someone as senior as [Redhat CEO] Whitehurst admit something rather profound: that open source solutions save money for customers by doing away with the fat margins for existing computer companies – and thus shrink the overall market. [computerworlduk.com]

Giving your work product away and hoping that someone will pay you for it ensures that you will make less money than people who demand fair pay for their work.

Re:simple answer (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564048)

Giving your work product away and hoping that someone will pay you for it ensures that you will make less money than people who demand fair pay for their work.

Sell one time to ten corps at $1K a pop, or sign yearly $500 support contracts to 40 corps, your choice...

And as for "demand fair pay", much as the value of bits and Hz has dropped over time to about zero each, the value of a c compiler or text editor has rounded down to zero. Grousing about how text editors used to be worth $250 each and they still should today, is about as useful as grousing about how 4116 16 kilobit drams used to sell for about $25 each and they still should today.

Re:simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32564052)

That's one of the points isn't it: free software is interesting because no one company can grab huge profits. You call it "shrinking the whole market" but (as is clear from Whitehursts comments) that's just a side effect of customers getting the software they want cheaper: it's called efficiency and it's often considered a good feature in the business world. What the clients do with the extra money is up to them: maybe they fund software development in areas that would otherwise not get developed.

Giving your work product away and hoping that someone will pay you for it ensures that you will make less money than people who demand fair pay for their work.

Yeah... you keep believing that. I'll get back to developing free software (that's what I get a fair compensation for).

Re:simple answer (1)

dwandy (907337) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564042)

If you're good enough, people will make donations.

I don't think that "give it away and pray" is a good business model.
I don't think most people will pay if given the option to get it for free.
That doesn't mean that "free" can't be a part of a business model. The local Starbucks is regularly offering free samples, broadcast television is free to watch etc. This does mean that you are giving something away in order to add value to something else, or convince people to value something else which you do then sell.

This is where open-source has been profitable: sure the source code is free, but support costs money. I'm sure there are other ways and business models that will be invented, as an example Kickstarter [kickstarter.com] which is really the opposite of give-it-away-away-and-pray: get funding commitments before you start work.

Re:simple answer (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564122)

I'm a researcher. I give the results of my research away for free (arXiv, personal webpage).
Yes, I submit it to journals that cost money, but you can get the results without going to the journals.

I don't know what I want. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563374)

I need Steve to tell me what i want.

Ironic (4, Informative)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563376)

This is ironic because Ulysses not only was the cause for stricter pornography laws in the United States, when it was first published not as a book but in serialized form, but it was also the book that was used to get the laws struck down. Although the Ulysses case itself never went to the Supreme Court, it did influence later cases that did wind up in the Supreme Court.

Maybe Apple could have an Ulysses app with all the nasty bits removed. Or better yet, a Bowdlerization filter that would transform any book into something absolutely harmless.

Re:Ironic (5, Informative)

MrAtoz (58719) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563704)

Exactly so. The case was United States v. One Book Called Ulysses [wikipedia.org] . The gist of the ruling was that the book was not obscene because it had merit as a work of literary art. Judge Woolsey's ruling was an eloquent defense of contemporary (for then) literary art. Once the book was no longer banned in the US, the UK and Ireland followed suit and allowed unexpurgated versions. What is doubly ironic here is that the case was engineered by Random House in order to be able to publish the book freely through the US without being prosecuted for pornography. Wow -- look at the difference today! What publisher would challenge the government and culture in this manner today? Instead, Apple seeks to create a Digital Disneyland [freedom-to-tinker.com] where everyone can have a fully predictable, enjoyable, inoffensive, and commercially lucrative (for Apple) time.

Re:Ironic (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563756)

Wow -- look at the difference today! What publisher would challenge the government and culture in this manner today? Instead, Apple seeks to create a Digital Disneyland where everyone can have a fully predictable, enjoyable, inoffensive, and commercially lucrative (for Apple) time.

While I agree with what you are saying about Apple, no publisher has to challenge the government and culture in this manner today, because so far the only pieces of sexual media which are illegal are child porn and snuff flicks. Sure, you are expected not to put billboards with big cocks in people's faces, but other than that we have pretty open freedom as to what we publish.

Now that I've said it, I guess some publisher is eventually going to go to war over a book full of pictures of naked children.

Why? (0, Redundant)

Slash.Poop (1088395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563406)

Why does Apple get to censor ANYTHING on my phone? It is MY phone, not THEIRS!

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563444)

Cause they get to censor EVERYTHING on their store - it's THEIR store, not YOURS!

Re:Why? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563906)

Indeed, clearly he is free to go and download the app from someone else's store, and run it on his phone.

Oh wait... forgot this is Apple.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563448)

You can put whatever filthy nonsense you want on YOUR phone. Apple isn't stopping you.

However it is THEIR app store, not YOURS. Apple gets to decide what's on their app store.

Re:Why? (1, Insightful)

Slash.Poop (1088395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563562)

Oh! THEIR app store. Now I get it.

So...in order to get an official app on my phone that app must be in the app store.
So...in order to get into the app store that app must pass Apple's moral police.

So...that would be censorship.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563746)

It's not censorship unless a government authority is saying "this isn't fit for the citizens"

If the government (in any form, such as a public school) was banning a work... That's censorship.
Apple choosing not to sell an app is not. You can still legally obtain the content in some form.

Re:Why? (0)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563782)

So...in order to get an official app on my phone that app must be in the app store.

I could make an official app of Ash-Fox and distribute it outside of the app store for jail broken iphones.

So...in order to get into the app store that app must pass Apple's moral police.

For the app store, yes.

So...that would be censorship.

Not really, nobody is stopping you from showing off your applications, at worst, they're just stopping you from putting it on their store because they don't want it.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563850)

You can put whatever filthy nonsense you want on YOUR phone

How do you do that without rooting and throwing away your warranty?

Become Publishers? (2, Insightful)

ehynes (617617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563416)

Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.

And Random House, HarperCollins, etal. are what, chopped liver?

I'm beginning to believe Steve Jobs (2, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563422)

Steve Jobs, I believe having a good "sex life [techcrunch.com] " means something entirely different than it does for the rest of us. Even me, a staid almost boring 30 year-something person with a long term partner has gotten on board with sexting, sex pics and other naughty stuff with gadgetry.

I would never even consider owning a telecommunication/internet device that came with somebody's seemingly arbitrary and contradictory moral strictures as the arbiter of what I may use the device for. Ownership of Apple products has always been about willing to go into their secretive walled garden but lately with the hostility and snarkiness that has been shown to both Apple developers and consumers the experience is more akin to living in Gaza.

Re:I'm beginning to believe Steve Jobs (0, Flamebait)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563546)

I never thought I'd have to see a store in the US that wasn't free to make its own choices about what it wants to sell! I's like living in Gaza!

Is comparing the inability to buy an app with a carton penis in a private store where the owner of said store doesn't want to sell such things with living in Gaza the new Godwin?

I'm sure your hardship is just the same as some family in Gaza being shelled with white phosphorous while their perfectly legal and legitimate house is bulldozed to make way for new, illegal construction.

Re:I'm beginning to believe Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563580)

Hyperbole, and rather shameless one at that, but current and a very nice soundbyte. I think he wins.

Re:I'm beginning to believe Steve Jobs (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563624)

Arbitrary and contradictory lists [alzaytouna.net] /lists [google.com] , that they neither Israel or Apple will disclose on what is allowed. What Israel is doing is inexcusable, I agree, but it seems an apt comparison even if a bit over the top.

Re:I'm beginning to believe Steve Jobs (3, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563868)

I would never even consider owning a telecommunication/internet device that came with somebody's seemingly arbitrary and contradictory moral strictures as the arbiter of what I may use the device for. Ownership of Apple products has always been about willing to go into their secretive walled garden but lately with the hostility and snarkiness that has been shown to both Apple developers and consumers the experience is more akin to living in Gaza.

Yes not being able to buy a book through one (1) store is the same as living in a war zone where the essentials of life are blockaded. That's not overdramatic at all. You can get/buy the book through other channels (as a pdf for example) and put it on your phone to read with another program or, you know, through the friggin' website [ulyssesseen.com] (NSFW, contains traces of nuts) as Apple continuously says to do to get content to the phone without Apple approval. That's not to say this behavior doesn't sucks and doesn't need to be challenged but the hyperbole isn't helping any.

Uhhh, corporations ARE publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563436)

Take away the low-volume college presses and self-publishing, all you have left is corporate publishing. The only difference is they've got far more experience than Amazon, Apple and other that offer electronic books, and much lower profiles.

Anyone reads his tripe by choice ? (-1, Flamebait)

ccandreva (409807) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563474)

I thought Joyce was the crap you were forced to read in school by bitter English teachers who wanted to torture kids as much as they were.
You mean people actually WANT to read his swill ?

It's garbage. Not filth, just bad writing. If he Ulysses hadn't been banned no one would even remember it exists.

Re:Anyone reads his tripe by choice ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563644)

It's garbage. Not filth, just bad writing. If he Ulysses hadn't been banned no one would even remember it exists.

Indeed, "Ulysees" was the scam Joyce composed after he realized his inspiration for writing was gone. The people who insist it has merit are idiots.

Publishers have been corporations for a long time. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563488)

But it's only in the past few years they've become retailers, like Apple. It's as if Walmart suddenly became a publisher and sold only its own books through its stores.

Such vertical integration can, and does, lead to monopoly.

--
BMO

iPhone vs the rest -- VHS vs Betamax (3, Interesting)

Vapula (14703) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563536)

One of the things that rules in favor of VHS was that Sony was forbidding the use of it's format (Betamax) for pornography... So all porn movies were VHS only... Betamax was superior but noone ever cared about it...

Could the same happen with the iPhone ? People choosing Android/Blackberry/Maemo/SymbianWindows Mobile over the iPhone because of this restriction on nudity ?

Re:iPhone vs the rest -- VHS vs Betamax (3, Informative)

robably (1044462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563908)

But nobody is having a problem getting porn on to their iPhone - it has a browser on it with unrestricted access to all the porn in the world. Who is finding porn so hard to find on the internet that they need an _app_ for it?

Re:iPhone vs the rest -- VHS vs Betamax (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563910)

Not until Safari for the i* platforms includes a porn filter that can't be turned off.

Re:iPhone vs the rest -- VHS vs Betamax (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563940)

Seeing as how history did not repeat itself with Sony's new format, Blu-Ray, I would say no.

Re:iPhone vs the rest -- VHS vs Betamax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563964)

One of the things that rules in favor of VHS was that Sony was forbidding the use of it's format (Betamax) for pornography

This article disagrees:

There's a popular legend that VHS took off because Sony wouldn't let people release porn on Betamax. Well, that's not true; Sony had some control over the Beta licensees, but those companies made VCRs, not movies. The real reason was that early Beta tapes were only an hour long. That was good enough for TV show timeshifting, but no good for movies, dirty or otherwise.

http://www.dansdata.com/gz030.htm

No (3, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564044)

Steve's banning of iPhone porn apps from the store is a front. Steve is playing both sides of the porn coin here to make as many people as he can happy.

You can find plenty of iPhone compatible mobile porn websites. These same sites work on any just about other smartphone as well. And the porn industry doesn't need any apps in the app store, because they don't make money on apps, they make money on monthly subscriptions. Sure they would love some kind of free app to drum up more subscriptions, but they aren't bothered too much, they are used to this kind of discrimination. They are also used to their customers hunting them down via Google or clicking thru 15 ads.

It's like Betamax creating a bunch of corner stores and saying "you can't buy porn in our stores" but then being able to go to Joe's porn emporium down the street and get all you want. If Steve really was that concerned he'd have permanently turned on the parental controls on all iPhones. That would be how he would have to shoot his foot clean off, because then he'd have created the VHS/Betamax situation.

Dear Apple (0, Troll)

theolein (316044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563586)

I would like to post my new app "Steve's Johnson" to the app store. Please tell me where I should put it.

Regards
Theolein

Filtering. (1)

gninnor (792931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563622)

The emerging multiple layers of filtering that is disturbing to me. An artist has an idea, it is then edited and tweaked by the publisher, it then is edited and tweaked by Walmart/Apple/Whoever. Use a search engine, and you have a nontransparent filter that makes choices for you like Google and Bing that give you press releases from BP/the government and others.

Buy a Dell or other device (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563626)

Install Linux and enjoy your freedoms without a distortion field, DRM, book removal or mass packet collection.
Time to take computing back from the multinationals and make it personal again.
Name and shame all their efforts to double dip, control or steal.
If they push back, it's a McLibel with web 2.0 updates :)

Re:Buy a Dell or other device (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563712)

Install Linux and enjoy your freedoms without a distortion field, DRM, book removal or mass packet collection. Time to take computing back from the multinationals and make it personal again.

If you mean Android, you know that's a *non-free* version of Linux, right? It's owned by your carrier, who can change policies and dictate pretty much any terms they like.

What a dumb question! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563662)

"'Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.'"

Books, music, and games have been published by corporations for a LONG time. Somebody needs more coffee -- I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't do Mondays well.

Corporate Publishers (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563838)

Let's See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.

Hate to break it to you but most major publishers are corporations. I know you were trying to be witty and make a point but you might want to try harder next time.

Who (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32563966)

Cares?

I for one welcome our stately, plump cartoon penis (1)

ikoleverhate (607286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32563976)

overlords

Did it look like this? (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564040)

8===D

Ulysses Comic Book App? (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32564054)

Yes, censorship is bad. So is the idea of Ulysses as a comic book app. Maybe next they can do Pokemon as an opera.

its only the start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32564118)

hmmmm i think there will be a lot more of this sort of thing in the future.

apple have gone from selling hardware and an OS to curating what can be viewed on that hardware through their systems. its a huge shift and i think they'll be bogged down in this sort of thing for a while as more and more items get banned and then allowed or allowed and then banned. it doesn't feel very clear what is allowed and what isn't, it seems to be by a case by case basis with rules applied unevenly, which surely is a worry for content creators.

maybe all the publishing companies should get together and make their own app/magazine/book store with content available for iphone, android, windows mobile, nokia/symbian etc.

personally i find it quite depressing that the company that i have been buying computers from to make creative content has such a dim view of culture!

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