Apple Rejects Dictionary, EBook Apps on Profanity, Piracy Grounds
August 6, 2009 5:30 PM
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Apple continues to carefully police its users' behavior. It has rejected eReader applications, which it believes are used to infringe upon copyrighted works, and rejected a dictionary app until profanity was removed from it.
Apple believes apps would likely be employed for nefarious piracy purposes
Many have fantasized about using their iPhone as a high-resolution handheld version of Amazon's
Kindle eBook reader
or as a handheld dictionary. An eBook reader and dictionary applications on the iPhone certainly seemed technically feasible on the iPhone. But would they withstand the true test -- Apple's at times inconsistent app approval board?
called Ninja Words, written by Matchstick software, promised to open the gates for eBook readers on the iPhone. It was supposed to offer a "really fast" dictionary search. The app was submitted on May 13 and was quickly rejected due to a flaw. States Phil Crosby, one of Ninjawords's developers, "Our app was crashing on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0. We quickly fixed this issue and resubmitted."
The now fully-working app has just been rejected again, this time due to the fact that it contains
. Despite the fact that you had to explicitly type the swear word in its entirety to look it up ("fuc" returned no profane results), Apple complained, "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."
The makers resubmitted, this time without the swear words. However, Apple still made it a 17+ application, requiring users to meet an age requirement to download it.
EBook readers met an even worse fate. Apple is reportedly
rejecting them in mass
. Why, you ask? Well, it says that the technology is typically use to pirate works that the user does not enjoy legal access to. Apple states, "(T)his category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing upon third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store." At first glance, this policy seems in line with Apple's approach to applications that promise charitable contributions. Apple cannot police the developers and will not allow possibly fraudulent postings on their store. Apple does not want to be in the position of vetting rights claims."
Apple is currently
by the Federal Communications Commission over its rejection of the Google voice app. With its growing track record of rejecting useful apps, Apple's industry leading iPhone is truly missing out on its chance to distance itself from its competitors. Instead its raising red flags with the government and users alike.
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8/7/2009 9:17:19 AM
The funny thing is that if there were suddenly no more "morality police", society would quickly turn into one big "Liberal Missouri", and you certainly don't want that... do you? The "free thinkers" need the "morality police" because generally the "rules" end up somewhere in the middle. When one side starts to overpower the other (eh hem... Obama adminstration take over) is when the major problems will start happening. Even though I don't like liberals, I understand that their existence is unfortunately necessary so far right doesn't screw up the earth the same way the far left will.
8/7/2009 2:08:04 PM
The rant goes both ways. One could say that the other political side had overpowered for a long time leading up to the current left leaning political power.
You could also say that there were plenty of problems before the current Administration took office.
I don't like people that think that classifying people as one vs another. There's a difference of liberal and far left. In this political non-war, it's convenient to classify people as "us vs. them" where "them" is "anyone that isn't us".
I'm not so sure that the "morality police" keeps anything in check. It seems to exist solely as a device to try to keep itself relevant. I think that people will do what they want to do, "morality police" be damned. Some people will swing far to one side, others will swing the other way.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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