Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MacNN | Apple reverses course on censored comic book adaptations:

Despite rejecting them at one point, Apple has now decided to allow two uncensored comic book adaptations of classic literature back into the App Store, a report says. The first comic to be blocked was Ulysses Seen, an adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses. Apple reviewers are said to have objected to nudity in some panels.

The other book was an alternate take on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and was deemed unsuitable not only for showing men's buttocks, but more controversially for simply depicting men kissing. As of Monday, the restrictions on both apps have been lifted and they should quickly be available without any edits like black bars.

The change in course is a result of complaints, says Apple representative Trudy Muller. "We made a mistake. When the art panel edits of the Ulysses Seen app and the graphic novel adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest app were brought to our attention, we offered the developers the opportunity to resubmit their original drawings and update their apps."

The bans nevertheless raise the issue of freedom of expression at the App Store. Apple has come under fire numerous times for its rules, which for instance led to the rejection of a political cartoon app. A sudden decision to eliminate "overtly sexual" apps resulted in thousands of titles being deleted, while ignoring the likes of more obvious targets such as Playboy. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has defended the strategy, insisting that it represents "freedom from porn."