Thursday, June 17, 2010

2000 Years of Art but Apple Knows Best - Update

Perhaps sense does prevail in Appleworld after all. We wrote previously about Apple censorship of comic nudity in a new rendition of James Joyce's Ulysses and pointed out that Apple’s obsessive control of content could mean that art as we have known it over the centuries would be banned from the iPad. It was ironic that last night we watch a programme on the Italian Renaissance and the works of the likes of Michelangelo and wondered what those censors would make of these paintings, or for that matter the horrors of other works such as Goya.

Today marks the worldwide celebration of all things Joyce and Ulysses and as if on queue, AppleWorld censors have decided to allow the nude pictures in Throwaway Horse's graphic novel version of the book. The Apple folk had obviously seen the day in the diaries and realised it was a good day to turn a PR nightmare into a quick or quiet win.

The publisher is widely quoted that they have been told by Apple "that they made a mistake in establishing guidelines that were too rigid to allow for artistic growth". "We made a mistake," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told the Washington Post, adding that when the comic's art was brought to Apple's attention, it "called the developers and offered them the opportunity to resubmit". "[Ulysses is] now in the store with the original panel drawings," she said.

The Ulysses chapter may now be closed but the questions still remain as to what the censor accepts as acceptable and fit for iPad consumption. The rigid control by geeks reading scripted rules begs the question of how many more times Apple’s rules will be tested before common sense prevails and the effort is redirected to more productive activity.

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