updated 05:15 pm EDT, Fri August 21, 2009
Obama art controversy
Apple has reversed course on the rejection an iPhone app featuring art of President Obama, the title's developer says. Start Mobile comments that it today received a letter from the iPhone Developer Program, claiming that after "further investigation," Start Mobile Wallpaper Gallery is fully compliant with all rules. It must be resubmitted to the App Store, but an Apple representative is promising an "expedited review."
The app was initially blocked because it contains Shepard Fairey's famous "Hope" poster, from Obama's 2008 election campaign. While the subject of its own rights controversies, Apple initially cited the art as simply inappropriate, due to ridiculing public figures. The classification was paradoxical, as Obama himself has been a supporter of Fairey's work.
Apple has had to admit errors in the case of a number of apps, as a result of what developers claim are inconsistent approval policies. A notable example is Eucalyptus, an e-book reader which was first rejected because of access to the Kama Sutra. The company has since begun work on cleaning up its image, for instance promising changes to the App Store based on developer feedback.