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Apple reverses course on censored comic book adaptations

updated 06:25 pm EDT, Mon June 14, 2010

Raises questions of App Store expression

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."

by MacNN Staff



  1. Darchmare

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Anyone with me on this?

    Apple _seriously_ needs to get past this bizarre prudishness and realize that its products are purchased by adults - adults capable of deciding what they want to see, using child controls to limit their kids' interactions with certain apps, etc.

    Honestly, for all that people complain about adult content, those who get up in arms at the sight of nudity (gasp!) - particularly of the pixelated cartoon variety - are the ones who are off-kilter.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple your an idiot

    I bet Steve Blow Jobs would have a hand in approving this, considering its content >:)

  1. Darchmare

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Both awesome and ironic...

    "Apple your an idiot"

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nannies Not Necessary!

    iTunes has Parental Controls, Apple should USE THEM instead of repeating these idiotic and embarrassing episodes. Apple's success has put a target on them, they really shouldn't load their enemies' guns with incidents like this!

    There was a posting of the original artwork from Ulysses "Seen" on the MacWorld UK website, but NOT on the US site!

    It's ridiculous that a cartoon drawing of a willie is lumped in with, and labeled, "p***". This country makes me ill sometimes.

  1. Miniryu

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The worst part is, the content wasn't even P***OGRAPHIC! They're adaptations of literature! Ridiculous! I thought we were past the point of banning books, but it looks like the lesson has not been learned yet.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Prudish is correct

    This is why I refuse to engage the "p**n" debate any longer.

    It isn't even about p***.

    It's about being a complete and utter prude, its about the prude form of feminism mixed in with ultra-conservative 1800's style values...all mixed up and confused together.

    Women's body illegal? Cartoon buttocks got you flummoxed?

    If men can be topless, so can women. And even if a child saw it, it would not harm them.

    However, there is an easy way to keep children from seeing it, don't allow them to see it.
    It's not exactly a difficult task to engineer...I'm sure someone at Apple has the brains to figure it out.

  1. pmccann

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Anyone else find it completely rucking fidiculous.

    ...that the macnn profanity filter turns p-o-r-n into p**n or p***? Speaking of prudish, as we were.

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