Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Setting Fire to the Apple Cart

A lot of people are angry because Apple regulates and censors the content published in their App store. They have labeled Apple an attacker on free speech, and worse, a proponent of censorship. Reading Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz's article on the subject only affirms my suspicion, most people who write tech are stupid.

"How Apple can force Bild to change their editorial content?" - from Mr. Diaz's Article

The app store isn't public property. It is a service that Apple maintains on their own dime, and from everything I've read, they do a little better than break even. Say yourent out a place where you have a billboard on the roof advertising a legitimate business or service. Are you going to let people shoot porn in the apartment right below it? It's like going into Best Buy and making a complaint to the Manager because they didn't have hardcore porn on the shelves with the other DVDs.

Mr. Diaz goes on to suggest that Apple might choose to censor news delivered via Apps sold or distributed on the App Store. That this would be bad. They'd be abusing their monopoly-like power in this regard. Last I checked, there was still TV, Radio, and a little thing called the Internet where people can get their news. Using a little basic math one can quickly deduce the relative number of people who use the App store as their sole source of getting news and information.

Bet I could count those people on one hand.

"There are plenty of applications that have been deemed blasphemous or offensive by Apple, and banned from publication. Would publications showing a caricature of Prophet Mohamed be taken down as well?" - more from Mr. Diaz's Article

It is clear by this point in the article ( I use the term loosely) that Mr. Diaz believes the App Store is public domain. If Apple truly held these views and was out to squelch anything potentially offensive being peddled from something they operated... I wouldn't have been able to buy those two Cannibal Corpse albums last week from the iTunes store.

If someone told me what I could and couldn't do with my lawfully maintained publicly traded business, I'd do whatever I could to spite them. I'd also engage in a level of obfuscation through an appearance of being arbitrary just to frustrate them. To top it all off, I'd be richer and more successful than the people complaining about me.

Steve Jobs you're doing it right.

People have virtually every other medium and market place in the world to peddle free speech and pornography. If Apple doesn't want to allow their property to become one more place for people to peddle their ignorance and smut, I'm strangely cool with that. From every indication Apple want's to do better than a little better than breaking even selling content for their new iPad. They took a stiff broom to the showroom floor before hand to make sure they were ready to enter the market with as little liability as possible.

That this concept is confusing to so many people in the tech industry baffles and amuses me at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. In addition, allowing every App to be put on display and purchased is poor bussiness sense. Why would you intentially display fraudulent, faulty, or less effective Apps? The consumer would get disgruntled with their device because they happened to purchase a cheaper App that did not live up to their expectations.

    You may as well ask yourself, "Why doesn't my car vibrate and veer off the road? The auto industry is capable of making changes to the vehicle that would allow it. And I think that is an option I would want..."

    Maybe I'm reaching here, but wouldn't that be unwise? Mass recall of the new vibrating car. Mass outcry about the iPorn. But then the car manufactures are restricting the choices I have available, just like Apple Computing.

    Resolution: Mr. Diaz should spend less time blogging about it and start work on a third party iDevice Service. Machanics and Bodyshops have done the same for the cars they love.

    Heh, but this goes back to the techies need to do less work.