Cinemax iOS app may violate Apple's no-porn policy on App Store

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Cinemax's newly-approved Max GO iOS app is making waves because it allows streaming of late night adult programming that may violate Apple's ban on pornography on the App Store.



HBO began offering the Max Go app late last week, providing U.S.-based Cinemax subscribers with streaming access to the network's feature films, documentaries and late night programming. The free app works with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.



iTunes rates the app as +17, its highest rating, because of frequent/intense violence; sexual content or nudity; profanity or crude humor; and alcohol, tobacco or drug use references.



The application has quickly gained attention because of the inclusion of Max After Dark adult programming, which includes the "soft core" erotic films and explicit television shows that earned the network its nickname of "Skinemax." Critics have questioned Apple's decision to approve the app, given its ban on pornographic content in the App Store.



Apple's App Store Review Guidelines specifically state that "Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as "explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings," will be rejected."







The Cinemax controversy comes months after adult magazine Playboy decided to make its back catalog available on the iPad via an HTML5 web app. The publication's official App Store app does not contain nudity.



Last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs specifically called out pornography as a reason for curating apps on the iPhone, citing a pornography store for the rival Google Android operating system.



"You can download it, your kids can download it," Jobs said. "That's a place we don't want to go, so we're not going to."

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Comments

  • aybaraaybara Posts: 19member
    I guess it is a fine line between Skinemax and HBOGO's Real Sex series and other fine Adult content shows such as "Katie Morgan's Sex Tips 2" where the screencap promoting the vid has to be censored (just looked at the choices in HBO Go )
  • andre402andre402 Posts: 19member
    Apple's Safari browser in iOS also allows to stream adult content, regardless of daytime.
  • mitchelljdmitchelljd Posts: 145member
    Honestly, this is a non-issue.



    Most people don't care and many actually want content which is NOT censored but the computer company making the hardware/OS.



    Personally i think this is much ado about nothing and honestly, Apple needs to stop censoring.



    People need to be able to use their computer devices for whatever legal purposes they have. Shouldn't be up to a computer company to censor.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,297member
    I have both Cinemax and HBO on cable, but can't use any of their iOS apps on my iPad, because of the retards over at Time Warner Cable.



    The cable companies should be afraid, because more and more content is being delivered over the net.
  • nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post


    Honestly, this is a non-issue.



    Most people don't care and many actually want content which is NOT censored but the computer company making the hardware/OS.



    Personally i think this is much ado about nothing and honestly, Apple needs to stop censoring.



    People need to be able to use their computer devices for whatever legal purposes they have. Shouldn't be up to a computer company to censor.



    To me the non-issue is let it be unrestricted on web browsers for iOS, but no porn through apps. If nothing else I don't want the App Store to start getting cluttered with porn apps and massive amounts of borderline-porn apps that you just know will flourish. Web browsing gives you enough free porn anyway, more than you could ever see in a lifetime or two, not sure who actually would pay for porn. Even all the niche fetishes have "enough" free galleries. Then there's always Usenet for the really deviant.



    Also, it will take up a lot of resources for Apple employees and developers to compete with, screen, etc. all the porn apps. The App Stores have enough junk in it already.



    Plus "think about the children". I don't have any and don't intend to, but this is one case where that phrase is a reasonable argument. Apple has a very strong education focus and I think is one of the greatest gifts kids can have.



    Don't think I'm a prude, it's very annoying where I am... in a non-Middle Eastern country where I have to deal with my HBO, Cinemax and Star Movies from legal satellite TV all censored to PG-13 levels. Movies in a theatre are not that bad, but still chopped up to PG-15 levels. Thank goodness the Internet is uncensored and I can access iTunes Store US without any annoying geolocation blocks.
  • mofromofro Posts: 10member
    I still don't understand why they (apple) have a rating of 17+ containg "sexual content or nudity" if it can't contain it. Beside not only will the person using the app need admin privileges for their cable provider but also the app has parental controls along with a pin. In other words, the only way someone under age will be viewing is if the adult let them. My guess is the ones that are using this app are 'already' viewing max at home. This would only ruin it for those of us (myself included) paying a hefty cable bill that want to get the most use out of what they pay for while on the go.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MoFro View Post


    I still don't understand why they (apple) have a rating of 17+ containg "sexual content or nudity" if it can't contain it.



    I agree. For games, apps... and yes, movies you can rent from iTunes itself... there are ratings, and there are parental controls that tie into those ratings. So what’s the problem?



    So far, at least, the answer is “no problem!”



    After all, the app was approved by Apple. (But I bet people will still complain about the bad censorship decision Apple might have made, or might make in future )
  • nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MoFro View Post


    I still don't understand why they (apple) have a rating of 17+ containg "sexual content or nudity" if it can't contain it. Beside not only will the person using the app need admin privileges for their cable provider but also the app has parental controls along with a pin. In other words, the only way someone under age will be viewing is if the adult let them. My guess is the ones that are using this app are 'already' viewing max at home. This would only ruin it for those of us (myself included) paying a hefty cable bill that want to get the most use out of what they pay for while on the go.



    Could Cinemax do this through HTML5 instead of a native app?
  • mofromofro Posts: 10member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    To me the non-issue is let it be unrestricted on web browsers for iOS, but no porn through apps. If nothing else I don't want the App Store to start getting cluttered with porn apps and massive amounts of borderline-porn apps that you just know will flourish. Web browsing gives you enough free porn anyway, more than you could ever see in a lifetime or two, not sure who actually would pay for porn. Even all the niche fetishes have "enough" free galleries. Then there's always Usenet for the really deviant.



    Also, it will take up a lot of resources for Apple employees and developers to compete with, screen, etc. all the porn apps. The App Stores have enough junk in it already.



    Plus "think about the children". I don't have any and don't intend to, but this is one case where that phrase is a reasonable argument. Apple has a very strong education focus and I think is one of the greatest gifts kids can have.



    Don't think I'm a prude, it's very annoying where I am... in a non-Middle Eastern country where I have to deal with my HBO, Cinemax and Star Movies from legal satellite TV all censored to PG-13 levels. Movies in a theatre are not that bad, but still chopped up to PG-15 levels. Thank goodness the Internet is uncensored and I can access iTunes Store US without any annoying geolocation blocks.



    Apple has a very strong education focus? Name an education app apple has made, please. iMovie? Pages? Numbers? None. It's called marketing. I'm still looking for apps that target specific grade levels for my daughter. Second, max is hardly "porn". Third, my kid would NEVER have my login details for my cable provider to actually be able to use this app, let alone bypass the pin for parental controls.
  • mofromofro Posts: 10member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Could Cinemax do this through HTML5 instead of a native app?



    Not sure. But there's gotta be a reason hulu, netflix, etc. have native apps. Personally I like using native apps more than safari (they seem to be more stable for me).
  • djsherlydjsherly Posts: 879member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Plus "think about the children". I don't have any and don't intend to, but this is one case where that phrase is a reasonable argument. Apple has a very strong education focus and I think is one of the greatest gifts kids can have.



    Kids have these things called parents. You may have met one yourself.



    Why does Apple need to take it upon itself to be our "protector"?
  • lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MoFro View Post


    Apple has a very strong education focus? Name an education app apple has made, please. iMovie? Pages? Numbers? None. It's called marketing. I'm still looking for apps that target specific grade levels for my daughter. Second, max is hardly "porn". Third, my kid would NEVER have my login details for my cable provider to actually be able to use this app, let alone bypass the pin for parental controls.



    How does "strong education focus" translate to "Apple makes educational Apps" for you?



    Educational customers from the private individual level through the institutional level are an important sector for Apple. Check this out: http://www.apple.com/education/apps/



    For Apple's device to get a reputation as nothing but a clearing house for porn - even inaccurately or undeservedly or only after levels of parental control etc - could have a significant impact on a major source of revenue for Apple. If students and schools got the idea that using Apple products was somehow inherently unsafe and that students would be watching porn in class (even if it was extremely rare and a single case was blown totally out of proportion) it would be very serious.



    For personally I think that censorship and attempts to be so heavy handed in controlling sexual content creates more problems than it solves.
  • cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I love how people get worked up about 'Porn'.



    It's fine for kids and adults to watch content where people are killed and gruesomely slaughtered en masse, or tortured, but for goodness sake don't let them see a nipple or genitals - even though there is a 50% chance they have them themselves.



    It's so much preferable to see a knife or sword plunged into someone with blood spurting everywhere, than for a penis to be seen entering a bodily orifice.



    I find it amazing what people generally consider to be 'moral' and 'immoral'
  • djsherlydjsherly Posts: 879member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    For Apple's device to get a reputation as nothing but a clearing house for porn - even inaccurately or undeservedly or only after levels of parental control etc - could have a significant impact on a major source of revenue for Apple. If students and schools got the idea that using Apple products was somehow inherently unsafe and that students would be watching porn in class (even if it was extremely rare and a single case was blown totally out of proportion) it would be very serious.



    To be fair, the PC doesnt have this stigma. If Apple gets that stigma, it's only because they've been so zealous in 'purifying' the IT channel in the first place.
  • applelover2applelover2 Posts: 293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs specifically called out pornography as a reason for curating apps on the iPhone, citing a pornography store for the rival Google Android operating system.



    "You can download it, your kids can download it," Jobs said. "That's a place we don't want to go, so we're not going to."





    Ban it immediately!! We can't let this slip through the crack (pun fully intended)!
  • poochpooch Posts: 768member
    on my ios devices, i use apple's safari to view porn. what terms am i violating?
  • core2core2 Posts: 49member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    Kids have these things called parents. You may have met one yourself.



    Why does Apple need to take it upon itself to be our "protector"?



    Yes kids have a thing called parents, and also kids are very resourceful especially when all you have to do is google apple parental controls for methods to disable them from the computer. Not all parents are computer literate.



    Also, people in the porn industry are evil. Why do you think they spoof all the kids shows to porn sites when you search them. heck half the people don't even know how to set up google to not show porn and there are sites that even circumvent that.



    Kids have parents but unfortunately, they only can do what they know. At least Apple has a level playing field to offer some protection to children.
  • diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


    on my ios devices, i use apple's safari to view porn. what terms am i violating?



    None - but this is not about Safari it?s about the app store which is covered by terms and conditions.
  • s8er01zs8er01z Posts: 144member
    Please if apple was actually focusing on education school districts all over the country wouldn't be begging for very basic features like proxy settings (global) and getting nothing.
  • shadow415shadow415 Posts: 43member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aybara View Post


    I guess it is a fine line between Skinemax and HBOGO's Real Sex series and other fine Adult content shows such as "Katie Morgan's Sex Tips 2" where the screencap promoting the vid has to be censored (just looked at the choices in HBO Go )



    That "line" really doesn't exist. In the past few months, HBO Go has had the following fare:



    Bikini Jones and the Temple of Eros

    Alien Housewives

    Busty Cops and the Jewel of Denial

    The Devil Wear Nada

    The Hills Have Thighs



    ...not to mention shows from their Cathouse, Real Sex, and Katie Morgan series.



    Or at least that's what I heard.
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