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

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
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."
post #2 of 50
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 )
post #3 of 50
Apple's Safari browser in iOS also allows to stream adult content, regardless of daytime.
post #4 of 50
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.
post #5 of 50
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.
post #6 of 50
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.
post #7 of 50
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.
post #8 of 50
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 )
post #9 of 50
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?
post #10 of 50
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.
post #11 of 50
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).
post #12 of 50
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"?
post #13 of 50
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.
post #14 of 50
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'
post #15 of 50
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.
post #16 of 50
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)!
post #17 of 50
on my ios devices, i use apple's safari to view porn. what terms am i violating?
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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post #18 of 50
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.
post #19 of 50
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 its about the app store which is covered by terms and conditions.
post #20 of 50
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.
post #21 of 50
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.
post #22 of 50
Boy it must be a slow news day. The app doesn't contain pornographic material. It allows the user who is an account subscriber to access pornographic material. If it works like the HBO app, you have to be on your home network to view the material. It would be silly to ban the app being that the person could just turn the TV on and see the same material.

Further, there is plenty of material on Netflix that contains nudity, which is close to pornographic. Again, Apple doesn't supply the content, and an adult signed up for an account with the third party that is backed by a credit card.
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Core2 View Post

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.

What's level about cutting out porn? Americans will scream till they're hoarse if their government censored them. What makes it ok for a corporation to do so?

Google by default has safe search on.
post #24 of 50
Same sort of content is available on netflix and hulu, its just nudity
post #25 of 50
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.

no one is saying apple has to carry this stuff, i think apple needs to unlock the iPad's and iPhones to allow third party stores and downloads. allow non apple items to get installed.

no one wants apple to have to sell or distribute this stuff. just let people have the freedom to do so if they so choose.
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Boy it must be a slow news day. The app doesn't contain pornographic material. It allows the user who is an account subscriber to access pornographic material. If it works like the HBO app, you have to be on your home network to view the material. It would be silly to ban the app being that the person could just turn the TV on and see the same material.

Further, there is plenty of material on Netflix that contains nudity, which is close to pornographic. Again, Apple doesn't supply the content, and an adult signed up for an account with the third party that is backed by a credit card.

The HBO app works from anywhere. You just have to log in with your admin account for your provider.

The Max app is good. Basically the HBO app with different content and a bit of an annoying yellow font. The interface does seem a bi smoother, but that could be my imagination. The app does ask you if you want to set up parental controls the first time you log in.
post #27 of 50
Thanks for clarifying. I haven't used the HBO application in a while. I think I was confusing the Time warner cable application that supposedly only worked on the same network.

Glad to hear it works. It still is a non issue. You have to have a Max subscription for it to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

The HBO app works from anywhere. You just have to log in with your admin account for your provider.

The Max app is good. Basically the HBO app with different content and a bit of an annoying yellow font. The interface does seem a bi smoother, but that could be my imagination. The app does ask you if you want to set up parental controls the first time you log in.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Americans will scream till they're hoarse if their government censored them.

No. We won't. We don't care about anything anymore.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #29 of 50
Why the fuss about pornography?

Most people don't have a pornograph to play it on anyway.
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post #30 of 50
Porn on a 3.5" screen. I wonder if it comes with the *warning* that objects may be larger than they appear.
post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post

no one is saying apple has to carry this stuff, i think apple needs to unlock the iPad's and iPhones to allow third party stores and downloads. allow non apple items to get installed.

no one wants apple to have to sell or distribute this stuff. just let people have the freedom to do so if they so choose.

People have the freedom to buy an Android alternative, or jailbreak their iDevice. That's good enough. Apple should not be forced to put anything on their products anymore than Mercedes should be forced to accommodate tires of any size desired by their customers on their cars (not the best analogy, but I haven't had my coffee yet).
post #32 of 50
No pornography in the app store. Restrict it to HTML5, but don't make me deal with it unless I'm looking for it.

The iPhone/iPad have done extremely well without X-rated content. I doubt Apple wants to sully its image with such things.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

People have the freedom to buy an Android alternative, or jailbreak their iDevice. That's good enough. Apple should not be forced to put anything on their products anymore than Mercedes should be forced to accommodate tires of any size desired by their customers on their cars (not the best analogy, but I haven't had my coffee yet).

As I understand it, this app does not in itself contain porn, so the question of forcing Apple to put something undesirable on their products doesn't seem to apply.

I like your Mercedes analogy, so I'll fix it for you. Mercedes should only sell cars to people who sign a contract in which they promise to never transport in it, someone who is, or has been a porn star. They may also not transport any person who is or has ever worked in the sex industry. Nor may they ever carry as a passenger, a person who has ever had lewd or lascivious thoughts or used illicit drugs of any kind.

"Ve Vant our machines to be clean!"

Of course Mercedes might then wonder why they weren't selling any cars anymore.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

People have the freedom to buy an Android alternative, or jailbreak their iDevice. That's good enough. Apple should not be forced to put anything on their products anymore than Mercedes should be forced to accommodate tires of any size desired by their customers on their cars (not the best analogy, but I haven't had my coffee yet).

To make your analogy work, it would need to be something more along the lines of "...anymore than Mercedes should be forced to allow their customers to drive their vehicle down any street, in any weather, at any time..."

Personally, I'm getting tired of people using "the children" as an excuse for me/you/us/them not being able to have the apps we want on our iDevices. No one seems to have a problem with a 3-7 year old child having unrestricted access to an iDevice, but I'm pretty sure the same imbeciles would never consider letting that same child have unsupervised unrestricted access to an Internet connected computer.

Let's remember, little Timmy isn't going to save his allowance to then walk up to the neighborhood Apple Store and buy his own iDevice. Somewhere between Timmy's hands and Apple there exists an adult. If you want to give your child access to a computer, be it on a desk, or handheld, then learn how to make it safe for that child. PERIOD!

Your mileage may vary,
Dim
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post

To make your analogy work, it would need to be something more along the lines of "...anymore than Mercedes should be forced to allow their customers to drive their vehicle down any street, in any weather, at any time..."

Personally, I'm getting tired of people using "the children" as an excuse for me/you/us/them not being able to have the apps we want on our iDevices. No one seems to have a problem with a 3-7 year old child having unrestricted access to an iDevice, but I'm pretty sure the same imbeciles would never consider letting that same child have unsupervised unrestricted access to an Internet connected computer.

Let's remember, little Timmy isn't going to save his allowance to then walk up to the neighborhood Apple Store and buy his own iDevice. Somewhere between Timmy's hands and Apple there exists an adult. If you want to give your child access to a computer, be it on a desk, or handheld, then learn how to make it safe for that child. PERIOD!

Your mileage may vary,
Dim

Well said sir. +1
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post #36 of 50
IMHO (not that anyone cares) the deciding issue should be where the content is stored. If an app contains and internally stores content Apple doesn't like, then ban it. But if the app is merely a portal to content stored elsewhere, and provides a content/provider specific UI to get the content (even if the content can then be stored/cached on the device), then Apple should approve the app.

Things get tricky when an app allows streaming "clean" and "dirty" content - like Hulu, NetFlix, or even Safari. Does Apple rate such apps "adults only" because users CAN access naughty content? Or do they leave it unrestricted?

Since the only way to buy something from the App Store is with a credit card, and I'm pretty sure only adults are allowed to get credit cards (even if they co-sign for a minor or give a card to their kid), I'm inclined to push this back on the parents/adults in the conversation. Supervise and monitor your kid's access to the App Store. Apple should make sure apps named "fluffy kitties being cute" are not conduits for fetish porn; but otherwise, pay attention to your children.

- Jasen.
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iandanger View Post

Same sort of content is available on netflix and hulu, its just nudity

Some of us want to protect children from that. If their parents cannot or will not do it, I'm glad that Apple is doing it for them. If people want to ruin their children's lives with that stuff, they should just get an Android phone and be done with it.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

I like your Mercedes analogy, so I'll fix it for you. Mercedes should only sell cars to people who sign a contract in which they promise to never transport in it, someone who is, or has been a porn star. They may also not transport any person who is or has ever worked in the sex industry. Nor may they ever carry as a passenger, a person who has ever had lewd or lascivious thoughts or used illicit drugs of any kind.

"Ve Vant our machines to be clean!"

Of course Mercedes might then wonder why they weren't selling any cars anymore.

Even better, Mercedes should refuse to put ashtrays in their cars to protect children from second-hand smoke, and only allow accessories to be sold in company-owned Mercedes stores, so no third party could make an ashtray that works in a Mercedes. If people want to kill their children with second-hand smoke, they can buy a BMW instead.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Why the fuss about pornography?

Most people don't have a pornograph to play it on anyway.

you could probably figure something out if you are a "hands-on" sort of person.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iandanger View Post

Same sort of content is available on netflix and hulu, its just nudity

Exactly, that's why I'm baffled this is being mentioned at all. The same movies have been streaming on Netflix this whole time. As well as sold by apple themselves on the iTunes store. And web browsers allow access to plenty that's I'm sure far more explicit than anything on skinemax. Heck, I'm sure Apple's bookstore contains plenty of books with adult material, both text and illustrations.

This app doesn't *contain* any content, it's just a device that streams material available on a TV channel.

Not to mention that "porn" is ill-defined, there are plenty of well respected movies with adult content and it's difficult to draw the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Porn on a 3.5" screen. I wonder if it comes with the *warning* that objects may be larger than they appear.

Don't forget iPad. And does their app feed external video like netflix does?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

No pornography in the app store. Restrict it to HTML5, but don't make me deal with it unless I'm looking for it.

The iPhone/iPad have done extremely well without X-rated content. I doubt Apple wants to sully its image with such things.

The iPhone/iPad have allowed plenty of ways to access that content, I guess you just weren't aware of it before this came along. And you don't have to "deal with it", if you don't want particular content, just don't download it. I'm not sure why you think that you need Apple to protect you from yourself.

And for kids, there are parental controls on iOS devices, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

Some of us want to protect children from that. If their parents cannot or will not do it, I'm glad that Apple is doing it for them. If people want to ruin their children's lives with that stuff, they should just get an Android phone and be done with it.

I'm kind of puzzled how you expect Apple to "protect" kids without putting major content restrictions on adults as well. And you seem to be totally missing the point, apple is NOT shutting off that content, they already allow it through netflix and other streaming apps and sell adult rated video content on iTunes. And before that didn't they sell "explicit" songs as well?

Apple has never acted as a censor for TV/movies, and they're not going to start now with the cinemax app.
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