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Apple denies sale of ebook containing links to Amazon - Page 2

post #41 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Read the TOS of this website. Offensive material--as defined by the Supreme Court, etc. ages ago--is not allowed on these forums. That kind of material has been acceptable, via public opinion, to suppress. To go to the extreme and say, "if there's any censorship, than all censorship is OK," is false. Some censorship, of vulgar and offensive/hateful speech, has been done by some companies (but not Amazon.com, if you go to their eBookstore. There is stuff that will melt your eyeballs there.)

Now we have commercially-motivated censorship, which is what Apple's decision is. The material in question offends no one. It hurts no one. It would meet no prurient standard by any judge in any courtroom. For Apple to make this decision is purely unilateral, based on Apple's perceived fears of competition. It does not benefit the customer, and the precedent that Apple sets here has a chilling effect on the potential for other kinds of subjective censorship in the future.

If you don't see how this could happen, then you might want to a buy a book on history.

You fail to understand what censorship or freedom os speech means. A retailer choosing not to sell an item is not the same thing as the item not allow to exist within a nation.

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post #42 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

There are no in app purchases in iBooks.

The accusation, if true, is pretty low. Let's say I wrote a book on how to build a DIY computer and linked to Amazon for items of a computer parts list used for building said computer, would Apple block it? Probably, they sell computers too, right?

Content you sell linking elsewhere is no different than an app linking elsewhere. the rules still apply.
If the guy linked to these books in the iTunes Bookstore as well, he may have a point, but he linked to Amazon, because Amazon gives him a take when he does (he linked with a referral ID)

All in all, pretty weak argument from this guy. If he wrote the book you mentioned (to build a computer), we could see what would happen and then have the discussion, but most likely it would be the same.
post #43 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You fail to understand what censorship or freedom os speech means. A retailer choosing not to sell an item is not the same thing as the item not allow to exist within a nation.

You are confused, in that you believe censorship to only be a governmental thing. Apple censored the work by denying its sale, and pointing out the objectionable content. Apple participated in censorship, regardless of the book's viability in other stores (which are dwindling by the minute, due to the digital book market changing everything). Apple pointed out the content, the links, which proves that it wants the book altered for sale.

How this doesn't bother anyone is really surprising. As long as Apple is doing the censoring, for some anxiety that only it sees (how a company of its power and wealth could be afraid of eBook links), then otherwise-liberal thinkers that support Apple will support, even commend, Apple's going into a book and requesting subjective changes to an author's inoffensive work.
post #44 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

You are confused, in that you believe censorship to only be a governmental thing. Apple censored the work by denying its sale, and pointing out the objectionable content. Apple participated in censorship, regardless of the book's viability in other stores (which are dwindling by the minute, due to the digital book market changing everything). Apple pointed out the content, the links, which proves that it wants the book altered for sale.

How this doesn't bother anyone is really surprising. As long as Apple is doing the censoring, for some anxiety that only it sees (how a company of its power and wealth could be afraid of eBook links), then otherwise-liberal thinkers that support Apple will support, even commend, Apple's going into a book and requesting subjective changes to an author's inoffensive work.

The 1st Amendment of the Constitution doesn't force retailers to sell anything you want!!!

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post #45 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

You are confused, in that you believe censorship to only be a governmental thing. Apple censored the work by denying its sale,

Apple prefers the word "curate". It sounds very classy, like a museum or something.

Censor, on the other hand, doesn't sound so good.
post #46 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

You are confused, in that you believe censorship to only be a governmental thing. Apple censored the work by denying its sale, and pointing out the objectionable content. Apple participated in censorship, regardless of the book's viability in other stores (which are dwindling by the minute, due to the digital book market changing everything). Apple pointed out the content, the links, which proves that it wants the book altered for sale.

How this doesn't bother anyone is really surprising. As long as Apple is doing the censoring, for some anxiety that only it sees (how a company of its power and wealth could be afraid of eBook links), then otherwise-liberal thinkers that support Apple will support, even commend, Apple's going into a book and requesting subjective changes to an author's inoffensive work.

Apple did not censor the content - he could have resubmitted the book without the links, still with the name of the books and the authors. Apple objected to this guy trying to profit off the links by linking to Amazon with a referral ID. He disobeyed two of Apple's rules - linking to an external store, and profiting without giving Apple the 30% take (not creating your own ecommerce within your content).

I am really disappointed you are equating this with censorship, because censorship IS a big issue, and Apple does that as well, this is just not it! Equating the two makes it so as when Apple really does censor content, people bitching about it sounds whiney. Think about this a little more before you continue (Is me saying that censorship?)
post #47 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The 1st Amendment of the Constitution doesn't force retailers to sell anything you want!!!

I never said it did.

What I have said is, a real bookstore does not tell an author how to write his book. A bookstore rejects the book outright, or approves it. Apple wants to remove--censor--inoffensive material.

A book is more than a product. It's a free-speech activity. That 's why it's a big deal. For Apple to play the role of a self-serving government, with its shareholders taking precedent over an author's rights to write what he wants, and a reader to read the work as intended, is disturbing.

When WalMart forced album covers to be changed, it was called what it was--censorship. When China pressures writers, it's called what it is. When Apple does it, it's a shrewd business move?

Yes, this Apple decision is very small, but it is the same concept as these other acts. When digital bookstores begin to lean on writers even more, for "commercial" reasons, and act like de facto publishers, then we as readers will see the full effect of a small decision like Apple has made here.
post #48 of 128
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Originally Posted by ebernet View Post

Apple did not censor the content - he could have resubmitted the book without the links,

That is censorship.
post #49 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

What I have said is, a real bookstore does not tell an author how to write his book. A bookstore rejects the book outright, or approves it. Apple wants to removecensorinoffensive material.

Which is exactly the same as a bookstore rejecting the book outright or approving it. The end game is identical. Apple is doing something BETTER for both parties than outright rejection in that it would accept the book as is minus the links.

Quote:
For Apple to play the role of a self-serving government, with its shareholders taking precedent over an author's rights to write what he wants, and a reader to read the work as intended, is disturbing.

But you're fine with a "real bookstore" rejecting books outright for some reason.

Quote:
When WalMart forced album covers to be changed, it was called what it was--censorship.

I'm confused, these bands were forced to sell their music at Wal-Mart? That sounds like a more grievous infringement of rights than what Wal-Mart did.
post #50 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

That is censorship.

Nonsense.
post #51 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Which is exactly the same as a bookstore rejecting the book outright or approving it. The end game is identical. Apple is doing something BETTER for both parties than outright rejection in that it would accept the book as is minus the links.



But you're fine with a "real bookstore" rejecting books outright for some reason.



I'm confused, these bands were forced to sell their music at Wal-Mart? That sounds like a more grievous infringement of rights than what Wal-Mart did.

Yes, I am fine with real bookstores rejecting a work outright. It happens because, as you point out, companies have a right to sell what they want. They do not have a right to tell the author what to write. It is not a favor to an author to tell him what he needs to do to gain acceptance in your store. That is pressure. It is anti-speech. It is telling the writer how to do his job. Reject it, and move on. Let your competitors sell it, and if they were right and you were wrong, they will make the money while you further isolate yourself as antagonistic to readers and writers.

Apple is treating a book like an iPhone app approval process, which is just wrong. Books are the lifeblood of a democracy, and censorship of books--for any reason--brings up serious issues.

A writer writes for an audience, not for a corporate entity. I just wish you guys could turn off the Apple vision for a minute, and go back to before there was a digital medium. Books are the wanton purview of the author, to connect with a reader. Apple is at best a middleman in this exchange. Here, Apple's wants and desires don't matter. What matters is writer and reader.

Before you accuse me of being full of myself, this is exactly the attitude that Apple has about technology. Apple does what will benefit the user, not what the corporate mentality wants. It is so uncharacteristic of Apple to step in between writer and reader, out of a misaligned sense of competitiveness. Yes, these are links in question, but those links are part of the book.

You are doing what the other guy was doing, by bringing up the idea that artists aren't "forced" sell their works through WalMart or Apple. Of course you are right. But the point is not smaller, that Apple is censoring works, just as WalMart did. You can't diminish a right-wing attitude just because there are other options. Apple makes a lot of money from its image as a friend to the artist, and this decision is backwards to that goal, why I brought WalMart into it. Apple is in its league on this decision, and trying change the focus, and the subject, can't alter that fact.
post #52 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Yes, I am fine with real bookstores rejecting a work outright. It happens because, as you point out, companies have a right to sell what they want. They do not have a right to tell the author what to write.

Okay, and how is that different from what happened?

Quote:
In a Wednesday post on website PaidContent , Godin writes that Apple has chosen to not carry his new ebook "Stop Stealing Dreams" in the iBookstore due to number of links in the bibliography that direct readers to Amazon's competing marketplace.

It says, "chosen not to carry". It doesn't say, "removed/changed my content after the fact". Did Apple remove the links and post the book anyway?

Quote:
Apple is treating a book like an iPhone app approval process, which is just wrong.

So Target should be allowed to sell its own brand-name stuff at Wal-Mart?

Quote:
Apple is at best a middleman in this exchange. Here, Apple's wants and desires don't matter. What matters is writer and reader.

Right, and as the wants and desires of a single bookstore don't matter, so should he want to continue to have his referral links in his book, he can sell it in the many other bookstores available.

Quote:
But the point is not smaller, that Apple is censoring works, just as WalMart did.

Again, I don't see anything that says Apple removed the links. It says 'chosen not to carry'. Apple DID NOT censor the book. Apple DID NOT change the content themselves.
post #53 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If you don't like the rules, don't sell your books on the Apple store.

You are absolutely right. He shouldn't sell his book through iBooks. And neither should any other author who wants their readers to be able to read their books on multiple different platforms and devices. What is their motivation to sell anything via Apple? Apple takes a larger cut, and then further eats into their revenue by denying them the ability to link to Amazon where they can get a share of the sales. And what if the book they were linking to wasn't available on iBooks? What if they wren't even linking to an e-book but something physical which Apple doesn't sell? Would Apple block those, too? And then Apple also wants to forbid the author from pricing their content higher on the iBookstore than on Amazon to make up for the revenue lost from not being able to link to Amazon.

You are absolutely correct that it's Apple's choice to not sell this book, but it's choices like that which will keep iBooks as a 2nd-rate player in the electronic publishing market.
post #54 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Yes, I am fine with real bookstores rejecting a work outright. It happens because, as you point out, companies have a right to sell what they want. They do not have a right to tell the author what to write. It is not a favor to an author to tell him what he needs to do to gain acceptance in your store. That is pressure. It is anti-speech. It is telling the writer how to do his job. Reject it, and move on. Let your competitors sell it, and if they were right and you were wrong, they will make the money while you further isolate yourself as antagonistic to readers and writers.

Apple is treating a book like an iPhone app approval process, which is just wrong. Books are the lifeblood of a democracy, and censorship of books--for any reason--brings up serious issues.

A writer writes for an audience, not for a corporate entity. I just wish you guys could turn off the Apple vision for a minute, and go back to before there was a digital medium. Books are the wanton purview of the author, to connect with a reader. Apple is at best a middleman in this exchange. Here, Apple's wants and desires don't matter. What matters is writer and reader.

Before you accuse me of being full of myself, this is exactly the attitude that Apple has about technology. Apple does what will benefit the user, not what the corporate mentality wants. It is so uncharacteristic of Apple to step in between writer and reader, out of a misaligned sense of competitiveness. Yes, these are links in question, but those links are part of the book.

You are doing what the other guy was doing, by bringing up the idea that artists aren't "forced" sell their works through WalMart or Apple. Of course you are right. But the point is not smaller, that Apple is censoring works, just as WalMart did. You can't diminish a right-wing attitude just because there are other options. Apple makes a lot of money from its image as a friend to the artist, and this decision is backwards to that goal, why I brought WalMart into it. Apple is in its league on this decision, and trying change the focus, and the subject, can't alter that fact.

Your arguments are passionate. And well-crafted.

But let me ask you, shouldn't your arguments also apply to pornography? Hate speech? Incitement to violence? Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater? Where is the line drawn? Who draws that line?

Also, it's not like you don't have other means to access your readership. The same technology that you are complaining about also opens up all kinds of options for you to disintermediate the middleman, no? For example, you could form a cooperative that is a writers' collective and access those who want no space between the writer and the reader?
post #55 of 128
@Tallest Skil

When Apple points out the so-called offensive parts as the reason the book was not accepted, and then has a reputation of having the material resubmitted--with changes made--you call that business. I call that asking the writer to change his book for a store. I call that censorship.

As I said, I see books differently from iPhone apps. Apple is in over its head, to treat books like negotiated media. Books are not apps. They are central our free speech. You don't negotiate with a writer to have the book accepted into your store. You just don't do that in a democracy.

As long as you see a book as a product, and I see it as a first-amendment issue, then we will never agree. Safe to say, Apple will continue to view creative expression as merely a widget in which to fill its electronic devices, so your viewpoint will reign with them, and on this site. Good chatting with you.
post #56 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Apple is at best a middleman in this exchange. Here, Apple's wants and desires don't matter. What matters is writer and reader.

The retailer has no say in what they sell if the writer and reader think otherwise???!!!

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post #57 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I know what you mean. Apple recently pissed me off big time. I'd been working hard on this iOS game called Ninja Pussies from Hell HD for over 5 months, and can you believe that they had the nerve to reject my app? They cited some silly rule about offensive sexual content. My pussies didn't even look like real pussies, these were 8 bit pussies and I don't see why Apple didn't allow my app.

I also had a few direct links to the STEAM store in my app, but I'm not sure if that too had anything to do with it getting rejected.

Where the hell is my freedom of speech? I'm so damned mad that I'm about to go outside and occupy something, or at the very least, maybe I'll piss on a cop car.

I'm holding out a wad of dollars in my hand and my eyes are lighting up enthusiastically!

I want to buy your app!!!
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That explains a considerable amount.

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post #58 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

When Apple points out the so-called offensive parts as the reason the book was not accepted, and then has a reputation of having the material resubmitted--with changes made--you call that business. I call that asking the writer to change his book for a store. I call that censorship.

So Target SHOULD be able to sell their brand of stuff at Wal-Mart. That's what you're saying?

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Apple is in over its head, to treat books like negotiated media. Books are not apps. They are central our free speech.

Video is negotiated media, too. Apple only sells certain video from networks and networks only air certain video. Video's also a means of free speech.

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You don't negotiate with a writer to have the book accepted into your store. You just don't do that in a democracy.

Right, you just ban the book outright, because that's okay. \

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As long as you see a book as a product, and I see it as a first-amendment issue, then we will never agree.

I see it as both. I also see the freedom for a retailer to sell what it wants and not what it doesn't. They're free to choose their criteria for sales and succeed or fail on that merit. Meanwhile, content creators are free to sell/distribute their stuff in as many venues as will have them.

Apple did not censor the book. Period. It didn't happen. They chose not to sell it. That's not censorship. If EVERYONE chose not to sell it, that's censorship. Since China has state-run media, if THEY choose not to air/print something, THAT is censorship. There's no alternative there.

There are hundreds of alternatives to Apple here. Because it's a democracy.

Quote:
Safe to say, Apple will continue to view creative expression as merely a widget in which to fill its electronic devices, so your viewpoint will reign with them, and on this site. Good chatting with you.

So you're giving up here?

OH WAIT, I've just… how did I miss this? Maybe I didn't, who knows?

Who says this is a censorship problem? Who says Apple wouldn't accept the book content without the external links? I don't see Apple having a problem with the book content, just the links to give Amazon money. It has NOTHING to do with the content of the book.
post #59 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Your arguments are passionate. And well-crafted.

But let me ask you, shouldn't your arguments also apply to pornography? Hate speech? Incitement to violence? Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater? Where is the line drawn? Who draws that line?

Also, it's not like you don't have other means to access your readership. The same technology that you are complaining about also opens up all kinds of options for you to disintermediate the middleman, no? For example, you could form a cooperative that is a writers' collective and access those who want no space between the writer and the reader?

Most of us have a low tolerance for pornography/hate speech and the other stuff you mention--at least in the public sphere. (While some of us probably enjoy/indulge those things ... privately.) So for sake of argument, let's agree that we understand why Apple, or Barnes and Noble, would steer clear of this material for business reasons. It offends a lot of people and that's not good business.

The line I am pointing out is that Apple has gone beyond generally-accepted "icky" speech, into corporate speech issues which are not objectionable to anyone but Apple. So many readers on this site are so aligned with Apple that "whatever is good for GM is good for the country." But as a writer, and a reader, I break from this philosophy (which I generally share, for being here). I am worried that "what is good for Apple" does not align with what is good for readers.

Yes, writers have other options than to go with Apple, as you say. However, since Apple is the biggest, most valued company in the world, what Apple does matters to everyone, and its policies can have an effect on other companies (policies which are seemingly created overnight sometimes), which is why I focus on its actions so closely.

Let's take the argument that Apple acts as a de facto book "publisher" as well as seller (since eBooks are "published" on bookstores like iBookstore). Certainly, book publishers will edit/censor you all day long! They won't accept your book until they feel it is right for them, and since traditional publishers are footing the bill for your work, you go along or publish it yourself.

While Random House has a vested interest in shaping your book, by taking on your project, assigning you an editor on their dime, paying for promotion, etc., Apple has made no such investment in your work. They really aren't a publisher. They are a clearing house/marketplace.

Unless Apple takes on the role of a traditional publisher, promoting you, paying you in advance, it does not deserve to act like a traditional publisher in terms of telling writers what to publish, and how. It has a right (in my opinion) to reject "objectionable" material that will offend readers (like how it rejects pornography), but that is done for the sake of the reader. Rejecting a book because it links to Amazon is solely an issue that Apple has. A reader may appreciate those links.

In the end, I am arguing over what Apple "should" do, based on its creative image, and its many promises to unlock the greater potential for all people. I am not saying that Apple is preventing writers from publishing other places. But with Apple's track record, I think they are being hypocrites here. That is all I'm saying. Censoring, or "strongly suggesting that something be changed otherwise it will not be sold," should not extend to books, as iPhone apps. Books are different.
post #60 of 128
@Tallest Skil

Well, yeah. I am giving up, kinda. You can't connect with everyone.

As long as you continue to discuss books as products (WalMart and Target references), as well as works of art, and blend the definition of censorship--trying to say I'm equating a state-run banning with Apple's disapproval of an inoffensive link, which caused Apple to request the link to be removed (censorship of a different sort)--then there isn't much of a shared concept to discuss from.

I do see the digital generation as viewing books as just another medium, to be negotiated, like an iPhone app. There isn't the view of a book as a take-it-or-leave-it sacred work, as I view it. Apple is blurring those lines, big time, with its "curated" approach to creative media. I, for one, don't like it.

From where I stand, what Apple is doing won't fly with me. I would never seek to be curated by them with a book. I wouldn't submit my work to be approved by Apple. It is a store, not a publisher. It's kind of a "where do you get off" thing. I esteem Apple in practically every other area. Not here.
post #61 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

From where I stand, what Apple is doing won't fly with me. I would never seek to be curated by them with a book. I wouldn't submit my work to be approved by Apple. It is a store, not a publisher. It's kind of a "where do you get off" thing.

And that's the risk a company takes a free market.

The flip side of that would be a company that chose to sell something that ended up losing customers. For instance, a cloth maker or retailer that uses child labor.

You can't tell a company what products to sell and still expect people to see as impartial and accepting a free market system.

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post #62 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

As long as you continue to discuss books as products (WalMart and Target references), as well as works of art, and blend the definition of censorshiptrying to say I'm equating a state-run banning with Apple's disapproval of an inoffensive link, which caused Apple to request the link to be removed (censorship of a different sort)then there isn't much of a shared concept to discuss from.

YOU did that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

When China pressures writers, it's called what it is.

A book, insofar as they cost money, are products. Period. You can't not treat them as such. Anyone can write anything they wish. Anyone can publish stuff themselves. Anyone can distribute their thoughts themselves. Anyone can attempt to ease said distribution by going to a publishing company for printings and bookstores for sales or by creating their own.
post #63 of 128
[QUOTE=AppleInsider;2059331]Entrepreneur and prolific author Seth Godin has accused Apple of blocking sales of ebooks containing links to Amazon's online store after recently finding that his own short manifesto had been ....

This entire episode may simply be a trial balloon by Amazon through Seth Godin (Entrepreneur and prolific author) to determine whether Apple will allow Amazon's kickback scheme into the iBookstore.
post #64 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

And that's the risk a company takes a free market.

You can't tell a company what products to sell and still expect people to see as impartial and accepting a free market system.

You do agree the reason that something is rejected matters. You can choose not to hire a female employee, for example, but if the reason is biased, then there is a problem. The "why" matters.

Apple's reason for rejecting Seth Godin's book was its own personal problem. Apple prevented its customers from reading the book with a "why" which was flimsy, paranoid, and self-aggrandizing.

Generalizing our discussion, so that I'm supposedly telling Apple what to sell, is kinda weak, don't you think? I've been very clear as to why this is a bigger issue than not selling a particular product.

If you don't like the word censorship, then maybe discriminatory is better? A link to Amazon is worth all of this grief? Apple looks small, no matter how you MBA your way out of the ethical aspects.

Apple is not going out of business anytime soon, because a book on a bookstore--that it chose to create--links to a Fortune 100 company that happens to sell some competing products. Seriously.
post #65 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

You do agree the reason that something is rejected matters. You can choose not to hire a female employee, for example, but if the reason is biased, then there is a problem. The "why" matters.

Apple's reason for rejecting Seth Godin's book was its own personal problem. Apple prevented its customers from reading the book with a "why" which was flimsy, paranoid, and self-aggrandizing.

Generalizing our discussion, so that I'm supposedly telling Apple what to sell, is kinda weak, don't you think? I've been very clear as to why this is a bigger issue than not selling a particular product.

If you don't like the word censorship, then maybe discriminatory is better? A link to Amazon is worth all of this grief? Apple looks small, no matter how you MBA your way out of the ethical aspects.

Apple is not going out of business anytime soon, because a book on a bookstore--that it chose to create--links to a Fortune 100 company that happens to sell some competing products. Seriously.

Looks like you'll running out of bookstores: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/te...amazon.html?hp

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post #66 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Those of you who are so quick to side with Apple on this one give me the chills.

It's not that we're quick to side with Apple, I'd side with ANY store. It's Apple's store, they choose to sell whatever they want and not sell what they don't want. Apple is not the first and will not be the last company to make these choices. It's done all the time. If you as a consumer don't like it, don't shop at Apple's store. It's really that simple. If the author doesn't like it, he doesn't have to sell his books in Apple's Stores.

Sorry, but in a free market both the consumer and shop owner have rights.


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Is iBookstore a bookstore or not? Will it respect the work of an author, or censor a book's contents?

Apple would like us to think of iBookstore as a bookstore, and wants us to rely on it for our book purchases. It wants us to use iPads and iPhones to read these books. As consumers rely on digital bookstores more often, we stop going to brick and mortar bookstores, and they go under. (A large Barnes and Noble in West L.A. just closed, leaving only two other B&N within a 20 mile radius.)

So what? Start offering something that just as compelling and convenient then to attract customers in your stores. Why is it up to Apple to make sure brick and mortar stores should remain a viable place to shop? It's not their responsibility.


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If we bend over backwards to see Apple's "right" to protect its competitive advantage--just some offensive links, after all--we start down a slippery slope. Pretty soon, digital bookstores are all that will be left. As consumers, we protect our own interests by having a zero tolerance attitude toward any company--even our beloved Apple--deciding what is and isn't kosher to be in a book. (And of course this isn't about pornographic, indecent, or hateful speech.) It was information that Apple simply didn't like.

Would you have a problem if a Christian bookstore decided not to sell the Quran? You think the Nike stores sell Reeboks?

Furthermore, it wasn't just information. Information would've been if the author merely referenced that his books were also available at other places, including the Amazon store. He didn't do that though, he provided a direct link to an eCommerce site as if it were an advertisement.

Don't you think Apple would also have an issue if a game had a link to the Android marketplace?

Apple only allows linked ads in content that is given away for free.


Quote:
A book is a powerful example of our free speech system. It just doesn't wash to have non-offensive material rejected, for any reason. And Apple has overreached before in its policies and relaxed them after an outcry, so having an opinion on this could definitely straighten them out.

If Seth Godin--who is a real author--were to have written, "How to use Amazon.com," is Apple saying, as a bookstore it would reject that book? Apple needs to be bigger than that. A company with 95 billion dollars in the bank can afford to respect the free speech that it tries to align itself with. "The crazy ones" in its famous ad campaign would hopefully cringe at Apple's decision.

Actually there are already books about Amazon.com in the iBookstore. Apple has an issue with providing direct links to eCommerce sites in books, and they have a right to.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #67 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If you don't like the rules, don't sell your books on the Apple store.

Apple's policy is very clear. If the author chooses to violate it, they shouldn't be whining about Apple dropping their book.

Someone had a good analogy on another site. Would Walmart be happy if you wanted them to sell a book that had a Target gift card taped to the cover? Obviously not - nor should they be.

Exactly.. If you dont like some of these policies, dont sell something like the bar code readers, or have the bar code readers be disabled over GSM so that the iPhone users don't phish around for bargains!
This kind of contradictions are causing this great Apple company to lose moral grounds on its own policies.
post #68 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Looks like you'll running out of bookstores: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/te...amazon.html?hp

I know. It's not just an Apple thing. Soon we'll have publishers and booksellers doing double-duty on the writer, until books are as worked over as today's Hollywood movies. I wish Apple would take the high road here, but 95 billion dollars isn't enough in the bank to put expression over dollars.

I know ... a Seth Godin manifesto is hardly the benchmark of artistic expression ... ha. Cause celebre.

Anyhow, I am looking forward to the new iPad ... (takes target off back.) I'm kinda concerned they are going to sell out in 5 minutes.
post #69 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

As long as you see a book as a product, and I see it as a first-amendment issue, then we will never agree. Safe to say, Apple will continue to view creative expression as merely a widget in which to fill its electronic devices, so your viewpoint will reign with them, and on this site. Good chatting with you.

As long as you equate an ad with "creative expression", we will never agree. I understand your point that they could have just rejected the book, but as others here said, they provided a reason - it had embedded ads. You neglect to discuss that it was rejected over content that financially benefited the author above and beyond what he agrees to in the agreement he makes with Apple, and they gave him some information as to how he could rectify that without removing the books mentioned, just the link to purchased them. Not allowing him to name the books would have been censorship, but this is not.
post #70 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

I know. It's not just an Apple thing. Soon we'll have publishers and booksellers doing double-duty on the writer...

How did writers deal with printed books when they wanted to include coupons for other books at competing bookstores?¡ That right... THEY NEVER DID THAT!

Let's not forget that Apple did not have a problem with him listing book titles, authors, and ISBNs that they don't themselves carry in their store. They had a problem with him linking via his Amazon account to books on Amazon.com. This is not something any book store should tolerate. I can't stand ad hyperlinks on websites I certainly don't want my books to be hyperlinked out the ying yang because someone found a slimy way to to squeeze an extra buck out of me that the expense of usability.

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post #71 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebernet View Post

As long as you equate an ad with "creative expression", we will never agree. I understand your point that they could have just rejected the book, but as others here said, they provided a reason - it had embedded ads. You neglect to discuss that it was rejected over content that financially benefited the author above and beyond what he agrees to in the agreement he makes with Apple, and they gave him some information as to how he could rectify that without removing the books mentioned, just the link to purchased them. Not allowing him to name the books would have been censorship, but this is not.

I respect your point of view. You see this as a money grab by the author.

I can be sympathetic to your point. However, you and I both know that Apple has a thing against Android, and Amazon also. It is hardly rational sometimes. So I am more inclined to believe it was the mere basis of the links to Amazon, not that they generated money for Seth Godin, was the problem. A live link is worth rejecting a book over, but the information not linked would be acceptable?

I still find it hard to believe that Seth Godin would "get over" if he were allowed by Apple to include links in his book, which could possibly give him a what, an Amazon affiliates percentage? The heavy hand that Apple played here--treating the book like an app to be approved--is worse, in my opinion, than whatever Apple feels might nefariously happen to allow Seth Godin his links.

You have to try to tell me I'm crazy, otherwise Apple has hurt its standing with a portion of its fan base, given the attention this story has created. I am not the only one seeing the problem. Apple can have its way, but at what cost, is the thing. This links thing is absurd at its base, let's be real.
post #72 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

...but 95 billion dollars isn't enough in the bank to put expression over dollars....

Truly, I don't mean to offend: But this "$95B billion dollars in the bank" argument is fast descending into tiresome BS. It is being trotted out a strawman or solution or panacea for just about anything and everything: let's pay Chinese workers more, let's pay for Foxconn's worker dorms, let's promote free trade, let's promote free speech, let's give it to charity, let's pay dividends, let's bring manufacturing back to the US, blah, blah, blah.....

With the number of solutions that have been suggested for the "$95B" (actually, I think it's $98.6B), it looks like it may have been spent multiple times already!

Please come up with a better argument. And please remember that the money does not belong to Apple or its managers or its non-shareowning stakeholders: Tim Cook and crew are merely stewards of that cash which rightfully belongs to Apple's shareholders.
post #73 of 128
If the user is reading and buying in iBooks, then iBooks links would probably benefit both readers and authors a lot more anyway!

It does mean having to (slightly) edit two different versions, one with Amazon links and one with iBooks links. I dont blame the author for not thinking of that until after the fact. Easily fixed, though.
post #74 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Truly, I don't mean to offend: But this "$95B billion dollars in the bank" argument is fast descending into tiresome BS. It is being trotted out a strawman or solution or panacea for just about anything and everything: let's pay Chinese workers more, let's pay for Foxconn's worker dorms, let's promote free trade, let's promote free speech, let's give it to charity, let's pay dividends, let's bring manufacturing back to the US, blah, blah, blah.....

With the number of solutions that have been suggested for the "$95B" (actually, I think it's $98.6B), it looks like it may have been spent multiple times already!

Please come up with a better argument. And please remember that the money does not belong to Apple or its managers or its non-shareowning stakeholders: Tim Cook and crew are merely stewards of that cash which rightfully belongs to Apple's shareholders.

I have no suggestions for how to spend the money. The dollar amount isn't important. What is important, to me at least, is that Apple stand its ground and be a bookseller without paranoia. Apple isn't the bookseller I would trust with my business, given this ridiculous power play. And when you consider how financially secure that Apple is, it doesn't need to do this stuff to stay ahead.
post #75 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Which rule was it he broke?

The one that says you're not allowed to sell third party content in the iStores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Those of you who are so quick to side with Apple on this one give me the chills.

Not our problem that your irrational arguments are making you crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Is iBookstore a bookstore or not? Will it respect the work of an author, or censor a book's contents?

Of course it's a bookstore. And, like every other bookstore in the free world, it has the right to decide which books it wants to carry. And it chooses not to carry books which drive customers to the competition.

Do you think Walmart would allow a book with a front cover that said "you should buy this book at Barnes and Noble instead of Walmart"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Apple would like us to think of iBookstore as a bookstore, and wants us to rely on it for our book purchases. It wants us to use iPads and iPhones to read these books. As consumers rely on digital bookstores more often, we stop going to brick and mortar bookstores, and they go under. (A large Barnes and Noble in West L.A. just closed, leaving only two other B&N within a 20 mile radius.)

So? Are you suggesting that Apple should stop releasing great products just because someone might not be able to compete in the 21st century?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

If we bend over backwards to see Apple's "right" to protect its competitive advantage--just some offensive links, after all--we start down a slippery slope. Pretty soon, digital bookstores are all that will be left. As consumers, we protect our own interests by having a zero tolerance attitude toward any company--even our beloved Apple--deciding what is and isn't kosher to be in a book. (And of course this isn't about pornographic, indecent, or hateful speech.) It was information that Apple simply didn't like.

It's about Apple's terms of service and the common sense notion that a company should not carry products that go out of their way to promote a competitor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

A book is a powerful example of our free speech system. It just doesn't wash to have non-offensive material rejected, for any reason. And Apple has overreached before in its policies and relaxed them after an outcry, so having an opinion on this could definitely straighten them out.

Just how does Apple have any obligation to support the "free speech" of the author to steer people to a competitor - while violating Apple's rules?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

If Seth Godin--who is a real author--were to have written, "How to use Amazon.com," is Apple saying, as a bookstore it would reject that book? Apple needs to be bigger than that. A company with 95 billion dollars in the bank can afford to respect the free speech that it tries to align itself with. "The crazy ones" in its famous ad campaign would hopefully cringe at Apple's decision.

That's called a straw man argument. There's no reason to believe that Apple would reject a book simply because they say they like Amazon (although they would be well within their rights to do so). This one was rejected because it directly linked the customer to Amazon's book store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

It's a bit of a slippery slope though:

What if, instead of a Target gift card taped to the cover, there was a redemption code in the book? What if the book simply recommended Target because the author likes it? What if it was a story which involves shopping at Target at some point?

The same goes for Amazon linking. Maybe a direct link goes too far, but what if it was just a written link? Or just a recommendation because the author likes it?

It is entirely within Apple's rights to choose what books to sell in their store - just like Barnes and Noble and Amazon are free to choose what books to sell. There is no reason to believe that Apple would ban a book just because someone mentions shopping at Target (or Amazon or Android store), though. That's just a silly straw man argument.

In fact, the evidence is quite different. Search for 'android phones' in the Apple book store. There are plenty of selections. Apple does not arbitrarily block products about the competition. They just block the ones that violate their terms of service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

At what point does it become censorship?

Never. Choosing not to carry a product for any reason is not censorship. Censorship means making it impossible for someone to access something from ANY source. In essence, only the government can be guilty of censorship. You're still free to buy the book somewhere else - if anyone else wants to carry it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

There are plenty of movies which have carefully crafted product placements (which help pay for the production of the movie). What's the difference?

It's obvious.

First, the movie theaters do not have TOS which prohibits directing people to other theaters, nor is there a mechanism to do that.

Second, I'm not aware of any movie where the main character walks off the screen, grabs you by the hand and walks you to a competitor's theater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Now we have commercially-motivated censorship, which is what Apple's decision is. The material in question offends no one. It hurts no one. It would meet no prurient standard by any judge in any courtroom. For Apple to make this decision is purely unilateral, based on Apple's perceived fears of competition. It does not benefit the customer, and the precedent that Apple sets here has a chilling effect on the potential for other kinds of subjective censorship in the future.

If you don't see how this could happen, then you might want to a buy a book on history.

Once again, it's not censorship. It's simply a matter of Apple's terms of service not allowing a book which directs the reader to the competitor's book store.

And that benefits the consumer because it was the ability to create a walled garden which encouraged Apple to set up its bookstore in the first place.

BTW, why aren't you out picketing Walmart for their decision not to carry Playboy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Looks like you'll running out of bookstores: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/te...amazon.html?hp

ROTFLMAO.
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post #76 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

BTW, why aren't you out picketing Walmart for their decision not to carry Playboy?

Because this isn't an issue with vulgar speech. It's an issue with commercial censorship. (And to use the word, it is censorship for Apple's customers. They don't get to read the book because Seth Godin posted a link to a hardcover reference manual, which hurts no real world person.)

The Unofficial Apple Weblog just posted about this. The author points out the many reasons why this decision makes no rational sense. I would post a link to it, but with links being such a disputed issue anymore, didn't think I would risk being censored over it.
post #77 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Because this isn't an issue with vulgar speech. It's an issue with commercial censorship. (And to use the word, it is censorship for Apple's customers. They don't get to read the book because Seth Godin posted a link to a hardcover reference manual, which hurts no real world person.)

FUCK you're irritating! There is no stopping Apple's customers from reading this book. There is no one preventing Apple's customers from buying the book at any other fucking bookstore. You can even read it on your Kindle app for iPhone/iPad.

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post #78 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

FUCK you're irritating! There is no stopping Apple's customers from reading this book. There is no one preventing Apple's customers from buying the book at any other fucking bookstore. You can even read it on your Kindle app for iPhone/iPad.

If you're trying to be an Apple customer, and use iBooks as you do iTunes, then no, you can't access the book. Apple is not providing it to you, for a business-conflict reason that has nothing to do with you. I call that censorship. You can call it whatever you want.

The TUAW article points out that the book Godin linked to isn't even available from Apple, so for Apple to dumbly hide behind a TOS mandate, and deny its customers content, is what is irritating.
post #79 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by realitycheck69 View Post

Apple's lawyers gonna earn their keep with suing everyone and now dealing with antitrust issues.

Your reality check just bounced!

If any company has monopoly power in the ebook market, it's Amazon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The 1st Amendment of the Constitution doesn't force retailers to sell anything you want!!!

Exactly. Freedom of the press assumes it's your press (or forum, or bookstore). And it only means the government can't interfere, not that authors can demand to be published or insist on shelf space (physical or virtual).

Go right now and search Amazon for "iPad". The first result is a link to their ad comparing their Kindle Fire to the iPad 2. So where's all the indignation toward Amazon?

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post #80 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim850 View Post

Because this isn't an issue with vulgar speech. It's an issue with commercial censorship. (And to use the word, it is censorship for Apple's customers. They don't get to read the book because Seth Godin posted a link to a hardcover reference manual, which hurts no real world person.)

The Unofficial Apple Weblog just posted about this. The author points out the many reasons why this decision makes no rational sense. I would post a link to it, but with links being such a disputed issue anymore, didn't think I would risk being censored over it.

Why did he have post a link in the first place? (in the bibliography, mind you, not the actual book contents). Common practice is to cite references a la the APA format or post the ISBN. Don't be naive; this isn't about freedom of speech, it's about some author trying to make extra money by including glorified ads in his work of "art". I would argue that a bibliography is little different than a book's cover or back, and you can bet any retail store won't allow product packaging to feature ads for a competing store.

To make an analogy, do you think Barnes & Noble would be ok with a this guy selling a book at their stores, with a QR code that once scanned took you right to Amazon's product page to buy it? Don't say it's not the same because Apple doesn't sell the linked book on question. What of they did down the road? Would the book be changed?

Also, you seem to believe that it's ok for a publisher to edit or "censor" a book, while it's wrong for a book seller to do the same, simply because the publisher provides a service. That's a load of crap. In your world, isn't censorship, censorship? Don't forget that Apple does provide a service by providing "shelf space" and providing a large customer base with an easy-to-use purchasing environment.

"Censorship" as you call it happens all the time, and the world goes on. We just don't call it censorship, because it doesn't have the same meaning as true censorship, as in the book is illegal and banned, or changed by the State to support a world view. Don't forget, if it's the sanctity of the art you're worried about, and uncompromising author can always self publish and sell their work through *their* website instead of riding on Apple's back to make a buck. Or they could freely distribute it online with no DRM.

You're abusing the word censorship and missing the whole point of what it really means. If this is censorship, then you need a different word to describe what happened in Germany, the Soviet Union, and what happens in China.
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