By: Spacelab Research Staff
Apple has rejected the update to the Nine Inch Nails iPhone app (nin: access) because of "objectionable content," and man, the whole Internet is freaking out.
The update was submitted to the App Store, and was rejected, which has led to a firestorm on the Nine Inch Nails forum and sites all over the web.
Apple specifically rejected the update because of its inclusion of "The Downward Spiral," which was listed as part of the update. It has explicit lyrics which led to its rejection.
This follows quickly after the App Store had celebrated one billion applications being downloaded, a major milestone that puts Apple way out in front of anyone else.
“The revolutionary App Store has been a phenomenal hit with iPhone and iPod touch users around the world, and we’d like to thank our customers and developers ..." said Philip Schiller about a week and a half ago. He had no idea what was on the horizon for the Nine Inch Nails community. Hell hath no fury like a bunch of overzealous fans that want to shoot first and ask questions later, but are they actually shooting themselves in the foot?
I can see a web uproar when AOL customers can't cancel their service, forcing them to pay for a service that they don't want. But an update iPhone app? That's a bit of a stretch for me.
I dig the argument Trent Reznor makes on consistency, saying "I'll voice the same issue I had with Wal-Mart years ago, which is a matter of consistency and hypocrisy. Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and "clean" versions be made for them to carry. Bands (including Nirvana) tripped over themselves editing out words, changing album art, etc to meet Wal-Mart's standards of decency - because Wal-Mart sells a lot of records. NIN refused, and you'll notice a pretty empty NIN section at any Wal-Mart. My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any "indecent" material for sale - but you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film "Scarface" completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense?"
But I can't see how this is going to mess up someone's day.
It seems likely that Apple will have to start categorizing the apps in the App Store like they down in the iTunes store, with tags like "EXPLICIT." That way the NIN peeps can get their new app update, and Apple can make sure that they're using safe practices. The album "The Downward Spiral" (as an album) is listed as EXPLICIT in the iTunes store, why can't they just do that with the App Store too?
Apple Insider is reporting that an upgrade to the iPhone software this Summer might include an enhanced approach.