Apple App Store approves ‘Knife Music’ novel after David Carnoy removes F word: Self-censorship in action
January 16, 2009 | 10:28 am
Well, that solves the problem in David Carnoy‘s case, but not for other book-style apps. Just how would Apple have dealt with Henry Miller? The Apple App Store remains a textbook example of why proprietary tech should be decoupled as much as possible from literary content.
I’m glad that David will keep the F word in other versions of Knife Music, but I hope he’ll reconsider his retreat from the fight with Apple. GalleyCat‘s headline beautifully captured the essence of what David did: CNet editor self-censors digital book for Apple App Store. And, no, David, we don’t need your app to popularize the iPhone for e-reading. The ePub-capable Stanza and similar programs already exist, thank you.
And now a little irony. The Rev. Steve Jobs at Apple knows about sex—the beautiful Lisa is proof. Maybe he and his company should be more tolerant on matters of morality. If nothing else, why can’t there be an area of the App Store or iTunes reserved for books like the original version of Knife Music? But wait. Do public libraries have special sections of books that simply have the F word in them—no other offense?
And speaking of another M word, “mortality”: I’d love to know the true nature of Jobs’ ailment. Could he be violating SEC rules if he didn’t level sufficiently with shareholders? No accusations. I’m just curious, and actually there is an e-book angle in this. If Jobs gets too sick to monitor Apple, perhaps we’ll finally see a book-fit tablet. Hey, Steve. People do read—even “dirty” books.
Scandals is probably a much tamer book overall than David C’s, and the F Word shows up, in certain places, simply because it fits the main editor and certain other characters. No gratuitous obscenity! Hence it would be most interesting to see Apple—humans, software-based filters or a mix thereof—toss out Scandals on language grounds alone. Does any Apple app expert want to volunteer the conversion of Scandals into an app, so I can check out company’s censorship policies? Normally I dislike the presentation of novels as apps, but Apple is well worth a test. I lack the resources for a legal fight and am not sure of the law here anyway—Apple isn’t the government—but maybe if enough writers speak up, we can make App Store a little less Victorian.