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Apple rejects update to NIN app, Reznor responds

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, May 4, 2009
News Categories: Apps + Games

After allowing the original and two subsequent updates through, Apple has rejected the latest version of Nine Inch Nails’ iPhone app, citing objectionable content. In a posting to the band’s forums, founder and sole official member Trent Reznor posted Apple’s notification email, which claims that the objectionable content was found in “The Downward Spiral.” Reznor notes that the album of the same name is not available anywhere in the app, meaning Apple must be referring to a podcast that can be streamed to the app. Reznor’s response continues below.

“Thanks Apple for the clear description of the problem - as in, what do you want us to change to get past your stupid $#*!& standards?  And while we’re at it, 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?”

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Comments

1

Well said and 100% right on the issue with both the App Store and Walmart.  You can buy uncensored content in iTunes already.  Maybe we need a “MARS” to be created, “Mobile Application Rating System” to educate parents and protect “the children” from naughty words.

Posted by sting7k on May 4, 2009 at 7:48 AM (PDT)

2

The words “The Downward Spiral” may have triggered an “inadequate content” alarm on their system, which would mean a NO-NO automated response, however I find it both hypocritical and contradictory that even if the app does not link directly to this content, you can actually go buy the uncensored album on the iTunes Music Store. Apple should get their #### together and decide on what their standards on ‘Explicit Content’ are going to be, and be coherent across all their services, or at least, regarding iPods, iPhones and iTunes.

Posted by Arturo Lugo Gonzalez on May 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM (PDT)

3

Keep it up, Trent! Show these bastards how awful they are and save the industry.

Posted by iLly on May 4, 2009 at 11:01 AM (PDT)

4

Apple clearly has good intentions, but isn’t that the same as what the road to hell is paved with? With no clear-cut guidelines, Apple opens itself to all kinds of criticism, all justified. People on either side of the issue of what should be allowable, have good reason to be ticked. I can’t imagine what Apple is thinking. To equate NIN content to the sadistic game of shaking the baby is stupid, yet neither are allowed. You can’t tell me NIN’s content is on a moral equivalent of that app. NIN has a political and social consciousness. What did the shake the baby app offer that got it initially approved? Reznor has every reason to flip Apple the virtual and physical bird.

Posted by Steve on May 4, 2009 at 12:59 PM (PDT)

5

People actually care about what Trent Reznor has to say?

Posted by CF on May 4, 2009 at 8:27 PM (PDT)

6

I care what Trent Reznor has to say, simply because he is an affected party and because his application is yet another that has been subject to the odd whims of app confirmation/rejection. It’s to be expected that someone would have a few choice words for Apple after a decision like this, and frankly, Reznor’s Wal-Mart example is an apt comparison.

Until Apple clearly defines its parameters for approval and puts forth its sound reasons for rejection, these stories will continue. Apple is not perfect, a fact which clearly bothers some.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on May 5, 2009 at 7:26 AM (PDT)

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