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Denmark: Apple’s puritanical censorship creates a movement

11 February 2013

“An international protest movement is under way that has had enough of Apple’s new-puritamism and negative cultural domination,” wrote journalist Morten Løkkegaard in Politiken on 8 February 2013.

Left: Photo from Peter Øvig Knudsens book ‘Hippie’. Right: Book cover of Michael Næsted Nielsen’s new book, ‘The Slave’

After a second Danish author, Michael Næsted Nielsen, was informed by Apple that his new book, ‘Slaven’ (‘The Slave’) is going to be censored from iBookstore because it has a naked man on the front cover, a new stream of articles and commentaries is being published. The Danish Minister of Culture, Marianne Jelved, recently stepped in, saying: “Apple has not previously shown interest to enter a dialogue, but even so, I will still make contact. This seems entirely inappropriate. It can only be seen as censorship.”

Two EU commisioners Kroes and Vassiliou have both declared that they will also go into the matter concerning the powerful and puritanical American computer-giant. Kroes apparently already has talked with Apple’s management, but without any effect. The case is to be discussed at a EU-conference in May 2013.

In his article in Politiken, Morten Løkkegaard blamed Apple for its “arrogance of power”: “This kind of arrogance is not a good idea. And Apple will come to realise that,” he wrote.



App censored
Danish author Peter Øvig Knudsen had the ebook-editions of his two books ‘Hippie I’ and ‘Hippie II’ removed from Apple’s iBookstore because of it’s documentary photos of naked people in the 1970’s, even after a second version had been produced where the sensitive parts had been covered with red apples. Then, ín November 2012, the app version of the books produced for iPad and iPhone, which can only be purchased on the App Store, was also removed.

The decision was notified by a telephone call from Apple in California, said the Danish publisher, Gyldendal.

The App for the book included not only the two books, but also gave buyers the option to switch freely between reading and listening to related music.

“The new step from Apple is much more serious than the first. We now have no opportunity to sell the most advanced version of my books,” said Peter Øvig Knudsen in a press release.

“We have invested significant amounts of money and effort in an advanced App, which we now can not sell anywhere,” said Jens Lauritsen, CEO of Hippie Company which developed the App.

The case has been discussed several times in Danish parliament, primarily because politicians are upset about Apple’s monopoly on the market.


Politiken – 8 February 2013:
Apple må droppe sin tonedøve arrogance



DR – 5 February 2013:
Endnu en nøgen mand forbudt af Apple



DR – 9 November 2013:
Apple optrapper censur mod Hippie-bøger



Artsfreedom.org – 8 November 2013:
Apple’s iBookstore censorship case: The distinction between porn and art

 

 

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