Timeline:

May 24th: Zan Christiensen posts a great article about possible censorship concerns against gay-centric graphic novels at Apple’s App Store, for the iPad and iPhone.
http://prismcomics.org/display.php?id=1858

June 13th: The New York Times covers the case of ULYSSES SEEN, a graphic novel adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses that had non-sexual nudity edited out after demands by the appstore people. Rage.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/technology/14ulysses.html

June 14th, 1:40am: I post a link to Zan’s article at Prism, add a little bit of commentary and additional thinking, call for comment. I feel bad for being behind the times…

June 14th, 10:40am: Tech blog Gizmodo picks up on the story of ULYSSES SEEN and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST censorship.
http://gizmodo.com/5562802/the-latest-examples-of-apples-stupid-editorial-censorship

June 14th, 12:30pm: Awesome Gay Blog JoeMyGod publishes a story on the same issue, based on a reader tip.
http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/06/apple-censors-gay-graphic-novels-but.html

June 14th, 4pm: Gizmodo updates that Apple has apparently reversed its decision and has asked the creators of both ULYSSES SEEN and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST to resubmit the unedited works for approval.

While it shouldn’t have taken a public, multi-site shaming to get Apple’s act together, I’m quite pleased that both sets of creators will get their work to be presented in the format they’d originally intended, and hopefully get a nice little sales boost from all of the attention. I’m glad that whatever small part I played in bringing the story to people’s attention helped resolve the situation, and kudos again to Zan for writing a great article and highlighting an obvious injustice. I hope the Yaoi Press people aren’t similarly left behind…

Which brings us to another issue, as mentioned by my friend Andrew Wheeler this morning:

@Wheeler: Given Apple’s censorship, shouldn’t intelligent liberals adamantly reject it as a publishing platform? Where’d our ethics go? I refer in part to the censorship of comic adaptations of Wilde http://tinyurl.com/37j3q3b and Joyce http://nyti.ms/9HzgFE

Where indeed? Are we really prepared to hand over the keys to the digital kingdom to a company that has to be aggressively shamed into behaving well?
Or should we count our blessings, because there are companies that don’t know the definition of shame who might be in the same position soon (rhymes with Amazon).
- Christopher

4 Comments on “What A Difference A Day Makes – Gay Graphic Novels Uncensored?”

You can track this conversation through its atom feed.

  1. Simon Jones who is blogless says:

    I’ve always found the blindspot people have in regard to apple fascinating. It’s a company that engages in harsh anti-competive practices that put microsoft to shame offering a system that’s as a closed shop as possible run by a man with a long history of ethically questionable choices.

    And somehow we’ve chosen them be our digital saviors.

  2. Jay says:

    I love my iPad, but I’m sure I’ll buy an Android powered tablet for just this reason. The iPad is “our digital savior” for one reason tho… they created a new type of device and made people want it. That was a huge step, but it’s the open devices that fill the same role that will really help print transition.

    The hubris of Apple in thinking they’re going to settle the “is it art or porn” debate by setting themselves up as the ultimate arbiter is incredibly annoying.

  3. Matthew Fabb says:

    “Or should we count our blessings, because there are companies that don’t know the definition of shame who might be in the same position soon (rhymes with Amazon).”

    Then there’s door #3, which is as Jay mentions, instead of buying Apple’s iPad, wait for an Android based tablet (a whole lot of models are scheduled to come out at the end of this year). As Google is making no editorial decisions when it comes to which apps make it into the their Android store. On top of that you can even download and install an Android app from developer’s website without having to go through the app store.

  4. The Alabaster Sock says:

    [...] not against editorial control. But then I read stuff like this and this (let alone something like this) [And before the three of you reading this get mad -I'm not intentionally focusing only on Apple, [...]

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