Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails (NIN) are undoubtedly musical pioneers when it comes to the digital age of entertainment profiteering – they don’t have a record label and released their last two albums (Ghosts I-IV and The Slip) under the Creative Commons License. Unlike most in the music industry… they get it. And considering the digital age of music is still being formed, the are defining “it”.
Their latest “it” is a NIN iPhone application that connects the band with fans in a multitude of ways. But last week Apple rejected an updated version of the group’s app, noting that it contained “Objectionable Content”:
“Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch
Clarification has pinpointed the specific content crossing the line as the song “The Downward Spiral” which can be streamed to the Application and apparently includes one too many F-bombs. Yes… Apple is not only screwing their developers but is also imposing ridiculous limitations on what content their customers and users are allowed to access. Give me a break… what a crock of horse manure.
Trent Reznor agrees with me – the iPhone might be dainty and elegant but their “pick and choose” morals are total BS:
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? You can buy The Downward Fucking Spiral on iTunes, but you can’t allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it. Geez, what if someone in the forum in our app says FUCK or CUNT? I suppose that also falls into indecent material. Hey Apple, I just got some SPAM about fucking hot asian teens THROUGH YOUR MAIL PROGRAM. I just saw two guys having explicit anal sex right there in Safari! On my iPhone!
Come on Apple, think your policies through and for fuck’s sake get your app approval scenario together.
I would plea to Mr. Reznor, telling him I feel his pain and asking him to join us on the Android side of the fence where the grass is greener. Or perhaps not “greener” but “less pissed on”. But it wouldn’t likely help much. Reznor pretty much pissed on our side of the fence, too:
Everyone – let me be clear. I love Apple products and as goofy and out-of-touch as their app approval process / policy is, I will still use them because they work 1000X better than the competition. This is not a debate, it’s a fact. The iPhone is THE most elegant, modern smartphone at this point in time and it’s perfect for what we want to do with the NIN app – except for the ludicrous approval process, and that’s what I want to draw attention to.
Android is cool, but nobody has an Android phone. Blackberry is OK but the hardware is inconsistent and WinMo straight-up sucks balls. If Apple doesn’t get it together, we will most certainly make it available to the jailbreak community. I didn’t invest in this app to see it languish on the sidelines from an idiotic policy while this tour is in full swing.
I absolutely HATE when people say that. It kind of reminds me of the Yogi Berra quote about restuaruants… “Nobody goes there any more, it’s too crowded” or something like that only the inverse. That is an absolute TERRIBLE reason. Go ahead, Trent… allow Apple to compromise your artistic integrity and continue rewarding them for it. Trent Reznor and NIN should walk away from Apple for the same reason they walked away from Record Contracts with big agencies. They should make a statement…
And that statement should be Android.
Update: Jeremy sent me an appropriate News Tip with the comment, “Nobody has Android my ass Trent Reznor!”