Holiday weekends always bring a surprise or two.
First, on Sunday, I get an email alert that a new E-Reader application for the iPhone, Eucalyptus, was all ready to go. 20,000 classic books.
Great, because the day after that, as planned, my wife and I went to the Apple store and came home with two spanking new 3G iPhones, two nifty cases, two new two-year contracts, and heaven only knows what other fine print and gotchas Apple and AT&T will use to keep us in line and online forever. With them.
And then today, right on cue, some of that fine print (font-size does matter, dammit) came back to bite us all:
Wired Magazine’s Gadget Lab has reported that the Eucalyptus E-Reader app has been rejected by Apple because – get a load of this – users can use it to download the Kama Sutra.
Apple said to Eucalyptus :
We’ve reviewed Eucalyptus — classic books, to go. and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains inappropriate sexual content and is in violation of Section 3.3.12 from the iPhone SDK Agreement which states:
“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 users.”
However this story ends, the significance is this: Right now, today, the market-dominating combination of Amazon and Apple—Applezon—has taken a toll-booth position in the E-book market.
If Applezon decides we can’t read the Kama Sutra on the iPhone, that’s the way it’s going to be.
But more importantly, if Applezon tells an author or a publisher that there simply isn’t enough demand to warrant their app or their book for it to appear on the Kindle or the iPhone, well, that’s the way it’s going to be, too. However benign their intentions – and I like both companies, I really do – both are profit-seeking enterprises accountable to shareholders and they are going to act accordingly.
But anyway, didn’t we work out all this sex stuff back in the Sixties? Whoever rolls over on this – Apple or Eucalyptus – one thing’s for sure, Lenny Bruce, in his grave, is rolling right now.
Say it ain’t so, Jobs.