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German Publishers Want Censorship Talks With Apple 197

Posted by kdawson
from the define-"press" dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The association of German magazine publishers has sent a letter to Steve Jobs (Google translation; German original here) demanding talks about censorship by Apple. The move draws attention to growing concerns about freedom of the press when a single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for the iPhone and, especially, the iPad." While the magazine publishers may rightly be concerned about private control of a platform that many of them are counting on for their long-term salvation, the German state is at the very least ambivalent about the subject of censorship. This is the country that has banned Wikileaks, sought a ban on violent games, and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).
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German Publishers Want Censorship Talks With Apple

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  • The internet (Score:5, Informative)

    by thenextstevejobs (1586847) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:27PM (#32399854)
    I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

    Still, I'd be happy to see an alternative to the App Store or some compromise on their approval process.
    • Not yet.
      But, thanks! That’s a great idea, that... I just had.

      Ok, have to speak to the goons. Gotta go...

      Your God Steve.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by frdmfghtr (603968)

      I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

      And even if Apple did have complete control of what is available on the iPhone/iPad, who cares? Does freedom of speech require me to let you publish whatever you want on my webpage, or my billboard, or on my TV/radio show? Is the iPad your one and only source of media?

      To all these questions, there is but one answer: No. You have other options. There is the web, as

      • by bhagwad (1426855)

        I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

        Does freedom of speech require me to let you publish whatever you want on my webpage, or my billboard, or on my TV/radio show? Is the iPad your one and only source of media?

        It's my hardware and my iPad/iPhone/iPod! I should be able to use whatever I want on it. If Apple doesn't want to host certain applications in their store, that's just fine. But they shouldn't block all other sources of applications. That's forcing people to use your particular billboard and qualifies as censorship.

        In fact, they've also claimed that jailbreaking is illegal. Another example of how they don't allow us to do whatever we want with our devices.

        • That's forcing people to use your particular billboard and qualifies as censorship.

          If you're going to use a ... billboard analogy, it's more like having the most prominent billboards and refusing to post certain types of ads. Not sure how illegal that is. Furthermore, censorship is usually the domain of the government, not corporations - while there's a right to free speech, I'm not so sure there's an obligation/responsibility to carry/transmit/enable said speech. It's the old "you can go elsewhere" argument - short of the iPhone/iPad ecosystem becoming a dominant monopoly - owning every

          • by bhagwad (1426855)
            But I look at it this way: The App Store is a billboard. Other app stores are possible, but apple wants everyone to use only their particular app store and then goes ahead and dictates what can be shown on it. So it's like having the only billboard and making all other billboards illegal.
            • Yes, the App Store is a billboard, but Apple's not the only "billboard seller" out there.

              It might be the only one with halogen lighting, say, but there's another billboard just down the block that uses LEDs (in this analogy, Android Market). The halogen billboard is prominent, readable, and displays a single ad, but the LEDs are just as functional and readable most of the time and the LED boards also can post more than one ad at a time, which enables it to be cheaper and more widespread.

              People want to get o

              • by bhagwad (1426855)
                Nice fleshing out of the analogy! But in this case, Apple's preventing anyone else from building their own halogen billboard somewhere else. They say they're the only ones allowed to build halogen billboards anywhere and that's why I have an issue.

                Basically they're not allowing anyone else to have an app store for the iPhone. As a person who's just bought the phone, suppose I want to have nothing more to do with Apple after I legally own my device...I should be able to give permission to a third party
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Mr. Slippery (47854)

            Furthermore, censorship is usually the domain of the government, not corporations

            No, it is not, and I do wish propertarians would cease this abuse of language. To censor is "to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable...; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable". [merriam-webster.com] It does not matter whether it is the government or a private agency doing the suppression, it is still censorship.

            It may be the case that government censorship is more intrusive and threatening to liberty tha

            • It is technical censorship. That is something completely different.

        • by node 3 (115640)

          That's forcing people to use your particular billboard and qualifies as censorship.

          No one is forced to buy an iPad.

          Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all exert similar (actually, much greater) control over their console platforms.

          • by bhagwad (1426855)
            But once I buy it its mine. After buying the hardware and software it's not apple's anymore and I want nothing more to do with apple. By making jailbreaking illegal, apple is messing with my right to do what I want with my device - no matter what the DMCA says.
            • by node 3 (115640)

              By making jailbreaking illegal, apple is messing with my right to do what I want with my device - no matter what the DMCA says.

              If something is illegal (hint: Apple hasn't made jailbreaking illegal), and you know that going into it, the only one messing with your rights are yourself for voluntarily giving them away. Unless you have no choice but to buy such a product (such as when states require Word documents or IE, for example, to interact with them).

              Jailbreak away, you will not go to jail. Or don't buy an iPad. Or buy one and just use the App Store. It's called freedom. Contrary to many here, Apple has not taken away any of your

              • by bhagwad (1426855)
                Apple is certainly trying to make jailbreaking illegal [eff.org].

                Moreover, I believe that any TOS stripping people of their right to use a product legally bought in any way they wish without hurting others is legally questionable. Are you saying Apple can write anything in their TOS and that if I bought the product I'm legally bound by it? What if they insert a clause saying I have to pay them $10,000 whenever they want?
                • by node 3 (115640)

                  Apple is certainly trying to make jailbreaking illegal.

                  Please quote where I said otherwise. Straw Man #1.

                  Moreover, I believe that any TOS stripping people of their right to use a product legally bought in any way they wish without hurting others is legally questionable.

                  You may believe that, but you'd be wrong.

                  Are you saying Apple can write anything in their TOS and that if I bought the product I'm legally bound by it?

                  Absolutely not. Straw Man #2a.

                  What if they insert a clause saying I have to pay them $10,000 whenever they want?

                  Depends on the context. Straw Man #2b.

                  • by bhagwad (1426855)

                    Please quote where I said otherwise. Straw Man #1.

                    "Apple hasn't made jailbreaking illegal". You're implying that Apple is ok with Jailbreaking. If you didn't imply that, what point were you trying to make? If you want to nitpick, I can say that your sentence is a tautology because Apple isn't a lawmaker and can't make anything legal or illegal!

                    You may believe that, but you'd be wrong.

                    That's for a court of law to decide.

                    Absolutely not. Straw Man #2a.

                    ...

                    Depends on the context. Straw Man #2b.

                    On the one hand you claim that I'm bound by an objectionable TOS. On the other hand you claim it depends on the circumstances. Can you enlighten us as to what exactly these circums

                    • by node 3 (115640)

                      "Apple hasn't made jailbreaking illegal". You're implying that Apple is ok with Jailbreaking. If you didn't imply that, what point were you trying to make?

                      I was replying to a false statement that you made: "by making jailbreaking illegal, apple is messing with my right to do what I want with my device - no matter what the DMCA says." I've never implied Apple is OK with jailbreaking. I'm merely stating that Apple hasn't made it illegal.

                      If you want to nitpick, I can say that your sentence is a tautology because Apple isn't a lawmaker and can't make anything legal or illegal!

                      Of course it's a tautology. That's why it so effectively disproves your original assertion. Apple hasn't made jailbreaking illegal because they can't. But jailbreaking isn't even illegal in the first place. Apple can claim it vi

        • You accepted the iPad/iPhone/iPod restrictions (which are no secret, by the way) when you bought the device, and again when you accepted the license agreement. If you don't want to honor your contractual commitment, buy something else.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bhagwad (1426855)
            I'm well aware of apple's TOS restrictions...but I'll ignore them anyway. And if I ever get taken to court, I have faith in the judiciary at some level upholding my right to do what I want with my device as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
            • by mr_death (106532)

              Ah, so you think you can dictate terms to those you do business with, and renege on terms that you already agreed to. And that some slick lawyer can save you from your poor judgment.

              Do let us know when your ivory tower crumbles. And since you declared your intent to violate contract terms here, your violation of the contract terms may be seen as willful, and will create a bigger penalty for you.

    • by Teckla (630646)

      Still, I'd be happy to see an alternative to the App Store or some compromise on their approval process.

      As a father, the iPad looks appealing to me precisely because you can only get software for the iPad from the App Store.

      Less worries about whether any individual app will work (I just had to return a game for my daughter because it would crash if the computer had too much memory - no lie!). One stop shopping...a very high guarantee of compatible apps...very convenient.

      Also, my daughter wouldn't be able to accidentally install a virus or Trojan even if she wanted to. One less thing to worry about, which is r

      • The thing people don't like is that Apple doesn't give you the choice. Sure, you're the protecting father who doesn't want little Sally installing viruses on her sparkly new iPad. That's great. They should give you parental controls. Those parental controls should be able to be disabled so sleezy Sam can browse all the dark corners of the internet, install all his dubious apps, and <gasp> play porn games on his iPad.

        People don't mind being ABLE to restrict the content that reaches them. They mind whe
        • by frdmfghtr (603968)

          People don't mind being ABLE to restrict the content that reaches them. They mind when it's some corporation halfway across the USA pushing their social agenda on them*.

          Apple is not pushing a "social agenda." Apple is choosing to not allow certain types of apps into the app store. If you were forced to buy and use certain types of apps only from Apple, then the "social agenda" argument may hold water. As it is, you are under no obligation to buy Apple products, or not buy somebody else's products.

        • by Teckla (630646)

          The thing people don't like is that Apple doesn't give you the choice.

          Sure, and those people can buy Android tablets, WebOS tablets, or some other kind of tablet, when they become available (and they will become available).

          As a geek, I look forward to them. As a consumer, I look forward to the competition. But I can also appreciate Apple trying to make devices that are very appealing to a certain segment of the market.

          Sure, you're the protecting father who doesn't want little Sally installing viruses on her sparkly new iPad. That's great. They should give you parental controls.

          Apple is selling a very specific experience to a very specific market. I don't think they want to muddy their marketing message.

        • play porn games on his iPad.

          A porn video game? It can't be done. Look, history's greatest perverts have tried; Walt Disney, Larry Flynt, the Japanese; but they can't do it because of the Uncanny Valley.

    • I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

      Just let me view site number 1. nope, flash.

      Site number 2 is HTML 5, nope, they use Theora.

      Site number 3 displays but doesn't work because I cant use the JavaScript controls.

      I'd like to posit that just because it has a web browser does not make it free. I'd also like to posit that Apple maintains 100% control over what can and cannot run on that browser and

      • Just let me view site number 1. nope, flash.

        Or Silverlight or Realmedia files or Powerpoint files... but that sort of misses the point. To allow an publisher to reach iPhone users, Apple doesn't have to support every kind of file format that ever existed. They jsut have to support open standard formats and developer can use. ANY publisher can create content iPhone users can see by making a standards compliant Web page.

    • by Lars T. (470328)

      I'd like to posit that Apple doesn't have complete control over what content is available for the iPhone/iPad, because it has a web browser.

      But the German magazine publishers would rather people buy their iPhone/iPad apps.

    • by gig (78408)

      The Web is the alternative to app store. HTML5 is the original API for iPhone. Your HTML5 app can install locally with a home screen icon very easily. App Store is totally optional.

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:28PM (#32399860) Homepage
    The iPad is a *new* device, and anything published on it is available there in addition to all the other devices and media through which publication was previously possible. How could this be a censorship issue worthy of government attention?

    Is it censorship? In the broadest sense, yes. But do I want the federal gov't meddling with this? Any federal gov't? It sets a scary precedent.
    • Not the German state.

      Get it now?

      i.e. They want a slice.
       

    • Its not just about the iPad.
      German magazine publishers have been uncomfortable with Apple for quite a while now.
      The issues are Apples censorship, ranging from tits to satire, and the 30% cut Apple demands.
      It is likely the WeTab (formerly known as WePad) will receive major backing from german publishers.
      A video from a prototype can be found here [youtube.com]
      • Indeed, and it pays off. But the main problem is the insane spin in the media: iPad will rescue the publishing industry.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shoe Puppet (1557239)

      Is it censorship? In the broadest sense, yes. But do I want the federal gov't meddling with this? Any federal gov't? It sets a scary precedent.

      I don't see the problem. It's not like it were about letting the government censor instead of apple, it's about exactly the opposite: The government preventing censorship, for a change.

      • by dangitman (862676)

        I don't see the problem. It's not like it were about letting the government censor instead of apple, it's about exactly the opposite: The government preventing censorship, for a change.

        No, this would be the government restricting freedom of speech (if it were actually a government doing anything, and not just a publishers' trade group whining). Do you want the government forcing you to say something?

  • Different morals (Score:5, Informative)

    by cheesybagel (670288) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:34PM (#32399906)
    Germans usually tolerate porn and other adult content more than in the US. In contrast vandalism, violence, nazism, or other cultist movements are censored in Germany.
    • by jeti (105266) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:41PM (#32399964) Homepage

      We just don't think of nudity as porn.

      • by N0Man74 (1620447) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:52PM (#32400056)

        Some of us Americans don't either... though we seemed to be in a minority.

        • Some of us Americans don't either... though we seemed to be in a minority.

          I recently watched a German news report on Apple and it's business model entitled "Steve Jobs - the Digital Dictator?". See here [www.zdf.de] (Sorry it's in German and without subtitles). They interviewed a number of people and most of them mentioned that developing/publishing for the Apple platforms (iPod/iPhone/iPad) is a strange experience for Europeans because you have to conform to the "puritanical attitudes" some Americans have to things like nudity and such. One of the people interviewed commented that there is a

          • by Lars T. (470328)
            I recently watched the head of the biggest German publisher on American TV cheer for the iPad, saying "And I think every publisher in the world should sit down once a day and pray to thank Steve Jobs that he is saving the publishing industry with that."

            And Springer is actually one of the publisher who were "censored" by Apple. Before he said that.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      I don't think that vandalism or violence are particularly censored in Germany. They had their crazy lobbyist about violent games but I don't think they manage to pass laws in that direction.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by grumbel (592662)

        Violent video games can be rated, indexed and completly banned in Germany. When they just get rated, an 18+ sticker gets onto the box and sales to minors is forbidden (somewhat similar to M rating). When they get indexed, it is also forbidden to do advertisment or public sales of those games (i.e. no more buying them at amazon.de), you are still allowed in theory to purcase them under the counter, in practice however Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo won't even publish those games in Germany, so you have to impo

        • Not quite. Ban means penalty code. That is something completely different than indexing. And even in the case of indexing a political majority cannot influence it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dr. Hok (702268)

      Germans usually tolerate porn and other adult content more than in the US.

      True. For instance, I wonder why nobody complains about the beeps that replace all four-letter words (except "Lord") on American TV. (You are aware that the people aren't actually saying "beep", right?) I'd call that censorship. I can live with people saying "fuck" on TV every once in a while.

      On the other hand, I find it hard to live with the knowledge that kids are being abused in order to produce child porn. And I wouldn't (necessarily) call the attempt to dry out the child porn market censorship. I mean,

      • mean, seriously, does it impede your right to free speech if you are not allowed to produce and circulate child porn?

        It depends on how you would define child porn. Some would argue that having small breasts makes you a child.

        • It depends on how you would define child porn. Some would argue that having small breasts makes you a child.

          Of course, on Slashdot, the big issue is whether big breasts make you a woman.

      • I mean, seriously, does it impede your right to free speech if you are not allowed to produce and circulate child porn?

        Only if you're the kid :)

        Seriously, free speech is not supposed to override every other right, and the child has the right to protect his own image. Now, if we're talking about drawings, then yes, it does impede the right of free speech - drawings don't have rights on their image.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        On the other hand, I find it hard to live with the knowledge that kids are being abused in order to produce child porn. And I wouldn't (necessarily) call the attempt to dry out the child porn market censorship. I mean, seriously, does it impede your right to free speech if you are not allowed to produce and circulate child porn?

        An hypothetical example might be that this sort of censorship impedes people's ability to discuss, critique, or advocate pederasty [wikipedia.org] or other forms of underage sex (including some socially acceptable/questionable ones like intercourse between two 15-year-olds).

        Sexual ethics change across cultures and time, as do feelings about maturity and age. What we currently consider child abuse has not always been so (and may not always remain so).

        You could argue that underage sex is always child abuse, or you could arg

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Germans tolerate nudity, not porn. When you want to publish a pornographic webpage in Germany you have to jump to quite some hoops to not get into conflict with the law, a simple age-gate isn't enough here.

      Nudity on the other side is pretty much a non-issue, you see naked people on public TV quite frequently and even in advertisment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:34PM (#32399912)

    "This is the country that has banned Wikileaks"
    Damn Nazis.

    • Just checked that out, I have no problems to access Wikileaks here in Germany. actual headline: "... could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act. — Time Magazine
  • by jjoelc (1589361) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:37PM (#32399942)

    Build a better website, and you won't need an iPhone app.

  • The move draws attention to growing concerns about freedom of the press when a single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for iPhone and, especially, iPad.

    I wasn't aware that an elected government body was responsible for the iPhone and iPad. I thought they were made by Apple. Are iDevices now some kind of "public good" equivalent to the airwaves?

    How is freedom of the press affected by Apple's decisions? Surely, newspapers and other media outlets have other avenues to publish besides the iPad? The device has only been on sale for a few weeks, how can it have any real effect on journalism, when the number of people who own one are such a miniscule portion of t

    • by vlad30 (44644)
      The Press similar to Banking was once a regulated but fair industry actually helping consumers,while deregulated banking gave us a GFC, the press is owned more by single entities that control and give you crap news and look only for advertising dollars with the cheapest content possible. Seriously when is the last time you saw an expose in a paper or on TV that wasn't already reported elsewhere. It appears germany is at least trying to keep up with technology and if the iPad is the next way to read a paper
      • by dangitman (862676)

        Easily solved though force the platform to use open and non DRM content that can easily read by any device and most importantly downloaded from any source.

        Seeing as that is already allowed on the iPhone/iPad platform, how is it an issue?

        • by vlad30 (44644)

          Seeing as that is already allowed on the iPhone/iPad platform, how is it an issue?

          Seems the publishers like their DRM though even though Apple gives the option maybe the governments should talk to the publishers then

  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bidule (173941) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @04:52PM (#32400054) Homepage

    "A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the PS3.

    "A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the Wii.

    Are they pushing Apple to do the same as Sony and Nintendo, or are they pushing for special privileges?

    What's stopping them from simply publishing their content as web pages?
    Why would they want special applications?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shoe Puppet (1557239)

      While having the games market under control of these corporations is unfortunate, having media censored by one is actually quite bad for society. Of course, there are still classical newspapers and the internet and thus Apple cannot effectively censor -- but especially if the iPad becomes more widespread, they will be able to influence what people can get easily. I imagine people might choose to ignore a media source because there is no app for it.

      Also, this appears to be a distribution channel people actua

    • by mjwx (966435)

      "A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the PS3. "A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the Wii.

      Let me know when Sony forces you to buy A Bravia TV to use a PS3. Also let me know when Nintendo forces all third party game developers to sell through the N store.

      Such a terrible analogy, how did it ever get modded insightful. you're not comparing apples to apples, you're not even comparing apples to orange

      • by Lars T. (470328)

        "A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the PS3. "A single unelected commercial entity has worldwide control over what gets published for" the Wii.

        Let me know when Sony forces you to buy A Bravia TV to use a PS3.

        Let me know when Apple forces you to buy an Apple made TV to hook up to any Apple device. Ohh, yeah, right.

  • apples lockin also brakes freedoms in German law as well.

  • by Menchi (677927) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @05:14PM (#32400262)

    This is the country that has banned Wikileaks

    Except they didn't. wikileaks.de was disabled because the guy who own this domain (and nothing else related to wikileaks) didn't pay his bills. He was also involved in some fraud so his ISP didn't want to do business with him any more. They informed him 3 or 4 month before killing his account, he just forgot about it.

    sought a ban on violent games

    Good thing the word sought is there. The conservative hardliners have been talking about it for 20 years now and so far not much has happened. Preemptive censorship by the publishers is far worse.

    and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

    Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering. All in all, awesome summary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dr. Hok (702268)

      and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

      Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering.

      The success of the German Pirate Party may be one of the reasons, but I guess the major reason is that the law gives the BKA (German federal police) the right to decide which site is to be blocked. Which is unconstitutional. The job of the police is to enforce the law, not to decide what is lawful. So everybody is scared that the law is torn to pieces by the constitutional court.

      BTW: The German Pirate Party has its own problems now. Their most famous member (Jörg Tauss, former social democrat and membe

    • by mseeger (40923)

      Mod parent up please...

      Unluckily cross-checking facts about foreign countries is not a high priority on Slashdot. They hope the comments will correct any mistake (as one does here).

      CU, Martin

      P.S. There is a lot more to this news than it appears. The media moguls are complaining about a new stranglehold threatening their stranglehold on the public opinion. What an irony ....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by datorum (1280144)
      >> sought a ban on violent games >Good thing the word sought is there. The conservative hardliners have been talking about it for 20 years now and so far not much has happened. > Preemptive censorship by the publishers is far worse. let me guess why? I am pretty fucking sick of "available in the EU except Germany", "worldwide (except Germany)", etc. on steam, impulse, etc. This happens for games with different themes like Star Wars: Battlefront, Company of Heroes (which as far as I can rememb
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        Perhaps because the games in question have not yet been rated or the rating was rejected? Unrated games are treated like ones with an USK 18 rating - you may not sell them to minors. In addition, several companies like Microsoft completely refuse to bring any unrated game to market.

        Note that the "no advertising" rule is related to the Index, onto which only unrated games can be put since 2003. Which, by the way, is one reason why companies won't release unrated games.
    • and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

      Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering.

      Am I in some parallel universe where banning child porn is considered a good thing? I'm not talking cartoons and the like, but actual child porn featuring actual children?

      • by smurfsurf (892933)

        Well, the summary is very, very wrong.

        Producing, obtaining and possession of child porn is a criminal offence in Germany.

        Before election (who would have thought) there was a law passed that mandated ISP would have to redirect (via DNS) to a warning website any request made to a website on a secret block list. Anyone redirected was to be logged and investigated. Linkbomb anyone?

        The concerns:
        1. This list was to be secret and maintained by the federal police without any legislative oversight. Basically a censo

        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          You forgot concern number 4: The list would've been trivial to extend with non-child porn sites, turning it into a general censorship platform. In fact, even before the law was passed several politicians stated that they'd like to see a few other things put on there.

          They couldn't have made it any more blatant without naming the law "law for raping of the constitution and censoring of the internet; oh, and also child porn".
  • Horst Köhler just hesitated to sign the law because he wanted to inspect it thoroughly. Later he signed it
    http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Bundespraesident-unterzeichnet-Websperren-Gesetz-933180.html [heise.de]
  • The submitter seems to think that Apple somehow wields a monopoly over information sources. While they may have a degree of dominance in certain areas, there are far more choices of where to get your media than an iPhone/iPad. If you don't agree with Apple's "walled garden" approach, then you don't have to use their product. There's Blackberry and Android out there for you instead. Have fun.

    • The submitter seems to think that China somehow wields a monopoly over information sources. While they may have a degree of dominance in certain areas, there are far more choices of where to get your media than China. If you don't agree with China's "walled garden" approach, then you don't have to live there. There's Europe and America out there for you instead. Have fun.

      It's a bit of an overstatement, but maybe you get the point.

  • They can do what the heck they want with it.

    You can't release a game on the Wii, XBox 360 or PS3 without involvement from Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony. You have to buy their dev kit, get approval from them and even pay them a royalty for each sale of the game.

    So why is the iPad different? just because the distribution is electronic and it is a slightly more generic device than a games console doesn't mean Apple can't control the platform.

    If you don't like the rules, don't agree to them. Buy something else.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      So why is the iPad different?

      Magazin publishers don't publish on Wii, Xbox360 or PS3, they however do publish on the iPad. So its only natural that they actually care about the platforms they use and don't care about those they don't use.

  • by w4rl5ck (531459) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:05PM (#32400666) Homepage

    Well yes, we *have* problems with censorship and freedom in germany (as probably any other country has these days), but this summary is so wrong it hurts really bad...

    As mentioned in comments before:

    - the internet censorship stuff has not been banned by President Köhler, he just did not sign immediately. He did later, but after an election and a shift in government partys, the law has been stopped by the new government

    - the "violent video" thing has been discussed by many hardliners, but there never has been a broad support for that

    - wikileaks was not "banned" or anything. The stupid domain owners just did not take the proper steps to keep the domain

    So, one will find other, definitely even worse crimes against humanity in Germany, but this list is, well... sort of "outdated and overcome".

    Oh, and on topic: the publishers have some valid points here, and we might see some regulations for Apple in Germany. Porn is not illegal here, mind you ;)

    The iPad is l33t, anyway.

    • Maybe the police will confiscate iPads at the next CeBIT (just as they usually do with Chinese brands) due to Apple violating Nokia patents ...

      In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, well. It should be fought by another kind of evil. - The Chronicles of Riddick

  • It's a common misconception that just because we're European, by American standards socialist, and hypersensitive to nationalism/fascism, that makes us socially progressive. In fact, Germany is quite socially conservative thanks to a high average age and low participation among young voters. The Christian Democratic Union has been in power for many years (and while our version of "Christian" government isn't that of the rabid American right wing, it's still "Christian".)

    For example, Germany didn't recognize

    • by D4C5CE (578304)

      My point is, "think of the children" is pretty much the ultimate ender of debates here.

      And you know a page out of whose (banned) book that is, while the news media does not dare to challenge politicians recycling that strategy:

      As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.

      Godwin alert to anyone googling the author of that line...

  • Obviously, Apple's competitors have their large number of lobbyists out full force. The amount of whining at Apple's success lately is fucking incredible.

    If only they put as much energy into making stuff users want they might be able to compete.

    The idea that there is censorship on iPhone is ridiculous. It has an HTML5 browser. It has about 25 different bookstores. You can load any media from any source into iTunes. There are apps with streaming movies, audio, radio.

    There are HTML5 iPhone apps from major por

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