Steve Jobs: Abandoning A Principle?

Steve Jobs Offers World ‘Freedom From Porn’

I have no problem with Apple refusing porn access. Maybe Gawker’s Tate needs some education on the unequivocal sickness that’s out there.

However, I do have a problem with these words from Jobs in regard to non-pornographic publishing:


Click = big

That smug shit might fly when writing to some young kid running a gossip site, but it won’t get past me.

Does Jobs really not see that he basically has a position that has never before existed in the world?

It’s as if Apple has a monopoly on the paper supply and gets to pick and choose who will be able to buy and use that paper so people can publish.

The App Store channel is not like a radio station or a TV channel — because we’ve never existed in a world in which there has been only one radio station or one TV channel.

This kind of monopolistic marketplace deformation is only possible with digital, where operating systems and file formats are proprietary creations and it’s possible through overt planning and DRM to restrict access to things.

In the original days of radio and TV, the government recognized the scarcity of spectrum and refereed who would be assigned what — with the original intent of providing it in the public interest, not for monopolistic financial gain. (And yes, the FCC did pull licenses from companies when the licensee acted egregiously. See the WOR case in NYC.)

In The 7 Principles of Apple, I stated that one of the guiding principles of Apple that could be discerned from its actions was:

7) Help people create. When the original Macintosh was introduced, it came with a program called MacPaint. While the rest of the computing industry was focused on word processing and spreadsheets, Apple took the next step: marrying creativity to computing.

From that small start began the desktop publishing revolution which overthrew traditional production processes and continues to this day.

That principle wasn’t “let only people we approve of create.”

If Steve Jobs is really blind to this degree — thinking that getting onto the majority mobile platform is simply a “choice” — then Apple itself is on the wrong path and a collision with government regulators (here and in the European Union) is inevitable and that conflict will break Apple — and Steve Jobs personally — worse than Microsoft was broken during its encounter.

Smugness is always, always avenged.

Additional:

A Note To All Corporate Ass-Kissers

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

Apple Forfeits eBooks By Banning A Comic Book!
Apple And A Tale Of Two Bannings
Apple Bans ANOTHER Book From App Store!
Apple Approves Of Shooting Nurses In The Face!

Previously at The eBook Test:

Apple: Get The Hell Out Of Your Own Way!
Another Day, Another DoubleDumb Apple Book Rejection!
Apple’s Two-Faced Censorship At Work Again
A REAL Justification For Apple Censorship?

Previously here:

The Latest Outrageous Apple Book Rejection!
Apple: Think What Now?
Apple Rescinds Book Ban
Steve Jobs: Keep Saying No!
Apple Is Scaring Publishers And Writers

21 responses to “Steve Jobs: Abandoning A Principle?

  1. Apple has neither a digital publishing monopoly nor a “majority mobile platform”.
    Take a look at the pie chart near the top of this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone, the second chart here: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/3/comScore_Reports_January_2010_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share, etc.

    Of course you’re probably focussed on iPad, which only Apple sells. However, at this point in time, there are more ereader devices by other manufacturers in existence than iPads.

    Even on iPad Apple isn’t the only publisher, as the many users of Amazon’s Kindle app, and the various other ebook/pdf reading apps, and obviously the Safari browser demonstrate.

    Book store owners aren’t compelled to carry all works from all sources either.

  2. Art Vandelay

    Steve Jobs is an arrogant megalomaniac. He’s made himself and his shareholders rich, but he is a hypocrite. The only thing he wants to “create” is more money for himself and his shareholders. He stifles true creativity constantly. Lets hope he is broken hard, and soon.

  3. “It’s as if Apple has a monopoly on the paper supply and gets to pick and choose who will be able to buy and use that paper so people can publish.”

    Really, you need to show how Apple is a monopoly before your argument can stand. The fact that they are doing something that has never been done before does not make then a monopoly. And it does not eliminate the various options available to publishers who may be committed to having their information published. You cannot ignore the fact that Apple’s new product is not the only medium for publishers to use, which means the situation is not at all comparable to having a monopoly on the paper supply.

    “That principle wasn’t “let only people we approve of create.”

    Nowhere have you proven that this is even close to whatever principle Apple has adopted, so its relevance is unclear. What we have seen from Apple so far is, “Let us only use those created components that meet our requirements for the end-user experience that we envision.” I have seen no evidence that Apple is restricting on the basis of the identity of the creator.

    Furthermore, people who argue that Apple has lost sight of its original ideals have chosen to ignore Apple’s actions with regard to the Mac platform and focus simply on its products that introduce an appliance model into its line-up. You should hold yourself to a higher standard.

  4. Are you kidding me? I don’t agree with everything that Apple does – but it’s certainly their right to make their own rules.

    Jobs is right -you as a publisher / developer / user have a choice to buy their products – or don’t. Isn’t that what the free market is about?

    There’s no monopoly here. There are multiple app stores – in fact – tons of companies are trying to open their own – nokia, rim, android, etc. it’s just that the rest aren’t as good. Nowhere NEAR as a good.

    What’s the difference between Walmart or Costco, the Disney Store or Apple? Their products, their choice. And wallets, our choice.

  5. bullshit.

    Only thing I see is that Porn people are using
    AppStore get some publicity.
    Web browser is already there just like in your Mac.
    Do you expect Apple to ship bookmark with your Mac.

    I don’t know why you have to make this a personality or psychoanalysis of Steve Jobs.

  6. One question not asking by people like you.
    Why is porn industry so keep on getting on the ipad.
    The answer is simple. Russians came and undercut the american porn industry by flooding the internet with free porn. So porn industry is asking to be rescued just like all the other media industry that cannot compete in the digital age.

  7. I think there are two channels.

    One, the internet access through the browser and the other the App store.

    The only limitation seems to be performance and content. One is technical the other philosophical and ethical. I guess Apple is only comfortable with selling what agrees with them. For some only the money is important.

    Is it your experience that the iPad or iPhone limits the genre of content in either web or through the Apps?

    The general consensus about the limitations of App store seems to be the desire for Apple to do away with that awkwardly limiting moral and philosophical mindset.

    That there are two channels seems to be forgotten. You are what you consume, the web for whatever the App store will not provide and the App store for what Apple chooses to provide.

    Would you work unethically despite having high ethics? For example, would you sell slaves if you abhor slavery?

  8. You’re absolutely right. You wouldn’t see Sony only allow approved people create for the closed PS3 or Microsoft only allow approved people create for the closed XBox 360. How about Nintendo and the closed Wii. Never happen.

    Approving developers for closed systems just never happens.

  9. Thank you for missing the point. You need to learn how to comprehend what you allegedly read.

  10. You are missing the money issue.

  11. Most of the free porn I see still has mostly Americans in it.

  12. I’m not an enemy of Steve Jobs. I have a great deal of admiration for him and don’t want to see him run into the brick wall of government.

  13. : ) Let’s see if I get it right then.

    Your objection is that Apple’s skill in sieving out consumers of free content (Internet) and sieving out consumers of free apps (App Store) while at the same time supporting the infrastructure and then with the remnant paying consumers of content and Apps does not entitle them to choose the tone of environment (marketplace) they wish to present to the world?

    The internet and the free apps are costly infrastructure built with Apple expertise still unmatched and their current position is not a free lunch handed down by some benevolent God.

    It is planned, yes. It has rights managed legally, yes. It has software managed, yes. But if the rest of the creative world can make a quantum leap forward upon the shoulders of a rock solid foundation, why not?

    I seriously believe that the economy is being held back because computing failed in so many ways and adds so much people costs. That’s the only money aspect I would look at.

  14. Still wrong.

  15. Steve Jobs has done great things for mankind and the world is a better place because of his vision and work.

  16. “[...] we’ve never existed in a world in which there has been only one radio station or one TV channel.”

    You didn’t live in rural Canada during the 60s then. :)

  17. ; ) Another try.

    The iPhone / iPad ecosystem has become or will become a monopoly because there are no viable alternatives. It will ultimately become a target for anti-trust. Is that it?

  18. Apps are not the web. The web is http and www. Apple developed the open source WebKit, and the web standards complaint Safari browser to give the iPhone OS the “full web experience”. Safari does not filter URLs and does not censor web content.

    Steve Jobs is right when he says that no one needs to create iPhone OS apps. “But it appears that they DO want to.”

    If you want to point your righteous indignation somewhere, point it at the emerging exodus from the free web to the payola that is apps.

  19. Yes, that is part of it. What I’m finding with people who live out of the U.S. (and I don’t mean you, because I have no idea where you live) is that they have zero understanding of what American freedom of expression is. This is a bigger issue than just money. Any crack whore can make money. But once rights are lost, it usually takes violence to retrieve them — human history illustrates that over and over.

  20. This is true. But I live in America and freedom of expression, I’m beginning to see, is something Americans uniquely care about.

  21. ;) Perhaps I can try to reassure you that Apple will never ever be the monopoly platform that controls access to content. That is never its intent or the iPhone / iPod Touch /iPad would have censored the internet content except maybe with parental consent.

    The INTERNET is the monopoly here in every sense of the word. The App store is very cleverly positioned by Apple as a market “opposite” with traits like a richer and deeper experience, faster performing apps, etc. One of the laws of marketing.

    What’s really interesting is Apple is actually working hard to protect the INTERNET in its monopoly position with software Webkit, fighting off proprietary solutions, etc. That’s going to be one of the ways to topple Apple. Block the internet from their ecosystem.

    Apple is a hardware business that makes its profit from iPod Touch / iPhone / iPad sales. Its monopoly is its beautifully crafted user experience. That’s the secret sauce to what ties monopoly Internet with the second string App store. Access is through this ecosystem. Notice how Apple went on the offensive against HTC. Apple spent years perfecting this Touch interface, even a mediocre copy is a threat to those years of work. because at the end of the day good enough wins the day.

    That Apple’s ecosystem can do more than the Internet in terms of utility is a by product of its computing nature but it cannot do more than a true blue computer can it? ; ) I think a deliberate limitation that is quite liberating.

    Lastly, notice that in many of the encounters Apple takes the high moral ground but guerilla word assassins need to recast every stance as sinister and low by trying to reposition facts. And freedom is one of the baits that drew you into the battle.

    Nothing stays a monopoly forever, not even Apple but I cannot agree with you that they are smug. They are in for a fight and they will need their 40 bn.