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:
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.
Previously at Mike Cane 2008:
Previously at The eBook Test: