Remember that debacle back in November when Apple rejected the U.S. Congress app featuring caricatures I had drawn based on it being “defamatory to public figures”? Surprising public backlash got Apple to reconsider, and Apple kept making the same mistake with apps from Daryl Cagle, Mark Fiore and others.
Well, it looks like Apple finally decided to get more specific about the rules and how they apply to satire and humor.
From the Daily Cartoonist:
Apple has relaxed some of their requirements for its App Store apps. The clause regarding defamatory or offensive material is still in the guidelines, but they’ve explicitly made it clear that “professional political satirists and humorists” were exempt.
Here’s how the two clauses are written:
14.1 Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected
14.2 Professional political satirists and humorists are exempt from the ban on offensive or mean-spirited commentary
Obviously the first question is what do they interpret as professional?
My reaction exactly.
Actually there are two things about rule 14.2 are going to be REALLY interesting. The first is how Apple decides to define “professional” political satirists and humorists. Since the traditional measuring stick of being syndicated/published is being eroded in this era of the Internet and blogging, how they decide who is professional and who is not will be enlightening.
The second is how far they’ll let those they do consider professionals go in being “offensive and mean-spirited”… does that mean those professional satirists/humorists have carte blanche? That could be quite a show, because cartoonists like nothing better than to push the envelope. I don’t think Apple is really prepared for how “offensive and mean-spirited” things can get. I foresee revised wording on section 14.2 in the very near future.
The bottom line here is that, despite the wording and new rules, it’s still Apple’s sandbox and they’ll only let those play in it they want to let in.
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