back to article Apple snips Nine Inch Nails app

Apple has once again proven the absurdity of its App Store product-approval process by rejecting an app from Nine Inch Nails because of its "objectionable content." Apple didn't decline the update to nin: access (iTunes link) because it has a problem with multi-instrumentalist and producer Trent Reznor's songwriting talents. …


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  1. Roger Heathcote
    Thumb Down

    Roll on android...

    iPhone's are cool and undoubtedly successful (depite el reg's numerous predictions of market failure) but what self respecting geek wants to buy in to a censored, proprietary, DRM infested platform these days? Weak.

    Apple == Some old farts trying to look cool

    Trent Reznor == Actually cool

  2. vincent himpe
    Jobs Horns

    look, it's simple

    if apple can control it and get a sh!tload of money out of it it's ok.

    the problem with the app is that it allows you to get a piece of music for free that otherwise you would need to buy through itunes. Even if the App is made by the copyright owner of the music , apple does not like it.. So in a sense Apple does not repect copyright either. The owenerr releases it and Apple says ; you can;t do that , we want -scrap that- need money from it. If you wan;t to give it away , fine , but not through our channels...

    The next thing to trademark : iGreed

  3. Jimbo


    another reason why I shall never buy iPhone ....

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Me Meeson


    Am I right in saying that "The Downward Spiral" is actually a NIN album rather than a song? I mean, I know the song exists as well but surely Apple would have a bigger problem with the lyrics to Closer (from the same album).

    I'd guess that it's actually that song that copped the ban. (Sorry to be a pedant ;-))

    Unless Apple like emulating animals...

    Penguin... 'cause he's like an animal.

  6. Dan Breen
    Paris Hilton


    hmmm, the chorus isn't exactly subtle so I can see the where apple are coming from but this is the real world, you'll hear far worse stepping outside your front door in the morning.

    Paris - She seems brighter than Apple and I'm sure she likes the chorus.

  7. Pavel Tcholakov
    Jobs Horns

    Love my Symbian phone :-)

    Like the closing quote!

  8. Fozzy
    Thumb Down

    How weak

    Trent should have pushed to get some of his video clips selling through the app store. It would have solved alot of problems, mainly due to those wankers all dying from heart fialure at watching the "Happiness in Slavery" clip

    Thumbs down for Apple

  9. Mick F
    Jobs Horns

    iPhones 4 iDiots

    Only the very stupid would be suckered in by Apple's shit.

  10. Toastan Buttar
    Thumb Up

    Trent Reznor

    I don't much care for his music but the guy talks a lot of sense.

  11. Ash
    Thumb Down

    The Downward Spiral?!

    They should try "Big Man with a Gun". The Downward Spiral is the second most tame song on the album.

    The first being "A Warm Place"

    It's an instrumental.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Me Meeson

    No. There is a song 'The Downward Spiral' on the album. However I agree that it is likely to be Closer that has caused the ban ('I want to fuck you like an animal / I want to feel you from the inside').

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Jailbreak only access, why not.

    Year zero.

    On the back of their own CD.

    Be a Patriot - Be an informer.

    Regarding guess what, PIRACY.

    Not the only people who need to get their heads straight be Apple.

  14. sleepy

    Maybe there's a sensible reason?

    Apart from some well known licensing issues like turn by turn navigation, it appears that Apple's concerns over apps is usually with the legality or decency of (apparently) embedded content. The content in question is already available for sale from the iTunes music store, and maybe that's where it should be, or maybe free content embedded in an app would put Apple in breach of its contract with NIN's record label?

    @Michael Tripper

    "I am an adult" - well you're writing like a spoiled brat - this was clearly a matter of judgement by Apple, and you happen to disagree. If they are objectively wrong, then Apple are quite likely to reverse the decision, but we don't know the details. It's a spectacularly stupid reason never to buy an iPod when you can't run NIN's app on anyone else's music player either.

  15. Chris

    Brothers in arms

    ""Brothers in Arms" (iTunes link) receive age-appropriate ratings"

    If it was the Dire Straits album rather than the game then I'd wholeheartedly agree with age appropriate ratings. Only fat, balding men aged over forty should be able to buy it. But even then they shouldn't be allowed to prattle on about how that twat with the hair band is such a great guitarist. (Clue - he isn't).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    And the award for today's biggest App£€ fanboi goes to...

    ... Dopey.

    Sorry, I mean Sleepy.

  17. P. Lee

    Censorship? Bah!

    Hypocritical? I think not.

    These words indicate some sort of moral judgment regarding the content. Apple is a corporation and behaves like all corporations - it follows the money regardless of ethics.

    Don't confuse inconsistency of approval (which will be based on what Apple thinks its consumers' morality might be) with morality. In the same way, Walmart maintains a "clean" product line in its shops because it is selling to people with children, while at the same time hammering down its purchasing costs to the point of reducing suppliers to absolute poverty. This is not ethical behaviour, this is pragmatic, situational ethics.

    Regardless of what the law says, corporations are are *not* people, they are a legal fiction. They are inherently unable to make moral judgments for either good or evil. Their actions tend to be consistent with lowest common denominator ethics because that gives them the widest market and the greatest income.

    Apple's premium product placement means that it doesn't attack the widest market possible which allows its staff to (slightly and occasionally) make non-lowest common denominator sales decisions. This is unusual and may be reversed, but it fascinating to see the discomfort this decision causes to some people. "If I can't get every obscenity possible on my iphone then Apple is rubbish and I won't buy their junk."

    And on a slightly different note... the album is called "The Downward Spiral," what makes you think its a good idea to follow them all the way to the bottom? Look at the lyrics. Who would have thought that there is so much business to be had from selling self-loathing and a desire to remove yourself from the gene-pool? Perhaps a Darwin Award should be considered.

    Its interesting that The Downward Spiral is around 15 years old. Mr Self-Destruct appears to be keeping late. Life seems to be just too good to end it all just yet. Now there's hypocrisy for you. Oh wait, this is the music industry. It isn't real, its just business. Nothing like Apple at all.

    At least with Apple you know the agenda is to make money. Personally, I find the music industry with its pretensions to reflecting "real life" while financially preying mostly on teenagers rather more disgusting.

  18. sleepy


    I have no idea if what I suggested is correct in this instance. But you can't deny that precisely because Apple controls the app store tightly and handles all distribution and payment, individual programmers finally have an easy way to make a living without working for the man or being ripped off by non-payers or buried in admin or generating 50 different platform builds. For me that outweighs whatever hard time Apple may or may not be giving to a handful of apps out of 35,000.

  19. Peyton

    @NIN AC

    Trent gave the last album away for free online... And for a few bucks you could get a high-quality flac version with album art, etc. I've seen that statement on more than one band's cd jacket - wouldn't be surprised if it's tacked on by the recording label and not the band.

    Trent's the man.

  20. Michael Tripper

    sleepy you donlt get it

    you cannot be free living in CAGE.

    Only accepting government approved ideas and corporate approved words is no way to live life. I might just get the iPod but certainly when it comes to phones I say all hail Android and maybe the pre.

    The Android store will kill Apple sales if it takes off and allows adult content.

    Sick of the dumbing down of us all - but sleepy I guess your name means ignorance is bliss eh.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Apple == Communism

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Reznor ain't sane

    You know that Reznor ain't sane himself - aside from saying the iPhone is a great product. sure if you like cracked case, blown up batteries, lackluster network speeds, over-priced, ...

    Reznor himself is like the very deep blacksheep of the music business. aside from his core "fans", I don't think the band has gained much in popularity - thanks to his album releases [how many in the past 2 years?]. If his record label hasn't dumped him, I'd be surprised...

  23. David Edwards

    I like my iPhone

    I use it to remind me of things with to do lits as calendars.........

    ..... because Ive got a head like a hole.

  24. Neil C Smith
    Thumb Up

    @AC 09:41 / @AC 14:55

    That 'Be a patriot' sticker has nothing to do with piracy. It's from the (fictional) US Bureau of Morality. Did you miss the satire? Are you American? :-)

    There have been two NIN albums in the last two years, both available for download, and both under Creative Commons licensing (albeit with the non-commercial clause that even CC haven't worked out what it means yet!). Whatever you think of his music, as far as I'm concerned NIN are going in the right direction regarding the future of music distribution.

    His judgement on the iPhone I'm less sure about! :-)

  25. Charles Fraser-Hopewell

    Be a Patriot - Be an Informer.

    I believe that this is part of the art that fits the concept of the album (which is about a dystopian, near future) rather than some sort of pro-copyright message.

  26. Bounty

    It may suck balls, but at least it LETS YOU SUCK BALLS

    Trent is apparently a trendy pussy then....

    " I will still use them because they work 1000X better than the competition. This is not a debate, it's a fact. The iPhone is THE most elegant, modern smartphone at this point in time and it's perfect for what we want to do with the NIN app"

    His app does not work at all currently, so it's not perfect, not 1000X better and not a fact. The iPhone is THE most evil, orwellian mind control device at this point in time. Want proof, Trent still loves Apple. Free Your Mind

  27. Anonymous Coward


    WinMo's really not so bad, you know, once you get past the taste...

    (or so they tell me everytime they want me to work on it)

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Dracoian has a new face

    It's not that Apple banned this or any other app from its store, that's not the underlying issue.

    Sure it is hypocrisy that the same album can be had at the other head of the virtual lemonade stand. The trouble is THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE LEMONADE STAND. Drink here, or die of dehydration. Or simply enjoy your featurephone with your single free hand. Even the Opera Mini, running on JVM on a dumbphone can do "save link as", can yours?


    No, jailbreaking does not count. Hackers will hack, it's a BSD core for heaven's sake, useful in the hands of the savvy (and their lucky friends). It should not be necessary to jailbreak the fucken thing in the first place. It's nice hardware that should have gone the way of the MiniDisc. But it appears a good UI is enough to win people over to serfdom.

    And no, WinMo ain't that bad in this light. And it should have been. As it stands, it's the veritable "Land of the Free" compared to this. Sadly it also happens to be the "Land of the Brave".


    Some guy who hates itunes on windows.

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