A Danish tabloid is threatening to take Apple to court, and over what? The exposed breasts of the nubile and flax pin-up girls who have graced Ekstra Bladet‘s ninth page for the last thirty five years.
The problem, here, is immediately obvious: Apple’s puritanical restrictions upon adult content on the App Store. When Ekstra Bladet tried to publish an iPad app offering up the magazine’s content, the app was quickly rejected because of nudity.
Ekstra Bladet editor Poul Madsen said: “I think it’s madness. [These photos] are not pornographic or offensive in any way… the Page 9 girl is a part of Ekstra Bladet soul.”
Page 9 girls are the Danish analog to Britain’s famous Page 3 girls: a daily topless photo of a hot new model dependably hosted on a specific page of each issue, usually accompanied by a vacuous, tittering interview from same.
He went on to call Apple’s reject of the magazine app “scorching censorship” and “distortionary.” Now he’s threatening to sue Apple, claiming that if Apple doesn’t let through their app, they’ll go straight to the European Court of Justice.
Good luck with that, of course, but outside of Maden’s hysterics, he’s got a point. In Europe, naked girls are ubiquitous on news stands. It’s not considered “porn” and it’s barely considered titillation: a naked girl peeking out of the paper you read on the bus or subway in the morning is part and parcel with the Euro tabloid tradition, and there’s not a newsie in Germany or Denmark or Spain so out-of-touch with his own culture’s mores that he would deny selling that paper to a twelve year old, just because he might see a pair of tits.
Is Ekstra Bladet likely to get Apple to make an exception? No, but maybe Apple should: by holding the rest of the world to a strictly American coda of sexuality, Cupertino’s failing to meet the moral standards of a larger audience.
Update: Uh. Denmark, not Sweden. Cult of Mac apologizes for mixing up the Nords.