“The Downward Spiral” Apparently Too Hot For The iTunes Store

noah | May 4, 2009 12:45 pm

The latest update to Nine Inch Nails’ iPhone application has been rejected by the content czars at Apple. Why? Because it contained “obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials”–namely, “The Downward Spiral,” which is one of the songs on a podcast that could be streamed to the application. As you might expect, Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor has some thoughts!

Now, “The Downward Spiral” the album is not available anywhere in the iPhone app. The song “The Downward Spiral” I believe is in a podcast that can be streamed to the app. Thanks Apple for the clear description of the problem – as in, what do you want us to change to get past your stupid fucking standards? And while we’re at it, I’ll voice the same issue I had with Wal-Mart years ago, which is a matter of consistency and hypocrisy. Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and “clean” versions be made for them to carry. Bands (including Nirvana) tripped over themselves editing out words, changing album art, etc to meet Wal-Mart’s standards of decency – because Wal-Mart sells a lot of records. NIN refused, and you’ll notice a pretty empty NIN section at any Wal-Mart. My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any “indecent” material for sale – but you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film “Scarface” completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense? You can buy The Downward Fucking Spiral on iTunes, but you can’t allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it. Geez, what if someone in the forum in our app says FUCK or CUNT? I suppose that also falls into indecent material. Hey Apple, I just got some SPAM about fucking hot asian teens THROUGH YOUR MAIL PROGRAM. I just saw two guys having explicit anal sex right there in Safari! On my iPhone! Come on Apple, think your policies through and for fuck’s sake get your app approval scenario together.

Trent posted this on the nin.com message board, so of course fans lined up behind him to say witty things like “FAIL” and call Apple “Sour Apple.” (He later pointed out that he still liked Apple and the iPhone, but wasn’t so crazy about the weird standards and practices policies that make The Downward Spiral available on the music store, but not to iPhone users.) Of course, the NIN app isn’t the only one that has had to alter its content to adhere to Apple’s standards–indeed, my phone boasts Candy Wars, which is the iPhone-scrubbed version of the popular phone game DopeWars. Still, I do have to wonder if this means that, say, the Top 100 iTunes Songs app only streams the clean versions of tracks, although I fear having to listen to that 3OH!3 song in order to find out.NIN iPhone App Rejection [nin.com]