MAD Magazine artist Tom Richmond has been working on an iPhone app with movie director/entrepreneur Ray Griggs that allows users to search a database for contact information of every congressman. Tom did 540 caricatures – one for every representative in union and territories – for the app. Unfortunately, they have learned that Apple has rejected the app based due to “content that ridicules public figures.”
Here’s a sample of the letter Tom received:
Thank you for submitting Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition to the App Store. We’ve reviewed Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures and is in violation of Section 3.3.14 from the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement which states:
“Applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”
Tom responds on his blog:
This is the most ridiculous thing Iâ??ve ever heard. These caricatures arenâ??t mean or very exaggerated. They are simple, fun cartoon likenesses of the politicians and the purpose of the app is a informational database. There is no editorial commentary involved at all.
This is the very reason that Apple as a company should be taken to task over itâ??s ludicrous sanctimonious attitude. Clearly this app does not â??ridicule public figuresâ? and is violating nothing, but Apple has decided the world must be protected from the insidious subversiveness this would force upon the public and the brutal, heinous ridicule that my cruel, cruel caricatures would subject these politicians to.