Blog Post

Germany’s Springer Rows With Apple Over ‘Sexy Girls’ Strip App

By Mercedes Bunz: The International Federation of the Periodical Press (FIPP) is considering making a complaint to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) over the computer firm’s request that German publisher Springer censor the naked girls on one of its iPhone apps.

Springer-owned tabloid Bild’s “Shake the Bild Girl” app allows iPhone users to undress a model. Each time the user shakes the phone, the girl strips an item of her clothing. While Bild features naked women daily in its pages, Apple ruled that the girls in its iPhone app should wear bikinis.

The Association of German Magazine Publishers (VDZ) asked FIPP last week to approach Apple over the issue. FIPP is debating the issue, but has no further comment at the moment.

The VDZ chief executive, Wolfgang Fuerstner, has warned that Apple’s move might represent a move towards censorship. In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel he said: “Publishers can’t sell their soul just to get a few lousy pennies from Apple.” Bild Digital CEO Donata Hopfen agreed: “Today they censor nipples, tomorrow editorial content.”

Apple asks publishers of general interest apps to respect its US “no nipples” policy. In November, German weekly Stern’s app was dropped from the App Store due to an erotic photo gallery.

When Apple approached Bild in January, the publisher censored the PDF version of the paper programmed for the iPhone.

According to Doepfner, Springer is Apple’s second biggest client worldwide after Google (NSDQ: GOOG). And Springer makes good money via Apple. The “Shake the Bild Girl” app costs

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..

3 Responses to “Germany’s Springer Rows With Apple Over ‘Sexy Girls’ Strip App”

  1. What’s with the ‘censorship’ nonsense? No one is stopping them from creating their content for any other platform or distributing it for free. Apple is simply declining to carry it in their store. It’s no more censorship than if Walmart decides not to carry Springer’s books and magazines in Walmart stores.

  2. Last sentence – absolutely.

    The fact that it’s sexual content is kind of irrelevant to the main issue. It’ll happen again for other apps. It’s what you can expect when you play in someone else’s garden, especially a company as control-freaky as Apple. The solution is to move away from Apple’s lock-in and have open systems.