Apple lifts ban on 'objectionable' NIN app for iPhone

Apple reversed its earlier ban on an iPhone application spotlighting industrial music group Nine Inch Nails after previously contending the app contains "objectionable content." First introduced in April and developed in conjunction with the band's frontman Trent Reznor, the NIN app features music, photos, videos, message boards and even a GPS-based friend finder service; Apple approved the application in its original incarnation, but initially turned down a recent update, citing its inclusion of the Nine Inch Nails song "The Downward Spiral," which contains multiple obscenities. In an email sent to NIN and posted on the group's website, Apple writes "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."

Reznor quickly went public with the details of Apple's decision, posting a rant against the computing giant's perceived hypocrisy by pointing out "The Download Spiral" remains available for premium download via the iTunes digital music storefront. On Thursday, Reznor resurfaced on Twitter with the following post: "NEWS FLASH: Apple has approved the NIN iPhone app update. Should be live in a few hours." According to Reznor, Nine Inch Nails did not make any changes to the version of the application that Apple greenlighted, suggesting the company bowed to public pressure. In late April, Apple issued a public apology over developer Sikalosoft's controversial "Baby Shaker" application, releasing the following statement: "This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store. When we learned of this mistake, the app was removed immediately. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and thank our customers for bringing this to our attention."

For more on the NIN app controversy:
- read this InformationWeek article