By this point, we all know about Steve Jobs’ stance on naughty words and images. From Apple’s now-infamous App Store porn ban (which, depending on the day, may or may not include photos of bikini-clad women) to the company’s recent patent on sext-censoring technology, Jobs and his team have worked hard to keep their platform a chaste and pure place.
Now, it looks like Apple is extending its smut-squashing authority into the realm of music. Or at least music promotion.
Apple’s latest magical innovation, according to the crew at All Things Digital, is a set of “best practices” (read: requirements) for artists wanting to be a part of its Ping community. Ping — not to be confused with Bing, Sling, Ning, or Beijing — is the iTunes-connected social network Apple launched along with iTunes 10 last month. Artists wishing to establish a Ping profile, Apple’s document explains, need to follow a series of “iTunes content policies” in order to make the cut.
Apple content rule #1:
• “Videos, photos, and text posts should not contain pornography, hate speech, racism, nudity, or any references to or depictions of drug use.”
Good luck promoting your latest single, Ke$ha. Or any other artist who doesn’t stick to Bieber-like, G-rated lyrics (paging The Doors…).
In addition to the sex and drugs ban, Apple is putting the kibosh on external links — things that point people to bands’ Web sites, for example, or social media pages. You know, things that actually benefit the artist.
Apple content rules #2, 3, and 4:
• “Posts should not include advertisements or links to sites outside of iTunes.”
• “Posts should not contain links to other content providers.”
• “URLs should not be included in the About section of your artist profile. This includes official artist website URLs. URLs can only be posted in the Event feed.”
Sorry, Charlie. We all know the drill, though: If you want to play in Apple’s garden, you have to play by Apple’s rules.
Hey, if you think it’s bad now, just imagine what Steve Jobs must have been like as a child.
JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the co-founder of geek-humor site eSarcasm. You can find him on both Facebook and Twitter.