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Apple Accused of Censoring Erotic Fiction from iTunes Store

from – Apple has been accused of censorship after a number of novellas, described as highly erotic by author Carl East, were removed from the iTunes store.

The novellas were also removed from the list of top 10 best selling iPad books.

On Monday, an erotic novel entitled ‘Blonde and Wet: the Complete Story’, written by author Carl East, occupied the number one spot in the top 10 best seller list on the iTunes Store. Erotic titles also occupied both the number 2 and number 5 spots.

Apple, which is against pornographic material appearing on the platform, is said to have removed the titles not only from its bestseller list but from its iTunes Store altogether, and replaced them with other, less risqué titles.

Experts have said that the erotic fiction market has been given a boost by the launch of the iPad and e-book reader devices. People who might be embarrassed at buying hard copies of the books from a shop have no qualms about downloading and reading the titles on their iPads.

Speaking to UK newspaper The Times, Philip Stone, editor of the The Bookseller magazine, said: “The embarrassment factor of being caught reading something like that in print is not there. If it’s on your iPad then no one can tell what you’re reading. You could be reading Plato.”

from – Blonde and Wet, the Complete Story was ranked first on the iPad in a top 10 that included three other erotic novellas yesterday morning.

But all four titles disappeared simultaneously and had been replaced with less risqué books, such as Peter Mandelson’s autobiography, by the afternoon.

Book chart analysts said it was unlikely that all the erotic titles could have dropped out of the list at the same moment without being deliberately removed.

It is not the first time that Apple has faced accusations of prudishness. The company embarked on a “great porn purge” in February, ridding its iPhone App Store of all “overtly sexual content”.

Steve Jobs, chief executive, announced in April that he wanted the newly-launched iPad to remain free of pornographic applications. The crackdown was labelled “political correctness gone mad” by some bloggers.

Apple declined to comment on the disappearance of the pornographic novellas from the book chart yesterday.

The most popular author among iPad users was, until yesterday, Carl East, a 55-year-old from Hull with more than 70 erotic books to his name.

His titles, which are available for as little as 49p, were first, second and seventh in the chart before they disappeared.

Experts said the market for pornographic fiction had been given a boost by the rise of the iPad and other e-readers.

Philip Stone, charts editor for The Bookseller magazine, told The Times: “The embarrassment factor of being caught reading something like that in print is not there. If it’s on your iPad then no one can tell what you’re reading. You could be reading Plato.”

Mr East, who has never appeared on a bestseller list before, has been overwhelmed by his new found success.

He erotic novelist, who now lives in the United States, wrote in a post on Amazon: “I keep pinching myself to see if I am awake and sometimes I wonder, is this really happening to me.”


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