Bloomsday: Apple reverses course on controversial Ulysses Seen iPad app

Bloomsday revelers, re-Joyce! Apple reps have changed their mind about Ulysses Seen, an iPad application which was previously censored to fit the guidelines of the Apple Store. Ulysses Seen is now available – in its complete, unedited form – and just in time for Bloomsday.

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    Bloomsday brings good news for fans of Ulysses Seen, a popular online comic. This week, Apple decided to allow the Ulysses Seen iPad app, which included a scene of partial nudity. Apple had previous asked the team behind Ulysses Seen to censor the application.
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It's Bloomsday 2010, and over in Ireland, fans of the great modernist novel "Ulysses" are taking to the streets and pubs and bookstores to revel in all things James Joyce. But here in the US, Bloomsday is being celebrated for a different reason: It's the day that someone over at the Apple Store finally admitted that they got a little zealous with that bright red CENSORED stamp.

Here's the backstory: Earlier this year, a company called Throwaway Horse submitted an app called Ulysses Seen to the Apple Store. Ulysses Seen – which is also available as an online comic – is a riff on Joyce's masterwork; it was rendered by the artist Robert Berry for the small screen. As an adaption, Ulysses Seen is brilliantly done.

Unfortunately for Throwaway Horse, it also includes at least one scene of nudity.

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Not long after submitting the app, the company received a message from Apple, which asked Throwaway Horse to remove offending panels. "I don't think the Apple representative that I first spoke with even knew what Ulysses was," Throwaway Horse's business manager, Chad Rutkowski, explained to The Guardian. The company wanted the app to reach a wide audience, so it complied with Apple's request, and published a censored version of Ulysses Seen.

But this week, Apple reversed its decision on both Ulysses Seen and a graphic-novel version of "The Importance of Being Earnest," by Oscar Wilde.

"With 'Ulysses' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' we made a mistake," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told The Washington Post. "When [the art] of these graphic novel adaptations was brought to our attention, we called the developers and offered them the opportunity to resubmit. Both [graphic novel apps] are now in the store with the original panel drawings."

Three cheers for original intent, and a happy Bloomsday to all.

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