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Apple Pulls Neo-Nazi Albums From German iTunes Store

Apple has recently pulled two albums of neo-Nazi sentiment from its German installation of iTunes after being informed by technology publication Computerbild of the offensive content.

Two albums from the German neo-Nazi band, Landser, had recently been discovered on the German iTunes store. The group had been banned by a federal court in 2005 for brazenly racist songs with titles the likes of “Polacken Tango” (Polack Tango) and “Zigeunerpack” (Gypsy Vermin). Despite their mysterious iTunes appearance, the content had been taken down by Apple a mere two hours after being notified of the issue. When questioned about the mishap, an Apple spokesperson stated, “This has never happened on iTunes before,” he said. “I don’t know how it made it into the store. We do not tolerate this kind of content.”

Computerbild maintains that this may be just one of many instances of radical content that is becoming more prevalent online. Social networking giant, Myspace, along with Last.fm, a UK based internet radio and music community, have faced recent bouts with objectionable content matter and publicly state there avid attempts to remove it.

Jugendschutz, a German youth protection agency, is working to combat openly racist content, yet has reported hundreds of instances racial intolerance and propaganda. A Jugendschutz spokesperson revealed to German site, The Local, that “the right-wing extremist scene has long identified with and used music to exercise their influence on young people,” the organization said in a statement. “The internet helps bring right-wing music with racist messages to the world.”

While one can commend Apple for their diligence in the matter, you have to wonder how these two albums were able to make it through the door in the first place. As we have been made painfully aware, Apple has posed a near threat to applications developers by instituting a seemingly mysterious method of approval to be accepted into the App Store. Yet somehow a band notorious for their distasteful (to say the least) content was able to slip through the cracks. At the same time, Apple does explicitly convey their stance on objectionable material, as the third point of the iTunes store Terms of Service states:

You understand that by using the Service, you may encounter content that may be deemed offensive, indecent, or objectionable, which content may or may not be identified as having explicit language. Nevertheless, you agree to use the Service at your sole risk and that Apple shall have no liability to you for content that may be found to be offensive, indecent, or objectionable. Content types (including genres, sub-genres and Podcast categories and sub-categories and the like) and descriptions are provided for convenience, and you acknowledge and agree that Apple does not guarantee their accuracy.

Comments [14]

14 Comments to “Apple Pulls Neo-Nazi Albums From German iTunes Store”

Jesse Donat @ December 10th, 2008 at 3:03 pm
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I beg the question what of free speech

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hi @ December 10th, 2008 at 3:09 pm
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I hope they ban every rap song that has the word “nigga” in it too, because you know, that’s racist.

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Naqaj @ December 10th, 2008 at 3:31 pm
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The german constitution grants the right of free speech, though there are exceptions where it violates the law. Spreading nazi-propaganda actually is against the law in germany, and therefore not covered by free speech.

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p@r@noid @ December 10th, 2008 at 3:56 pm
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As much as I would love to see any ideology which is connected to Nazism relegated to the history books, I can’t condone Apple doing this, just as I can’t condone the German state for outlawing the band. We need to start teaching people critical thinking, and the ability to discern, not censor fallacious, hate-filled babel. Censorship is the lazy way, and as with all Duct Tape solutions, it’ll break and make things worse down the road.

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Pee-Eater @ December 10th, 2008 at 4:56 pm
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Ya know, people collect Nazi stuff. I don’t condone it, but they do. At the same time, it shouldn’t be in the iTunes store.

With iTunes, Apple is more than a product/software company, they are in media. And they need to make proper decision. Eliminating this BS is a good move.

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Scott Drake @ December 10th, 2008 at 5:15 pm
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You know, people think they’re entitled to free speech whatever the circumstances, but that just is not true. Apple is a private entity and they can release or withhold whatever the hell they feel like. And honestly, good for them for removing this crap from their store.

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Mr Crowley @ December 10th, 2008 at 5:23 pm
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They still sell lots of rap music that describes murder, rape and other negative content.

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mr crowley's sense of rationality @ December 10th, 2008 at 9:44 pm
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Rappers are telling fictional stories. Intense, yes, but fiction. They know this and so should we. I’m not for a second saying people don’t read it as true and act on it, but I truly believe the difference is simple…

A rapper does not believe in their music as reality.

A neo-nazi is attempting to use their music to spread a specific message.

Fiction cannot be compared to true motive. It’s like comparing harry potter to an inconvenient truth (kinda…but you get the point…hopefully).

So it’s not so much about the “bad words” as it is the purpose and reality behind those words.

Scott Drake- Great point about Apple having the rights. Free speech absolutely does not apply here.

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robert @ December 10th, 2008 at 10:35 pm
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Rap isn’t illegal in Germany. Pro-Nazi material *IS* illegal in Germany. When you’re a large company you don’t go campaigning for things like freedom of speech (especially when we’re talking about speech that isn’t popular with the majority). I think Apple did the only reasonable thing they could have. It’s pretty foolish to break the laws of a country you are operating in.

Free speech doesn’t mean you can say anything anyway (even here in the US): fighting words, libel and obscene speech isn’t protected.

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BS Ames @ December 11th, 2008 at 1:13 am
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Free speech is given by the government. Apple is not owned by the government. I don’t understand where the problem is about free speech. Also, this is in Germany.

Also, Apple should be able to put this up if they want to. If you don’t like it or don’t agree with it, then don’t buy it. What’s the problem?

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erichansa @ December 11th, 2008 at 4:08 am
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I am from Germany and we have laws against neo nazism and there is no way that apple can sell cd’s which promote nazism.

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Wes @ December 11th, 2008 at 9:54 am
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Another thing to add is that free speech (at least in America) is liberty given under the conditions that it does not incite harm or violence. The common example is that you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre because people will get hurt. Now I haven’t listened to this band’s music, but if they are encouraging their audience to injure any group, then they are breaking this condition.

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aks @ December 13th, 2009 at 4:55 am
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have to ban those type of songs.

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Mudassir Iqbal @ October 26th, 2017 at 7:17 am
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Sounds simple to read! The focus on the topic is full time and really awesome at the concept. Thanks

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