An anonymous reader writes: Ron Gilbert, co-creator of classic games Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island 1 and 2, and many more, speaks out against corporate censorship in the way of large companies getting a say on what does or does not get published on the distribution channels they control. Although his insightful rant applies to a number of corporations (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Comcast are mentioned), most of the direct examples single out Apple. A few choice excerpts:
"...Apple has maintained an almost North Koreanish dictatorial control over the devices, becoming the arbitrator over what is good and bad, what is allowed and not allowed. They don't have this control over the Mac because it is a real computer and an open device, but they can do this with the iPhone because we (as consumers) were convinced by the cell phone carriers that they needed this control to protect their networks (in the same way they wouldn't let us own our own telephones in the 70s) and Apple was happy to jump on that ship because they could finally control everything that went on the device and we bought it into it. Apple apologists say that Apple needs this control to maintain the "specialness" of the device. I say that's a load of crap. Anyone that uses a Mac will tell you that much of the software (completely out of Apple's control) is beautiful and highly functional, unlike the sea of garbage that finds it's way onto Windows. Apple set a high aesthetic standard and challenges people to follow it and it's worked great. No one tells me what I can or can not buy and use on my Mac, yet it's all lovely and special.
"Ideas are often censored not because they are bad, but because they are not understood and mistaken for bad. The damage here is that truly brilliant ideas can take a while before their importance and genius is truly appreciated or that people are ready for them. Ideas can also be upsetting and disruptive to the status quo, the very institutions that have the power to censor.
"If Gutenberg's press could have be shackled with DRM and technology to prevent anything unauthorized from being printed, you know it would have been. And then where would be be today? I don't need corporations to protect me and limit what I can or can not create, express or enjoy. I'm an adult.
He also mentions Adidas dropping out of iAds because they couldn't accept Apple's excessive creative control, a photography app that was rejected because it used the volume buttons as trigger ("[it] was pure genius [but was banned] to avoid consumer confusion") and art being created on the iPhone and the iPad in spite of the devices and not because of it ("[Sam & Max and Monkey Island artist] Steve Purcell ... would sit in team meetings and create to most incredible jaw dropping pictures on an Etch-A-Sketch, but that doesn't mean it was suddenly a serious tool for the creation of art").