Apple censoring my photo book.

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by mvw photo, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. After ordering some more photo books, I just received a curt email from Apple that says:
    "Upon carefully examining your order, we identified what we deem to be inappropriate content. As a result, your order has not been processed and you have not been charged. We're very sorry for any inconvenience."
    This photo book is dramatic, yes - it is the story of some inner city drug users, which is about to be an exhibit in a major Toronto gallery. There is some nudity - nothing explicit and no porn! - and there are some needles etc. The work is in fact an upbeat anti-drugs message: upbeat and a tribute to strength, since the people concerned have been "clean" for a year. Of course I have the rights and releases etc.; of course there are no minors etc; and as said, there's nothing explicit or in any way legally, morally, or socially objectionable.
    But it's too shocking for Apple's censors. Was it the depicion of needles or the depiction of breasts? I guess I shall be looking for a Canadian service, and will stay well clear of Apple from now on. Mmm. Are they checking my emails and my web sites for "inappropriate content " too?
    Very disappointing, just as I was telling everyone how good Apple's service is. (They have printed this book for me before: I guess then they found it not so objectionable).
    Michael
     
  2. It sucks, I know.
    I've had colleagues get their books denied a day or two before they had to ship them to paying clients.
    It's not actually Apple. When you send your bok to them, they have four or five print shops that they use. You could have your stuff printed by the same printer (by coincidence) 9 or 10 times and they don't have an issue. But that 11th time the book gets sent to another printer who DOES have a problem and refuses to print it.
    And you have no way of knowing which print shop Apple will be sending it to. BTW, many of the online book publishers do this as well; it's not specifically Apple.
    Your best bet is to use a lab that not only offers the books, but also does their own printing. Mpix, Millers, White House Custom Colour (just to name a few) all do their own printing and binding.
     
  3. I don't think that "censor" is really the right word in this case. They're a private company providing a service, with terms of service that include them reserving the right to refuse to reproduce things that they think don't sit well with them, or which they think might cause them some indirect legal grief, etc.

    They are not thinking about the back story, or whether the nudity and needles and whatnot that you mention are about clean drug users or not-so-clean drug users. Your message doesn't matter. There's no government policy at work here (hence no censorship), just a private company that is turning down a piece of business. Just like a magazine can turn down an advertisement. So, take your business elsewhere - there are many photobook publishers out there. They are no more "censoring" you than you would be "stealing" from them by giving your business to another vendor.
     
  4. i would change the cover and send it again just for fun : )
    As Matt said, i dont think they are censoring you, but maybe they saw nudity and dont want to be associated with that. Try blurb, and if they also turning you back..well maybe it is more raw than you think!?
     
  5. OK - thanks, that is helpful.
    Oh, the work is shocking and raw - that it why it will be in an art gallery during "Contact", the world's greatest photo exhibit, in May. But it is in no way objectionable: no violence, no explicit nudity, no minors, no porn. Yes, some simple nudity and some drug use - but in the context of "this is not cool".. and in the context of a happy ending (the people concerned have been "clean" for a year now).
    I'll try to resubmit but am running into time limits... never thought I'd have this kind of hassle!
    Michael
     
  6. Will do.. thanks.
    Are they also American? I would just love to know they WILL do it before I spend another two weeks designing my book... groan.. :)
     
  7. Blurb is a great choice in tems of their quality, but you should know that they, to, are a company that outsources the printing. If the particular shop that gets sent your book objects, then you'll get the same response.
    However, I believe that if that happens, Blurb usually tries sending it to a different printer for you. In this economy, who is going to voluntarily not only lose a job, but a repeat client, too?
     
  8. Trying Blurb now.
    Problem: I have 2,770 photos of which I will choose 50-100. These photos are RAW files, stores in dozens of different directories. In Blurb, I need to select the ones I need to use, then export those as JPG files, then layout the book. Problem is that until I start the layout process, I will not know which pics out of the2,770 I want to use.
    Aperture solves that for me. How do I use Blurb? Export all 2.770 pics (which will take many GBs)? Are there better ways? I can, I suppose, use iPhoto in between, but then I need to drag all pics into iPhoto.
    Any ideas very welcome, and apologies for being slow.
     
  9. not following?
    you already have images choose of course since you had already send a book to be made right? why dont you simply use the same image and export them as jpeg...not sure why you have to go back to square 1?
     
  10. Hi Patrick,
    You know, you are right, I should keep this simple. I am now exporting 2,770 pictures as JPG files so that I can import them into Blurb so that I can choose. That's how my process works - I see all of them and I drag in the ones I like on a page. With Blurb being different, that selection will be different from my previous iPhoto selection, I think.
    While I really wish I could do this simply from Lightroom, I cannot, and so I will bite the bullet: it will take me another few hundred GB and half a day while I export. That's just the price to pay... and it's worth it if the Blurb books are good.
    I am running out of time though: redoing book design, getting a sample or two sent to me (and shipping/customs to Canada, always takes longer); that is why I had everything prepared months ago including a test book so that I could "press the button" later as required (i.e. now). Apple's sudden refusal has really thrown me for a loop.
    Yes, as said above, they fully have the right to refuse business. But since they are potentially ruining my exhibit, I will remember this for a long time.
    Meanwhile, I hope Blurb shows more consistency and works out - I'll keep you all informed. Thanks for the help!
     
  11. You might check with Blurb. is there a way you can save output your Aperture or iPhoto book to work at Blurb? But what i don't understand is, if you already chose the photos in aperture, just export the ones you chose. Or do you want to re-edit?
     
  12. Exactly, Barry - I need to re-edit since the different layout means different pics. Doing it now!
    And worried in case Blurb too objects to my content. There are Canadian outfits, and they'll be more mature, but unfortunately their products are much more expensive... which I don't mind, but my visitors will...
    Michael
     
  13. Millers Lab can get it to you and they do their own printing.
    If you send it to Canada, you may have customs and duty issues when they're sent back.
     
  14. Thanks for the suggestion - will try. Unfortunately I see that they do not tell you their prices until you have established an account. And as you say, shipping from US to Canada is likely to be complex.
    An account when I have no idea of price level is not realistic, but it's certainly worth a call tomorrow.
    Michael
     
  15. Send me a private message through my profile here with your email address. I can look up the price for you.
     
  16. Appreciate that.
    Especially since Booksmart (the Blurb app) has now crashed and/or hung three times already on my iMac. Sure doesn't look too stable. If I mark an entire line of text and hit Enter (ie I want to delete that line), I get a hard hang. And that's just one example.
     
  17. Wait, didn't you say Aperture? When you view an Aperture book in Browser mode you have all the pictures in the book right there, just select all and do Export Versions.
     
  18. Michael:
    I have published two books of female nudes with Apple without a single problem and have many students in my workshops that will tell you the same. My guess is that this problem was, in fact, printer specific and not Apple specific. Another place to try might be My Publisher. com. I know many photographers that have published figure work with them. Good luck.
    -Owen
     
  19. Andrew: Aperture and iPhoto and Lightroom. But different book means different picture choices.
    Owen: interesting. I have no idea what they took offence at - they will not say. They just point to a policy and I am very sure I do not sin against any of the things they actually mention in that policy (porn, minors, etc). perhaps an over-zealous person somewhere - but meanwhile I am having to recreate my book, and that is major work.
    I was absolutely astonished that my work is being judged by these people, and even more astonished that it failed their test (but only the second order). So, since I cannot rely on Apple they have lost a customer. A pretty significant one, if the exhibit does as well as I think it will. As Rob points out,in today's economy who wants to do that?
    Actually, now that I ask: Apple would probably be the one company that would want to do that. Not being short of money... :)
     
  20. For starters, no need to re-create the book. In iPhoto, view your iBook, then:
    File Menu --> Print --> PDF button in dialog box --> Save as PDF.
    I'm guessing some print shops can work from a PDF.
    Also, you now have a digital copy which you can share without the cost of printing.
    You can also save as a QuickTime movie set to a sound track of your choice. Same basic process. Have fun :)
     
  21. Moderator(s):
    Please keep this string in archive (please do not delete, as it is of general and long-lasting interest, I think).
    John (Crosley)
     
  22. Hey Michael, sounds like a really interesting project. Hope I get a chance to see the pics you choose.
     
  23. it

    it

    Have you tried Pikto in the Distillery District? They do nice books and wouldn't have a problem with it.
    www.pikto.ca
     
  24. bms

    bms

    I don't think Blurb are prudes. Check out
    http://www.blurb.com/books/312187
    They may not have a problem with yours.
     
  25. Ian:
    I considered them before. But:
    • 8x8 40pp softcover book: Blurb $15; Pikto $50
    • 8.5x11 40pp hardcover: Blurb $35, Pikto $80
    Will a gallery visitor pay $110 for a book (or $80 for softcover)? I very much doubt it. Prices are absolutely crucial in this endeavour. Shame because I would love to go local.
    Benjamin: that's great. Love it.
    All: yes, my work is powerful and I shall share some of it here if you like. Don't worry, nothing offensive :)
    Michael
     
  26. ...but I do wish Blurb would not call it a "Custom Logo Upgrade" when you want to get rid of their logo. Blurb, those "insult to our intelligence" euphemisms hurt your business more than they benefit you. Instead, you might consider calling the book price with your logo a "special branding discount"...
    And I wish I could join the B3 program (their B2B initiative). But it is currently closed/invite only.
     
  27. Michael, i have seen book from pikto..dont look that good, not compare to blurb (a friend of mine represent in Paris from a top agent only use Blurb to print there book) so in a way you normally get what you pay for.
    Having said that, being a designer my self (well not anymore since im doing photo retouching now for the past 9years, but use to for 10year work in the fashion industrie) , i still dont understand why you have to redo all the images choice for a format? can you just adapt the cropping for it? I mean if you decide before to do a rectangle book..not because this book is becoming suqare that i would trash everything and restart from sratch?!
    But youre the boss : )
     
  28. I would really consider contacting Miller's or WHCC and try to partner with them for this book, maybe even consider contacting Kevin Kubota at Asuka Book. These books are more expensive but I think if you explain to them what these books are for, you might get a sponsor to help offset some of the cost. Now here comes the cool part, if you partner with a local drug rehabilitation program with giving them a percentage of the profits you most certainly will get a publisher to help. The next step is to post to the public that a percentage goes to helping people with drug addictions, I think you could certainly charge a premium and get it. Sign the books as well as this increses the perceived value. You'll be much happier with books from the publishers I mentioned with Asuka being the #1 choice, you'll get your work into the hands of people who appreciate your work, who care, and help those who are still struggling with addiction, oh and you should turn a nice profit as well. My $.02, usually worth a lot less.
     
  29. And just to qualify my choice of publishers...we currently use blurb for our proofbooks in our wedding business, they are horrible but thats what we set our pricing for last year. This year we will be going with either WHCC or Asuka. We currently use Asuka for our low end wedding albums but by no means are these low end albums. And they are about to get a lot better by using 6 inks instead of the industry standard of 4. Black and white images look black and white, not tinted red like from blurb. But for layout you'll have to use Photoshop as you must use Asuka's blank templates, with WHCC, they don't really care what you use as long as the end product is a jpg or tiff, I believe.
     
  30. IMO, the whole thing sounds pretty squirrelly...
    Go with Blurb if you want to make an inexpensive one-off book. The quality isn't wonderful being printed on liquid toner digital presses rather than using a true offset lithography printing press where a decent cost requires a print run of 1-2k copies. But the price is right.
    If it's too difficult for you to do, well, then you have some decisions to make - you are truly in control (and need to take control) of where you want to go. Many thousands of people have made one-off books; it's just not a big deal anymore.
    With respect to sponsorship and publishing, I wouldn't set my heart on it. Fine-arts and documentary publishing was a hugely difficult business proposition 4-5 years ago. Imagine what it is now...
     
  31. Squirelly, what does that mean?
    I am in fact goint to be promoted by CAMH, one of North America's largest addiction hospitals - so I like the thinking - and indeed, part of the proceeds will be going to CAMH.
     
  32. I am ever the opptomist when it comes to the big hearts that the art world has for supporting causes, but to be a realist for a second Brad has a point. However, to think negatively before ever asking is defeat in itself. It has never hurt to ask, and it usually only takes an email, hand written letter or a phone call to find out how far these companies are willing to go. Plus in the States businesses get a tax break for doing this kind of charity work and they like their names associated with causes that help people. Give it a shot, you'll never know if you don't try.
     
  33. I agree with you, Chris. Anyway, this story must be told and I am so far very encouraged by everything I hear in response from people who have seen the work.
     
  34. There is nothing wrong with downbeat, offensive, nude, prodrug, explicit, pornographic, legally, morally or socially objectionable images. Everything is part of the human experience and is worth documenting. Given your subject matter, I would expect to see some of these things and by not including them I hope you didn't self censor yourself. In fact the subject matter is irrelevant to your cause - you simply ran across some judgemental, uptight Americans and your task is to find a more enlightened printing house.
     
  35. Michael, when the book is made, send me a PDF, i migh be interested to buy the first unmoral book you made for a good cause : )
    After all, as a French Canadian, im more open then my US fellows!
     
  36. Why not post some links (or photos) of the images that you feel may be in question. Then we can discuss something that's real and concrete, rather than speculate and assign blame that may or may not be justified.
    Easy...
     
  37. John, I have a lot of sympathy for that.. but living in North America (the English speaking part!) I am restricted as to what I can do. That said: without being objectionable, this work is very shocking.
    Making great progres with new layout.
     
  38. Brad: I'll post one or two presently, sure, Hang on.
     
  39. OK, here is the cover. This is neutral enough but you see the theme.
    Cover is deliberately dark/silhouetted; rest is not and is more recogniseable. This is pretty much the theme, but there is nudity as well, and needles drawing blood, and black eyes.
     
  40. Try Burrell Custom Colour. They are a private lab that does great work. They offer many choices of book options. Call customer support and speak with them about it. They are very helpful and like I said, a private printing company that doesn't outsource anything. Talking with them would give you an immediate answer on whether or not they have problems with your content.
     
  41. OMG it really IS censorship!
    This is what Apple just wrote back to me, after I asked them to reconsider:
    "Firstly, I'd like to say as a fellow artist, I understand the difficulty that this poses and I apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, what has caused the rejection is the illegal drug use portrayed. This is a commonly rejected issue with not only us, but the majority of printers for books, prints, and other photography industries within the United States.

    While I understand that this book is being used as an anti-drug message, we have to follow the guidelines placed not only by the printers but also the US government as the printers are located in the USA, and cannot print these images. I wish you the best and again, apologize for the inconvenience.


    Sincerely,"

    So - Apple appears to be saying that portraying drug use is illegal as per the US government.
    Censorship or self-censorship, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Ever seen a movie?
     
  42. Good grief...
    Not that it's worth following up with Apple but my typical reply whenever anyone tells me (other than a lawyer in his/her own field of expertise) that something is against the law, is this:
    "Please cite the specific law"
     
  43. Yes... seems to me that there is a very important amendments to the US constitution that Apple has never heard of. Also seems to me that my free speech rights are being very much impeded, if US printers cannot print a picture of anyone taking drugs.
    This beggars belief! "Good grief" is right...
     
  44. i'm sure someone will shortly come rushing to apple's defense, but to me it's a sad example of the current state of our "freedom-loving" nation.
     
  45. I think there's a big difference between a company like Apple not wanting to get tangled up in the publication of a drug-related book - and vaguely referring to the "US Government" in their response - and any actual involvement with the first amendment to the constitution.

    People frequently confuse their freedom of speech with the power to force private companies or other people to facilitate their speech. It's not the same thing. You could, Michael, print the images yourself, create your own books, and do with them what you will. That's the first amendment working for you, right there. What you can't do is make another person do it for you if they don't want to. Just like Apple couldn't make you photograph something for them that you considered not in keeping with your business model or personal ethics.

    I suspect that if the customer service person had had an actual legal representative respond instead, the language would have been different. Of course, it's also possible that they turned down the order because Canada would give the shipper of something like that some grief. Who knows. One customer service rep saying "we don't do that sort of thing, but I'm an artist too, and I feel your pain, it's all about The Man keeping us down, blah blah blah" isn't the same as an actual legal finding. Clearly there are many media depictions of drug use and paraphernalia - both fictional and documentary. This strikes me as a front-line customer service person trying to deflect, and trying to make it not sound like it's an Apple policy, per se. That doesn't mean he/she's correct (about the law, though perhaps about her employer's wishes).

    For what it's worth, many labs DO have policies against printing images that appear to be depicting illegal activities. It's how they stay out of trouble and avoid being dragged into court for being accessories to child porn, etc. Still relies on the judgment of the lab tech or sales/service rep , obviously.
     
  46. Initially, I was saying that it was not necessarily the fault of Apple since they outsource their printing. Not really a defense of them but certainly a willingness to give them the benefit of the doubt; especially since other photographers have had the same problem (one of them had a problem with Blurb)
    The reply Michael received from them, however, changed that immediately.
     
  47. Matt, that's true on the surface, but Apple replied that the US government was preventing Apple from printing it.
    And that is censorship (of Apple).
    But, like I said, my reply typically is "please cite the specific law" :)
     
  48. Matt: I understand what you are trying to say, but cannot agree.
    Either
    • Apple is being silly and is hiding behind excuses, or
    • There is a great degree of self-censorship going on ("working towards the leaders"), or
    • There is real censorship (formal laws, or "government guidelines: follow them or disappear").
    The first of those is not a first amendment issue, and is perfectly allowed - but they should say so. Tehy can dpo this - but only within reason. They cannot, for instance, say "we refuse to print pictures of black people".
    The other two options most certainly would be 1st amendment options. I find this very chilling, the fact that unapproved activities may not be depicted, especially if there are "guidelines". That is how China works; it is not how the USA and other liberal democracies are supposed to work.
    By raising "child porn" you raise exactly the kind of argument that censors use all the time... by even mentioning this you change the discussion into something it had nothing to do with - there are neither children nor porn in my work: the drug taking is the thing Apple (or the government) do not allow.
    I am still amazed. What else are we not seeing because of these "guidelines"?
     
  49. Come on Michael, you know I implied no such thing about your work. I pointed out that there are long-standing ethical boundaries that many businesses adhere to, for their own sake or because their owners/shareholders say that's how they want things in that business.

    Obviously there isn't real censorship going on. Otherwise there wouldn't be such a lot of mass media presentation of just this sort of thing, or countless blogs and web sites dedicated to and publicly celebrating the drug culture in one way or another. So, take your #3 option off the table. It's not happening.

    More likely, Apple doesn't feel like catching hell from their shareholders for being a conduit for the presentation of dicey material, and the customer service person in question either made a questionable call, or is simply describing their company policy in a particulary lame way, in an effort not to sound like the heavy to a fellow artist.

    This is NOT how "China works." In China, this very thread would being blocked, right now, by actual government censors and filters. That is censorship.
     
  50. Apple decided they're not going to print your one-off book.
    I guess the question is now: Are you going to stew about it or move on and find a solution; ie another place that will print your book?
    Surely there are places in Canada, right?
     
  51. Matt,

    Sorry, I absolutely did not mean to say you were doing this - but others do this. Whenever anything needs justifying they immediately use terrorism or child porn as justification for whatever rule they are defending, and I assume you were referring to this phenomenon too - certainly not suggesting you were resorting to these tactics yourself.
    Actually, Matt, in China (I know China) and other countries like it (I have personally worked in many of them, like Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc), most of the censorship is not censors actively doing stuff. It is tacit self-censorship. "We cannot do this as we could possibly incur the wrath of whatever authority". And that is what this feels like to me.
    Yes, it may well be Apple weaseling. But I can only react to what they say, not to what I guess they might mean...
     
  52. Brad:
    Yes there are and I have already ordered one more from a US service - we will see what happens with that one.
    Canada services are three times more costly - literally, the ones I have Googled and/or called are three times the Blurb price! No-one will buy the book if it costs them $75.
     
  53. expensive computer, they dont have a eject button for the cd drive and artist censored..dam Apple is really a bad companie...wonder what Blurb will say? im curious.
    _______
    Michael, did you think that Canadian would be charging you 20$ for it? whe are not a 3rd world country! You want cheap book, search for a India base companie. And if youre book are good, i would pay more $ on it that you could think; 75$ for a well done well printed book sign and numbered..i will go for it.
    As i said, i will get the first one ..if you ship it to Canada : )
     
  54. That is encouraging, Patrick.. thanks. My son also thinks $75 may be doable... opens up possibilities!
    Michael
     
  55. I just receive a calandar from Thailand, from Ziggy (member of PN). Transexual images (ladyboys) ! whaaaaa..censored! nope. well done piece. interesting subject and beautifull woman. ART not PRON . Receive it as a gift, see how open hetero french Canadian are..well at least i am (because whe also get or share of stupid idiot) ; )
    Make a lot of page, print it well, hard cover please if possible, im serious..if you take paypal i will get one...but signed it ; )
     
  56. One more reason to do business locally rather than via the Internet.
     
  57. Keith: indeed. Or in America - no offence intended at all, but this is a typical American sensitivity, and for that reason, I am happier to do business anywhere else but America. The problem is that this is expensive. Local Toronto printers do, from what I see, a great job - but $15 for a basic book at Blurb turns into $40 for what is no doubt a better book here, and $35 for a big hardcover turns into $80 - that sort of thing. Personally I do not mind this, and if my customers can appreciate the quality difference, I will be trying it.
    My current book is 40 pages (i.e. 20 sheet, two sided, obviously with many pictures).
    Let me ask a question here . What would YOU all be willing to pay? Say that you go to a gallery exhibition and like the work. You would not mind taking the book home. What are you willing to pay? $9.95? $19.50? $39.50? $75? $95?
     
  58. I don't buy images - I make them. But would consider a trade...
     
  59. depend on to many factor.
    know artist or not? alive or dead? do i see a future in art for this artist? do like is work enougn to shell out money on a book? on a piece of is collection? what book size? limited edition? etc...
    like the SUMO book from Helmut..should have buy one when they where at 2000$..they are at 8500$ now..when you can find them.
     
  60. I buy images when they are of some interested, even if i can do the same images..i dont do image to copy other, and i dont buy images..i buy a vision, a style, a piece of history view by someone. I like to think that i also help the artist in is future venture : )
    thats why i said that i will get a book from you Michael, because some subject touch me more than other for different reason.. and iamge book are always welcome.
    00SZmJ-111693584.jpg
     
  61. As in my business, "We reserve the right to choose with whom we do business. " Nothing wrong with that.
     
  62. Bill: I think perhaps you miss my point. As I said several times above, doing business with whom you choose is indeed not wrong.
    Blaming it on government censorship and using "weasel words", however, is wrong. If there is in fact such government censorship that is disastrously wrong. If there is not, then telling or at least implying untruths is also wrong.
    So in short:
    • if Apple says "we do not publish drug pictures", that is their right (though I would appreciate a clear policy so I do not waste my time). In turn it is my right never to do business with them anymore. No harm done and we are both within our rights.
    • But if they say "we cannot, due to US government rules" then that is wrong either because there are such rules, or because they are telling untruths. Both would be no-nos in my books (pun intended).
    Kind regards,
    Michael
     
  63. Ever hear of Jock Sturgess ?
     
  64. Apple puts their corporate logo on the back of every iPhoto-made book. I suspect they want to control the content of what their logo is attached to.
     
  65. Yeah, Jock is another example of people not liking what one takes picture of.
    As for Apple's logos: no way. My books do not have the logo - in iPhote etc you can turn that off.
    Blurb say my content should be just fine (based on my description), so it does seem to be just Apple.
    Michael
     
  66. >>> As for Apple's logos: no way. My books do not have the logo - in iPhote etc you can turn that off.
    Are you sure? Couldn't on mine.... Ditto on Blurb (unless you pay a premium)
     
  67. Yes, I am sure - just checked: no apple logo. It's in SETTINGS: "include Apple Logo". Just uncheck it.
    On Blurb it costs money, yes. See my note above on that.
    Michael
     
  68. Well, anyway, my photo exhibit will go ahead one way or another... with a book, whoever prints it (not Apple)...
    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=65543879576
     
  69. Email Larry Clark and see where he got his stuff printed.
     
  70. Its tough being a visionairy.
     
  71. I am sure that does not include me - and the odd thing is, Bill, that I do not see myself as in any way breaking taboos here (unlike Mr Sturges who does break taboos - great work but taboo-breaking).
    In my case, this is documentary photography of a type few would find inappropriate. Not only that, but I am being supported (and donations will be supporting) CAMH, one of North America's largest addiction hospitals. The whole intention of this is something that governments and even Apple would agree with. You'd think.
     
  72. Pikto in TO does awesome books. Perhaps keep your money in your neighbourhood? It's nice when your neighbours have jobs.
     
  73. Yes, agreed, and I have already talked to them. I'll do a trial book there too.
    But that said: they are 2-3 times the US price. Not "30% more" but "200% more". Yes, better product, but my customers will be price sensitive. Put yourself in their shoes: you go to a gallery to see an exhibit. The pics move you and you;d like the book. But, for a small book it's $95. Would you buy? Most people I have asked put a top limit of $50 on a book like that, or $20-$25 if softcover.
    So it's not MY price sensitivity. Nothing I'd like better than to sell a $200 book! But the market being what it is, the Canadian photo book industry will not take off, I fear, until they offer an affordable option.
     
  74. What about Kubota?
     
  75. Well, Asukabook site says "We are not accepting orders or registrations at this time as we are transitioning to a new system. " so I guess I'll wait a week or so before pursuing that one. Meanwhile I have options in the US and Canada - everyone here is very helpfiul - to pursue. Apple is out!
     
  76. By the way - exhibit details here (Toronto):
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=65543879576&ref=nf
    I'll let you all know when I get the book sorted.
     
  77. Hey,
    I'm entering this post kind of late but I found this one online photobook company in Canada. I haven't tried them yet but they seem to be affordable and have a variety of styles and sizes. It might be worth trying on your next album. I believe they are in Montreal...here's the link. :)
    http://www.photobookcanada.com/?pg=1quality&gclid=CNT6noLDhZkCFREhDQodRzM_mQ
     
  78. Photo book Canada 40-page Small square softcover: $40
    Blub 40-page Small square softcover: $12
    Not an option, I am afraid...
     
  79. I have not taken any photos of 'illegal' drug use.
    But if i do, and they are 'important' then I will publish them. In an instant. Regardless of threatened consequences.
    I am a former attorney, and well-schooled in the U.S. Constitution.
    There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that I read that prohibits me from taking such photos or publishing them. This is a theme that is depicted in US cinema regularly; one such movie from long ago was the film 'Panic in Needle Park' and there have been numerous others over time.
    Any law or regulation that contravenes the U.S. Constitution is illegal and unenforceable, however, such a law would have the 'color of law' and would be sufficient for some law enforcement person to act ,absent a court injunction.
    The problem with any law or regulation prohibiting 'free speech' is that prior prohibitions are greatly frowned upon by the Courts and an injunction might easily be obtained against such prior restraint in the U.S., but at the same time any time an individual or organization appears before a Court it is almost always a very expensive proposition, and in such a case as here a very chilling one. Any time you have to go to court, you're automatically a loser, just for the experience.
    I genuinely doubt that Apple can come up with the Regulation they seem to cite, but if they can, please push them to.
    I will certainly personally write them (I spent my law practice years near Apple headquarters -- down the street - and Jobs and Wozniak built and marketed the first Apple near my former homes, so I am not without some acquaintanceship within the organization,and they're not all Cretins.
    If I had stayed on retainer with a former electronics company chef in-house counsel who gave me much work as his 'outside counsel' when he went on to become one of Apple's high attorneys, I reason he would have taken me with him, but I wanted my own practice, not to be dependent on just one client. (good decision).
    People 'invent' laws when their own actions draw criticism or somehow otherwise appear inexplicable.
    There used to be a sign in the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater, which Playboy Magazine called an 'Adult Disneyland' where lap dancing (at one time completely nude) is and was a primary occupation:
    'No shorts allowed (on customers) by Federal Law' [for those of you who are dense, that meant that full-length pants had to be worn by male customers;~))]
    Just because they 'say it's so' don't mean 'it's so'.
    I'd be very happy if I happen to be in a circumstance to take such photos to attempt to publish them, to make a case if I get turned down, and to bring it here to PN, and other places.
    I think I also would go to the American Civil Liberties Union for some free legal help.
    They get donations and work to help keep our freedoms, and work mostly for unpopular causes on the theory that popular causes generally don't need champions, which is why most of the Amendments to the Constitution were drafted in the first place.
    John (long ago attorney) Crosley
     
  80. maybe it was a simple way to discourage you of doing it with them? As i can see on Blurb they also said they dotn mind any artistic stuff, but there feloow provider can think otherwise and stip your production. Would you like to figth them for a 40$ book?..i simply change printer and walk away..i have too much stuff to do to fight about that. But i understand John point.
     
  81. Exactly. Dust yourself off and move on.
    I suspect Blurb will have no issues...
     
  82. John: please do ask. Feel free to use my name and details (you can find them on http://www.michaelwillems.ca).
    As I said many times above: it is OK for Apple or any other company to refuse to do business with me (or I with them: fat chance I'll use Apple services again!). It is NOT ok, however, to make up imaginary "government guidelines" that forbid certain pictures being published.
    Brad: as you say, Blurb has no issues: they have already shipped the first two sample books I have ordered.
     
  83. Sorted!
    OK, Apple called me back - the Team Manager of the printing department, from a 512 area code. Excerpts:
    • The initial refusal was misguided. There is no policy against prints of drug use, especially with an anti-drug message; there is no policy against nudity except perhaps very explicit nudity (close-ups of genitalia etc).
    • The lady who subsequently responded to my query and whose correspondence I quoted above 'made up things before'; this (her making up US government guidelines) was another such event.
    • This lady has been let go (the implication was that this was as a result of making up things).
    • Many people at Apple have had a look at the work and found it perfectly acceptable. "This has gone to very senior people within Apple, who take freedom of expression very seriously".
    • I am now getting a copy of the book free of charge, with apologies, and the manager in question has carefully briefed printers and others within the team on policies that do, and especially on those that do not, exist.
    Seems like a very good resolution to me; well handled Apple; and thanks for your support, all. Seems to me that perhaps this discussion may have had something to with with more senior people at Apple taking an interest and resolving this.
    Also shows that when freedom of expression is threatened, speaking up can have results. I feel good about this and appreciate Apple's response.
    Michael
     
  84. Hurrah for Apple!
    Now to whom i can talk to have there price drop by 50%..anyone have Steve personal phone #?
    _______
    Michael got my email earlier? about your Blurb Book preview?
     
  85. Very good - congratulations!
     
  86. Well, just to let people know that i bougth Michael book from Blurb, should receive it this week. Im a man of my word : )
    then i will let you know how it look, i have 8 differents book ready to be sent and print by them..
     
  87. Just receive my little book..wow.
    First the quality is really good, the bw look sharp, a little cold (i like it more neutral or a bit on the warm side..but that could be the printing) and the images are what you said; shocking but with a purpose, love it.
    well done, see you in Toronto for the signature ; )
     
  88. Merci Patrick... thanks for the kind words. And I very much look forward to seeing you at the exhibit, and shall sign the book for you with any dedicaton you like.
    The people concerned, who have now been off drugs for a year, are also going to be there - they may sign it for you too, if you like.
    Michael
     
  89. Of course! She is so lovely. And they look so happy now..good for them, and thank to you for taking your time to documented it..its a souvenir and a remember for them im sure : )
     

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