MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE: Unidentified Woman: It has waited so long, Stephen said listlessly, it can wait longer. You pique my curiosity, Haines said amiably. Is it some paradox?
ROSE: Then business manager Chad Rutkowski got a call from an Apple representative.
CHAD RUTKOWSKI: They asked two things of us. One, please remove the image of the bare-chested goddess on page 37 and please rate it NC-17.
ROSE: Rutkowksi says he argued vigorously to keep the image of the goddess and naked drawings of the character Buck Mulligan a few pages later.
RUTKOWSKI: I asked them if, you know, we could pixelate or if we could put bars over it. And he said no. What he said was that Apple was having a lot of trouble and a lot of problems with people trying to sidestep their guidelines. And they didn't want to start, you know, a slippery slope.
ROSE: Mike Barsanti is the editor of the graphic novel adaptation.
MIKE BARSANTI: I mean, we knew getting into it "Ulysses" has caused trouble with the authorities for everyone who's ever taken it on. And the only thing you can do in that case is to try to be as true to the book as you can be.
ROSE: And on Monday, artist Robert Berry found out that Apple had changed its mind.
ROBERT BERRY: It's a victory for Mr. Joyce's little blue book, that now 88 years after it was first published, it shows how artistic freedom still shatters the ceiling of prudery and restrictive guidelines that people set. And it did it at Apple. It wasn't me.
ROSE: The original artwork is now for sale in the Apple Store, says company spokeswoman Trudy Muller.
TRUDY MULLER: You know, we made a mistake. When the art panel edits of the "Ulysses Seen" app were brought to our attention, we offered the developers the opportunity to resubmit their original drawings.
ROSE: Berry says he's glad Apple was willing to bend its obscenity policy in these cases.
BERRY: But I don't know what to tell somebody else about what we've learned from this. I would like to know if there are new guidelines or if they are actually setting up a different review panel, you know, for things that are artistic usage.
ROSE: For NPR News, I'm Joel Rose in Philadelphia.
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