As Apple celebrates 40 years, it tightens it grip on our digital freedoms - with a patent for software that automatically censors music and audiobooks.
Business Insider has spotted a patent filed in September 2014 and validated recently. It allows, with ease, to analyze a song available in Apple’s store and redact automatically and in real time. The technology is also suitable for audio books. The words are analyzed on the fly and compared to a blacklist of forbidden words – the offending word could then be replaced by other audio, silence or a censor’s bleep.
Apple’s patent states that this could be done by way of inbuilt hardware or software overlayed on a device or located remotely. The patent also considers the possibility of utilizing a 5-10 second delay to achieve it.
It seems quite a reach for Apple to decide for you whether your music is censored or not and there are additional concerns particularly in the case of Audiobooks where content censoring has darker , historical connotations. Lexington Creative would imagine that if this censoring were introduced, it would likely be an optional service, but this is not certain.
However, there’s no need to fear just yet – Apple has no current plans to act on the patent and for the meantime it is likely to sit with Apple’s dozens of other “possibility” patents.