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Apple: You Must Be 17+ To Use Opera 315

An anonymous reader writes "From the techspot article: 'This week, the Opera web browser became the first non-native browser made available in Apple's Mac App Store. While Apple approved the browser, it still managed to hurt its competitor by putting this ridiculous label on it: "You must be at least 17 years old to download this app." Opera has reacted in good humor. "I'm very concerned," Jan Standal, VP of Desktop Products for Opera Software, said in a statement. "Seventeen is very young, and I am not sure if, at that age, people are ready to use such an application. It's very fast, you know, and it has a lot of features. I think the download requirement should be at least 18."'"
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Apple: You Must Be 17+ To Use Opera

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  • inevitable (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:43AM (#35379762)

    I'm 12 and what is this?

  • No big deal (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The app allows you to access mature content. Apple does this across the board. - j

    • The app allows you to access mature content. Apple does this across the board. - j

      Then Safari should show a warning at some point too.

      I usually like Apple stuff, but this move on Apple's part is just pathetic.

      • by mcvos ( 645701 )

        The app allows you to access mature content. Apple does this across the board. - j

        Then Safari should show a warning at some point too.

        But Safari is installed by default, and a vital part of your iThingy. It's different. Really.

      • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:30PM (#35380474) Journal

        Safari respects Apple's Parental Control system. Opera does not. Therefore, Safari does not require a warning since parents can lock it down if they choose, Opera cannot be locked down using any Apple controls so Apple has to warn parents that it falls outside of the "safe zone" and can be used to access porn no matter what Parental Controls are set for the iDevice.

      • There's an option in the parental controls to disable/password-protect Safari/Youtube etc altogether. With Opera/Atomic/iCab/etc you get a single dialog that you snicker at while tapping "ok," after which there's no restrictions. So in that sense, Apple locks their own apps down tighter than Opera.

        This is a pretty silly story.

      • by znu ( 31198 ) <> on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:36PM (#35380550)

        The OS has built-in parental controls that apply to Safari. And to the Mac App Store. Had Opera not been given a 17+ rating, a parent could have set restrictions on Safari, set the Mac App Store not to allow installation of apps allowing access to adult content... and little Johnny could have still installed Opera and gotten himself unrestricted web access.

        The idea that this is some plot by Apple to undermine Opera is absurd. Apple gives the same 17+ rating to any app that allows access to sufficiently unrestricted Internet content, including things like Wikipedia apps, which last time I checked Apple wasn't competing with.

      • by fermion ( 181285 )
        I think many people are missing the point of this completely. I can imagine some parents buy the iPad with the understanding that they can control content. The tradeoff is that a kid can use the iPad, like the mac, because certain things about use are controlled. Safari as the iPad browser has built in controls(as seen in the restrictions on the iPad control panel). Opera does not. Therefore Opera is in some sense a tool to circumvent the control of Safari, and therefore gets a 17+ rating.

        The 17+ rat

    • Except of coarse with Safari.
      • Safari probably benefits from Job's reality distortion field. Porn isn't really porn when you watch it through Safari.
        • by Whalou ( 721698 )
          Safari porn sounds dirtier than Opera porn.
        • Re:No big deal (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:19PM (#35380306)
          It's subjective. In a debate on the matter, I once posted an image featuring not just a naked woman, but provocative posing and implied bestiality with a swan. Draw that today, it'd be called porn. But this painting was drawn by no less than Leonado da Vinci, and obviously someone so famous would never draw porn. Therefore it can't be porn.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            If only I had mod points, I'd mod this way up. A guy in my high school made the same type of comment when they banned a bunch of books. He said, I found a book in the school library that has rape, murder, incest, genocide, graphic sex, etc. etc. in it. The school demanded he produce the book so they could ban it from the library, and he handed them a copy of the King James Bible.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              No they didn't. They saw the punch line coming a mile away and said "Shut the hell up, kid."
      • by timster ( 32400 )

        Back in the real world, all the dozens of Safari-based Web browsers in the App Store have always had the same designation. This is not a new policy and has nothing to do with Opera being a competitor; it's part of the parental control system. It's not as if the designation makes a difference to anyone who doesn't have parental controls enabled.

        How do the Android parental controls handle issues like this?

        • Safari based browsers have the same restriction. But what's the point of restricting downloaded browsers to 17+ when anyone can look at porn using Safari? How does that protect 'the children'?
  • Really (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rizimar ( 1986164 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:46AM (#35379806) Homepage

    "Seventeen is very young, and I am not sure if, at that age, people are ready to use such an application. It's very fast, you know, and it has a lot of features."

    And right around the time when those kids turn of-age, the other browsers will finally be implementing all of those features

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:47AM (#35379824)

    Last night couple of teenagers approached me near a liquor store and asked me if they could use my Opera.

  • FUD? (Score:4, Informative)

    by puppyfox ( 833883 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:48AM (#35379844)

    Seems FUD, I downloaded other Safari-based browsers and they give a warning since you can get to adult content via the browser. I'm over 17, but I just had to say "OK" in the message box to proceed, Seems pretty reasonable...

    • Re:FUD? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dalzhim ( 1588707 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:51AM (#35379880)

      Why then don't I need to be 17 to get myself an iPod and use Safari which presents the same exact risks?

      • Re:FUD? (Score:5, Informative)

        by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:34PM (#35380526) Journal

        Because Apple's implementation of Safari respects Apple's Parental Controls, so if your parents bought you one they could (if they wanted to) lock you own of porn by using well-documented settings on the device.

        Opera and many other browsers do not respect those controls, therefore Apple cannot prevent you from seeing porn, and they have to let Mom and Dad know that so they don't run afoul of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) and get in trouble.

        It's all about how us adults like to fool ourselves that we can somehow protect you from things that occur in nature. So stop looking at porn and go watch a violent kiddie cartoon like a good little boy.

        • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
          Does Apple make the 17+ warning when setting up the device? I have set up one Mac, and one iPod in the last two years, and don't recall being warned that the OS had a 17+ rating. Certainly, if the claim that the warning on Opera is to protect the children, and warn parents during setup, and the rational for not giving the warning on Safari is that it is preinstalled, then the warning should be issued at setup of the OS.

          Any claim that the Parental Controls have any impact on the ability of the software
        • Agreed - the age restriction is not the issue in all of this.

          The issue is that Apple can decide that they will allow the Opera browser, because Opera doesn't bug them to much and has agreed to play by their rules. Now, if Google tried to submit Chrome, or if someone created a browser that did something Apple didn't like, that would be rejected without explanation.

          In other words, Apple reserves the right to play any games they want in who they accept and reject.

      • When was the last time you saw a kid walking in with a stack of bills, slap them down on the counter, and ask for an iOS device? It's not exactly a huge issue, since most purchases of iOS devices use credit cards, which means that they're in late high school or college when they make the purchase...or else that they have their parent's card and, presumably, permission for and awareness of the purchase.

      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

        if you read the EULA's when you activate your device i do believe there are some age restrictions in there too.

  • Opera is so cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bovius ( 1243040 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:48AM (#35379848)

    After reading this, I just want to go shake Jan Standal's hand. It's not often you see a a suit invert a rival's rhetoric against them so pointedly and humorously. Usually it's all serious business, especially, you know, with the internet.

  • Parental Controls (Score:5, Informative)

    by inpher ( 1788434 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:49AM (#35379866)
    It is because Safari has hooks into Parental Controls and Opera has not, therefore Opera gets the 17 years old limit.
  • Opera on iOS is a serious disappointment, to the point where it's hard to take them seriously as a software development company.
    • Opera on iOS is a serious disappointment, to the point where it's hard to take them seriously as a software development company.

      We're talking about sex in this thread (well, lack of it anyway). Not software. Please try to stay on topic.

  • non-story (Score:5, Informative)

    by ItsIllak ( 95786 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:56AM (#35379954) Homepage

    All apps that have unfettered access to the Internet have the 17+ nag screen. Browsers, RSS readers... This isn't a story, this is Apple bashing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ebcdic ( 39948 )

      Apple deserve bashing for this. And it is a story; it shows the absurdity of their policies.

      • Re:non-story (Score:5, Informative)

        by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:27PM (#35380408) Journal

        Apple has created an environment they can claim is kid-safe. They have a Safari browser that you can enable parental controls on, and (in theory) keep your kids away from looking at melons and sausages and keep them looking at cartoon violence like God intended.

        Opera is not "hooked in" to that control. Opera Mini runs proxy servers direct back to Opera and all content is routed through there (to save you on bandwidth and phone battery when rendering complex sites). Apple cannot be made aware of what sites your kids might be accessing, and cannot keep them away from porn and other sites you might find undesirable for them to see.

        Therefore, since Opera is not subject to the Apple Parental Control system and can be used to view porn even if Parental Controls are turned on, it has to be marked as such or Apple gets kicked out of the COPA Cabana (*).

        (*) The most boring spot north of Havana.

        • Wish I had mod points.

          If the finger should be pointed anywhere, it's at the over litigious society that we live in. I'm sure on some level Apple is cringing that they actually have to do this to cover their asses.

          • "Cringing" ... That's pushing it a bit, isn't it? Wasn't it Apple's initiative to offer a parental control system in the first place?
        • Opera is not "hooked in" to that control. Opera Mini runs proxy servers direct back to Opera and all content is routed through there (to save you on bandwidth and phone battery when rendering complex sites).

          Who said anything about Opera Mini? Opera Mini is a different product than Opera.

          Opera Mini doesn't run on OS X, and this is about Opera on the AppStore for OS X, not Opera Mini on iTunes Store for iOS.

      • How is it absurd? As others have said, Safari taps into the Parental Controls, allowing parents to lock out unfettered access to the Internet, but third-party apps can't do that. That said, parents, I believe, can restrict the purchase of apps that are 17+, which would prevent a means of circumventing the Safari lockout by their children. If you bought your own iOS device and used it for yourself, Apple wouldn't ever check to see that you're 17+ before selling you the app. The only time this would ever come

      • by ItsIllak ( 95786 )

        Without this software on your iDevice, you can't get adult material on the iPhone if parental locks are on. With it on, you can. What's to see here?

    • More importantly –all applications that have unfettered access to the internet, but ignore the parental control mechanism built into the OS.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @11:57AM (#35379970)

    The more 17- kids will want it. Doing something forbidden is always more fun! But the kids will get bored of it soon, and say, "What was the big deal about this app?"

    • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

      And then they figure that since Opera was ok, the other apps were overhyped as well. Before you know it, they have cracked their iPhone and are at an alternative app store, having unprotected downloads and sharing files filled with viruses.

      Opera, the gateway app.

  • I just tried it. The warning doesn't bother me. Just a cover-your-butt type of thing since you can get to naughty sites with it. I was disappointed, though, to see it was far less cool that regular Opera. Also, visually unappealing. Went to Slashdot, front page items were off the edge, had to move back and forth because it doesn't seem to allow pinch/zoom? Hopefully they will polish it up a bit.

    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
      Were you using Opera Mini on the iPhone? The article is talking about Opera Desktop on a mac computer where /. looks normal.
  • by hort_wort ( 1401963 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:33PM (#35380506)

    The browser for the Wii is Opera-based.... I wonder if the "videogames are evil' people will jump on this?

  • Really? (Score:4, Funny)

    by tool462 ( 677306 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:37PM (#35380564)

    Opera only for 17+? Great, now that it's taboo a bunch of kids are going to get a fetish for fat ladies singing.

  • by Rev. DeFiLEZ ( 203323 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @12:51PM (#35380728) Homepage

    I just checked my iTune receipts, I got opera on May 08th 2010.

    "Opera Mini Web browser v5.0.1, Seller:
    Opera Software ASA (17+)"

    I am in Canada so perhaps it was blocked by At&t?

  • I understand the Apple hate mongers want to come out and destroy Apple as a control freak, and the Apple fanboys want to rush out screaming defending Apple that this isn't there fault and Opera is still easy to download.

    Well your both right, to a certain extent, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    It is true that 99% of iOS apps probably don't even have parental controls turned on, so such a warning is little more than an afront to many people's delicate sensibilities about censor ship, but it's not go

  • by Roogna ( 9643 ) on Friday March 04, 2011 @02:40PM (#35382244)

    Honestly folks. According to their store rules, any app that hits the open unfiltered internet gets slapped with a 17+. This even includes Wikipedia browsers and such. This is just like the ESRB putting a "Online experience may change" sticker. As others have pointed out, Safari isn't hit by this because Safari can be disabled in the parental controls section on both MacOS X accounts and iOS devices.

    Now beyond that, lets be honest. If a parent knows what Opera is and wants it installed, then they'll install it. And if the kid has access to install things themselves then they'll click OK and go on with their lives. The age rating is there for certain individuals who want that information and control over their devices, everyone else can quite happily ignore it and move on. It's not law. They don't check your ID before each launch. It's not some giant conspiracy.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.