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IPA Press Release

Apple: Stop imposing your moral agenda on publishers

18 March 2014

The IPA has expressed serious concern about Apple's decision to ban the sale of a French novel because of its cover art. La Femme, by Bénédicte Martin and published by Editions des Equateurs, features a woman with exposed breasts on its cover. Apple, considering the image "inappropriate", has withdrawn the book from its online store.

La Femme's cover shows a black-and-white photo of a naked woman whose lower torso is a knife blade, by the artist Stéphane Rozencwajg. Apple informed the book's distributors, Interforum, of their decision to withdraw the book on March 13th.

IPA Freedom to Publish Chairman Ola Wallin described Apple's decision as "absurd and dangerous. It's one thing to have a code of morals, another to try and impose it on the rest of the world". IPA Policy Director José Borghino commented that given the limited number of online distribution channels (Apple controls 20% of the French e-book market), "Apple creates real problems for publishers by censoring their work. Their approach is misguided, inconsistent and wrong".

You can view the book's cover here

Note to Editors 

  • The International Publishers Association is the international federation of national publishers associations, representing all aspects of book and journal publishing from around the world. IPA is an industry association with a human rights mandate. It fights against censorship and promotes copyright, literacy and freedom to publish, around the world. www.internationalpublishers.org