• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French ire as Apple bans book over nude cover

Ben McPartland · 14 Mar 2014, 15:34

Published: 14 Mar 2014 15:34 GMT+01:00

A French publishing house reacted with anger on Friday after learning that US tech giant Apple had banned the one of its authors books its online store, because the cover was apparently too risqué.

The novel in question is La Femme (The woman) by French author Benedicte Martin, which contains the cover image of a naked woman shaped into a knife.

“The American company believes that the cover of Benedicte Martin’s book is ‘inappropriate’,” said Olivier Frébourg, the boss of publishers Les Editions des Equateurs.

Frébourg told The Local that "it's extraordinary in the year 2014" that this kind of "censorship" can happen. He was concerned over the economic impact that bans such as this can have on authors and publishers.

The company is so infuriated by what it sees as an “act of censorship which acts against the liberty of creation”, that it has called on France’s Minister of Culture to intervene.

A member of staff at Les Editions des Equateurs insisted that the image on the cover by the artist Stéphane Rozencwajg was not pornographic and "not even sexual".

“It’s an original creation. It's not even a real woman, she doesn’t exist. It’s not sexual, it’s a surrealist creation by an artist, to show perhaps that a woman can also be dangerous. The book itself is not pornographic either.  

“It’s ridiculous they ban this but not Fifty Shades of Grey, which contains vulgar and pornographic content."

“Obviously it’s the woman’s breasts that they see as inappropriate. But come on, we see them all the time. It's very puritanical and also show the power Apple has.”

Les Editions des Equateurs claim that it is not the first time the internet giant has banned the online sale of a book because of the cover.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Story continues below…

It is also not the first time that the French arts world and a US internet giant have clashed over nudity. 

In March last year The Local reported how French art-lovers were outraged when Facebook blocked the page of a Parisian art gallery for 24 hours after a photo-study of a nude posted there was deemed by the social network to be in violation of community standards.

That prompted a campaign by French Facebook users to bare all in protest at the site’s strict censorship. The “Day of Nude” protest was soon nipped in the bud when Facebook’s photo police took swift action.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
 France makes it easier for pupils to get morning after pill
Photo: AFP

France has scrapped a clause in the rule book that meant only pupils "in distress" could get the pill.

IN PICTURES
Warnings for downpours and floods spread across France
Paris hasn't been spared in the storms. Photo: AFP

France has been hit by violent storms all day - and there are more to come.

French tax cops barred from using Google to probe Google
Photo: AFP

Investigators were not able to use Google to help them probe Google.

A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
All photos: AFP

It seems like all of France is on strike - here's how you can be prepared.

Air France pilots vote in favour of 'long strike'
Air France pilots at a strike in 2014. Photo: AFP

Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be another strike in France...

Verdun anniversary
Children jog among graves at Verdun: Was it 'indecent'?
Photo: AFP

The images of thousands of French and German children running through the grave stones to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the WW1 battle of Verdun has been slammed as “indecent”. Was it really?

Tourists turned off by all the French strikes and protests
France should be bustling with tourists at this time of year. Photo: AFP

The ongoing strikes and protests in France and putting tourists off coming.

PSG player Aurier held for hitting French policeman
Photo: AFP

French police detained Paris Saint-Germain star Serge Aurier on Monday after he hit an officer outside a nightclub, police sources said.

Storms in France: How to avoid being struck by lightning
Photo: marcgg/Flickr

Crucial reading for those in France at the moment.

'There will be petrol': France says shortages will ease off
Photo: AFP

Even though this week is set to be hit by further transport strikes the French government has defiantly declared “there will be petrol” as the fuel crisis eases.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
How you'll be affected by France's ongoing strikes
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
What to expect when working in a bar in Paris
National
Violent storms in France: How to avoid being struck by lightning
National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
2,737
jobs available