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Apple lifts ban on French book with nude cover

Ben McPartland · 27 Mar 2014, 10:10

Published: 27 Mar 2014 10:10 GMT+01:00

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A French publishing house has welcomed a decision by Apple to allow the sale of one of its author's books in its online store, after initially banning the novel because the cover was apparently too risqué.

The book 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.

Originally Apple informed Olivier Frébourg, the boss of publishers Les Éditions des Équateurs, that the cover was inappropriate, prompting much anger in the French literary world.

At the time 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 was 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 Éditions des Équateurs insisted that the image on the cover by the artist Stéphane Rozencwajg was not pornographic and "not even sexual".

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

But on Wednesday Les Éditions des Équateurs said Apple had had a change of heart after the controversy and welcomed the company's decision to finally allow the sale of La Femme in its App Store.

However Les Éditions des Équateurs called on the National Union of Publishers, the Ministry of Culture and the European Commission to adopt a united front to prevent future "censorship" of books.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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