Apple lifts ban on French book with nude cover

US tech giant Apple has reportedly backed down on its decision to ban a French book because of its cover which featured an image of a nude woman. The embargo had caused ire among the book's French publishers.

Apple lifts ban on French book with nude cover
Apple has apparently softened its stance towards a French book that the tech giant initally banned over its nude cover. Photo: Srreengrab LeFigaro

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.

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‘Apple, pay your taxes!’: Protest greets US tech giant’s Champs-Élysées launch

The launch of an Apple store on the Champs Elysees in Paris was greeted Sunday by a protest against the US multinational's controversial fiscal practices.

'Apple, pay your taxes!': Protest greets US tech giant's Champs-Élysées launch
Demonstrators during the opening of a new Apple store on the Champs Elysees. Photo: AFP
Activists from the tax campaign group Attac gathered on the celebrated boulevard, wearing coloured wigs and party hats, throwing confetti and chanting: “Apple, pay your taxes!”
The group had staged a sit-in at Apple's flagship Paris store in December 2017, and in February a French court declined to approve a ban on such actions following a request by the US computer giant.
“We have come to celebrate in our own way the inauguration of Apple's Champs Elysees store, to remind people that Apple is one of the biggest tax evaders in the world,” Attac spokeswoman Aurelie Trouve told AFP at the protest, which featured a brass band.
Apple, the first US company to attain one trillion dollars in market capitalisation, grew in part owing “to the fact that it extorts billions of euros from citizens, notably European and French, through fiscal evasion of its profits, first in Ireland and now in Jersey,” the spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile security personnel allowed customers to enter the new store to a boisterous welcome by Apple employees.
Attac — the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizens Action — criticises French President Emmanuel Macron for failing to tackle multinational tax practices.
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has pushed for a Europe-wide tax policy on computer giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple but Ireland, which attracts such companies, is opposed while EU heavyweight Germany has voiced only lukewarm support for the French initiative.