May 23, 2022

International Publishers Association Tells Apple to “Stop Imposing Your Moral Agenda on Publishers”

From a Statement by the International Publishers Association:

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 Apple, considering the image “inappropriate”, has withdrawn the book from its online store.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”.

The cover of the book can be viewed in this article from Le Monde.

For those who don’t read French here are mechanical translations of the Le Monde report from Google’s and Bing’s translation tools.

Note: The International Publishers Association is the international federation of national publishers associations, representing all aspects of book and journal publishing from around the world. About 60 organizations from 50 countries including the Association of American Publishers and the Canadian Publishers Association. You can find a directory of all member organizations here.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.