According to Le Monde, Apple has refused to sell a book with a picture of tits on its cover. The publisher – a small press, which hardly anyone had heard of before this event – is crying foul. Using phrases like “censorship” and “a violation of freedom of expression,” this publisher is calling on the French Minister of Culture, and even the European Commission, to act on their behalf and force Apple to accept their book’s cover.
Now, I’ve written about Apple’s hypocrisy in this area before, but this is not about censorship, and it is no threat to the “freedom of creation,” as the French publisher claims. No one can force any store to sell a specific item; any retailer has the right to choose what they sell. You may not agree with their rules, but it in no way threatens your “freedom of expression.”
Apple does have stringent rules for their stores: these say that you can’t have nudity on covers of items, but they go much further, as developers I know have found out. There are many words you can’t use in descriptions, and the rules about how apps work are even more byzantine.
No, French publisher, you’re not being censored. Apple’s “prudishness” may bother you, but it’s their store, and you play by their rules. Apple sells their content in many countries that are far more prudish than the United States, so it’s probably that their rules are stricter for that reason. Get a grip.