Nonetheless, when European-based publishing ideologies move into other environments
Metadata that kills
Peter Brantley

I wouldn’t be as glib about honoring European based publishing ideologies as the gold standard for free expression.

As the founder and former CEO of, we were obligated to honor European censorship laws when we expanded further into European markets.

As an American deeply committed to a 1st Amendment conception of free speech, and a member of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, it was painful for me to to build a censorship module into our codebase to comply with local laws restricting the sale and/or possession of certain banned books.

In the end, I made a very uneasy peace with my conscience, knowing that the lists of censored titles had been developed by democratic governments, and that different societies make different compromises.

Having to impose censorship to comply with European laws was one of my most difficult moments during the 13 years I spent in the online bookselling industry.

We all have work to do.