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 Post subject: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:02 pm 
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Hetairoi
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PayPal has set off a new controversy on the Internet by advising e-book sellers that they must remove all erotica content off their websites or PayPal will stop doing business with them. In particular, PayPal is apparently concerned with content dealing with erotica fiction containing rape, incest, and bestiality, reported Technolog on MSNBC’s website.

According to a report by Tech Crunch, e-book publisher Smashwords received a notice from PayPal on Feb. 18th giving the publisher only a few days to achieve compliance with the “ultimatum.” In response to the Paypal demands, Smashwords has posted this press release on its website advising authors, publishers, and literary agents of the new Smashwords position.

Zdnet is reporting that AllRomance, Excessica and Bookstrand received similar notices.

As you might expect, the uproar over the Internet is on the fact that a payment processor is trying to “censor” obscene content sold over the Internet by third parties. The concern is over the slippery slope of censorship and how dangerous this is for society as a whole.


http://www.siliconvalleyiplicensinglaw. ... -platform/


Now many article come to the conclusion since the targeted works are on the far end of obscene, it is acceptable even good to have payment processors "cleaning" up the web. I am not so sure I am in the same basket as them.

I am not so sure I am comfortable with a payment processor deciding what customers should and should not have access to based on obscenity or morality. It is just too easy for this genie to wreck havoc on a free society, once lawmakers fully realize how much power a payment processor has they may decide to let them to the censor work for them.

In another thread it was brought up that Russia has laws banning homosexuality,obscenity and pornography in media, do we want that here? Sure right now it's "extreme" obscenity, but what happens when the processors get leaned on to remove monetary access to any pornography site?

Is it the job of Paypal to "clean up" the web?

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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Paypal can do whatever it wants. There are lots of ways to pay for a product online; Paypal is just one of them.

We can't get in the habit of forcing companies to sell products they don't want to sell.

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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:22 pm 
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We shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking PayPal is somehow unique. Its no different than a bank or a creditcard. Just because its online does not make it different.

The question could just as easily be. Should MasterCard be allowed to not process payment to your local smutshop?

One the one hand it's a private company that can do whatever it wants. On the other hand even private companies are not allowed to descriminate.

What does the law say today. Are banks / creditcards allowed to refuse service?
If I'm able to find the pertinent laws I'll report back.

Edit: Found the danish law.

Payment services require license.

Paymentservicelaw §40: "Terms for access to payment systems must be objective, nondiscriminating and proportional so as to not restrict access in excess of than required to protect against risk meaning forclosure, operational and business risk and the security of the payment system.
(my translation - english legalize is not my best language)

In other words PayPals actions would not be legal if it was under danish juristiction. Which begs the question.
Whose juristiction does PayPal operate under?
I would be surprised if all developed nations didn't have similar legislation as DK

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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:56 pm 
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There really aren't that many ways to pay for things electronically online so if a major company like PayPal refuses service you only have a few other options that probably follow similar policies as PayPal.

See: Wikileaks


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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:09 pm 
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sventoby wrote:
There really aren't that many ways to pay for things electronically online so if a major company like PayPal refuses service you only have a few other options that probably follow similar policies as PayPal.

See: Wikileaks



Exactly, I was about to correct Kath myself when I seen this post.

Kath,
Paypal has a massive market saturation on the net, in fact many website only process through Paypal.

Sometime it does not seem that way as you may see Paypal along with Visa and Mastercard and rarely Google checkout, but even then that site often uses Paypal back-end to processes the payment.

Let me ask you a question, would you be okay with Google doing the same?


To me the only censor of legal material and goods should be the consumer. Let the consumer decide what is obscene and what is not. If we allow this kind of behavior than what happens when Visa, Mastercard and Paypal decide they will pull the plug on objectionable material?

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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:15 pm 
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raistian77 wrote:
Quote:
PayPal has set off a new controversy on the Internet by advising e-book sellers that they must remove all erotica content off their websites or PayPal will stop doing business with them. In particular, PayPal is apparently concerned with content dealing with erotica fiction containing rape, incest, and bestiality, reported Technolog on MSNBC’s website.

According to a report by Tech Crunch, e-book publisher Smashwords received a notice from PayPal on Feb. 18th giving the publisher only a few days to achieve compliance with the “ultimatum.” In response to the Paypal demands, Smashwords has posted this press release on its website advising authors, publishers, and literary agents of the new Smashwords position.

Zdnet is reporting that AllRomance, Excessica and Bookstrand received similar notices.

As you might expect, the uproar over the Internet is on the fact that a payment processor is trying to “censor” obscene content sold over the Internet by third parties. The concern is over the slippery slope of censorship and how dangerous this is for society as a whole.


http://www.siliconvalleyiplicensinglaw. ... -platform/


Now many article come to the conclusion since the targeted works are on the far end of obscene, it is acceptable even good to have payment processors "cleaning" up the web. I am not so sure I am in the same basket as them.

I am not so sure I am comfortable with a payment processor deciding what customers should and should not have access to based on obscenity or morality. It is just too easy for this genie to wreck havoc on a free society, once lawmakers fully realize how much power a payment processor has they may decide to let them to the censor work for them.

In another thread it was brought up that Russia has laws banning homosexuality,obscenity and pornography in media, do we want that here? Sure right now it's "extreme" obscenity, but what happens when the processors get leaned on to remove monetary access to any pornography site?

Is it the job of Paypal to "clean up" the web?


Man, if I was in Japan, I would start up a company similar to PayPal to deal with this.


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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Hetairoi
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Kath wrote:
Paypal can do whatever it wants. There are lots of ways to pay for a product online; Paypal is just one of them.

We can't get in the habit of forcing companies to sell products they don't want to sell.



Also Kath, Paypal is not selling the product. All they are is a conduit for YOUR money. What if Visa decided it's card holders should not be eating at Mc Donald's and cuts them off? It is the customer's money not Visa's. A bank should not be in the business of deciding what you may and may not buy with YOUR money.

That is YOUR job to censor what you consume not Visas, or Mastercards or Paypals. As long as you have the funds in YOUR account, it should not matter what you buy with the money, it is not the banks job to nanny you and decide what is and what is not good for you.

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Oh Wait, You're Serious? Let Me Laugh Even Harder!

-"No matter how bad things seem--- "
"They could be worse."
"Nope. No matter how bad they seem, they can't be any better, and they can't be any worse, because that's the way things fucking are, and you better get used to it, Nancy. Quit yer bitching."


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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:43 pm 
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If Visa didn't want you eating McDonalds, they would not get into a contract with McDonalds. (This is the contract that allows McDonalds to accept your credit card.)

When you use your credit card, it's not your money. It's a loan from Visa or Mastercard (or their controlling bank.)

Paypal doesn't sell toasters, no, but selling a service is no different from selling a cheeseburger.

Get back to me when Paypal is the ONLY way to pay for porn.

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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:50 pm 
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BTW

That would mean the Bible is not purchasable under this new restriction as it contains many scenes of incest and rape.


A couple of interesting posts following ZDnet's article on the subject.

Quote:
It's nothing to do with anything religious, but more to do with the failure of the politicians to gain control of the Internet through SOPA and/or PIPA.

I mean, you have to understand, that all the politicians of both parties the global Progressives can buy couldn't get SOPA and/or PIPA passed. So, the New World Order Progressives resorted to finance and payment processing as a weapon to shut down Free Speech. But first, they have to get their tyrannical little feet in the door, and to do that, they use Paypal to pick on the eBook retailers and shut down erotica. Of course, no one who's religious, or considers themselves moral and upstanding would mind. But once that door is opened, look out--soon it will be not only erotica that's censored but any kind of speech the global Progressives find offensive to their New World Order of Enslavement. You watch--this is just the beginning of the censorship. What couldn't be done through legislation is being attempted through financial means...and tell me, all you doubters out there, how is it that eBay, who owns Paypal, is just a-ok fine with selling sex toys, but not a-ok fine with writing about their use? Huh? Go on, explain that one.
.
Reply

..

I actually agree with that comment, I think this is a back door way to enforce SOPA and PIPA through alternative means. If they get the financial groups to do the work than there is no need for SOPA or PIPA.

In fact in SOPA there was a section that granted immunity to financial groups that "self-censored" their users. If the financial group over censored than there was no way to challenge them in court, if the financial group failed to censor or block transactions prior to an investigation than the financial group was on the hook also.

In a nutshell this told groups like Visa, Mastercard and Paypal to start aggressively monitoring and controlling it's customers or they also could face punishment from the U.S. government.
I am a progressive that does not believe in the need for a nanny state from either party (the right pushes one also).

A comment from an Erotica author

Quote:




What we don't want...

Is a culture in which grown adults are not allowed to determine what they are exposed to in terms of fiction for themselves. I can name the sorts of regimes that implemented these sorts of restrictions in the past, and some that still do now. Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Maoist China (and China now, in fact)...

Fiction is fiction. None of the 'taboo' subjects rejected by the microtransaction companies are in any way illegal. The fictional representation of a crime is not a crime. The laws in both the US and Britain that have tested the boundaries of censorship in this regard have stood the test of over 40 years of appeals on the part of people who wished to limit what people could and should read.

So there is no possibility for using the argument of participating in an illegal transaction.

As to the charge-back excuse, I'd like to see numbers on charge-backs of erotic ebooks. I will not accept someone's word for it. One of the reasons why I, as a writer, have listed my novel Gaijin under the erotica genre is specifically because literary fiction tends not to 'tag' books, and I felt it was responsible to alert women who might find the content disturbing to avoid it. Michel Houllebecq, who writes scene after scene of explicit, dystopic, alienated, dehumanizing sex is filed under Literary Fiction. You get no warning from him.

So this red herring about people stumbling across offensive ebooks by mistake is something I find very hard to swallow. It is seldom that a book which contains 'taboo' content is left untagged by its publisher or its writer. Our very efforts to help readers choose what they read in an informed manner have resulted in making it easy to ghettoize and expunge us.

How ironic. I wonder if anyone will start trolling through 20 years of Booker nominees for the 'bad' stuff? Er, probably not.

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-"No matter how bad things seem--- "
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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:56 pm 
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I don't get it. You would like for government to tell business what they must sell?

No nanny state? If government gets to choose these things then how long until government tells grocery stores that they may only sell fresh food?

The second you tell government it's in charge of what private businesses must sell, the government will start telling companies what foods, toys, books, etc., businesses can't sell and which items they must sell.

That'll be better?

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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:59 pm 
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Kath wrote:
If Visa didn't want you eating McDonalds, they would not get into a contract with McDonalds. (This is the contract that allows McDonalds to accept your credit card.)

When you use your credit card, it's not your money. It's a loan from Visa or Mastercard (or their controlling bank.)

Paypal doesn't sell toasters, no, but selling a service is no different from selling a cheeseburger.

Get back to me when PayPal is the ONLY way to pay for porn.



IF you use a credit card, which is getting rare in todays world. The vast majority of customers use debit cards which are NOT loans at all. A debit care is YOUR money not theirs. (in fact when you deposit money YOU are loaning THEM money, so.....who works for who? again)

I think we have let the banks forget who their REAL customers are.



In the online world payment is 99% either Visa, Mastercard or PayPal and many sites like Ebay ONLY accept PayPal. With that much of a market control the payment processors have a virtual monopoly on the situation.


I am VERY uncomfortable with a payment processor deciding what is and is not acceptable material for purchase. The customer owns the money and as long as the vendor is not violating any laws this situation should never have happened.

It is easy to dismiss this and say "Aw, it's just filthy porn (and it is)" but, what will it be tomorrow? and the net day?


I hate that it seems the government wants to create a internet that is geared to a 12 year old, I didn't get to be this old age to have a nanny state tell me what is and what is not acceptable for me to consume.

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Oh Wait, You're Serious? Let Me Laugh Even Harder!

-"No matter how bad things seem--- "
"They could be worse."
"Nope. No matter how bad they seem, they can't be any better, and they can't be any worse, because that's the way things fucking are, and you better get used to it, Nancy. Quit yer bitching."


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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:01 pm 
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@kath
How is having a gigantic corporation with a monopoly on online transactions telling you what you can and can't buy any better?


Last edited by sventoby on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Kath wrote:
I don't get it. You would like for government to tell business what they must sell?

No nanny state? If government gets to choose these things then how long until government tells grocery stores that they may only sell fresh food?

The second you tell government it's in charge of what private businesses must sell, the government will start telling companies what foods, toys, books, etc., businesses can't sell and which items they must sell.

That'll be better?



Hate to tell you, the government is what most likely pushed Ebay to doing this. The government has been wanting to censor the web for ages and has never been able to figure out how to do it. I remember when Alabama passed an obscenity law that prohibited any pornography being transmitted into their state by means of internet. They tried to bring a company in California to court because you could access their site from inside Alabama.

I am actually going to watch this situation closely, it stinks of nanny state government.

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-"No matter how bad things seem--- "
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"Nope. No matter how bad they seem, they can't be any better, and they can't be any worse, because that's the way things fucking are, and you better get used to it, Nancy. Quit yer bitching."


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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:13 pm 
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I am trying not to come off as a dick here.

After spending 2 years watching SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/and the new one (forgot it's name) build up and watching the government try and ram it down our digital throats, I am nervous.

The net as it is makes the government nervous and they want control of it, the best way is to use the payment processors (in fact that idea was pushed in both PIPA and ACTA as one congressman (don't remember who) stated "If we control the money we can control the net") they will use obscenity as a starting point. In the past someone else used children and obscenity to control the masses :hitler:
Quote:
"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people as long as government is perceived as working for the benefit of children, the people happily will endure almost any curtailment of liberty." -- Adolf Hitler


In the name of "Save the children" we will have our wild west internet tamed by the government, already the EU is busting ass to get it under control and even Russia has joined in by outlawing obscenity and homosexuality.


One day we will tell our grandchildren of when the net was free and many different opinions and interests could be found on it, before the governments cleaned and sterilized it for us.

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Oh Wait, You're Serious? Let Me Laugh Even Harder!

-"No matter how bad things seem--- "
"They could be worse."
"Nope. No matter how bad they seem, they can't be any better, and they can't be any worse, because that's the way things fucking are, and you better get used to it, Nancy. Quit yer bitching."


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 Post subject: Re: Should PayPal have the right the censor what customers b
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:27 pm 
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You're just going to have to trust that if the Porn Industry is not allowed to use Paypal, they WILL find a way. Their customers will sign up for whichever money transferring site they need. Both the porn industry and it's customers will continue to be happy for the foreseeable future.

I'm against government telling businesses what they must sell. I'm against government telling business what they can't sell. Paypal is a FOR PROFIT, private business. Chick-Fil-A doesn't open on Sunday because of the religious beliefs of the owner. What you are asking is the equivalent of the government forcing Chick-Fil-A to be open on Sundays.

Companies should be allowed to set their own hours, policies and determine for itself what services & products they will and will not sell.

So, start a "Government forces Ebay to x, y, z, " thread and I'll express an appropriate amount of disgust.

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