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?