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Author Topic: Paypal Censorship at Smashwords  (Read 2595 times)

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« on: March 14, 2012, 10:36 »
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This is not related to Microstock, but it involves Paypal so I thought I would bring it up.  

Smashwords is similar to our photographer's agencies, except they publish and distribute e-books and collect 15%.  

In February Papal put them on notice that they must remove errotica titles containing bestiality, rape, incest and pseudo incest.  Most errotica is published by indies.  Most indies publish with Smashwords.  Smashwords pays through Paypal.  Paypal is pressured by credit card companies.   Credit card companies have a moral code.  (Paypal previously applied this censorship to Bookstrand, but I'm not familiar with them.)  It's hard to say what pseudo incest is, but Woody Allen and his stepdaughter have been mentioned.  Writers of all genres are outraged and demand that Smashwords finds a new method to pay - but it's simply not that easy.

http://www.smashwords.com/press/release/27
http://www.smashwords.com/press/release/28

There are a lot of angry writers out there, and not just errotica writers.  But as Joe Konrath points out - it is not censorship (censorship is by governments), it is business http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2012/03/paypal-erotica-and-censorship.html.

Getting back to microstock, I don't think I've seen beastiality or incest, but I've stumbled across a lot of uber sexy almost naked women (some naked too, but come to think of it the agency filters must be working very well because I haven't actually seen anything 18+ in quite a while, years in fact).  Just wondering if there will be any "censorship business decisions" with photogs?


velocicarpo

« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2012, 10:58 »
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I cannot repeat it enough: do not use paypal. Locked accounts. Randomly enforced or not inforced "security" measurements which serve just to increase their own cash flow. Censorship which does not only include "erotica" (no, I am not from the US. I am not afraid of tits and / or sex. I do not think that sexual intercourse is evil ;-) ) but also political questionable agendas. Do not use seem. You risk your money and limit your choices. Beyond that, payoneer and Moneybookers are more reliable and much faster.

« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 11:33 »
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You're late on this story.  PayPal has reversed itself on this action:

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/03/2012/paypal-backtracks-on-disputed-obscene-e-book-policy/
Quote
PayPal, the online payment service owned by eBay Inc., is backtracking on its policy against processing sales of e-books containing themes of rape, bestiality or incest after protests from authors and anti-censorship activist groups.

PayPals new policy will focus only on e-books that contain potentially illegal images, not e-books that are limited to just text, spokesman Anuj Nayar said on Tuesday. The service will still refuse, however, to process payments for text-only e-books containing child pornography themes.

The revised policy will also focus on individual books, rather than entire classes of books, he added. E-book sellers will be notified if specific books violate PayPals policy, and the company is working on a process through which authors and distributors can challenge such notifications, the spokesman said.

« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 11:33 »
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I cannot repeat it enough: do not use paypal. Locked accounts. Randomly enforced or not inforced "security" measurements which serve just to increase their own cash flow. Censorship which does not only include "erotica" (no, I am not from the US. I am not afraid of tits and / or sex. I do not think that sexual intercourse is evil ;-) ) but also political questionable agendas. Do not use seem. You risk your money and limit your choices. Beyond that, payoneer and Moneybookers are more reliable and much faster.

And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.

I am not afraid of sex either, but I do think it's wrong to post stuff with children in it. Also, keep in mind that the internet is for everyone...not just consenting adults.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 11:35 by cclapper »

velocicarpo

« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 12:07 »
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And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.



Congratulations. You had been lucky. Your argument has the same value as the guy who smokes since 20 years and says: "I never had cancer and I smoke" or the guy who drives drunk and says: "I always drive with three beers and never had an accident".

Nowadays we are in the lucky situation to have almost unlimited communication worldwide. Fraudulent and bad behaving companies are easy to identify. The only reason we continue to use them is lazynes and fear of change.

« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 12:20 »
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And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.

I haven't had any problems either. Other than fake spam/phishing emails, but I just delete that. Sure, Paypal charges fees, but I think it is worth it for the convenience of getting paid immediately.

« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 13:08 »
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Congratulations. You had been lucky. Your argument has the same value as the guy who smokes since 20 years and says: "I never had cancer and I smoke" or the guy who drives drunk and says: "I always drive with three beers and never had an accident".

Nowadays we are in the lucky situation to have almost unlimited communication worldwide. Fraudulent and bad behaving companies are easy to identify. The only reason we continue to use them is lazynes and fear of change.

So what is a reliable alternative to Paypal that every micro/macro stock agency is accepting?

« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 13:33 »
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And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.

I haven't had any problems either. Other than fake spam/phishing emails, but I just delete that. Sure, Paypal charges fees, but I think it is worth it for the convenience of getting paid immediately.

No problems with PayPal here either. Must have had well over 1000 transactions via PayPal since 2003 without a single issue. Very quick and convenient and I'd recommend them to anyone.

« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 14:04 »
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Whoa, you are right Disorderly, Paypal reversed yesterday (I've been watching this for a month or so but am not on top of my feeds this week).

These paragraphs from Smashwords are interesting:

Smashwords authors, publishers and customers mobilized. You made telephone calls, wrote emails and letters, started and signed petitions, blogged, tweeted, Facebooked and drove the conversation. You made the difference.  Without you, no one would have paid attention. I would also like to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). These three advocacy groups were the first to stand up for our authors, publishers and customers. Their contribution cannot be overstated.  We collaborated with them to build a coalition of like-minded organizations to support our mutual cause. Special kudos to Rainey Reitman of EFF for her energy, enthusiasm and leadership.

I would also like to thank all the bloggers and journalists out there who helped carry our story forward by lending their platforms to get the story out.  Special thanks to TechCrunch, Slashdot, TechDirt, The Independent (UK), Reuters, Publishers Weekly, Dow Jones, The Digital Reader, CNET, Forbes, GalleyCat & EbookNewser and dozens of others too numerous to mention.
 

Paypal's morality police tried to censor one group of authors, but it outraged the whole community (every writer's blog I followed has been talking about this) - and they were loud enough about to sway Paypal.  Power to the people!  

« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2012, 16:47 »
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Paypal's morality police tried to censor one group of authors, but it outraged the whole community (every writer's blog I followed has been talking about this) - and they were loud enough about to sway Paypal.  Power to the people!  

I can't defend PayPal's actions, and wouldn't if I could, but I don't think this was a morality issue on their part.  PayPal makes its decisions based largely (entirely?) on its business interests.  I've read their claims that this was about complaints and requests for refunds from customers.  They thought they could reduce their costs by refusing to handle sales of controversial works, assuming that they could define controversial in a way that wouldn't get much pushback.  They were wrong about that.  But it fits their modus operandi: have a set of rules so strict that they don't need much of a staff to explain it or deal with exceptions.  Most of the time it works, but when it doesn't, they're way too slow to recognize it and deal with it before it blows up.

I'd liken PayPal's to Apple's app acceptance policies.  They want to avoid anything controversial (porn, political, the infamous baby shaking app) not because they want to impose some specific morality but because those who are in the morality business can get big headlines for accusing them of lacking morals.  Personally I think Apple's much better at it than PayPal, but I suppose we could have that argument.

« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2012, 20:49 »
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And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.



Congratulations. You had been lucky. Your argument has the same value as the guy who smokes since 20 years and says: "I never had cancer and I smoke" or the guy who drives drunk and says: "I always drive with three beers and never had an accident".

Nowadays we are in the lucky situation to have almost unlimited communication worldwide. Fraudulent and bad behaving companies are easy to identify. The only reason we continue to use them is lazynes and fear of change.

Go ahead...tell the others who have now said they find Paypal reliable how their argument has no value.  ::)

But then I suppose we are the only three or four people on the planet who think paypal is reliable. The other millions of people must be getting ripped off. I'd like to know Paypal's secret of making millions of $ with only three or four customers.  ;)

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 02:00 »
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And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.


Seems like everything else, a small number of people have a problem and want to blow it up into some massive complaint agenda. I've never had a problem receiving or sending a payment with PayPal. These include transactions from 99 cents to over $4000, selling things to people from Norway to South America and Australia. Never one delay or problem. This goes back to before they were owned by eBay. Never had my account on hold or locked, and wonder why the ones who are complaining seem to come from that group? I wonder what triggers putting an account on hold?

Just another happy fool like thousands of others who have never had problems with PayPal.  8)

velocicarpo

« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 04:02 »
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And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.



Congratulations. You had been lucky. Your argument has the same value as the guy who smokes since 20 years and says: "I never had cancer and I smoke" or the guy who drives drunk and says: "I always drive with three beers and never had an accident".

Nowadays we are in the lucky situation to have almost unlimited communication worldwide. Fraudulent and bad behaving companies are easy to identify. The only reason we continue to use them is lazynes and fear of change.

Go ahead...tell the others who have now said they find Paypal reliable how their argument has no value.  ::)

But then I suppose we are the only three or four people on the planet who think paypal is reliable. The other millions of people must be getting ripped off. I'd like to know Paypal's secret of making millions of $ with only three or four customers.  ;)

No offense CC. There are thousands with problems. If you do a quick search you find them here on the forum too.

velocicarpo

« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 04:06 »
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And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.


Seems like everything else, a small number of people have a problem and want to blow it up into some massive complaint agenda. I've never had a problem receiving or sending a payment with PayPal. These include transactions from 99 cents to over $4000, selling things to people from Norway to South America and Australia. Never one delay or problem. This goes back to before they were owned by eBay. Never had my account on hold or locked, and wonder why the ones who are complaining seem to come from that group? I wonder what triggers putting an account on hold?

Just another happy fool like thousands of others who have never had problems with PayPal.  8)

Triggers? There are several LAwsuits going on because paypal is holding account e.g. because of non-existing and invented EU laws. But really, there are about a dozens of triggers. If you log in always from the same direction and rarely use ebay / have contact to other and unknown users you have the biggest chance to be lucky.

Those who want to be ignorant should go ahead. Surely you think too that istockhoto has the best image quality and that evolution is a myth because God created the whole mankind thousand years ago :-)

« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 04:09 »
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So, what's the alternative to PayPal that I can use with any microstock website?

velocicarpo

« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 04:11 »
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http://www.pcworld.com/article/101525/consumer_alert_paypals_problems.html
http://www.aboutpaypal.org/
http://www.paypalwarning.com/
http://www.paypalsucks.com
http://www.screw-paypal.com/history.html
http://www.paypalwarning.com/contact/?msgbrd=3

Please do not get me wrong. I do not act because of personal motifs. If you do not want to believe or take into account what is going on, then don`t! I think it is just a responsible behaviour to warn other users of potential problems with companies. Please do not feel offended.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 04:15 by velocicarpo »

velocicarpo

« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 04:16 »
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So, what's the alternative to PayPal that I can use with any microstock website?

Moneybookers. Payoneer on some.

« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 05:16 »
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i know some people have problems with paypal. i know about evolution and believe it and no, dont think istock has the best photo quality. i dont take offense to your opinion at all. i DO take offense to your dismissing my statement at having no relevance when it is just as valid as yours.

i wont use moneybookers any more. i tried. back when i couldnt get my money from istock because they were having issues with paypal (what a surprise). i dont get charged anything to get my money from the agencies with paypal but with moneybookers i did.

« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 05:35 »
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On the whole, Paypal must work OK or it would have gone bust. For me, it was a constant source of problems, largely because it likes to assume that the whole world is identical to the US. If your postal, legal and tax systems are not American or close to that then Paypal can be horrible. In my case, they decided to freeze funds they had received while arbitrarily re-rating my account to business and, on the basis of what they had decided to do, they then told me I couldn't have my money until I provided documents that did not and could not exist. Eventually they paid up but it took a lot of effort on my part.

Now I can use it for making payments but not to receive any.

Some sites offer Moneybookers or Payoneer, others will pay by cheque but with some there is no way to get paid. My Fine Art America earnings are effectively frozen until I move somewhere where I can get paypal.

velocicarpo

« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 09:14 »
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i know some people have problems with paypal. i know about evolution and believe it and no, dont think istock has the best photo quality. i dont take offense to your opinion at all. i DO take offense to your dismissing my statement at having no relevance when it is just as valid as yours.

CC, it wasn`t meant as an offense, but as a logic statement. A personal experience does not replace the abstract but very real possibility of a event to occur. E.G.: I never had a car crash, but I but on the safety belt because I know that it can happen and I want to be prepared. My personal experience does not have enough relevance to replace the need to put the safety belt. I hope you understand.

Microbius

« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2012, 09:33 »
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I hope you understand that just because a tiny minority of people have had a problem with paypal, it doesn't follow that you should not use them. Any company with that many users will have some disgruntled customers.
Just because something is possible does not mean it is probable.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 09:41 by Microbius »

« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2012, 10:10 »
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On the whole, Paypal must work OK or it would have gone bust. For me, it was a constant source of problems, largely because it likes to assume that the whole world is identical to the US. If your postal, legal and tax systems are not American or close to that then Paypal can be horrible. In my case, they decided to freeze funds they had received while arbitrarily re-rating my account to business and, on the basis of what they had decided to do, they then told me I couldn't have my money until I provided documents that did not and could not exist. Eventually they paid up but it took a lot of effort on my part.

Now I can use it for making payments but not to receive any.

Some sites offer Moneybookers or Payoneer, others will pay by cheque but with some there is no way to get paid. My Fine Art America earnings are effectively frozen until I move somewhere where I can get paypal.

I totally understand that, and for me in the US, Moneybookers worked the opposite way.

« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2012, 10:11 »
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i know some people have problems with paypal. i know about evolution and believe it and no, dont think istock has the best photo quality. i dont take offense to your opinion at all. i DO take offense to your dismissing my statement at having no relevance when it is just as valid as yours.

CC, it wasn`t meant as an offense, but as a logic statement. A personal experience does not replace the abstract but very real possibility of a event to occur. E.G.: I never had a car crash, but I but on the safety belt because I know that it can happen and I want to be prepared. My personal experience does not have enough relevance to replace the need to put the safety belt. I hope you understand.

I totally get what you're saying.

velocicarpo

« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2012, 10:35 »
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I hope you understand that just because a tiny minority of people have had a problem with paypal, it doesn't follow that you should not use them. Any company with that many users will have some disgruntled customers.
Just because something is possible does not mean it is probable.

I get your argument. I neither thought that it would affect me. Yet one day it did. Maybe I am too "sensitive" when it comes to customers rights, but I believe in justice and that an company should treat its customers well. You may be part of this tiny percentage one day. And this is the warning for that. Off course it is not guaranteed that _everybody_ will have. I did. And I did nothing wrong.

Beyond that, I am one of those guys who takes moral considerations into account. I do not like censorship. I value freedom. So I don`t use them.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2012, 11:19 »
0

And I personally, in a dozen years, haven't had any issues with paypal, so I find them very reliable.


Seems like everything else, a small number of people have a problem and want to blow it up into some massive complaint agenda. I've never had a problem receiving or sending a payment with PayPal. These include transactions from 99 cents to over $4000, selling things to people from Norway to South America and Australia. Never one delay or problem. This goes back to before they were owned by eBay. Never had my account on hold or locked, and wonder why the ones who are complaining seem to come from that group? I wonder what triggers putting an account on hold?

Just another happy fool like thousands of others who have never had problems with PayPal.  8)

Triggers? There are several LAwsuits going on because paypal is holding account e.g. because of non-existing and invented EU laws. But really, there are about a dozens of triggers. If you log in always from the same direction and rarely use ebay / have contact to other and unknown users you have the biggest chance to be lucky.

Those who want to be ignorant should go ahead. Surely you think too that istockhoto has the best image quality and that evolution is a myth because God created the whole mankind thousand years ago :-)

Ah good argument just call me ignorant and continue with your rants. That's really in poor taste. Maybe those con trails have been dumping mind numbing chemicals on you after all?  :D

Hey I'm in the US maybe that's why I never had a problem and it appears that some of the biggest problems are people who aren't so that's something to consider? Location matters.

For those worried about personal choices and rights. (back to the freedom issue that started this) I'd like to remind you that Apple blocks applications that they think could be used for anything marginally "sexy" Including apps on YOUR own i pad? Wow, where's the uproar from the Apple drones about that one?

ps God created evolution, end of debate.

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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