NL- If we allow things like this to go on, Visa will be deciding what we can and cannot read….
eBay’s global e-commerce business PayPal Inc. has caused an outbreak of anger in the publishing world for its controversial stance against e-books that contain “obscene” themes of rape, bestiality, and incest. PayPal has gone so far as to ask e-book distributors and publishers to ban these books and even threatened to “limit” companies’ PayPal accounts unless these “obscene” books were removed from websites.
PayPal has sent these warnings to online publishers and booksellers including Smashword’s, Bookstrand.com, and eXcessica. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit that supports free speech, privacy, and other individual rights in the digital world, along with other groups including the Authors Guild, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and the Association of American Publishers, sent PayPal a letter on Wednesday asking the company to reverse its policy. The groups all agree that PayPal is holding freedom of speech hostage with its decision.
PayPal has claimed that it is acting in part because the banks and credit card companies that PayPal works with restrict such content, and PayPal is respecting and complying with their rules, which prohibit content containing rape, incest, and bestiality. The publishing world is enraged over the amount of control banks and credit card companies exercise over book content, and is concerned that they are exerting control over what can be written, published, and read in the ‘Land of the Free.’
A PayPal spokesman has said that PayPal’s decision is based on business factors with card associations and banks, but the company does believe in setting boundaries on content that is too extreme and potentially illegal. American Express , Mastercard , Visa , JP Morgan Chase , Citigroup , and Wells Fargo have not commented on the matter.