jumpuphigh: Eartha Kitt with text "I wanna be EVIL" (Evil)
jumpuphigh ([personal profile] jumpuphigh) wrote in [community profile] ebooks2012-03-14 01:28 am

Paypal's New Policies Regarding eBooks

Part of PayPal's statement:

First and foremost, we are going to focus this policy only on e-books that contain potentially illegal images, not e-books that are limited to just text. The policy will prohibit use of PayPal for the sale of e-books that contain child pornography, or e-books with text and obscene images of rape, bestiality or incest (as defined by the U.S. legal standard for obscenity: material that appeals to the prurient interest, depicts sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value).

In addition, the policy will be focused on individual books, not on entire “classes” of books. Instead of demanding that e-book publishers remove all books in a category, we will provide notice to the seller of the specific e-books, if any, that we believe violate our policy. We are working with e-book publishers on a process that will provide any affected site operator or author the opportunity to respond to and challenge a notice that an e-book violates the policy.

You can see Smashwords' response here.
wide_worlds_joy: (Default)

[personal profile] wide_worlds_joy 2012-03-14 12:01 pm (UTC)(link)
IMO Censorship is still censorship.
beatrice_otter: Grammar (Grammar)

[personal profile] beatrice_otter 2012-03-14 01:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Except that, in this case, if I am understanding this correctly, all they are "censoring" is material illegal in the US, which Smashwords as a US company can't sell *anyway.* Which makes it nothing more than a face-saving gesture, imho. And this stuff is illegal for a reason: unlike, say, a BDSM fantasy story, which is shocking to prudes but doesn't actually hurt anyone even if it describes unsafe practices, they're only going after books with images of this stuff. And, while you can certainly simulate incest and rape in ways that don't harm any of the people involved, it is impossible to simulate child pornography without harming the children involved. So there is an actual reason for this beyond "Eww! We don't like it!"
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2012-03-17 05:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't actually think refusing to sell materials containing photographs of child porn or other illegal materials that cause actual harm to actual people and/or animals is "censorship," personally, and I'm pretty sure the law agrees with me.

I do think it sounds like there's some backpedaling going on here and I'm not convinced Smashwords is all that devoted to free speech, but if all the Paypal policy is intended to do at this point is prohibit illegal materials and that's what's enforced, I'm 100% okay with that.