Thursday, March 15, 2012

PayPal Caves - Now What?

A few days ago, Smashwords founder Mark Coker posted the following:

“I met with PayPal this afternoon at their office in San Jose. They will soon announce revised content policies that I expect will please the Smashwords community. Effective immediately, we are returning our Terms of Service to back to its pre-February 24 state. Beyond that, our friends at PayPal have asked me to hold off sharing additional details until they’ve had a chance to finalize their new policies. Thank you for your patience and support during this crazy last few weeks.”

Good news, at least for now.  Kudos to Mark for working so hard to get things back to normal, at least for Smashwords.  And of course all of you who signed petitions, sent letters, and canceled your PayPal accounts ... it's the consumer who ultimately keeps these corporations in line.  You deserve a big round of applause for keeping those who would choose our morality for us out of the censorship business.  Here's the story for your enjoyment:

I am still waiting for my publisher to apprise me of what is going on with my books.  It may be that they too are waiting for PayPal to finalize their new policies.   The moment I know something, I will inform you immediately.  Keep your fingers crossed for sooner rather than later!

So the war is won, correct?  I don't know.  This skirmish is at least done, but some would warn against getting complacent just yet.  In her blog, author/publisher I.G. Frederick states: 

"On March 13, to great cheering across the Interwebs, PayPal announced a clarification of “exactly how we are going to implement the policy,” stating ”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.”
When was the last time you read an erotica e-book that contained images other than the cover and the author’s photo?

Excuse me if I don’t celebrate. PayPal is backpedalling because it got caught trying to prevent the sale of legal fiction. Many authors have lost days protesting this, days they could have spent writing fiction. My e-books are no longer visible on All Romance ebooks unless you log in. I learned Monday that another publisher has stopped selling independent e-books, allegedly because of a logistics issue, but I have to wonder.

Just as this incident didn’t begin in February, it won’t end in March unless we’re vigilant about protecting our rights to buy and sell what we choose to read and write. What we need more than anything else right now is an alternative to PayPal."

Yours truly IS celebrating and anxiously awaiting the return of all my books to the various distributors.  But I am also cautiously keeping an eye out for the next would-be dictator of morals.  I'm also looking into alternative options for when the day arrives that I find my livelihood once again threatened.

Thanks again to everyone for the messages of support during these last trying weeks.  You gave me hope and encouragement, and I'm forever grateful to you all.

1 comment:

  1. Yes Tracy - we have to remain vigilant! Who knows when this could happen again somewhere else? But I'm honestly pleased and surprised that they caved this quick. It does go to show you that consumers have a lot of power - and we need to remember that. I look forward to your books being rightfully back up for sale! And yes - I myself did lose time I will never get back fighting and blogging about this, instead of writing!