visa have officially denied any involvement in the move towards censoring ebooks. the other credit card companies are remaining silent. however, the following update appeared on smashwords this morning...
March 12, 2012 - PayPal update: 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.
That's good news!
I don't see any reason why the credit card companies would ban any involvement with legal book content anyway.
I have read a lot of novels based on ancient history that would have been banned on Smashwords, because they contained incest and pedophilia, even though you can't write a credible novel about ancient Greece without touching upon those subjects.
And though I have seen a lot of erotica(And outright pornographic books) that disgusts me to my very core, writers' freedom to write what they want to write is supposed to be protected by law in western countries.
This censorship case made very little sense to me from the beginning. I really hope PayPal will drop it entirely.
Regardless of how this issue gets resolved, if ever, I voiced my dismay at having the banking clerks censor my writings by opting out of using Paypal on Smashwords.
It may take SW a week longer to cut me a royalty check rather than get it through PP, but I'd rather show my disgust by boycotting them this way.
Who in the world is attacking erotica e-books?
It’s the agents and publishers, trying to rebuild the moat around their castles. I see postulating book industry people on Book TV yammering away about how they protect the reading public from the dreck and screed of amateur writers, appointing themselves the guardians of literature for the masses. They cite erotica as the primary sales vehicle of self-pudbed e-books and take a swipe at the readers who enjoy them.
But really, that’s not even true. I looked at the number of titles in the erotica category and found it rather small; indeed, smaller than science fiction by a wide margin. Then I looked at the sales ranking of the top ten erotica novels, and none were ranked in the top 100 overall.
By comparison, literary fiction is huge. The sales rankings for the top ten in literary fiction, very high. And there are self-pubbed e-boooks in there, in that top ten, ranked in the top 100 overall.
It’s not about censorship or morality or even quality of writing; it’s all about the Dollar Almighty.
It's over now. Smashwords sent an email that Paypal has officially backed down and thanking all of the authors for their support. The stance is that as long as the content is legal, Paypal will leave Smashwords alone.
hopefully this is the end of a particularly nasty period. I doubt it. I'm assuming US law is the same as UK law and that the only thing that it's illegal to depict either in image or in text is paedophilic acts. (I'm talking graphics, not the maudlin laments of a Humbert Humbert or an Aschebach). It's called "pseudo-paedophilia" and under UK law it's subject to exactly the same punishment as if you distribute the real thing. (Which personally I think is madness, but there you go...)
Now I have never, [i]ever[/i] found that content on any distributor. So why are Paypal talking about it like it's prevalent? It seems to me like they're tilting at that particular windmill to cover a more insidious move against marginal, [i]legal[/i] content. We can still describe murder in the bloodiest of terms, can't we?