Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What a week!

I'm late posting because I've been ill. But I'm feeling much better now and today my email brought me something worth celebrating!

You have perhaps read of PayPal's recent decision to stop allowing its services to be used by companies that sell certain kinds of erotica. If the companies did not censor their offerings, PayPal would no longer do business with them. 

Further information then came out that PayPal's change in their Terms of Service (TOS) was actually dictated to them by the credit card companies and banks who decided THEY didn't want to have dealings with certain kinds of erotica. It was the financial institutions who put PayPal in the middle and PayPal made a decision based on their own best business interests.

Enter Mark Coker of Smashwords. In my blog post on this earlier last week, I said that, "If I were an artist, I'd draw him as a knight standing before a pile of books, wielding a sword of words against bankers and investment firms who stand ready with lit matches."

Today I'd adapt that picture to one of him beating back the bankers and investment firms, the wind of his sword blowing out their matches because today, PayPal reversed it's decision. They will NOT be a part of censorship of legal fiction in any way.

Does that mean PayPal has put its own business in jeopardy because its standing up for what it has come to understand is right? You betcha. In Mark's words (from his public letter sent today): "This is a big, bold move by PayPal. It represents a watershed decision that protects the rights of writers to write, publish and distribute legal fiction. It also protects the rights of readers to purchase and enjoy all fiction in the privacy of their own imagination. It clarifies and rationalizes the role of financial services providers and pulls them out of the business of censoring legal fiction."

So here's me beating the drum and recommending to all of you who purchase ebooks: Go to Smashwords. Visit the site and look at the offerings. Many of the Scribes have books there for sale, but so do thousands of other writers. Support this wonderful company that went to bat for our right to read what we want without censorship from Those Who Know Better. You won't be sorry...and you'll help send a message that solidifies PayPal's decision that they did the right thing.


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