Virtual book burning?
PayPal has customers from all walks of life: you, me, that lady down the street, who sells crochet pencil cozies on Etsy. Another PayPal customer? Book publishers that distribute, what some might consider, books with questionable, sexually explicit subject matter. Now some of those publishers are receiving letters from PayPal telling them their accounts will be “limited”, allegedly because of the content of their books. It’s not clear, exactly what restrictions come with a “limited” account, but one can presume it has to do with holding back sales. Free speech advocates at the Electronic Frontier Foundation are working on the publishers’ behalf.
The move has caused an uproar in the publishing world, which is concerned that banks and credit card companies may be exerting too much control over what books can be written, published and read.
“You’re dealing with American Express, MasterCard and Visa — are they making these decisions?” said Albert Greco, a book-industry expert at the business school of Fordham University. “That seems very strange and it could well be a very big issue.
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