As Kerry slept Sunday night (it’s Monday morning for her already) PayPal, only a few hours of sending her a canned response telling her that her account hold was there to stay, sent her another email rescinding it.
I can only suppose that a little bit of public pressure, in the form of this article by Nate from The Digital Reader, who helped lead the charge back in February during the SmashWords debacle, helped sway PayPal to a more reasonable stance.
So I’m very glad for Kerry (and her sister also, whose account was likewise restored) that they don’t have to go through the inconvenience of finding another means by which to conduct their businesses.
I hope this was an isolated incident, and not an attack on erotic books by new means. So far no other cover artists have come forward, which is a good thing.
I do think we all have to be vigilant, those of us who publish independently and even the small presses who may rely on PayPal to conduct transactions with vendors or customers. If PayPal does decide to go on the censorship warpath again, it could be a mess. Hopefully we nipped this in the bud.
Thank you all for your support.
5 responses to “SUCCESS!”
Thank YOU, Amelia, for covering this story in the first place. If you haven’t posted about it, Nate would not have caught wind of it, and he would not have contacted me (because I sure as heck didn’t think to contact him directly). And, as you said, hopefully this is an isolated incident.
It doesn’t excuse PayPal’s behaviour, and I am still worried that this may happen again. Perhaps not to me, but it might happen to someone else who didn’t know who to turn to, or didn’t think to come forward about this. Maybe there are other people already similarly affected, and have been for a while. We’ll see how it goes, and I will still be sending warnings about what PayPal has done to fellow artists.
Well, like I said, I think we need to be vigilant. If PayPal’s history from earlier this year teaches us anything, it’s that they are perfectly willing to cast themselves in the role of gatekeeper for what is and isn’t acceptable for public consumption, if they can get away with it.
That’s a very disturbing thought. It has the ability not only to affect visual art, but also, as I’ve said, the publishing industry, specifically small presses and independent authors like myself, who rely on PayPal. With LGBT erotica and romance, specifically (and I’m not sure this didn’t happen in this case) all it takes is one homophobe registering a complaint, and another cover artist may find his or herself the target of another ban. A small press might find themselves forced to comply with an ultimatum to get rid of books with certain covers. I don’t know where it might end, but it could impact all of us.
Last time, public pressure was brought to bear and PayPal backed down. This time… maybe they realized they made a mistake, or maybe all my obnoxious tweets and blog posts and Nate’s involvement stopped them before the ball really got rolling. Let’s hope we don’t hear about another case like this.
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Came to this story from CBLDF. To be honest what really needs to happen is to stop relying on Paypal. While I’m glad for your good outcome in the end, this is certainly not the last of it. Quite frankly the items concerned with Kerry’s work and others listed are extremely tame and others are still sure to be affected.
The issue is that for online payments, Paypal is understandably the only online provider that comes to people’s mind. I do believe they have a right to whatever policy they choose, despite however much I dislike such policies (and I really do hate them). Rather than trying to pressure them on a case-by-case basis, which really doesn’t solve the issue for individual cases like these of erotic or perceived-offensiveness is but a tiny fraction of their overall business. I advocate other payment providers like:
– Amazon: https://payments.amazon.com – Not just marketplace services, but payment and personal money transfers (their own site may be the biggest blatantly erotic shop, heh)
– Debit or cash based like: Dwolla and Gocardless and Paysafecard (so they do not fall under the purview of credit card use policies)
– Alternative providers, albeit more complicated to use, like: Libertyereserve, Webmoney (wmtransfer), Perfectmoney, Solidtrustpay, or bitcoin (see also bitpay)
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