Paypal Rewrites E-Book Erotica Policies 1 comment


As reported in the Chicago Tribune

PayPal, the online payment service owned by eBay Inc., is backtracking on its policy against processing sales of e-books containing themes of rape, bestiality or incest after protests from authors and anti-censorship activist groups.

PayPal’s new policy will focus only on e-books that contain potentially illegal images, not e-books that are limited to just text, spokesman Anuj Nayar said on Tuesday. The service will still refuse, however, to process payments for text-only e-books containing child pornography themes.

The revised policy will also focus on individual books, rather than entire classes of books, he added. E-book sellers will be notified if specific books violate PayPal’s policy, and the company is working on a process through which authors and distributors can challenge such notifications, the spokesman said.

“This is going to be a major victory for writers, readers and free speech,” said Mark Coker, founder of e-book distributor Smashwords. “They are going to build a protective moat around legal fiction.”

PayPal warned Smashwords and some other e-book publishers and distributors earlier this year that it would “limit” their PayPal accounts unless they removed e-books “containing themes of rape, incest, bestiality and underage subjects.”

PayPal’s original policy was criticized by groups, including the Authors Guild and the National Coalition Against Censorship, which voiced concern that banks and payment companies may be exerting too much control over what books can be written, published and read.

PayPal is relaxing the policy after the main credit card companies made a distinction between extreme pornographic images and e-books that explore such topics with only the written word.

PayPal told e-book distributors earlier this year that the original policy was in place partly because the banks and credit card companies it works with restrict such content. Read More

About Joy Farrington

Joy the Lit Diva (Farrington) is a Professional Book Accountability Partner, Book Coach, and Content Creator who enjoys assisting coaches, speakers, and non-fiction authors with the writing, publishing, and marketing of their books. The Writers Mastery Course is an ongoing Writing Series conducted in a virtual classroom. The overall focus of each course is to assist new authors with the ins-and-outs of Writing, Publishing, Book Marketing, and Authorprenership. With a focus on online tools that make your job as a writer easier, the Writers Mastery course is a unique way to hone your skills as a writer and reach your publishing goals. For more information about the Writers Mastery Course, please visit:

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One thought on “Paypal Rewrites E-Book Erotica Policies

  • Bijoy

    I tried to sign up last year using my Taiwanese credit card, but after the first month, it rseuefd the autopaypal charge the next month and I got an email stating that canceled my account. It took me a while to work out what happened. Apparently my issuing bank expects me to call them every month before the automatic charge takes place, on that day, so they can allow it. I’m told that as a foreigner living in Taiwan, I’m lucky to have a credit card at all. Anyway, I did some jiujitsu and set up a PayPal account on a joint bank account with my father in the US, for the sole purpose of making my meager $10 monthly membership contribution (btw I’ve been unemployed for the last 8 months), and I have to transfer money monthly from my local bank to the US, again to accomplish this goal. BUT IT’S WORTH IT. That Thomas Frank interview from last week was just another example of what makes your show so valuable. Oh, btw, I owe you some money for members-only podcasts over the last 6 months or so that I technically shouldn’t have had access to, but I think I can make that up in individual contributions here and there. I’m sorry for having gamed the system for so long, but I’ll make good on it and I’m glad to finally have what appears to be a working monthly contribution thing set up and functioning.