March 8, 2012
2065 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, California
2211 North First Street
San Jose, CA
I am writing to you on behalf of a coalition of readers, writers and publishers who are angered and disappointed by PayPal’s decision to pressure online e-Book retailers to restrict the kind of books that their customers can buy based on content. We would greatly appreciate an explanation as to why PayPal has decided to take this action at this time.
The books in question are works of fiction. They do not infringe on any law. They are protected speech under the First and Fifth amendments of the US Constitution and under Civil and Political Rights, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
We feel it is entirely inappropriate for an online financial transaction facilitator such as PayPal to act as arbiter of taste, literary critic or guardian of public morality. We have a representative government to create laws against what it considers a credible threat to the public good. As your own membership mechanism can limit minors from using your services, and eBook retailers require registration and PayPal sign-in, it is both patronizing and insulting to deny your customers, as adults, the right to choose their reading material for themselves.
Furthermore, as the vast majority of books affected by your recent actions are works written by women, for women readers, one of the most notable consequences has been a stifling of women’s writing on their own sexualities. Intentional or not, your actions are discriminatory in the extreme.
We strongly suggest you reconsider your interference in the buying and selling of legal literary works of fiction.
On Behalf of the undersigned members of BannedWriters.com
a coalition to stop the economic censorship of books, members listed below
Aurelia T. Evans
D. L. King
Evan J. Xavier
Ms T. Garden
Paul St. Pancras
Poe Von Page