Smashwords Prevails!

Please read, below, my post Food for Thought posted March 9. In it I cited a post which was titled censorship vs gagging.

Please read below to see the outcome of that”debate” as reported by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.

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March 13, 2012

Smashwords author/publisher update: PayPal Reverses Proposed Censorship

“Great news. Yesterday afternoon I met with PayPal at their office in San Jose, where they informed me of their decision to modify their policies to allow legal fiction.

“Effective last night, we rolled back the Smashwords Terms of Service to its pre-February 24 state.

“It’s been a tumultuous, nerve-wracking few weeks as we worked to protect the right of writers to write and publish legal fiction.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to Smashwords authors, publishers and customers. You stood up and made your voice known. Thank you to every Smashwords author and publisher who wrote me to express opinions, even if we disagreed, and even if you were angry with me. You inspired me to carry your cause forward.

“Smashwords authors, publishers and customers mobilized. You made telephone calls, wrote emails and letters, started and signed petitions, blogged, tweeted, Facebooked and drove the conversation. You made the difference. Without you, no one would have paid attention. I would also like to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). These three advocacy groups were the first to stand up for our authors, publishers and customers. Their contribution cannot be overstated. We collaborated with them to build a coalition of like-minded organizations to support our mutual cause. Special kudos to Rainey Reitman of EFF for her energy, enthusiasm and leadership.

“I would also like to thank all the bloggers and journalists out there who helped carry our story forward by lending their platforms to get the story out. Special thanks to TechCrunch, Slashdot, TechDirt, The Independent (UK), Reuters, Publishers Weekly, Dow Jones, The Digital Reader, CNET, Forbes, GalleyCat & EbookNewser and dozens of others too numerous to mention.

“I would like to thank our friends at PayPal. They worked with us in good faith as they promised, engaged us in dialogue, made the effort to understand Smashwords and our mission, went to bat for our authors with the credit card companies and banks, and showed the courage to revise their policies.

“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.

“Following implementation of their new policies, PayPal will have the most liberal, pro-First-Amendment policies of the major payment processors. Will Google Checkout and Checkout by Amazon be next now that the credit card companies have clarified their positions, and have essentially given payment providers the permission to adopt more enlightened policies? Finally, thanks to Selena Kitt of Excessica and Remittance Girl for helping me to understand and respect all fiction more than I ever have before.

“This is a bright day for indie publishing. In the old world, traditional publishers were the arbiters of literary merit. Today, thanks to the rise of indie ebooks, the world is moving toward a broader, more inclusive definition of literary merit. Smashwords gives writers the power and freedom to publish. Merit is decided by your readers. Just as it should be.”

Thanks,
Mark Coker
Founder
Smashwords

Twitter: http://twitter.com/markcoker
Blog: http://blog.smashwords.com

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There’s no news like good news! Eh? This is something we authors and publishers can celebrate. (I’ll bring the drinks!)

Write On!

 

 

Copyright: All Rights Reserved
Registered: 2012-03-14

Food for Thought!

The following essay was posted on BookRix by screen name “elisa1215” on Mar 8th 2012 at 12:11:29. If you will note her first and 18th paragraphs.

As writers and publishers, I think we can’t help but agree with this post.

Read on!

Censorship vs. gagging.

Image representing Smashwords as depicted in C...

“My Dad is uploading his work onto smashwords. Mark Coker, the site owner wrote him a message. This was his response, which he asked me to sen to you all:

“Does the date:10,

Mai 1933 mean anything to you?

“It was a day of infamy as far as ‘non-German’ (aryan) literature was concerned.

“One can compare it to the a*****e [sic.] who caused a world-wide outrage when he announced he would burn copies of the Koran.

“We saw the consequences of the incident in Afghanistan when a number of the Holy book of Islam was burned.

“So, these articles that were forever destroyed, were only bits of paper and ink one might say.

“The Bible is written on ink and on paper, what if that were also burnt because of its literary content?

“‘So what?’ Some people will say.

“I say ‘shame’, others though, will cry out ‘Sacrilege’.

“The following was part of the ‘letter’.

Image representing PayPal as depicted in Crunc...

“‘Two weeks ago, Paypal threatened to deactivate the account of Smashwords, if Smas

hwords did not immediately stop

selling certain categories of e-books that PayPal found offensive.

“‘This is censorship at its worst.

“‘Smashwords is a site dedicated to promoting new and established authors’ fiction and non-fiction.

“‘Today, I and other authors around the world now feel anger

and frustration, and we fear the day when censorship means your book, our books, our work will be cast into the fire, just because somebody does not agree to the contents.

“‘I fear a future where all books are banned (Fahrenheit 451), followed by all works of art.

“‘If you don’t agree with a book’s contents, then don’t read it.

“‘I once saw carved in stone, these words, “Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear”.

“‘I am all for freedom of speech, after they take that away, what follows?

“‘If you believe in free speech then pass this message on everywhere you can.’

“Paypal is owned by Ebay. “His master’s voice”.

Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBase

“Thanks,

“Elisa.”

Copyright: All Rights Reserved
Registered: 2012-03-12