PayPal Agrees To Help IFPI Cut Off Funding For Sites IFPI Doesn't Like Without Judicial Oversight

from the how-to-stamp-out-competition dept

Neppe alerts us to the news that PayPal has now followed the same path as MasterCard and Visa, in agreeing to the IFPI’s plan to cut off payments to sites it doesn’t like, without any judicial review. Basically, the IFPI will send info about sites it doesn’t like (i.e., describes as “rogue” sites) to the London Police. It’s not clear what sort of qualifications the London Police have on complex copyright issues, but okay. If the London Police agree with the IFPI (and so far, they have in 100% of the cases), the information about the sites will be passed on to the three payment processing companies, and they will no longer allow those sites to accept payments. Watch out, Internet Archive (which has been declared an infringing site by some in the industry), you may soon no longer be able to accept donations, thanks to the IFPI’s fear of technology.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: ifpi, mastercard, paypal, visa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “PayPal Agrees To Help IFPI Cut Off Funding For Sites IFPI Doesn't Like Without Judicial Oversight”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I especially liked the part where he reasons that these sites would be targeted not because they engage in illegal activity, but because of “the IFPI’s fear of technology”.

Such a story teller, that Masnick.

The one creative bone in his body seems to be the one that comes up with new and original lies.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’ve come up with a new strategy to identify Trolls. They tend to address to Mike by his surname. Oh wait, their entire posts are one big shout “I AM A TROLL! TROLOLOL!”.

MAFIAA has a long history that classifies as ‘fear of technology’. Should I remind you of how ‘home taping is killing music’ or whatever you call it? How the tapes would ruin the music/movie industry? How file sharing would slaughter the industry – and it still posts record profits?.

Shut up and read properly, it’ll do you good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Are you suggesting that the sites Masnick mentioned have never had any connection with infringing content?

But that isn’t the point here; answer the question, is that IFPI’s list? No?

Then care to try again, Freetardo?

Or are you just going to continue to play Masnick’s sloppy game of misdirection?

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

So, if a tool has been used for illegal or illegit purposes, it makes that whole tool illegal and should just be banned?

I’ll have the police confiscate all guns, hammers, ballpoints, axes, icepicks, knives, cars, fists, swords, electricity, etc. Because all those tools have had a connection with illegal use. They have all been used to kill someone, which is illegal, and would make the tool illegal in your view.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Oh yes, it’s precisely the point, Copyrightard. Those sites may have infringed at some point – NOT willingly – but that’s why DMCA takedowns are for, to allow these sites to comply with them and remove the said content.

Except for the fact that MAFIAA stretches the DMCA and whatever copyirhgt related laws to extremes that are hard to believe at points. This ‘agreement’ is very dangerous because MAFIAA seems to think the entire internet is copyrighted and should be giving money to them.

So, for any sane person here that’s not a Copyrightard like you the one misdirecting here is none but you even though you are failing hard as always. Note: I’m including in the sanity list ppl that are PRO-copyright but reasoned enough not to be like you.

So shush, go away and lick MAFIAA’s bosses balls as a good MAFIAA puppy. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 FUD, my ass

But that isn’t the point here; answer the question, is that IFPI’s list?

Funny to see you shilltard try to tell everyone what the point ist. Tough luck that you just don’t get to. It doesn’t matter if those sites mentioned by Mike are not on the IFPI’s list simply because they were on some other list but another rightsholder organisation.

Call me Al says:

Something sounded off about this story so I Googled “The London Police”. It turns out they are some sort of art collective.

While I love the idea of Paypal suspending payments on the word of some graffiti artists I suspect you are actually referring to the Metropolitan Police Service, who I think do have specialists in such things.

Of course that is really a moot point since there is no way that payments should be suspended on accusations only. The wholesale abandonment of due process because it is inconvenient is really becoming endemic in the US, UK and Europe these days.

It also makes me wonder if there is any way another provider could step up and become the provider of choice for those with a bit more morals. Or is it an exceptionally difficult game to get into?

Nicedoggy says:

And here is the reason this won’t reduce piracy.
It is because people just like/need to share things, it is in their nature to do so.

Piracy as it is framed today is not about the money, is about some deluded people who believe they can mandate others stop being human beings and start following orders that even they themselves couldn’t abide by it LoL

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I fear as much, we keep having to educate these people of those principles over and over again, and they keep misreading it, either willfully or unintentionally I won’t judge.

We can’t move on with the discussion because of them sandbagging us with those ridiculous analogies, that we have to explain again and again that copying isn’t the same as stealing. I wish we could move to more productive ways of furthering our culture.
In 50-100 years time, nothing that’s created today culturally-wise will still be (fondly) remembered, at least nothing created by the “content industry”, whereas the people who do share their media might stand a chance of being remembered.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

What do you mean? You mean that they can’t offer their media in unencumbered formats, nor can they offer better quality?

The majority of people who download stuff from these pirates would gladly pay for the stuff instead, but because of wrong formats, or DRM, or being burned in the past by rubbish material, they decide to grab it first from a website to see if it’s worth their time or if it even works on their machines.

Nicedoggy says:

Will they cancel Apple’s paypal account?


Most bewildering of all is that even with all their rhetoric chastising piracy and intellectual property theft, Apple apparently has no functional counter-piracy safeguards in place on their Game Center ? essentially permitting users to play pirated software on their Game Center without any fear of reprisals or consequence



Re: Re: Re:

“No, not copy, share. Remember it’s about sharing.

But since I’m pickpocketing you, you’ll never know it was me. Doesn’t matter tho, cuz it’s all about the sharing, right?”

Tell ya what. As long as you limit your pickpocketing to making copies of my wallet and leaving the original in my pocket, we are cool.

Viln (profile) says:

Internet shaping itself...

There’s two ways of looking at this. On the surface this is an example of an unrestricted and unmanageable global network settling on its own morals. The article is somewhat vague on details but it does mention the payment processing providers will interact with the sites in question and request some information or justification for their situation. Since this isn’t really a legal judgment there’s no expectation of legal due process… the company has the right to choose with whom they do business and they can exercise their own process based on whatever motivates them most: fairness, public image, corporate image, profit etc… I’d rather live in a world where big content continues to try to bribe, blackmail and subvert companies under the table as they have done for years than this brave new world where their brazen Goon Squad with government badges publicly urinates on centuries-old constitutional freedoms to the theme song of Team America World Police.

On the flip side, moving from theory to reality, the 100% stat should tell you how often we can expect these companies to challenge their content overlords when it comes to a site that may try to put up a challenge. Paypal obviously sees it can make significantly more money being on the good side of the marketplace providers than trying to appease a demographic it thinks doesn’t pay for things very often anyway. Other payment processing alternatives will fill in the gaps, because that’s what smaller versions of an established business model do… they start by servicing the areas the big fish chooses to ignore.

Anonymous Coward says:

So there is a blackballing or a collective boycott going against sites that a group of associates decide they don’t like. Are there no other (albeit smaller) organizations that perform the same job Paypal does? Surely they can’t have a monopoly on it.

Yes its a dick move, yes it makes things less convienient, but there is no right to convienience. If you don’t like it, use someone elses services (AMEX, Discover, etc)

anonymous says:

considering the shit paypal has been in over the years, there absolute crap customer service and the court appearences have they have had, this is just their way of trying to stop more being thrown at them. typical, gutless company. do as the entertainment industries want instead of standing up for their customers and disputing any charges first. typical entertainment industries; threaten instead of adapting!

AJ says:


Are these guys complete idiots? Now instead of an electronic trail that can be tracked, the people who use these sites will now simply drop cash in an envelope, with an account name, and mail it to the physical address with no/fake return address. Or are we going to start picking and choosing where mail can/cannot be sent?

Or how about just sending money to a bank account in a country that doesn’t have such draconian laws? Do we really want to chase more money out of our country?

How about we attack the root of the problem and not the symptoms… lets figure out why people use these sites and run them out of business by out performing them! It’s not a perfect idea, but it’s better than letting the government decide who gets paid…

That Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Sigh,

“You don’t “out-perform” a site that gives away goods they had no investment in producing”

Really? The content producers have access to all sorts of things that the other sites can not offer. They can have web chats and offer exclusive offers. (cue you saying that those will just end up copied as well) And you are correct, someone might choose to share those. But there is something about being involved that attracts fans.

I’m not saying offering an exclusive bumpersticker that requires the customer to turn of their email, cell #, facebook links to get is the right path. You need to look at the business model and see the flaws as flaws first. There should be no reason that an international music company can not release music everywhere at once. Creating arbitrary “regions” seems to be a way to just punish customers for liking your band. They also use it as a method to try and keep “cheaper” copies they produced in the “right” places. This is just a cheap tactic on their part to maximize revenue, and well that is their job. But when they create different version for different areas, and then offer the fans no way to get it outside of that certain region, you are surprised those fans turn to the net?

But let us ignore that many “pirates” buy more content.
Let us ignore that as the costs to produce these things has dropped, the retail price goes up.
Let us ignore that digital “goods” are not one off creations recorded for each order, but an infinite supply copied from an original.
Let us ignore that they keep a great deal of content locked away, and consumers who want to buy are ignored… so they look at alternate means to get what they want.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Sigh,

You don’t “out-perform” a site that gives away goods they had no investment in producing, when you’re the one that was the venture capital for said goods.

If you’re the one that produced the stuff in the first place then you have plenty of advantages to set against that initial cost (and remember – that cost has shunk dramatically in recent years).
Those advantages include

1. Authenticity
2. Goodwill.
3. A head start over the competition.
4. Ability to use the originators in publicity campaigns.

If you can’t use these to beat the competition then you are stupid.

Matthew McIntyre says:

This is just like Nazi Germany

Remember how the Gestapo had the children spy on you or your best friend spy on you. This kind of reminds me of that. They have gone full blown into dark territory. They have no care about the rights of others as long as they get what they want and you play by their rules. Even if those rules are against international law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mike, you aren’t going to be shocked here, but I have to say I disagree with the whole take on the story.

What the IFPI is doing is going to paypal, and saying “these people appear to be breaking your ToS”. What Paypal has agreed to do is to ask the people involved to provide information to show that they are within the rules of the Paypal ToS. If they cannot do that, Paypal cuts them off.

For Paypal (and other payment processors), they would be leaving themselves open for incredibly legal risk if the continued to process funds for sites that don’t meet their ToS after they have been notified.

What Paypal is doing is making sure that the sites it handles payments for are able to produce documentation that shows that they feel they are legal and within the ToS.

There is no requirement for judicial oversight in the application of a company’s ToS, provided that ToS is applied equally to all customers. Anyone who disagrees could obviously take Paypal to court and get the judicial branch involved, but it is doubtful that a bunch of pirates are going to do that, right?

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Do you have proof that Paypal will do the due diligence needed to verify if a reported site is indeed breaking their terms of service.

Their track record doesn’t speak for them in this case.

Case in point: Wikileaks. And there are countless other users who found their accounts blocked with no way of accessing THEIR own money that was in those accounts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Marcel, Wikileaks was easy – what was on their application, the account being used, wasn’t valid. PayPal didn’t have to look any further than that.

Paypal blocks accounts when they think there is illegal activity going on, or when the user account information is not valid. That is normal, they are obliged under US law to “know your client”, otherwise they are open for money laundering charges.

Sorry if it doesn’t match up to the anonymous hiding in the bushes way some people want to operate, but it’s the law.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Datacell handled transactions for more organizations than just Wikileaks. And it is Datacell that’s gotten blocked, and thus ALL clients of Datacell.

You wanna talk about unethical? Talk about how Visa, Mastercard and Paypal suddenly on the same day decide that 1 company, that they’ve had dealings with for a longer period of time, was all of a sudden too hot to handle, right around the time that the US was starting to put pressure on companies that had ties, however loosely, with Wikileaks.

Datacell was all above board, have always been above board.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: PayPal etc.

You want to donate? Write them a check. Oh wait, they don’t take checks, they are hiding. Okay. So get on a plane, fly to their offices in… wait, they don’t have offices, they are hiding.

Yes, we should force private companies to process payments for companies that are hiding. Good idea!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...