PayPal To Fine For Porn, Gambling

from the going-on-the-offensive dept

Billy Budd writes in to point out that PayPal is now going to start fining people $500 if they use PayPal in association with porn, gambling or buying unauthorized prescription drugs over the internet. That's certainly quite a big step beyond just banning those types of transactions. Obviously, they know that plenty of people are still using PayPal for these purposes -- and this is their attempt to scare them off. Seems a bit extreme, of course, and only means that other services are likely to spring up to fill the gap.

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  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell JOnes, 10 Sep 2004 @ 6:49pm

    What?

    and only means that other services are likely to spring up to fill the gap...

    Are you going to trust your bank account info to an online transaction service that specializes in porn and illegal prescription drugs?

    I trust PayPal. I've got *lots* of friends who use PayPal. I read stories all the time of people who claim they got screwed by PayPal, but neither I nor any of my friends actually know anyone who ever got screwed by PayPal. Could be because we mostly deal with reputable websites and ebay sellers with high feedback numbers, but I'll trust PayPal long before I trust a company that specializes in things that are illegal or almost illegal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pussy, 28 Sep 2004 @ 5:08pm

      Re: What?

      That sounds like the RIAAs argument about P2P

      “It might be used for something illegal”

      Frankly, what business is it of PayPal’s what I spend my money on?

      Can I still pay for the porno I buy on Ebay with my PayPal account?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      mike, 9 Jul 2009 @ 2:22am

      Re: What?

      porn is not sothink ilegal
      paypal is so hipocrit,

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bbay, 10 Sep 2004 @ 7:42pm

    No Subject Given

    Fine people $500? I think you mean steal $500 from people.

    This is prima facie evidence that they're crooks.

    When is the appropriate body of law going to be applied to what is, by any reasonable definintion, a financial institution?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Loraan, 11 Sep 2004 @ 12:55am

    Potential for abuse

    This has enormous potential for intentional or negligent abuse. For example, if I make a PayPal purchase from a merchant that sells some items that could be considered pornographic, like jlist.com (and I don't know if jlist takes PayPal, but regardless), will I be fined? Will I be expected to produce proof that my particular purchase was not pornographic in nature? What percentage of a web site's goods must be pornographic before the web site becomes prohibited? Will PayPal print a list of websites that are prohibited, or will they simply judge each case individually? By god, if somebody is going to take $500 right out of my checking account, they better damn well cover their ass when they do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Seth Brundle, 11 Sep 2004 @ 8:41am

    lol PayPal is becoming Visa Mastercard

    Hilarious. Its the same approach to vice as Visa Mastercard - they dont want it to stop, they just want a larger piece of the action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    FineboyTim, 11 Sep 2004 @ 10:50am

    Only legal bodies can issue fines

    IANAL, but I am pretty sure that only legal bodies such as governments (municpal, local, state, etc) can actually issue a fine.

    They may isse a "penalty fee", but if you don't have the cash in the account, how they heck to they expect to collect it?

    I don't believe they have a legal right to do this. If you don't pay the "fine" will they double it and triple it? Will you be pulled over by big brother and have your computer impounded due to unbaid "fines"?

    Rediculous!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jeremiah, 11 Sep 2004 @ 1:30pm

      Re: Only legal bodies can issue fines

      They expect to collect it because in most cases, users have associated their main bank account with thier PayPal account.

      I'm very worried about a financial institution (non-regulated, mind you) that's setting itself up as a cultural watchdog with the strong influence of monetary resources at its disposal.

      From thier perspective, I can understand the desire to *not* be a middle-man in transactions of dubious nature (a *lot* of online pharmacies are operating illegally, and credit card fraud among pr0n companies is INSANE). To adopt some kind of blanket policy (aren't SOME pharmacies legal? Can I use PayPal with Walgreens??) seems quite short sighted, but as stated before, will probably open up opportunities for other businesses.

      Incidentally, I've witnessed PayPal theft secondhand, when a friend of mine had $1,300 seized by PayPal after a woman he'd done an eBay transaction with had her account compromised. There were almost a dozen people she'd done business with that also had their accounts seized (by PayPal, not the hax0rs), totalling a little over $10,000. The woman had never done anything wrong (sans letting her password get loose), but the net effect was startling. To this day, no one has recovered their money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Grifon, 11 Sep 2004 @ 7:01pm

    By whos authority?

    I don't get it, by who's authority are the leveling fines? If they decided to claim I owed them x$ I would tell them to go screw I don't owe them anything for facilitating a transaction between private citizens... It's remincent of the rental car companies trying to issue you a speeding ticket based on black box info and some fine print in their rental agreement. Needless to say that boat did not float in court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bbay, 12 Sep 2004 @ 12:01am

      Re: By whos authority?

      I imagine that they will claim that the authority is granted to them by their terms of service. I think it's important to note that legitimate financial institutions are not allowed to have 'terms of service' that violate certain basic standards, for very good reason.

      Usary laws are an easy example of this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        bbay, 12 Sep 2004 @ 12:10am

        Re: By whos authority?

        Doh! I mispelled usury.

        Also, it occures to me to mention that penalties specified in a contract that exceed any damages caused are routinely thrown out by the US courts.

        You can't just specify some arbitrary penalty in a contract. It has to be equivalent to the damage caused by the breach of contract.

        So you can't just use a contract as an excuse to do something ridiculously unjust.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2004 @ 11:56am

          The door is open

          I think this does open the door for truly anonymous e-cash. The internet (and every medium before it) was built on porn, after all. People are going to use whatever system allows them to buy porn, and if that system also allows regular purchases it will force Paypal right out of the market. Except for Ebay, of course.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Brentis, 13 Sep 2004 @ 1:42pm

            Re: The door is open

            Somehow somebody did figure out how to transfer funds from my paypal account, possibly spyware or otherwise. It was for $1700. I called paypal and they were either clueless or arrogant. When an attractive alternative surfaces I will change.

            What I've done to protect myself is open up another secondary account with the min. balance and associate my paypal to that. They can try to fine me all day long if I decide to buy a Playboy subscription online... Fuck 'em.

            I've also suggested they have another line of defense which sends you an email with a confirmation ID _prior_ to transfering the funds. You would copy this ID and paste it int the window to confirm the transaction. Users a bit more concerned with security could use this as another line of defense.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Robert, 27 Sep 2004 @ 8:44am

      Re: By whos authority?

      When you sign up for an account at PayPal they get your bank account and credit card info. They will simply take the $500 from your bank account or charge your credit card if you don't have the funds available. Pay has long self-imposed fines, and has never hesitated to take funds without your permission. This is just one of the reasons that they had a multi-million dollar settlement against recently. Check out paypalsucks.com

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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