Award Winning Author

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Karen Dales is the Award Winning Author of "The Chosen Chronicles" which include "Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles," "Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen Chronicles," and "Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles." She is currently at work on "Thanatos: Book Three of the Chosen Chronicles" and a Historical Romance set in Edo Japan.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PayPal Reverses Proposed Censorship

Received the following from my publisher from Smashwords. We're very very happy!

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

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.


Mark Coker


  1. It shows the power we have when we stick together..

  2. They've excluded fiction from their censorship plans, but books involving art (such as graphic novels) are still under the same nebulous rules. Writers are a bigger group who can make more noise; I'm glad Paypal at least listened to them. But this is by no means a victory to the artists who are still fighting with Paypal, or to the issue of censorship as a whole. Censorship is a problem whether it targets writing, art, or both. I for one will still not be using Paypal.

    Here's the link to Paypal's updated policy: