Internet payment processing firm PayPal has decided to cut off services to several major Usenet providers and freeze the funds within their accounts. This new move by PayPal is seen as an extension of its aggressive anti-piracy policy which led to the withdrawal of services from several file-hosting websites earlier this year.
On Tuesday Dutch news site Tweakers reported that five large Usenet resellers were cut off from PayPal services. These include XSUsenet, EasyUsenet, Wondernews and Usenet4U. These companies can no longer take PayPal payments for their services and additionally PayPal has frozen funds within their accounts for at least 180 days.
In July filehosting websites MediaFire, Putlocker and DepositFiles suffered from PayPal’s “Filesharing and newsgroup services” terms and conditions being implemented. A representative from Putlocker told TorrentFreak that “They basically wanted access to the backend to monitor all the files being uploaded, and listing all files of users if they wanted, regardless of the privacy setting that the user might have selected”. The company wouldn’t comply so now have to use other payment processing methods.
How far will PayPal go? There are still some file-hosting and Usenet companies that can accept PayPal payments but it is expected the monetary noose will tighten around more of them in coming months. The file-hosting and Usenet companies seem to be being punished for their user’s activities.
On a related note, I’ve known friends and family who accidentally bought pirated/counterfeit goods on eBay, they then have to go through a long dispute process just to get money back, minus return postage fees. I don’t know of any further outcome from these problems other than the buyer eventually getting money back. It seems like neither the counterfeit seller nor eBay get punished.