Online payment portal PayPal has refused to allow authors to self-publish titles it deems obscene, it has been reported.
Writers hoping to provide content for e-book downloads could face restrictions if it contains scenes of bestiality, rape, underage sex and incest, according to The Independent.
However, authors have spoken out against the company’s decision to put in place such prohibitions, suggesting it was censoring fiction.
Author of erotic sci-fi novel Demon’s Grace, Andrea Juillerat-Olvera, told the news provider: “It’s underhand, unfair and ludicrous, and it bodes badly for the future of free speech and expression.”
Founder of Smashwords, Mark Croker further pointed out that the Bible, as well as the works of Vladimir Nabokov, contain scenes PayPal would disapprove of, questioning whether they should be banned.
He said: “They say they won’t have rape, bestiality or incest presented in a way that might titillate. But, deciding what constitutes titillation is completely subjective.”
PayPal faces increased competition from rival Boku Inc, which recently launched a service to allow users to pay via mobile phone from any location.
Follow The London Book Fair on twitter, facebook and linkedin for the latest show and publishing news.