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PayPal has stopped processing payments for companies helping customers to remove geo-filtering blocks on restricted websites.
PayPal has claimed it no longer accepts payments for companies offering VPN and SmartDNS services, because they violate its terms of service. According to TorrentFreak, the company has blocked the Canadian company UnoTelly from getting payments, because these services help customers to bypass copyright restrictions.
UnoTelly allows users to remove geo-blocks installed by streaming sites, including Netflix, Spotify and Hulu.
“Under the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction,” PayPal said in an email sent to UnoTelly.
“This includes transactions for any device or technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner.”
SmartDNS and VPN services allow people to get around geographical restrictions and access websites that are banned in their countries. They enable customers to use PayPal, even if it is restricted in their region.
UnoTelly apologized to its customers, saying it is unable to change PayPal’s decision. The company also noted the news was a surprise, as its account was blocked without any notice.
“We are disappointed at PayPal’s unilateral action and the way it acted without prior warning. We provide both DNS resolution and secure VPN services. Our services are network relays that connect people around the world,” UnoTelly wrote in its blog post.
The accounts of companies banned by PayPal will be instantaneously limited, what makes it impossible to withdraw the money. Besides, the limitation cannot be deactivated by anyone.
Although this doesn’t comply with PayPal’s services, the company has not taken serious measures regarding the situation until now. Earlier, it already blocked Usenet providers, file-hosting services and BitTorrent sites.
PayPal, meantime, is not the only company that started to crack down websites providing VPN and SmartDNS services. A few weeks ago, Netflix began imposing bans on such services, following request by copyright owners.
In case of PayPal, it is unknown who influenced the company’s decision, but copyright holders may be behind the move.
When it comes to international payments, The Merkle writes, bitcoin seems to be a great solution. The cryptocurrency is not regulated by any authority and is available to everyone around the globe, so VPN and SmartDNS services providers should consider the possibility of using the digital currency.