Paypal took another huge step in imposing its policies and banned the first VPN provider. UnoTelly, which is Canada-based VPN and SmartDNS provider, issued a statement that PayPal has withdrawn its services for UnoTelly. In the last few years, PayPal has become very strict about imposing its fair usage policies. It has already put a plug on payment services for websites that offer BitTorrent services, Usenet providers, and file hosting services. They are banning anything to everything which can be used for piracy in any form.
The main problem is that any VPN can be used to bypass Geo-blocking and the system has been in use for piracy for a very long time. UnoTelly told in its blog post that they are disappointed by the step taken by PayPal and it is a major setback for them. As their services were offered all around the world and PayPal was one of the biggest sources of transactions for them, it will be difficult for their customers to pay for the services in the near future.
They also mentioned that they provide both DNS resolution and secure VPN services which are useful to many users. Although, in the section where they have provided details about the SmartDNS services, it is clearly written that it can be used to watch those channels which are using Geo-Blocking technology. Such bypassing has been a concern for copyright owners for a very long time.
Paypal is used all around the world as one of the major payment gateways. With over 179 million users, it has a big impact on the market. If they are going to withdraw their services for any particular service providers or a set of service providers, it can be a big setback for all of them. It has also pulled the plugs for some non-profit organizations like WikiLeaks in the past which caused a major outrage.
In the policies, PayPal has clearly mentioned that its services cannot be used for transactions related items or services that infringe or violate any trademark, copyright, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary rights under the law of the jurisdiction. They strictly imposed these policies and banned a lot of user accounts. VPN service providers are very much under their radar right now.
There are indeed a lot of options available in the market as Paypal’s alternative but they are still very limited. With the rise of BitCoins and similar virtual money platforms, new options are getting evolved. Though it does not look good for the users of UnoTelly as it has not given any assurance on alternative payment methods other than credit and debit cards.
With an increasing number of claims on copyright infringing, it is important for companies like PayPal to take some drastic steps to ensure the safety of the company and the users, but on the same hand, they have to ensure that the general section of users does not get crushed during this process.