Patrice Riemens on Mon, 7 Jan 2008 12:08:24 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> review: Steal this Film, II - the money (-transfer) part.

Once again, I am afraid that we have a case of "it's not a bug, it's a
feature' here . In the 'laundering-obsessed post 9/11 world' and that
of its ulterior motives (it's not laundering they're obsessed about,
it's loss of business and market information) there is truly place
for two firms only when it comes to 'end-lusers': PayPal for Internet
transactions and Western Union for cash transfers. The rest is deemed
illegitimate and will be criminalised. I am really not optimistic
about the future of P2P payment systems. There are already laws in
place which need hardly any tweaking to snuff them - and especially
their initiators - out of existence.

> Thanks, Felix, for the lucid review of 'Steal this Film II' which was
> downloaded around 150,000 times in the first four days:
> ance-b ut-the-11000-do/
> Jamie King, who posted a link to the list about the same time as your
> review, shows that money matters more to the makers of the film than
> would appear to be the case from its content. The above post is almost
> all about money. How much it matters is revealed by the failure of the
> 'business model' for Part 1 of the movie and by the fact that Paypal
> has a virtual monopoly of small cash transfers on the internet. Jamie
> reports:
> We lost money on the third day of distribution because PayPal, pretty
> much the only game in town at the moment when it comes to accepting
> donations from users, unilaterally declared us to be "in violation"
> of their "Acceptable Use Policy" because we were "promoting illegal
> activity". Of course STF II doesn't do that and once we pointed out to
> them why, they restored our account. But we lost a few hundred dollars
> in the interim. The current state of taking online payments is just
> woefully unfit for purpose. The commissions are too high and the level
> of service too low. Someone needs to step into this arena with a new
> attitude, though whether that is possible in the laundering-obsessed
> post 9/11 world is another matter.
> My friend Peter Sunde (Brokep), from The Pirate Bay, has been hard at
> work with his development team on an offering he hopes to roll out at
> the end of January: it will make it much easier for people to give
> donations and (hopefully) take some of the power away from PayPal.
> "I think that people will pay if there's a simple solution," Peter
> says. "The payment solutions of today are not built for the new,
> network economy -- they're built around the old one. As we move away
> from the old economy, we're here without a new payment solution."

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