Paypal stealing from Xorg [was: Re: Board voting ends today, but...]

Steffen Schaumburg steffen at
Mon Feb 22 11:19:26 PST 2010

On 22/02/10 18:18, Franco Catrin L. wrote:
> El vie, 19-02-2010 a las 07:57 +0800, Jaya Kumar escribió:
>> On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 5:45 AM, Daniel Stone <daniel at> wrote:
>>> $US24k for travel sponsorship (no joke), and something like $US5k lost
>>> to PayPal (they decided we were scammers and took our money) as well as
>>> around $US5k that vanished into the Brazilian banking system, which
>> That is scary, USD$10k gone! I'm surprised that no one raised this
>> issue into a big public complaint, or maybe someone already did and I
>> just didn't notice. I'm not familiar with the US legal system, but
>> surely there is a small claims court where one can quickly assert a
>> claim and put the burden of an honest response on Paypal?
> The US legal system is prone to this type of abuse.
> I wrote an article about this situation in a well known spanish blog
> [*], may be someone can do the same in english.
> I don't think that it would help the Foundation get back the money, but
> at least it may help to take this abuse into public knowledge
I completely agree. I'll spare you my opinion of the US criminal justice
system, but this is a clear case of organised theft (or fraud or
embezzlement - IANAL) whether or not it is possible to get a conviction.
There's two key points to consider:
- eBay (owners of Paypal) will continue these crimes without a doubt -
why shouldn't they?
- Many free software projects/developers use or will use eBay/Paypal to
receive donations/payments - and eBay will inevitably steal from some of
these. Whilst Xorg survived relatively unscathed with the $5k missing
most projects would be hurt BADLY if they got their donations account

I propose the following actions:
- Unless it's definitely a complete waste of time civil as well as
criminal charges should be brought by Xorg against eBay, as far as this
is possible without undue costs or risks to Xorg. Remember - just
because the contract says that eBay can steal doesn't mean it's not a
crime if they actually do it. Laws supersede contracts.
- Information about this (especially emails from eBay "support") should
be made public and should be publicised, e.g. by emails to this list,
the Xorg Wiki (on that note - there's actually a suggestion on there to
use Paypal to donate to Xorg devs...), etc. Due to the particularly
despicable nature of the crime (what kind of a sick perverted bastard
steals from a charity?) and the likely negative effect on other related
projects I'd go as far as putting a link or banner about this right on
the front page.

Cheers, Steffen

PS: Bear in mind that my choice of words may not be the best if one is
concerned about lawsuits by eBay for e.g. slander ;)

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