RE: Donations for TortoiseSVN
From: Jake Stine <jake.stine_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 07:55:39 -0700 (PDT)
I read over the PayPal letters you received and did a wee bit of online confirmation, and it seems to me that PayPal's policy is as follows:
* Singapore doesn't apparently acknowledge the legitimacy of non-profit organizations, unless they're properly registered as such in Singapore (this part I'm fuzzy on, I'm not well-versed in Singaporean law).
* To comply, PayPal must deny/refund money transferred *from* Singapore residents *to* non-profits.
... but because its not just some blanket statement of forbidden non-profit transferral, PayPal can't apparently preemptively deny transfers to all non-profits (or they're too lazy to do so, instead just placing the burden of detection on the Singaporean enforcers). So instead, they:
1) get notified by the Singaporean branch of PayPal that Singapore law violations have been detected.
2) Lock the user's account.
3) Wait for the money to be refunded.
Once the money is refunded to the Singapore resident who isn't technically allowed to donate money (which is a head-scratching WTF in myt book, but then again this *is* cane-happy Singapore we're talking about here), the account funds are unlocked and your account status returns to normal.
This whole Paypal debacle has almost nothing to do with you, Stefan. The problem isn't your non-profit status. Paypal does not screw over non-profits. The problem is that Singapore is a creepy draconian police state, and PayPal should be refusing to even do business with them. PayPal locking your funds makes sense, because the alternative is forceful withdrawal of money back out of your account; which isn't really a nice thing to do either. Given a choice of the two, I think I'd prefer the former.
... It'd just be nice if Paypal could explain things in a way that didn't require a lawyer to decipher.
(also, for the record, one of PayPal's last letters to you -- the one that wasn't a prefab response -- should be disregarded. I'm pretty sure the person writing it didn't actually understand the situation either and assumed the same thing you did, that somehow this problem should only apply to people who have accounts with the Singapore branch of PayPal. I mean it isn't an unreasonable assumption to make; but unfortunately Singapore is not necessarily reasonable about these sort of things).
That is my interpretation. Let me know sometime how close to the truth I've come. :)
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