Quote"If any of these new tax collection schemes were adopted, Amazon would be compelled to end its advertising relationships with well over 10,000 California-based participants in the Amazon 'Associates Program,'" Misener wrote in the letter, dated February 24.
The letter is the latest move for Amazon in its battle with states over sales tax collection. Cash-strapped states claim online retailers that don't collect taxes are depriving states of revenue and enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over local retailers that must collect taxes. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that retailers can't be forced to collect sales tax on out-of-state shipments unless they have offices in those states.
Amazon has no physical presence in California, but some states have enacted laws that require retailers to collect sales tax if they have affiliates based in that state. Affiliates place ads for retailers on their Web sites and get paid when customers make purchases via the ads.
QuoteWould there be an impact on consumers' monthly bills?
Copps: Absolutely--there could be an impact. I think you're much better off, again, if you're a VoIP or wireless provider, there's a possibility now that your bills are going to go up because we haven't included the broadband. When everyone participates in the (system) it's more equitable and fair and you don't feel the pain as much. It could well be consumers are going to feel more pain, and that's something we always have to be sensitive and alive to. Consumers, too often, don't get the priority concern that they ought to get.
QuoteIs this an example of what is to come in the United States or other parts of Europe? People have long discussed this concept, known as "compulsory licensing." Meaning that basically the government assumes people are going to be putting copyrighted material on this blank media, Other ideas in the same vein include licensing fees imposed on DSL or cable customers, again assuming they are going to be making unauthorized copies of copyrighted material.