Category Archives: Internet

Amazon Shutters Affiliate Program in Maine

Maine has just joined the ever-growing list of states ineligible for the Amazon Associates affiliate program. The retail giant will shortly be terminating affiliate activity in the state, and sending out unpaid earnings to participants, in response to governor Paul LePage’s recent state tax legislation.

There has been a growing trend of states passing legislation redefining what constitutes a “local business presence,” widening the definition in order to grab a slice of online sales. States usually require that businesses with a physical presence within their borders collect sales tax from buyers—unless that state does not have a sales tax, in the case of New Hampshire. Out-of-state businesses are not obligated to unless they have a physical presence in the state in question. What the states have been doing is defining members of affiliate programs as a physical presence, so if a Mainer puts Amazon affiliate links on his or her blog, Amazon must collect sales tax for any sales they make to Maine residents. Understandably, this is something online retailers prefer to avoid, as it complicates accounting.

Below is the message sent to members of the program:

Greetings from the Amazon Associates Program.

We’re writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account will be closed and your Amazon Services LLC Associates Program Operating Agreement will be terminated effective October 6, 2013. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Maine state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor LePage on June 5, 2013, with an effective date of October 9, 2013. As a result, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after October 6, nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Maine residents.

Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to October 7, 2013, will be processed and paid in full in accordance with your regular advertising fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of October 6, 2013, any final payments will be paid by December 31, 2013.

While we oppose this unconstitutional state legislation, we strongly support the federal Marketplace Fairness Act now pending before Congress. Congressional legislation is the only way to create a simplified, constitutional framework to resolve interstate sales tax issues and it would allow us to re-open our Associates program to Maine residents.

We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and look forward to re-opening our program when Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Sincerely,
The Amazon Associates Team

4 Useful cURL Tricks

cURL is pretty much the universal go-to tool for testing HTTP responses from the command line. If you’re not already familiar with it, here are a few handy things you can use it for. Checking Headers You can use cURL to see the headers…

CISPA: What it is, and Why You Should Care

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection act, a far-reaching and vague bill that would enable warrantless spying on internet traffic by proxy of employers, ISPs and websites you use. The only reason necessary is suspicion of…

Scripting News Hits 15 Year Mark, and Other Really Old Websites

Back in the spring of 1997, Dave Winer launched a website known as Scripting News. It was one of the first sites that would come to be known as weblogs, or simply “blogs.” Mr. Winer is famous for his involvement with the development of…

Cult of Mac Caught in Google Content Farm Crossfire

Google recently made some tweaks to their algorithm in order to penalize content farms, which create massive amounts of low-quality content tuned to rank well in Google. If you’ve ever run a search, looking for a solution to a problem, and found the SERP…

What Everyone Missed About the Gawker Password Scandal

A few weeks ago the internet exploded with news about the servers that host the Gawker blogs (Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Jezebel, etc.) being compromised by a distributed group of crackers known as Gnosis. Though the attack itself was covered fairly well by various tech publications…

Envato Expands AppStorm Blog Network

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Envato Launches the Tuts+ Marketplace

Envato, the company behind the Tuts+ blogs, has launched a new marketplace for buying and selling premium tutorials. Running from $3 to $7 apiece, the tutorials include the ones available under the Tuts+ subscription as well as user-submitted ones unavailable elsewhere. It’s certainly an…

The Internet’s Best of April Fools’ Day 2010

April 1st has come and gone once again. This year’s turnout was pretty good, with Google being the most extravagant as usual. For posterity, I thought a roundup of some of the best would be in order. Google Becomes “Topeka” Referencing Topeka, Kansas’ changing…

The Highest-Earning Web Companies and Blogs

What are the highest-earning blogs? What web companies make the most revenue annually (or per second)? IncomeDiary.com has put together a couple of posts rounding-up the top thirty of each. The lists are not necessarily all-inclusive, but they give a pretty good idea of…

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