An Open Letter to California’s Assembly and Governor
Dear Assembly, Mr. Governor, and The State of California,
Despite your explanations and wrong assumptions, my family has lost a major stream of income with your so-called “Amazon Bill” (AB 153). Amazon paid us advertising fees to support the independent Website we run, B&H Photo paid us advertising fees, other companies outside of California paid us advertising fees and the majority of those revenue streams are now gone.
I have a BS in Journalism and an MFA in the field on which we report. You are an enemy to modern journalism and to the neutrality and quality of the Internet, and you have cost our family dearly. We pay quarterly income taxes to the BOE, sales and property tax to our community, sales tax (via the BOE) for out of state purchases from B&H and Amazon… Now what’s left?
Very disappointing , and nothing has changed except the loss of work and income for countless Californians. Do you think that will help local stores? Will eliminating the income of targeted and independent Websites like ours help the stores in California that sell the complicated products we discuss?
As editor of this Website, I am against the new legislation and will be scrambling to keep our publication online with only very limited advertising from Google’s Adsense.
In closing, a few questions: Should Amazon and B&H pay sales tax for transactions with California citizens? If so, should they pay California? And should they be made to pay only if they advertise online here? Should California-based Samy’s Camera pay sales tax to New York for transactions with citizens there? Should companies like California-based Samy’s Camera be effectively barred from advertising online in other states? Should Internet content be governed based on the physical location of the author? Is California anti Net Neutrality, anti Internet?
I sincerely hope we will be able to continue as an online publication. Indeed, I humbly consider our efforts to fill a unique niche, not to mention the tremendous – and now un-funded – time and efforts put into current and future content – effort that our state has made very costly. In the coming days and weeks, we may find that contributing to the world-wide public forum is no longer profitable, no longer feasible, from this state.
editor, Photo Arts Monthly
From Amazon, June 29, 2011
Hello,Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011. Those California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com,MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned before today will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.
You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.
To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect your ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM orSmallParts.com.
We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. As mentioned before, we are continuing to work on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.
The Amazon Associates Team
From B&H, July 1, 2011