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Old 02-17-2011, 05:27 PM   #76
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Thats why I didn't get a Kindle, Because it wouldn't support the E-library.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by chyron8472 View Post
Wow. just wow. You'd think Amazon execs had beat you with a stick or something.
. . .
also, regarding the Betamax comparison...
Anytime you have the unfortunate combination of the largest player in the market also having the sleaziest most anti-competitive business practices, then I think that is worth pointing out.

You mentioned the comparison to the Betamax/VHS and Nintendo/Sega wars.

I agree, Amazon clearly learned something from these . . .

They learned that since electronically marketed content over the Internet does not suffer from the stocking nightmares that plagued retailers of physical tapes and game cartridges, and that since text on the printed page has no natural 'format incompatibility' issues, then they had better dream up some crappy artificial restrictions really quick.

By locking users into effectively ONE artificially created "e-book cartridge" format, and creating players that can only play that "cartridge", they do indeed hope that they can play the same kind of "Big Guy Squashs the Competition" games in this challenging new Internet market, where normally the trend towards interchangeability of formats would not allow this.

Borders is one example of a victim of Amazons strategy. Not having a e-book reader of their own initially, it would have been natural for Borders to tap into the large base of Kindle owners by offering Kindle compatible titles as well as those for Sony or Kobo readers. But they couldn't sell "Kindle Cartrage" compatible books without getting sued by Amazon.

Now Borders is going through bankruptcy. So sad. I'm sure Amazon is heartbroken over that.

Thanks for pointing out this comparison.

Personally, when I saw the games Amazon was playing with the Kindle, it did cause me to take a closer look at ALL their business practices including -

- The "one click shopping" lawsuit which was utter garbage. Who are they kidding? The idea that keeping track of a few cookies to know that someone has already logged in is something so obvious a chimpanzee could come up with it (by way of comparison, fishing out termites with a stick is much LESS obvious).

- When dozens of states pointed out that maybe, just maybe, since Amazon had technically BEEN GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE LAW by not collecting taxes for quite some time, maybe, just perhaps, it might be nice if they would collect those taxes in the future (like B&N, Target.com, and virtually EVERY OTHER NATIONAL ONLINE RETAILER) AMAZON RESPONDED WITH THREATS AND EXTORTION, by threatening to shut down all affiliate Internet businesses in those states.

Amazon's excuse for this reprehensible behavior was that it wasn't really blackmail at all. No it was just that having affiliates who were unquestionably physically doing business in those states was making it so crystal-clear that Amazon was breaking the law that even paid-off conservative pro-business judges probably couldn't rescue them. So by just closing down those affiliates everything would be peachy keen again.

The only problem with this argument is that our legal system isn't golf and doesn't generally give 'mulligans'. If you catch someone picking your pocket, they don't just get to give you back your wallet and call it even.

If I had been California or any of the other states, I would have simply replied, "That's fine Amazon, you do that, you go ahead with your threat to shut down all affiliates in our state, but since you ALREADY BROKE THE LAW by not collecting these taxes in the past, we are going to fine you, let's just say TEN TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THOSE PAST UNCOLLECTED TAXES. Or roughly speaking A FEW BILLION DOLLARS.

Sorry for drifting more off topic

Thanks for bringing this up though. Since you brought up the subject, I did some more research and realized that Amazon seems to have the business ethics of a pit viper, and I guess I don't like that very much.

Hey, Google, I have a great idea, why don't you BLOCK the use of "Kindle for Android" on all Android devices until Amazon either offers to support EPUB (so Kindles can use content purchased at YOUR Google Books bookstore) or until Amazon at least provides their AZW DRM code freely to you and other book sellers so you can create a conversion app that will safely convert DRM protected EPUBs to DRM protected AZW for use on the Kindle.

I would LOVE to hear Amazon's arguments why it's all wrong for Google to block Amazon content on their devices, but perfectly OK for Amazon to lock out Google Books and everyone else on the Kindle.

Last edited by delphin; 02-18-2011 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:22 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by delphin View Post
Anytime you have the unfortunate combination of the largest player in the market also having the sleaziest most anti-competitive business practices, then I think that is worth pointing out.
Only in your fevered imagination are they evil.


You mentioned the comparison to the Betamax/VHS and Nintendo/Sega wars.

I agree, Amazon clearly learned something from these . . .

They learned that since electronically marketed content over the Internet does not suffer from the stocking nightmares that plagued retailers of physical tapes and game cartridges, and that since text on the printed page has no natural 'format incompatibility' issues, then they had better dream up some crappy artificial restrictions really quick.

By locking users into effectively ONE artificially created "e-book cartridge" format, and creating players that can only play that "cartridge", they do indeed hope that they can play the same kind of "Big Guy Squashs the Competition" games in this challenging new Internet market, where normally the trend towards interchangeability of formats would not allow this.

[/quote]
Sorry, but incompatible formats aren't Amazon's fault, as much as you seem to want to blame them for it while, say, absolving B&N, Apple, Kobo, etc.

Quote:

Borders is one example of a victim of Amazons strategy. Not having a e-book reader of their own initially, it would have been natural for Borders to tap into the large base of Kindle owners by offering Kindle compatible titles as well as those for Sony or Kobo readers. But they couldn't sell "Kindle Cartrage" compatible books without getting sued by Amazon.


Now Borders is going through bankruptcy. So sad. I'm sure Amazon is heartbroken over that.
Borders did not declare bankruptcy because of e-books. They've been bleeding money for at least five years, with a large part of the problem being that so many of their stores are located within 1/2 mile of B&N's stores.

Quote:

Thanks for pointing out this comparison.

Personally, when I saw the games Amazon was playing with the Kindle, it did cause me to take a closer look at ALL their business practices including -

- The "one click shopping" lawsuit which was utter garbage. Who are they kidding? The idea that keeping track of a few cookies to know that someone has already logged in is something so obvious a chimpanzee could come up with it (by way of comparison, fishing out termites with a stick is much LESS obvious).
This would be a better claim if Amazon hadn't won their suit. You may disagree with US patent law, but Amazon played by the rules.
Quote:

- When dozens of states pointed out that maybe, just maybe, since Amazon had technically BEEN GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE LAW by not collecting taxes for quite some time, maybe, just perhaps, it might be nice if they would collect those taxes in the future (like B&N, Target.com, and virtually EVERY OTHER NATIONAL ONLINE RETAILER) AMAZON RESPONDED WITH THREATS AND EXTORTION, by threatening to shut down all affiliate Internet businesses in those states.
Of course, as a matter of constitutional law, Amazon is absolutely correct, as every court that has considered this matter has also found. You should do some basic factual research before making stuff up.
Quote:

Amazon's excuse for this reprehensible behavior was that it wasn't really blackmail at all. No it was just that having affiliates who were unquestionably physically doing business in those states was making it so crystal-clear that Amazon was breaking the law that even paid-off conservative pro-business judges probably couldn't rescue them. So by just closing down those affiliates everything would be peachy keen again.
Not what happened.

Quote:

The only problem with this argument is that our legal system isn't golf and doesn't generally give 'mulligans'. If you catch someone picking your pocket, they don't just get to give you back your wallet and call it even.

If I had been California or any of the other states, I would have simply replied, "That's fine Amazon, you do that, you go ahead with your threat to shut down all affiliates in our state, but since you ALREADY BROKE THE LAW by not collecting these taxes in the past, we are going to fine you, let's just say TEN TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THOSE PAST UNCOLLECTED TAXES. Or roughly speaking A FEW BILLION DOLLARS.
Except that they didn't break the law, as even cursory research would teach you. But, yes, that would take away from your quality Amazon-hatin' time.

Are you a former Border's employee?
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:19 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
Only in your fevered imagination are they evil . . .
Sorry, this isn't Fox news, you can't just call every embarrassing truth that a guest brings up a lie, then respond with 5 or 6 things that ARE outright lies, then cut to commercial.

Actually it's pretty clear that Amazon IS breaking the law.

It's true that there have always been constitutional challenges to taxing mail order transactions, but the settled law in the matter has long been that if a merchant actively does business within the state, then they are under that states legal jurisdiction as far as the requirement to collect sales taxes, and must do so, even if their headquarters is located elsewhere.

Aside from millions of Internet transactions, and aggressive television advertising in virtually every state, Amazons partnership with 'affiliates' unquestionably qualify them as 'doing business' within the geographical jurisdictions of the states seeking to enforce the collection of sales tax.

Recognizing the truth in this, Amazon did indeed commit extortion by threatening to shut down these affiliates, in fact Hawaii's and California's taxation bills were vetoed by the states' governors who caved in to Amazon's extortion.


Here you can see the discussion on an Amazon affiliate blog about the smackdown


Fortunately, with the change in leadership in California at least, they are looking at this again.

So let me repeat my earlier point -

To the states considering action on this issue -

Don't play into Amazon's hands by trying to pass a law to clarify matters looking forward.

Some may feel that this is the reasonable thing to do perhaps, but Amazon has demonstrated by past actions that it has no interest in being fair or reasonable, so they in no way deserve this consideration.

The legislature or governor should just pass a resolution directing the state attorney general to look into this as a willful criminal infraction of your states EXISTING TAXATION STATUTES and move forward on that basis.

That way you can hit Amazon with 10x punitive damages on the taxes that they ALREADY HAVE FAILED TO COLLECT without creating ex post facto issues.


For what it's worth, I agree that Borders had other systemic problems, but their failure to make quicker inroads in the e-book field is often listed as one of the factors contributing to their failure, and their inability to sell into the Kindle market was a factor in this.

Of course why should Amazon have helped them by allowing Borders to sell into the Kindle market?

Why? - because that's the way the internet is supposed to work.

Why? - because that's the way it DOES work for everyone else.

Amazon's is willing to benefit from the open Internet in thousands of ways but doesn't seem to be willing to embrace open standards themselves.

How would Amazon like it if Target stores made it so all computers they sold could never access amazon.com only target.com? Or Best Buy only allowing their PC's to shop bestbuy.com.

Shouldn't you need to buy a PC from Mark Zuckerberg to access facebook?

As to the fact that Kindle format is what is, so it's done, let's all just please get over it YADA, YADA, YADA.

FOR THE ONE MILLIONTH TIME - THIS IS NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER.

Sony, did not have EPUB either, but now they do.

Google changed 3 MILLION BOOKS TO EPUB.

Barnes & Nobel changed to EPUB.

Kobo changed to EPUB.

So I'm guessing, that if Amazon wasn't intent on PLAYING SLEAZY ANTI-COMPETITIVE GAMES, then they probably would have supported the change to an open EPUB standard as well on the Kindle 3.

Last edited by delphin; 02-18-2011 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:30 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by ProfCrash View Post
And there are Sony users that have switched to Kindles. Heck, there are two topics from this week discussing the move. It is about finding the e-reader that works best for you. For some folks that is a touchscreen for other folks it is the wireless connection.

Be happy with you have and if you are not feel free to move to another reader.
This is not correct. None of these persons had a Sony PRS-X50 with a touchscreen, they are former 505 owners. For someone coming from a now seemingly heavy device with buttons to a more lightweight device with buttons there is not a big step to make, but for those who had a Sony PRS-X50 it will be very hard to step back to this cheap button only technology.

Here are the threads mentioned: Former Sony boy and ...now...Kindle owner

Also you might be interested in this thread. It is about where one shops. Kindle owners shop at Amazon, everyone else complains there is no multiple choice in this poll... now do your own math.

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Old 02-19-2011, 12:58 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by delphin View Post
Sorry, this isn't Fox news, you can't just call every embarrassing truth that a guest brings up a lie, then respond with 5 or 6 things that ARE outright lies, then cut to commercial.
Then stop bringing up lies.
Quote:

Actually it's pretty clear that Amazon IS breaking the law.
No. Just no. It is abundantly clear that Amazon is not breaking the law and that Amazon has no legal duty to collect sales taxes in states where it has no physical presence. Amazon does collect sales tax in WA, KY, and a couple of other states where it has a physical presence.
Quote:

It's true that there have always been constitutional challenges to taxing mail order transactions, but the settled law in the matter has long been that if a merchant actively does business within the state, then they are under that states legal jurisdiction as far as the requirement to collect sales taxes, and must do so, even if their headquarters is located elsewhere.
No. Read Quill again. It is settled law that if a merchant has a *physical presence* in the state it has to collect sales taxes. Not that it "does business" in the state. The point of Quill is that merely doing business in a state where you have no physical presence bars that state from requiring you to collect sales tax for them.
Quote:

Aside from millions of Internet transactions, and aggressive television advertising in virtually every state, Amazons partnership with 'affiliates' unquestionably qualify them as 'doing business' within the geographical jurisdictions of the states seeking to enforce the collection of sales tax.
It's not "doing business." It's "having a physical presence."

Why not just tell the truth and stop lying? Amazon did not commit "extortion," which is a crime with a specific legal meaning. Or if you're going to make false statements, why not just accuse Amazon of rape while you're at it? That sounds much worse.

But you live in a weird universe if you think that a company *wouldn't* change its business practices in response to proposed legislative changes. In fact, this happens *every day.*.

And, again, if, as you say, having an affiliate in a state "unquestionably" means that Amazon has to collect sales tax, why did Calif., etc. have to change their laws in the first place?

Quote:

Fortunately, with the change in leadership in California at least, they are looking at this again.

So let me repeat my earlier point -

To the states considering action on this issue -

Don't play into Amazon's hands by trying to pass a law to clarify matters looking forward.

Some may feel that this is the reasonable thing to do perhaps, but Amazon has demonstrated by past actions that it has no interest in being fair or reasonable, so they in no way deserve this consideration.

The legislature or governor should just pass a resolution directing the state attorney general to look into this as a willful criminal infraction of your states EXISTING TAXATION STATUTES and move forward on that basis.

That way you can hit Amazon with 10x punitive damages on the taxes that they ALREADY HAVE FAILED TO COLLECT without creating ex post facto issues.

This has not happened because the attorney general and other state officials have read Quill and understand that they can't require Amazon to collect sales taxes because Amazon has *no physical presence* in their state.

Quote:


For what it's worth, I agree that Borders had other systemic problems, but their failure to make quicker inroads in the e-book field is often listed as one of the factors contributing to their failure, and their inability to sell into the Kindle market was a factor in this.

Of course why should Amazon have helped them by allowing Borders to sell into the Kindle market?

Why? - because that's the way the internet is supposed to work.
My internet didn't come with instruction manuals like that. Should Amazon have also charged more for its paper books so that it would have been easier for Borders to make a profit?
Quote:

Why? - because that's the way it DOES work for everyone else.
No it doesn't. You can't read an iBook on a Sony. You can't read a Nookbook on a Sony. Stop making things up.
Quote:

Amazon's is willing to benefit from the open Internet in thousands of ways but doesn't seem to be willing to embrace open standards themselves.
See above.

Quote:

How would Amazon like it if Target stores made it so all computers they sold could never access amazon.com only target.com? Or Best Buy only allowing their PC's to shop bestbuy.com.

Shouldn't you need to buy a PC from Mark Zuckerberg to access facebook?

As to the fact that Kindle format is what is, so it's done, let's all just please get over it YADA, YADA, YADA.
These companies are free to try that if they want. But, again, see iBooks and Nookbooks example above. These books are not open.

But you don't care about the fact that other companies do the same thing as Amazon. You seem to only care when Amazon does it.

Quote:

FOR THE ONE MILLIONTH TIME - THIS IS NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER.

Sony, did not have EPUB either, but now they do.

Google changed 3 MILLION BOOKS TO EPUB.

Barnes & Nobel changed to EPUB.

Kobo changed to EPUB.

So I'm guessing, that if Amazon wasn't intent on PLAYING SLEAZY ANTI-COMPETITIVE GAMES, then they probably would have supported the change to an open EPUB standard as well on the Kindle 3.
DRM'd epub is not "open." And, again, try reading an iBook or a nookbook on a Sony - they're all epub, right? But somehow you reserve your irrational anger for Amazon.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:20 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Poppaea View Post
This is not correct. None of these persons had a Sony PRS-X50 with a touchscreen, they are former 505 owners. For someone coming from a now seemingly heavy device with buttons to a more lightweight device with buttons there is not a big step to make, but for those who had a Sony PRS-X50 it will be very hard to step back to this cheap button only technology.

Here are the threads mentioned: Former Sony boy and ...now...Kindle owner

Also you might be interested in this thread. It is about where one shops. Kindle owners shop at Amazon, everyone else complains there is no multiple choice in this poll... now do your own math.
While, I'm not too keen about being sucked into this little drama fest, I just can't seem to let some of these assumptions go by without any challenge.

You suggest that someone who selects a device with low tech and inexpensively produced physical buttons has not had enough exposure to devices with high tech and expensively produced touch screens. Given that a prs-350 and a Kindle 3 are roughly the same price (at least within the U.S.), why do you suppose a current Sony customer would not elect to upgrade to what you view to be a superior piece of technology?

From your post, I gather that you believe that this choice is based on a fear of change, and that the only/primary reason someone would reject a touch screen is because they are attached to buttons. However, with touch screen technology becoming more and more ubiquitous, this assumption that another person's consumer choice is based upon lack of exposure is a bit insulting. While I love the touch screen on my iPod, I simply found the responsiveness of e-ink to be a bit too sluggish in comparison. Along with a user interface that is IMO cumbersome and non-intuitive, the Sony just left me cold; even though, I had been initially attracted by the possibility of writing directly on the screen. After testing out the Kindle, classic Nook, and Sony prs-350, I found the Kindle to be the more enjoyable and user friendly of the three.

As for your conclusion that Kindle users only buy books from Amazon, I suppose that's true for many people. Although I have yet to purchase any ebooks from Amazon--my favorite authors are all in the public domain, so I've been downloading my books from MobileRead along with a few free downloads from Baen--I will probably do so at some point in the future. When I purchase pbooks, Amazon is the first place that I look, so it stands to reason that I'll go there first for ebooks as well. On the other hand, if Google Books has a better price on an ebook, I can always use the Kindle's browser to read it. While the lack of library support is disappointing, especially given the fact that my local library system has one of the largest ebook collections in the country, my personal reading habits (i.e. reading multiple books at the same time) simply do not fit with two week checkout periods.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:43 PM   #83
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Quote Delphin:

"Recognizing the truth in this, Amazon did indeed commit extortion by threatening to shut down these affiliates, in fact Hawaii's and California's taxation bills were vetoed by the states' governors who caved in to Amazon's extortion."


Quote Andrew: "Here you can see the discussion on an Amazon affiliate blog about the smackdown
Why not just tell the truth and stop lying? Amazon did not commit "extortion," which is a crime with a specific legal meaning. Or if you're going to make false statements, why not just accuse Amazon of rape while you're at it? That sounds much worse."

Hey, Boeing did similar to WA State (where Amazon, I can assure you collects Sales Tax). It got some incredible tax benefits from the state to keep production in Everett and then last year decided to go non-union and move a new plant to one of those Carolinas which also provided additional tax breaks.

Companies do it all the time. Screw whomever is convenient at the moment. I'm not sure how Amazon is trying to escape the sales tax issue in Texas as they apparently have a distribution center there - that would appear to be a presence. But maybe they played some kind of games - subsidiary or 3rd party or ..... Everyone looks for loopholes.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:24 AM   #84
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hmm...ironically, i know lots of people who prefer amazon because they don't charge tax and thus can get lower prices for the stuff they want.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:47 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by wyndslash View Post
hmm...ironically, i know lots of people who prefer amazon because they don't charge tax and thus can get lower prices for the stuff they want.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you buy something from another state, or over the internet, do you not have to pay "use tax" equivalent to the amount of sales tax that would have been paid had you bought it in your own state? That being the case, I don't see why it would be cheaper, unless people are committing the crime of tax evasion by not paying it?
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:14 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you buy something from another state, or over the internet, do you not have to pay "use tax" equivalent to the amount of sales tax that would have been paid had you bought it in your own state? That being the case, I don't see why it would be cheaper, unless people are committing the crime of tax evasion by not paying it?
On the California state income tax return, there's a line for entering any untaxed, out-of-state purchases. Businesses are responsible for collecting sales tax within states that they have a physical presence; otherwise, it's the buyer's responsibility to report their purchases to the state tax board.

And, yes, come tax time people tend to "forget" all those things that they purchased online.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:34 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you buy something from another state, or over the internet, do you not have to pay "use tax" equivalent to the amount of sales tax that would have been paid had you bought it in your own state? That being the case, I don't see why it would be cheaper, unless people are committing the crime of tax evasion by not paying it?
You're correct. In theory, you should pay the use tax.

But people don't. I guess some people do, but it's probably the same amount of people who voluntarily pay more in taxes just because they want to help the government.

It's a complicated issue because some states really really want that money (and keep pushing for it). And other states just aren't that big on taxing. It's pretty much along party lines.


It also gets further complicated when you get to e-material. Sony, for instance, has an online store that sells video games in electronic format. Some states they charge tax. Some don't. This is a huge hassle because they sell cards for use at their store in $20 and $50 amounts, but in places they charge tax, the $20 is no longer enough to buy a $20 game.

(And interestingly, MS dodges this issue by selling "points", not money, you purchase games with)

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Old 02-20-2011, 10:15 AM   #88
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you buy something from another state, or over the internet, do you not have to pay "use tax" equivalent to the amount of sales tax that would have been paid had you bought it in your own state? That being the case, I don't see why it would be cheaper, unless people are committing the crime of tax evasion by not paying it?
The subject has been brought up in Congress (US) - and debated a few times since it gives internet sellers an advantage over bricks/mortar. So far it has gone nowhere. State legislatures also argue with this. But even in bricks/mortar, my state WA has about a 10% sales tax. Across the border to the south, Oregon has NONE. Folks living in the relatively large city of Vancouver, WA (as opposed to the one north in Canada) tend to shop across the bridge. Further, folks from Oregon can purchase sales-tax free in WA by showing a card (or maybe even driver's license). I may not have all of the details correct.

Of course, Canadians use to make it easy for US-ers to get back some of the VAT(is that what they charge) but the forms got more complicated and they raised the minimum amount so you need more/larger purchases to get it back.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:38 PM   #89
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The subject has been brought up in Congress (US) - and debated a few times since it gives internet sellers an advantage over bricks/mortar . . .
Yep, and Amazon really likes having that advantage.

The only problem is that in their zeal to expand, they got really sloppy and brought on board what they euphemistically call 'affiliates'.

Yes, Quill v. North Dakota, does require that a retailer have some kind of "physical presence" in a state in order to come under that states taxation statutes, but Amazon's so called affiliates enjoy a level of legal consanguinity with Amazon that exceeds that enjoyed by most other national brand franchise operators, and the presence of franchise operators within a state has long been deemed to be enough of a physical presence to obligate the parent corporation to abide by local sales tax laws.

In a franchise operation, the parent company is basically only licensing their brand to the store owner, and though there may also be some level of marketing, and technical support, this is not required to meet the legal definition of a franchise.

So for example, your local Radio Shack store owner may sign a franchise agreement with Tandy corporation, and in return for fixed payments or a portion of profits, Tandy gives them the rights to sell under the "Radio Shack" brand. In this case Tandy also supplies national marketing, operational support in the form of store management software, and access to the national product catalog, but as I said above, those are not always elements of a 'franchise' the main element being the right to market under the parent company's brand.

Amazons relationship with their so-called 'Affiliates' is arguably even closer in many respects than that of a typical franchisee.

- The Amazon affiliates are given storefronts that appear right on Amazon's Main Web site (If I purchase a Radio Shack franchise it doesn't come with free floor space at Tandy's headquarters)

- The affiliate product offerings are fully integrated with Amazon's main product listings in the results displayed on the Amazon web site's product search page. So, unlike simple franchise operators, Amazon's affiliates aren't simply buying the right to sell an existing Amazon franchised product line, but rather to, in effect, BECOME A PART OF AMAZON'S NATIONAL PRODUCT LINE.

- Amazon collects payment, and sometimes even 'fulfills' orders by shipping from their own processing facilities (Most franchise operators run their own cash registers and handle their own local shipments)

So, whether Amazon chooses to make changes in the future, or not, the presence of these embarrassing affiliates on Amazon's web site may have ALREADY created a huge legal liability.

If this goes to trial, it will take about ten seconds to haul one of those "affiliates" into court, and establish that they -

A) PHYSICALLY RESIDE WITHIN THE GEOGRAPHICAL DOMAIN OF THE STATE.

- AND -

B) THAT THEY ENJOY THIS "EVEN CLOSER THAN A FRANCHISE" RELATIONSHIP WITH AMAZON, SELLING THEIR PRODUCTS UNDER THE "AMAZON" PARENT BRAND.

Amazon would probably defend the case by attacking on that second point, arguing that they simply 'sell through' and that consumers know that they are dealing with the affiliate merchants directly. This would be a tough argument to make though, given that Amazon trumpets the benefits of dealing through Amazon, which accrue BECAUSE the customer is NOT dealing with the affiliate directly, but rather through Amazon (such as that of protecting the customers credit card billing information.)

Amazon Knows this, that's why they fell all over themselves rushing to shut down 'affiliate' operations in states that were trying to make them collect taxes.

This "close the barn door after you have already stolen the horse" is a little silly though, because as I said before, if you BREAK THE LAW, (as Amazon HAS) you don't just get to "Take a Mulligan" like in the game of golf and "do over" a bad shot.

It would appear that Amazon has made a bad play here, AND HAS ALREADY BROKEN THE LAW, so they should be attempting to find common ground, negotiate their best deal as part of a plea agreement, and move forward, not start taking actions that will just anger the government officials that they now need to reach an agreement with.

Last edited by delphin; 02-21-2011 at 03:45 AM.
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