Today I received the following email from the Amazon Associates Team:
For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.
We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.
As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective. We will send a follow-up notice to you confirming the termination date if the California law is enacted. In the event that the California law does not become effective before September 30, 2011, we withdraw this notice. As of the termination date, California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com [ http://www.amazon.com/ ], Endless.com [ http://www.endless.com/ ], MYHABIT.COM [ http://www.myhabit.com/ ] or SmallParts.com [ http://www.smallparts.com/ ]. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned on or before the termination date 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 [ https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/network/your-account/payee-info.html ]. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us [ https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/contact?subject=&ie=UTF8 ] 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 their ability to purchase from Amazon.com [ http://www.amazon.com/ ], Endless.com [ http://www.endless.com/ ], MYHABIT.COM [ http://www.myhabit.com/ ] or SmallParts.com [ http://www.smallparts.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. We are also working 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
The government is a group of people that aggressively extorts money from a defenseless and largely disarmed majority. They use it to protect and cement the privileged position of established and campaign-financing organizations who fear competition from those annoying, small, and dynamic entrepreneurs who push down prices.
In the process it always cripples commerce to one degree or another. So long as the tax livestock remains productive and obedient, such occurrences can be shrugged off as regrettable but “necessary” collateral damage.
I submit the letter above as yet another piece of evidence in the long list of items that corroborate this thesis.