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iAWFUL: the 10 Most Awful Laws for the Internet

Today we published our September 2011 “iAWFUL” list of bad Internet laws.  The worst offenders are new burdens on small businesses using the Internet, plus a Puerto Rico bill restricting how 17-year-olds can use social networking.

Our Internet Advocates’ Watchlist For Ugly Laws (yep, iAWFUL is an acronym) is the 10 items of state and federal legislation that pose the greatest threat to the Internet and e-commerce. Read more

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Odd Timing to Promote ‘Fairness’

Youu can tell a lot about whether a lawmaker is proud of a bill by watching how and when they introduce it. If you’re at a big press conference in the morning, early in the week, with lots of reporters around, you can be pretty sure the lawmaker behind the bill feels pretty good about it.

So what does it say about the so called “Main Street Fairness Act” that Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) chose to slip the measure into the legislative agenda on a Friday afternoon, at the end of July, right in the middle of an apocalyptic congressional battle over the debt ceiling?   Read more

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Maryland’s Attempt To Hunt New Tax Revenue Without Shooting Itself In The Foot

Basic hunting safety has two rules:

1.Know how to handle a gun without hurting yourself, and

2. Ready, Aim, then Fire.

Same rules ought to apply when states go hunting for new tax revenue. Lawmakers first need to understand where potential tax revenue is hiding and how to get it in their sights. Then they create legislation that minimizes collection costs. Read more

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California, You Don’t Trade Your Star Player for A Couple of Bucks

We see it throughout sports.  The “star player” getting traded for some quick fixes to the team.  But it’s that star player that makes people want to come play – think Kobe Bryant for the Lakers, or Drew Brees for the Saints.  People want to play with the star players.  And the star players are the ones that bring fans to the games and sell the jerseys.

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Small Sellers Rally to Oppose California’s Affiliate Tax Bill

Over 5,000 small sellers have joined together to oppose California’s affiliate nexus bill, AB 153.

This legislation attempts to force out-of-state sellers to collect California taxes on sales to state residents. Presently, the US Supreme Court regards state sales tax systems as unreasonable burdens on interstate commerce, so sellers only have to collect taxes for states where they have a physical presence.

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Alabama: Don’t Dis’ the U.S. Constitution as You Dig for More Tax Revenue

Screen-captureWe recognize that now is a period of economic discomfort for the states, where lawmakers are searching for new sources of tax revenue.  However, the pursuit of tax revenue is no excuse for legislation that disregards the very document on which this nation is founded.

This latest dis’ of the US Constitution comes in the form of Alabama’s tax reporting bill, HB 365.

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