Former Rep. Chris Cox, now an advisor to NetChoice (online sellers). His testimony emphasized the importance of the existing constitutional standard, insist on meaningful simplification, and criticize the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Streamlined Sales Tax project.
But apps and other digital content like e-books and music are not really simply digital equivalents of books and CDs, says Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a coalition of e-commerce firms like Yahoo, Facebook and AOL. Most downloads can’t be resold, gifted or traded, he says. Customers get a license for the digital files — but they don’t own them the way they own a book or CD. (Also see: Who inherits your iTunes library) States are grappling with this dilemma in different ways. New Jersey introduced a sales tax on e-books, music and even ringtones in 2006, but excluded video-on-demand. “States that want to tax digital movies are salivating at the thought of collecting those taxes from sellers that have no presence in their state,” he says.