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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Governor Dayton Should Tell Amazon to Suck It

I found out this morning that Amazon will be canceling my affiliate account as of July 1st, as they are in a game of chicken with the State of Minnesota over the sales tax bill that just passed. It didn't take me long to google up some apologia for this infantile and clearly extortionist behavior from Amazon:

 The problem is, if passed, Amazon will simply cease having Amazon Associates in Minnesota. Minnesota Associates are relatively unimportant to Amazon. With no Minnesota Associates, Amazon will nullify the effect of the law. Amazon will continue not to collect sales tax. Because of this, the law will be totally ineffectual in raising state tax revenue.

As an end result, Minnesota bloggers will be harmed without any tax benefit to the state. In addition, small retailers in the state also will receive no benefit from the bill's passage. Because Amazon will continue to sell without collecting sales tax, small retailers will be at exactly the same competitive disadvantage as they were before passage of the bill.
 from Online Sales Tax Will Only Hurt Bloggers

Which, no freaking doy. That's what the threat from Amazon is designed to do, wind us up like good little soldiers for the corporate bottom line so they can keep throwing us scraps. I resent that incredibly, and Mark Dayton should tell Amazon to suck it.

I signed up for Amazon Affiliates because it's an easy way to get covers and art without having to worry about copyright all the time, and to defray the relatively minor costs of keeping the blog in domain names. I've made, like, $10 in the entire time I've had the account, which is totally due to my blog being - how do I put this - not very popular. I have however, set up hundreds of links which, annoyingly, will continue to drive people to Amazon even after they stop paying me. From Amazon Throws Tantrum, Screws Minnesota Associates:

This is where fine print rears its ugly head. If the contract between associates and Amazon was a normal business contract, it would not likely be possible to terminate it with just a few days notice. At the moment, Minnesotans who use the Associates program, collectively, have a gazillion links on their web sites and blogs pointing to Amazon, and Amazon will continue to reap the benefits of those links (or force Minnesotan web developers and bloggers to spend considerable effort undoing the links), while Amazon will not be holding up their end of the bargain.

So that's just freaking great. I swear by all that is holy that I will take down every single link to Amazon if they persist in this antisocial nonsense. Amazon should not be rewarded for blackmailing bloggers to fight to keep them from contributing to the welfare of the state they do business in. I refuse to do it.

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