Monday, June 22, 2009


Who's Ken Rockwell, and why should I care?

Simply put, is one of the web's better photography sites, with photo tips, gear reviews, pages upon pages of how to's and reference material.

Mr. Rockwell is, let's say, opinionated, but if he wasn't no one would bother reading his site. He's also not shy about pointing out that the affiliate programs from Amazon, Adorama, Ritz, and others pay for the time he spends putting together reviews, user guides, and tutorials. Go to the site and explore; this is the kind of thing that will be collateral damage as far as the government is concerned.

The CA Legislature, in their lust for more revenue, wants to force those companies to collect and pay CA sales taxes. As noted below, this means the end of affiliate programs, and sites like,

If you live in California, send a note to your state legislators, Mr. Rockwell has a sample on his page that you can use. (not really a blog, so I couldn't find a permalink, but speed is of the essence.)

One other note is that if this becomes law, the retailers will pull the affiliate programs, no additional revenues will be collected, but useful information will be lost.

As P.J. O'Rourke notes, the Law of Unintended Consequences is the one that the Legislature always passes.