National Governors Association Promotes Marketplace Fairness Act

June 20, 2013 -

Yesterday governors, legislators, congressional leaders, technology companies and small business owners held a meeting to promote the Senate's recently passed Marketplace Fairness Act legislation, which proponents hope will get the same kind of approval in the House. The bill creates ways for states to collect online sales tax across state lines. Traditional retailers say that these taxes level the playing field because it forces all businesses to collect sales tax, and takes away the tax-free advantage online retailers have had for years.

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Missouri Video Game Sin Tax Bill Quietly Withdrawn

June 3, 2013 -

You may recall that back in January, Missouri State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) put forth a bill to levy a one percent sin tax on "violent video games." Apparently not realizing that she lived in a state where raising taxes on anything was considered bad form, she pushed the bill forward in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that occurred in December of 2012.

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Study: Majority of Consumers Hate the Marketplace Fairness Act

May 15, 2013 -

If the Marketplace Fairness Act that was enthusiastically passed in the Senate earlier this month were to somehow end up becoming the law of the land (through some sort of divine intervention in the House where it will likely stall for lack of support, in my opinion) then 44 percent would cut back on buying products online. This is according to data from a study sponsored by electronic postage software company Endicia and posted on Mashable.

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Vice President Sees No Legal Hurdles in Enacting Sin Tax on Violent Media

May 13, 2013 -

Vice President Joe Biden thinks that it would be perfectly okay to tax violent video games. During a recent meeting to talk about strategy for enacting the president’s proposed gun legislation, Biden said that an idea floated by Reverend Franklin Graham in late April to tax violent media might be a good idea. Participants in the session told Politico that Mr. Biden said there’s "no restriction on the ability to do that; there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t."

WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

May 10, 2013 -

Here's something you may not know: Glenn Jacobs, the man who plays the "Big Red Monster" Kane character on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and a co-holder of the WWE World Tag Team Championships, is also the co-founder of the conservative group, The Tennessee Liberty Alliance.

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Harry Reid's Internet Tax Bill Easily Passes in the Senate

May 7, 2013 -

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate seem to agree that requiring online retailers to collect sales tax is a great idea. A bipartisan coalition from both parties easily passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69-to-27. The bill was sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) who fast-tracked the bill and avoided any committee that might have had oversight over the bill.

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UK Chancellor George Osborne Calls Tax Incentives an 'Unfinished Story'

May 3, 2013 -

UK Chancellor George Osborne and Culture minister Ed Vaizey said today that the European Commission's investigation into proposed tax incentives for the video game industry that have a cultural requirement will not stop UK lawmakers from providing games tax breaks. Speaking at the British Film Commission event for the launch of creative sector tax breaks for TV and animation, the pair showed that their support for tax breaks had not wavered.

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Americans for Tax Reform: Pledge Takers Can't Vote For Internet Tax Bill

April 25, 2013 -

While the Senate is likely to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act being rammed through the Senate past the red tape of committees and onto the floor for a vote later today or by the end of this week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV.), House Republicans face a roadblock that they put in place themselves when it comes time to vote for their Internet tax bill: a pledge.

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President Obama Backs Harry Reid's Internet Tax Plan

April 23, 2013 -

The movement to bring State sales tax across the board to Internet retailers got an important endorsement this week as President Barack Obama "enthusiasticlly endorsed" the efforts by Senator Harry Reid (D-NEVADA) to push the Marketplace Fairness Act forward at a breakneck pace - according to The Hill. Senators advanced the bill in a 74-20 procedural vote on Monday evening, one vote less than it received in a test vote last month.

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Senate Majority Leader Attempts to Fast-Track Internet Tax Bill Vote

April 18, 2013 -

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) this week began the process of pushing the Marketplace Fairness Act before the full Senate without making its way through the Senate Finance Committee (mostly because many of the leaders in the committee don't like the bill and would stall it), according to Politico.

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European Commission Investigating UK Game Industry Tax Relief Plan

April 16, 2013 -

During the United Kingdom's March 2012 Budget it looked like plans for tax breaks for video games developers were a lock, but a European Commission (EC) investigation that was announced today has put their future in doubt. The European Commission announced today that it plans to investigate the proposals, and questions whether there is an obvious market failure in the UK games industry.

Specifically the EC is seeking answers to four key questions related to the UK games tax relief plan:

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UK Game Industry Tax Relief Delayed by EU Commission

March 20, 2013 -

Tax relief for the video games industry in the United Kingdom has been delayed because the European Commission was not able to approve the Cultural Test provisions of the plan, according to this GamesIndustry International report. The Cultural Test requires those applying for tax credits to promote the culture of the UK in various ways.

UK games industry trade groups UKIE and TIGA expressed their disappointment in the news, but were optimistic that the government would continue to be committed to tax breaks for games developers.

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Tiga: Abandoned Studios Deserve Tax Relief

March 5, 2013 -

When a publisher leaves a studio high and dry in the United Kingdom, industry trade body Tiga thinks that such abandoned projects should be eligible for tax relief. Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said that publishers have in the past left some studios in the UK “high and dry” by demanding large development teams for extended periods to then cancel a project with little or no notice at all.

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Republicans Inject 'Video Games' Into the Political Discourse on Sequestration

February 22, 2013 -

As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).

The Trouble With Connecticut's Video Game Sin Tax Bill

February 22, 2013 -

An interesting article on The Atlantic examines why sin taxes like the one proposed for video games by Connecticut State Rep. Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) never really do anything productive. You may recall that Hovey, who represents the district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, proposed a 10 percent sin tax on violent video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB.

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Conn. State Representative Proposes Ten Percent Tax on Mature-Rated Games

February 5, 2013 -

The Escapist reports that Connecticut State Representative Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) has introduced H.B. No. 5735, or "an act establishing a sales tax on certain video games." The bill would add a ten percent tax in Connecticut on video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB, which would then be redirected to the State's department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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Missouri State Rep. Proposes One Percent Tax on Violent Video Games

January 15, 2013 -

Missouri State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) put forth a bill on Monday proposing that the state charge a 1 percent tax on "violent video games," with the funds to be used for mental health programs and law enforcement efforts related to the prevention of mass shootings. This tax would apply to games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

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Nevada Lawmakers Defend Take-Two Las Vegas Deal

January 7, 2013 -

As news of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Connecticut were coming to light on December 14, the finishing touches were being put on a deal with the Nevada Economic Development Board and Take-Two Interactive (see Vegas Inc. for the details). This week that deal is being questioned by the media in the state.

UK Conservative Party Launches Video Game Tax Breaks Web Page

January 2, 2013 -

The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom (the Tories) have created a page on its official website detailing the planned implementation of upcoming tax breaks for the region's video games industry. According to the page on the official web site, tax breaks will officially go into effect on April 1. The page goes on to note that the new tax incentives will give a financial boost to the video game industry and "help level the playing field" against other countries already offering breaks for their own video game sectors.

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UK Government Reveals More Details on Games Industry Tax Relief

December 11, 2012 -

The UK government released new details on tax relief it wants to offer the video games industry, as a follow-up to last week's Autumn statement. For starters, the UK government has decided that it will have no minimum spending threshold so that tax relief can be provided to companies of all shapes and sizes. The government came to this conclusion after a lengthy consultation period with developers across the region. The tax relief initiative will come into effect on April 1, 2013.

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House Unanimously Opposes UN's 'Internet Regulations'

December 6, 2012 -

The United States Congress may be a mess and the most unruly and uncompromising bunch in the land but they all apparently think that the UN should not be setting policy on the Internet. To that end, members of the House of Representatives - Democrats and Republicans - voted unanimously (397-0) against the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations' efforts to push "increased government control over the Internet."

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UK Government Proposes Tax Relief for Creative Industries

December 5, 2012 -

Today the UK Government published a document proposing strong support of Chancellor George Osborne's earlier Autumn Statement, which would give qualified games companies tax-relief set at a rate of 25 percent.

"Following consultation on their design, the Government will ensure that the reliefs are among the most generous in the world by offering a payable tax credit for all three reliefs worth 25 per cent of qualifying expenditure," the document read in part.

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Slant Six Games CFO Blames Lack of Government Support for Vancouver Game Industry Decline

November 1, 2012 -

A prominent executive officer at Vancouver-based game developer Slant Six Games says that the Vancouver video game industry in danger of dramatically declining because of the lack of support from the government of British Columbia. CFO Lance Davis blames a lack of investment from the regional government since 2008. He also claims that this lack of support has led to 14,000 job cuts at various game studios in Vancouver. In June of this year Slant Six cut a quarter of its workforce temporarily.

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UKIE, TIGA Offer Suggestions to UK Government's Game Industry Tax Relief Scheme

October 30, 2012 -

UK video game industry trade groups UKIE and TIGA have submitted recommendations for the cultural test that will help the government decide which companies are eligible for tax relief. UKIE and TIGA shared its proposed recommendations with each other so that they could approach the UK government with a "consistent voice" on the topic. In order for a game to qualify for UK tax breaks, it will have to meet the requirements of a points-based test that focuses on "cultural content and contribution." Projects will need more than half marks (at least 16 out of 30) to qualify.

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FCC Backs Off Broadband Internet Tax Proposal

September 10, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission has started backpedaling after a loud and public outcry from rights groups and netizens about their proposal to tax broadband Internet services. Democrat and Republican commissioners at the agency are now pointing fingers at each other for bringing up the hot-button issue in the first place.

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Free Press Fights FCC's 'Broadband Tax' Plan

August 30, 2012 -

In an editorial on Ars Technica internet advocacy group Free Press described the FCC's move to tax broadband as a way to fund broadband infrastructure growth in the U.S. as misguided. Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner says that the proposed $1 - $5 tax on customers would ultimately be turned over to companies like AT&T who have been slowly pulling out of the broadband business anyway.

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Economic Development Corporation of Rode Island Troubles Continue

July 17, 2012 -

The Economic Development Corporation of Rhode Island finds itself highly dysfunctional in the wake of 38 Studios going bankrupt and not being able to meet its obligations related to $75 million loan. The pseudo government-corporate entity has been without an executive director since May when Keith Stokes decided to resign over the loan to 38 Studios. Today we have learned from several published reports that another loan the EDC approved is not going to be paid back and that another executive has resigned.

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Delaware Passes Bill Approving Online Gambling

June 29, 2012 -

The state of Delaware has decided to legalize online gambling today. The Delaware State Senate approved the bill by a 14-6 vote to allow online betting in the state. The next stop for the bill is the desk of Gov. Jack Markell (D) for his signature. With state and local governments seeing growing budgets and shrinking revenue, they have warmed up to the idea of allowing gambling both in their cities and online. The law is the second in the country to approve online gambling on a state level.

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More Details on Rhode Island's 38 Studios Concerns

May 16, 2012 -

Update: A Boston Globe report indicates that 38 Studios founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has asked Rhode Island officials for more money for his company in the private meeting that was held this morning. The newspaper says that board members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation took no action on Schilling’s request. The amount he asked for was not disclosed.

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Rhode Island Governor Intervenes as 38 Studios Struggles to Remain Solvent

May 15, 2012 -

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is probably not having a good week. The studio he founded, 38 Studios, is having serious financial trouble according to several news reports coming out of Rhode Island, and the state is doing what it can to protect the estimated $75 million in investments it spent to lure the studio away from Massachusetts.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
 

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