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States Seeking Levies on Digital Downloads 249

evdubs writes "15 states and the District of Columbia currently tax online media, with others eager to begin their own taxes. The RIAA estimates that domestic sales totaled $503 million last year, but that figure doesn't include movies, e-books, online video games and other forms of digital media. Perhaps the most interesting point in this article is the way states, looking to start taxing online media, are trying to use the interpretation of previous law and apply it to digital media. In Washington, politicians are using their definition of software (already taxable), 'a set of coded instructions designed to cause a computer...to perform a task,' to justify taxation of online media because 'they cause some action by a piece of hardware to play them.'"

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