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May 28th, 2008, 12:35 PM #1CCVideo, A Closer Look
First, here's the full body of the email, then my comments after.
INFINITY CONSUMER ENTERTAINMENT, INC. DBADue to recent changes in New York law relating to the collection of sales tax, Infinity Consumer Entertainment, Inc. dba Critics'Choice Video and DVD (CCVIDEO.COM) will no longer offer its products for sale through affiliates or other representatives (the "Affiliate Network") that are residents of New York State and that are paid a commission on such sales. Accordingly, CCVIDEO.COM is hereby immediately terminating all participation in the Affiliate Network by all affiliates that are New York State residents through all performance marketing networks. A New York State resident is (a) any individual who maintains a permanent place of abode in New York State and (b) any corporation incorporated under the laws of New York and (c) any corporation, association, partnership or other entity doing business or maintaining a place of business in New York State. (See New York Sales and use Tax Regulations Section 526.15, 10 NYCRR §526.15.)
CRITICS' CHOICE VIDEO AND DVD (CCVIDEO.COM)
POLICY PROHIBITING THE USE OF NEW YORK AFFILIATES
May 27, 2008
Therefore, if you are a New York State resident, your participation in the Affiliate Network is hereby immediately terminated and you must immediately cease and desist from any referrals of sales to CCVIDEO.COM and remove any links to all websites operated by Infinity Resources, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including without limitation Infinity Consumer Entertainment, Inc. dba CCVIDEO.COM, from your website. [The change in the law does not require CCVIDEO.COM to cease doing business with or through affiliates who simply advertise CCVIDEO.COM's products without compensation or who are paid a fixed amount on a "per click-thru" basis ("Affiliate Exemption").]
If you continue to participate in the CCVIDEO.COM affiliate network(s) following this notice, then by your participation and each time a potential customer links to CCVIDEO.COM from your website, you are certifying, representing, and warranting to CCVIDEO.COM that you are not a resident of New York State, as described above, or that your participation in the Affiliate Network falls within the Affiliate Exemption.
By your continued participation in the Affiliate Network following this notice, you also agree to notify CCVIDEO.COM if your status changes and you become a resident of New York State and that, immediately upon any such change in your residency status, you agree that your participation in the Affiliate Network is terminated and that you will immediately cease and desist from any referrals of sales to CCVIDEO.COM and remove any links to those website(s) from your website.
The terms and conditions of your continued participation in the Affiliate Network are amended by this policy and, by your continued participation in the Affiliate Network, you acknowledge and agree to such changes.
If you have any questions concerning this policy and its application to you and to provide any notices required hereby, please immediately contact CCVIDEO.COM at Infinity Consumer Entertainment, Inc. dba Critics' Choice Video and DVD, Attention: Affiliate Marketing Manager, 900 N. Rohlwing Road, Itasca, IL 60143, with a copy to General Counsel, at the same address and/or by phone 630-775-3300.
Second, this would indicate to me that Linkshare isn't going to share with it's merchants who the New York affiliates are, which is not the way I understood this was going to go down.
CCVideo is essentially asking for a voluntary removal by NY affiliates of themselves from their program. And they threaten non compliance with... what?
I suppose they feel this covers them, and gives them an opportunity to rebut, indicating that they aren't responsible for marketing done by NY affs since they have asked them to leave.
To me, seems like another poor reaction. The panic is setting in, and merchants are sending out bad emails.
May 28th, 2008, 12:48 PM #2
FWIW, I just got an identical email from DeepDiscount.com.
May 28th, 2008, 12:55 PM #3
May 28th, 2008, 12:58 PM #4
I wonder how well this would hold up in court, if it got to that. Can the merchant really claim they didn't know an affiliate was from New York? It's almost like they're claiming advance ingorance. I can hear the prosecutor ask "What steps did you take to find out what affiliates you have in New York?" Seems pretty flimsy to me.
May 28th, 2008, 01:58 PM #5Originally Posted by Kevin
May 28th, 2008, 02:05 PM #6Originally Posted by MichaelColey
I still hope this wording isn't something LS is pushing.
May 28th, 2008, 02:23 PM #7
They were on the DMA conference call, and DeepDiscount is on Affiliate Future, so I doubt it's coming from LinkShare.
I agree with you, Greg. It sounds flimsy, if (and that's a big if) this is all they're doing. It takes both a contract and reasonable enforcement to have a chance of holding up.
May 28th, 2008, 02:41 PM #8
When I first glanced at that email I thought they were talking about the network kicking NY affiliates out of the network!!
Very poor choice of words - it's like they don't even know what they are.
Maybe this will be a good thing in the long run...
as the merchants that get scared might not be the best companies to deal with. Companies that value their NY affiliates and will do what they have to to work with them and keep them are the merchants that I want to deal with.
Even if this thing all blows over - I won't affiliate with any of the merchants who have kicked us out of their programs!