MySpace Sale Update –

Pop star Justin Timberlake is part of a group that said Wednesday it will buy MySpace from News Corp., a bid to add some cool to a social network that has been losing it for some time. 

Timberlake will become a part owner and play “a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward,” according to Specific Media, the company that he will partner with.

The deal is for $35 million, mostly in Specific Media stock, according to a person familiar with the matter. The deal values MySpace at a fraction of what News Corp. paid for the site six years ago and paves the way for the layoff of about half of the 500 workers, the person said. As part of the exchange, News Corp. will receive a private equity stake in Specific Media.

 

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Amazon Drops California In Growing E-Commerce Affiliate Tax Law War

In the ongoing state-by-state battle over tax collection on affiliate website sales, this afternoon Amazon warned thousands of affiliates their revenue streams would be shut off if a tax bill would be signed into law. Mere hours later,Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill, signifying tough times ahead for many online business owners.

States are scrambling for cash, so it’s no surprise they see a pot of gold in e-commerce sales. Brick and mortar sites – such as Wal-Mart – that have failed to grasp the opportunities Amazon created with programs (like Affiliates) are out for blood.

Essentially, certain states have grubbed for tax money by passing laws that expand the definition of physical presence. They are specifically targeting e-commerce sites that work with affiliates – more specifically, websites that partner with Amazon as Affiliates to earn commissions from individual sales.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes the actions of the states to be unconstitutional and that this should be resolved at the federal, not the state level.

Last year Colorado signed a new law that extended nexus to e-commerce affiliates. The law required online retailers like Amazon to give Colorado residents a bill on how much they owe in sales tax on web purchases, and provide summaries of individual web purchases to the state. Amazon responded, as like with California, for better or worse, by cutting off its Colorado affiliates.

Score 1 for Amazon!!!

Casting for “Lincoln” Taking Shape

David Strathairn has been set for a key role in Lincoln by director Steven Spielberg. He’ll play William Seward, Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, an outspoken abolitionist and a core member of Lincoln’s wartime cabinet. He joins Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The DreamWorks film has been set to begin production this fall in Virginia for a late 2012 release through Disney’s Touchstone label.

Two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis will star as the 16th President of the United States in DreamWorks Studios’ Lincoln to be directed by Steven Spielberg.  Sally Field will also star as Mary Todd Lincoln.”

“Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema’s distant future. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln,” said Steven Spielberg.  “Throughout his career, he has been exceptionally selective in his choice of material,” added Stacey Snider, “which makes us feel even more fortunate that he has chosen to join with us for Lincoln.”

Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill and Joseph Cross are in negotiations to join the cast of DreamWorks Studios’ “Lincoln,”As well.  Tony Kushner wrote the script based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals and Kathleen Kennedy is producing with Spielberg.

Smells like Oscars to me!