Twitter, Taxes and Turkish Prison

Twitter, Taxes and Turkish Prison

With conflict flaring over censorship of Twitter in Turkey around the time of March elections, the Turkish government has reportedly demanded that the company open an office there. Tim Worstall over at PandoDaily writes:

Why not just stick one employee there, as an “office” and make the local government happy? The answer being that having an office in a country changes the tax position completely and the important phrase to understand here for non-accounting types is “permanent establishment.”

Tim rightly points out that taxation of Internet businesses that flow across porous international borders is a thorny subject.  The largest, most successful services are understandable targets for tax authorities.  Nevertheless, in the case of countries like Turkey, I think the discussion of taxes, while valid, is mostly political theater. The main issue in my opinion is free speech, or rather the desire to manage and squash it. Continue Reading

AP phone records, al Qaeda and civil liberties: thinking a couple moves ahead

AP phone records, al Qaeda and civil liberties: thinking a couple moves ahead

I’d like to avoid more senseless slaughter of civilians by terrorist organizations and more invasive laws passed in response to such atrocities—whether they involve obtaining library checkout records, monitoring data packets transmitted over the Internet, or what have you. If that means throwing the privacy of AP reporters’ phone records for these two months under the bus, so be it.Continue Reading

Copywrong: Brilliantly Disruptive Startups from Napster to Pinterest

The law simply hasn’t kept pace with the largest upheaval in the distribution and consumption of content in human history, which has taken place in less than two decades since the consumer Internet was born in 1994. To a large extent, members of the general public have little idea what copyright is, how it works, or how it applies online, if at all.Continue Reading

When Good Legal Advice Is Worth $10 Million An Hour

When Good Legal Advice Is Worth $10 Million An Hour

One of the highest profile liquidity events in the first half of 2012 was Facebook’s deal to acquire Instagram for $1 billion. The popular mobile photo-sharing service should fit well into Facebook’s growth strategy as a public company, but its eye-popping valuation — more than that of the New York Times, for those keeping scoreContinue ReadingContinue Reading

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