“We interrupt this blog. . .”
. . . for a totally non-Civil War-related post.
Via Conor Friedersdorf, the City of Philadelphia is demanding that small-time bloggers purchase a $300 business license, whether they actually make any money or not. Seemingly, the only criterion is that the blog be set up so that it might potentially generate income, through automated ads or similar, common tools.
I doubt this effort will go very far — after all, income from blogging is taxable under prevailing tax codes anyway, and most small bloggers (myself included) don’t think of their effort as a business in any case, but it’s still a troublesome development.
Update, August 24: Oh, my, looks like I’ve really set off Robert over at Cenantua. Poor man’s so upset, he’s speaking in tongues! ;-) And just to clarify, he’s dead right about this.
Update 2, August 24: Matt Yglesias picks up on this story at CAP. One of his commenters pushes back:
Similar to the danger of barbers cutting people’s throats, a blog in untrained hands is a dangerous thing.
What if an untrained blogger does not know the proper colors that should be used for a pleasant reading experience that doesn’t strain the eyes? Or if he/she uses too much white in the background, causing unnecessary electricity usage all over Philadelphia?
It only makes sense that Philadelphia would protect its constituents from these dangers.