Chicago’s "cloud tax" makes Netflix and other streaming services more expensive

Today, a new “cloud tax” takes effect in the city of Chicago, targeting online databases and streaming entertainment services. It’s a puzzling tax, cutting against many of the basic assumptions of the web, but the broader implications could be even more unsettling. Cloud services are built to be universal: Netflix works the same anywhere in the US, and except for rights constraints, you could extend that to the entire world. But many taxes are local ”” and as streaming services swallow up more and more of the world’s entertainment, that could be a serious problem.

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