— NY governor proposes tax on digital downloads : If Gov. David A. Paterson’s budget passes, cash-strapped New York could impose a 4 percent tax on digital downloads of all kinds — books, ringtones, games, VOD movies, and of course, music tracks — to help balance its budget in 2009. The NYT’s City Room said the tax would kick in next June and bump up the cost of a 99-cent iTunes download to about $1.04. State officials say the so-called “iTunes Tax” could add as much as $15 million in revenue the first year it’s enforced, and about $20 million a year thereafter. States like New Jersey have already broadened the scope of their taxes to digital downloads, and in April, New York passed a similar measure (dubbed “the Amazon Tax”) aimed at forcing online retailers to collect taxes for goods “sold” in the state. Amazon is currently challenging the law, and there has already been some pushback about the new proposal. Apple’s official policy is that it will charge tax on tracks in states where applicable.
— Mixwit bites the dust : Online MP3 sharing and mixing service Mixwit is shutting down, blaming legal uncertainties. Like Muxtape before it, Mixwit let users create and share their playlists (it pulled many of the songs from music search engine Seeqpod), though it wanted to expand to include photos and videos. Users could also customize the appearance of their playlists, and the startup was working on deals with various labels to secure licensed tracks. But Mixwit’s founder Michael Christoff told TechCrunch that the costs (including potential legal action from the RIAA) outweighed the benefits: “I