I just received an email from Associated Content which clearly states that we are no longer entitled to enjoy the performance payments which we have been so far. We need to be the 'Featured Contributors' which means we have to submit the United States W-8BEN tax form and get enrolment for the same.
Helium has long closed the door to us (Asians). eHow has had a merger with Demand Studio and Triond has integrated with Google Adsense. The whole earning algorithm on the internet has been changing. And now with the AC, the virtual earning scenario for the Asians does not look good. Payment, as little as 1-3 dollars, that I used to get was an incentive, more than anything else. While we can still publish in AC, we won’t get paid for the page views. No wonder, why most Asian writers have shifted their base to other online forums that still pay.
The email from AC clearly states:
After evaluating our payment policies in regard to international Contributors, our legal team has determined that Associated Content must immediately start withholding a portion of all international Performance Payments pursuant to U.S. tax laws. Due to the cost involved in this process, we can only offer continued Performance Payments to international Contributors enrolled in Associated Content's Featured Contributors program.
This is an insinuation of the major laying offs of online international freelancing jobs that's on their cards. So, I am anticipating more.
This month has not been good for me, and the Asians in general, who are trying to earn from it. Ning is phasing out of free services, AC changed its policies since Yahoo has taken over it and a lot of thing happening with the merger between the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and PayPal.
I have a network with Ning Creators and when the new CEO announced the phasing out of free services. This means, we have to pay for premium services, the details of which, they are going to announce on May 4th (2010).
The Obama government is desperate to fight the economic downturn which is understandable but I now fear shutting down of other major online earning avenues as a part of the internal policies. This is a direct hit on the international writers.