Federal Court Ruling Only The Beginning Of E-Commerce Changing Rules

Leaping into action following a federal court ruling, trumpeted its return to the Michigan market this month, after the court ruled that the state's laws banning direct-to-consumer wine shipments by out-of-state retailers were unconstitutional.

The site billed the move as "just in time for the holidays." (When you care enough to send a gift that says, "I like you better drunk.") But this is the latest volley in a federal court—and soon federal legislative—game of Internet taxation and control. Can states force E-Commerce sites to tax for them? Can municipalities police what gets sold in their communities, even via laptop or PDA? Just a cautionary note: The E-Commerce rules are about to be written, rewritten and then rewritten again. Come to think of it, maybe a drink or two might make sense right about now.