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Comments on: Cracks Already Show in Times Paywall Chronicling the Decline of Newspapers and the Rebirth of Journalism Tue, 21 Feb 2012 19:42:46 +0000 hourly 1 By: The Paywall Problem « Applesauce Sandwiches Tue, 21 Feb 2012 19:42:46 +0000 […] in March of last year, it cost $40 million and took more than a year to design. That paywall was bypassed in under 24 hours with a simple bookmarklet designed to make the Times’ java overlay not show up. That’s […]

By: Jason Tue, 26 Apr 2011 16:23:38 +0000 You don’t need a hack. Just delete your nytimes cookies.

The Times can’t block you based on IP address because you could be on a NAT-driven LAN or WLAN in which every computer seems to have the same IP. And they don’t want to block entire routers.

So the paywall uses cookies instead. Waste them and you’re through.

Of course, the larger argument applies here just as it does to music piracy. Do you really want to strip revenue away from something that benefits your life? Because the Times does; if it didn’t, you wouldn’t notice or care about paywalls in the first place.

Ten years ago the anti-DRM argument, espoused by the Doctorows of the world, was that piracy actually increased CD sales and promoted artists. The numbers since then irrefutably prove that argument has failed.

To my knowledge, no band in world history has generated so much as $1m in total digital music sales without being signed by a label first — far worse results than came via the original, admittedly corrupt label business model, in which at least *some* artists succeeded.

And today the incentive to excel is a musician is much lower than it was pre-Napster, the quality of music is much worse than pre-Napster, and it’s harder than ever for a musician to make a living.

The real problem with journalism is much simpler: Journalists generally don’t know anything about their supposed areas of expertise.

The world is certainly full of supposed tech journalists, for instance, who never worked in IT, never took a single course in CS or EE, and are, in their writing, simply echoing the remarks of others rather than generating any new value or insights of their own.

Scale up the value and charge accordingly — that’s a real business model.

By: Merinas van der Lubbe Fri, 08 Apr 2011 04:37:22 +0000 The NYT has a *vastly* overinflated idea of its own importance, to think that I’d pay for it – much less spend precious time *hacking* it…

I.e. if the Gray Lady won’t put out (YUCK… What a metaphor) there are plenty of other “Girls” who will…

By: NYT: Another Hole In The Wall | Fit to Print Fri, 25 Mar 2011 11:56:48 +0000 […] […]

By: paulgillin Thu, 24 Mar 2011 10:11:59 +0000 In reply to Tyson Goodridge.

Thanks, Tyson. The decline of newspapers and the rebirth of journalism is a topic if constant inspiration for me. I appreciate your comments and updates.

By: paulgillin Thu, 24 Mar 2011 10:10:15 +0000 In reply to Eli.

I think you’re right. Someone is always going to figure out how to hack paywalls, but they weren’t likely to pay in the first place. Benton actually makes an interesting point about that: The people who figure out the workarounds are actually more motivated to share content because they went to all that trouble to get free access. So they actually have marginally greater value than the typical passerby. And your Microsoft analogy is appropriate. That company threw resources at piracy prevention for years and then realized that the amount of sales it was actually losing to piracy was pretty small. People who steal stuff are usually not good prospects in the first place.

By: Missförståndet om Kissie, Foki, Gynning och gänget Thu, 24 Mar 2011 07:16:07 +0000 […] av nischer, individer och grupper är i sig en enorm maktfaktor som skakar om bransch efter bransch. Inte för att unga tjejer skriver om kläder utan på grund av att människor kan mötas på […]

By: msbpodcast Wed, 23 Mar 2011 18:16:19 +0000 Paywalls won’t work without micropayments (although I now get on there for free because of a free offer from Lincoln…)

But apps will. I’m still hoping that Ol’ Rupe can find a working pricing model.

I’m waiting for somebody to shut down their internet site and exclusively use an app. (I may be waiting a long time, uh?)

The Wall Street Journal might be one.
Various specialized journals might be some more.

But if you’re the publisher of something which is just filler between a jillion ads, you’re either hyper local (like the Hoboken Reporter, or the Jersey City Journal,) or you sucking vacuum.

By: Eli Wed, 23 Mar 2011 18:00:34 +0000 There will surely be browser plugins and websites that make it very easy to evade the paywall, but so what?

Web ad sales continue to grow despite the availability of easy-to-use AdBlock plugins and iTunes succeeds despite easily accessible pirated music.

I would suggest that the people who bother evading the paywall are the people who were probably not going to pay for it anyway. If the paywall were made airtight, most of them would simply stop visiting.

Consider Microsoft’s tacit approval of piracy in developing countries. Sure, they’d love it if everyone using Windows paid full retail for it. But if people are unable or unwilling to pay, the company certainly doesn’t want to drive them into the arms of its free Linux competitors.

Assuming you’re going to implement a paywall, I think the Times has a reasonable approach that could actually work. The price is way too high, however.

By: Tyson Goodridge Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:37:22 +0000 Paul, as always, great insight into one of your passions here. Love following this evolving story through your lens