Monday, May 23, 2005

New York Times to Information Consumers: Pay For It!

See this morning's item at Information Today NewsBreaks, "New York Times Content Eases Toward Paid Subscription," http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb050523-1.shtml.

* One of the most interesting aspects for information professionals is that the new "TimesSelect" service will give subscribers "unfettered access to 25 years of New York Times’ archived articles. Comparing that $49.95 annual subscription fee with the standard $2.95-per-article fee charged by services such as Factiva or ProQuest or the $1.50-per-article fee often charged by other newspaper archives, this would mean that after the first 17 (or 34) articles used in a year, TimesSelect would open up access to The New York Times’ archives."

* "TimesPast" provides full-text access back to 1980.

* This "could seriously affect the current article archive pricing from which The Times Co. reportedly garners as much as $1 million dollars a year. Access to the full archive currently extends back to 1851 and costs $2.95 per article. Archived content dating from 1996 forward has optional, discounted, multipack pricing—four articles for $7.95 (33 percent off), 10 articles for $15.95 (46 percent off), or 25 articles for $25.95 (65 percent off). ProQuest supplies the digital PDF files of historical articles from its Historical Newspaper collection."

My own two 1989 New York Times Magazine articles (including a December 17, 1989, cover story, "Joe Montana: State of the Art") are available both on the ProQuest service via the Times website and on LexisNexis. Last week I registered the copyrights for these pieces. In a bullying announcement in 1995, in the early period of the Tasini v. New York Times lawsuit and other activism, and again in 2001, after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of freelance writers on the copyright issue, The Times told freelancers that their material would be expunged from the archives unless they retroactively signed off on secondary rights. Which I of course never did.

So I've been among the hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of rights holders who have been both unfairly blamed for gaps in the historical record and ripped off all along.

1 Comments:

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