Wednesday, September 19, 2007

P.S.: End of TimesSelect Subscription Fees

Yesterday I reviewed The New York Times' coverage of its decision to begin free access to its article archives ( The story said future online advertising revenues were projected to be a more profitable model than the annual $2 million the newspaper was grossing in TimesSelect user fees.

Today's email to subscribers spins it a little differently:

Why the change?

Since we launched TimesSelect, the Web has evolved into an increasingly open
environment. Readers find more news in a greater number of places and interact
with it in more meaningful ways. This decision enhances the free flow of New York
Times reporting and analysis around the world. It will enable everyone,
everywhere to read our news and opinion - as well as to share it, link to it and
comment on it.

Again, the key legal and practical question for freelance authors is not whether The Times adopts a user-fee-based or an advertiser-based business model. Like other publishers, The Times has a new for-profit enterprise based, in part, on what the courts have clearly ruled is pirated material.


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