Good Times

The New York Times, a newspaper that some of us rather like, has just announced that it’s bringing down its paywall. As the article states:

In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.

Since Times Select material has been free to those at universities for some time now, the main benefits to me will be (a) I no longer need to feel guilty in linking to a piece behind the paywall, and (b) the 1851-1922 material is now easy to get (Elena, my research assistant, has been doing some work looking at historical betting odds in US elections – plus, reading old papers is fun).

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11 Responses to Good Times

  1. Guy says:

    Hurrah! Another small victory against media pay-walls. A little lightbulb marked “online advertising!” must have gone off in someone’s head.

  2. Sinclair Davidson says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I am very pleased when paywalls come down – I wish the Fin Review and WSJ would abandon theirs. Yet making the New York Times assessable to the rest of the world is just wrong. Will we be compensated for this externality?

  3. cam says:

    They could charge for it if the quality of their opinion was much greater than than the free commenteriat, but it isn’t, so they have a similar quality product competing with free.

  4. cam says:

    On the issue of public domain archives, the Australian War Memorial appears to be a bit confused about Australian copyright law. Photographs taken before 1955 are not under copyright. Their collections database has ‘seek permission’ all over their photographs prior to that date.

  5. Matt C says:

    This is great news…
    I found it difficult to wean myself off all the ‘Times Select’ material after leaving uni.

  6. EconoMan says:

    What kind of externality are you talking about Sinclair? Positional externalities? Consumption is essentially non-rivalrous, barring a rare capacity overload…

  7. Sinclair Davidson says:

    All that left-wing thinking spilling into the public domain polluting young impressionable minds …

  8. EconoMan says:

    Ahh, left wing thinking like positional externalities..

    Sounds like a positive externality to me. Perhaps the NYT should get a subsidy.

  9. Sinclair Davidson says:

    You’re just trying to upset me. But The Age has bolstered my immune system.

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