New York Times Says "Not So Fast"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So, you thought you could get away with it didn't you? You figured out a way to get around that 20 article limit The New York Times will introduce in the U.S. next Monday. Well, it seems The New York Times has now said "Not so fast".

This new pay-wall system has a rule, if you get to a Times article by following a link it won't count against the 20 articles you get to read for free before paying a monthly subscription fee.

Of course, someone quickly introduced a twitter feed called @FreeNYTimes and it would be very resourceful for people looking for a way around it. The way it works is that person would have a subscription themselves and would have a link to every single New York Times article giving people the ability to use Twitter to get free articles.

"It is a violation of our trademark" said a representative for the Times and with that thought the Times has quickly countered this idea by asking Twitter to disable @FreeNYTimes.

Now is it really a trademark violation? Taking a look at the Twitter profile picture it has the distinctive Gothic "T" of the New York Times and the term "NYTimes" is identical to the newspaper's URL.

The Times may have a point now, but the name can easily be changed making it hard to press any trademark violation charges.

The Times' price is $35 per month to access the site on a computer, smartphone, and IPad while the computer only is $15. If the full package was $15 I believe a lot (and I mean a lot) more people would be willing to pay for the subscription.

So, What do you think? Is there a real trademark violation and do the prices for the subscription need to be adjusted?

I think the Times could simply avoid problems like this with a new plan. Make the pricing a good bit cheaper and people might be willing to pay for the subscription.

Photo Credit: via Creative Commons


Ben Lucas March 22, 2011 at 11:07 PM  
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Ben Lucas March 22, 2011 at 11:08 PM  

If the NYTimes is going to charge for content but leave obvious loopholes to get to that content without paying then they should expect this. Everyone already tries to get around any payment method online that you can think of, and this is no different. As long as the loopholes exist people will widen them at every opportunity.

Katie Buchholz March 23, 2011 at 12:29 AM  

People are never going to stop trying to get through the loophole and widen them. They even have a twitter account set up for it! I think the NYTimes will see how the pricing goes at first, and once it hits downtown they will lower their prices.

Erin Gerken March 23, 2011 at 6:19 AM  

I think it is honestly a fairly smart idea for the New York Times to start charging for content. It will undoubtedly make them a lot more money than what they currently are, even if only such a small amount of their readership is willing to pay. But it is obvious they still want a high readership because of the loopholes they left. I can completely understand their motives.

Morgan Abel March 23, 2011 at 9:43 AM  

I think the only people who will pay for the NYTimes content are older people who can't figure out the loopholes to get the information for free.

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